Pine martens now live in England, Wales and Scotland for the first time in decades, but you’re extremely unlikely to see one south of the border. Until the species has a firmer foothold throughout the UK, by far your best chances of seeing a pine marten lie in the Scottish Highlands.
Pine marten populations are increasing in Scotland and sightings are no longer rare, with several locations offering almost guaranteed pine marten viewing. Make a beeline to any of the destinations in the following selection and you’ll stand a pretty good chance of spotting a pine marten…
Pine marten walking along a log with lavender all around. © Richard McManus/Getty
Pine marten feeding stations
You might strike gold and spot a marten on a forest road ot trail, but your best chance is to visit a place where the species is fed regularly.
Group pine marten hides
One long-established hide is at Aigas Field Centre in Inverness-shire (01463 782443). Sightings of multiple individuals are common here and at Speyside Wildlife Hide in Rothiemurchus (01479 812498). The Kindrogen Field Centre in Perthshire has also long been reliable for marten sightings (01250 870150).
A young pine marten. © Mark Hamblin/Getty
Private hides for pine marten photography
If you’re a keen photographer, consider booking your own session in a small, private hide, such as those of Black Isle Hides (07843 567756).
Hotels and B&Bs with pine martens
The following guesthouses all feed their local martens:
Casmus na Choirk B&B Ardnamurchan, Argyll (07919 062315)
Dunchraigaig Guest House Kilmarten Glen, Argyll (01546 510396)
Glenloy Lodge Banavie, Fort William (01397 712700)