The Top 10 Places to Spot UK Wildlife 

With David Attenborough’s new series, Wild Isles, having its first episode streamed a few weeks ago and bringing in 5.7 million viewers, Brits are inspired to look for a wildlife spotting holiday within the UK.

Searches for ‘wildlife spots near me’ and ‘UK wildlife holidays’ have seen a 100% and 23% increase in the past 12 months. To make Brit’s search easier, a new research has revealed the most popular places to spot wildlife this spring, with Kent topping the list, followed by Essex and Suffolk.

With over 70,000 species of animals, plants, fungi and other organisms in the UK, the rich natural environment makes it the perfect place for a wildlife spotting trip and with a 23% rise in searches for ‘UK wildlife holidays’ it seems people are keen to explore.

So, for those looking to catch a glimpse of the birds, bees, and even bison on their doorstep, new research from the travel insurance experts at Comparethemarket can reveal some of the most popular wildlife spots, right here in the UK.

According to the research, the top 10 most popular wildlife spots in the UK are as follows:

RankLocation Hashtag# Posts
2Essex #essexwildlife17,570
10Lincolnshire #lincolnshirewildlife2,797

Kent comes top as the ideal place to spot wildlife, with over 19,000 posts for #kentwildlife. Home to the Kent Downs, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and wildlife parks such as Port Lympne Reserve, the area offers chances to spot everything from bats to bison.

In fact, Kent is home to the UK’s only herd of wild bison, where three females were introduced into Wilder Blean, as part of a rewilding project. The area also has Ham Fen reserve which is one of the few places to spot wild beavers in the UK.

Another popular spot for wildlife lovers is Essex with 17,570 posts. Although not far from our top spot Kent, Essex has a variety of its own amazing wildlife habitats such as the Dedham Vale AONB, where you can spot otters, barn owls, swifts or even a stag beetle (one of the largest insects in the UK).

Suffolk comes in third as the most popular wildlife spot, with its extraordinarily varied wildlife and nature reserves. From the coast to the Suffolk broads, wildlife lovers could spot anything from the majestic red deer and grey seal or even Britain’s largest spider, the Fen Raft. Oh, and not to mention thousands of rare birds, that call the region home. 

In fourth is Dorset with 17,394 posts. The wildlife hotspot is a popular bottlenose dolphin-watching area and home to all six native reptiles including sand lizards and smooth snakes. 

Then, rounding off the top five most popular wildlife spots is Yorkshire, an amazing place to spot large birds of prey such as the goshawk and buzzard as well as species like roe and fallow deer, foxes, badgers, stoats, and weasels.

Tips on enjoying wildlife responsibly

Space and respect

Give wild animals, livestock, and horses plenty of space. Their behaviour can be unpredictable, especially when they are with their young and you could get hurt.

Do not feed livestock, horses or wild animals as it can cause them harm.

Stick to marked paths

Stay on marked paths, even if they’re muddy, unless wider access is available, such as on open-access land. This helps to protect crops and wildlife.

No litter and BBQs in designated areas 

Leave no trace and take any litter with you, litter spoils the beauty of the countryside and can be dangerous to wildlife and livestock.

Only use BBQs in areas where there are signs that allow it. Always put your BBQ out, make sure the ashes are cold and dispose of them responsibly. Fires can be devastating to wildlife and habitats.

Keep dogs under control

Always keep dogs away from wildlife and be sure to check local signs, as there will be instances where you must keep your dog on a lead for all or part of the year. 

There may also be some local areas that ban all dogs, except for assistance dogs, completely to protect wildlife. Prior research and signs in the area will tell you about these local restrictions.

Commenting on the research, Anna McEntee, travel insurance expert at Comparethemarket, says: “The UK has an abundance of amazing flora and fauna to enjoy which many of us have not yet experienced. When exploring these newfound wildlife hotspots, it is important to treat the space with respect and care to preserve and protect our native wildlife.

The country’s broad range of animal habitat offers a whole new spin on the ‘classic’ staycation, which can be just as exciting as travelling abroad. When you do visit a nature-focused holiday retreat on home soil, it is always important to check what type of travel insurance you might need to cover you and your valuables.”

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.