Where to see otters in the UK

Discover four of the best places to spot an otter. 


Otter champion, Simon King: “With a graceful command of both land and water and a playful nature, the otter is definitely my must-see species.” Simon is a film-maker: www.simonkingwildlife.com


Back in every English county since 2011 and seen even on urban rivers, the otter is at last reclaiming lowland wetlands far beyond its Scottish and Welsh strongholds. The mustelid is active by day or night, though generally more nocturnal on fresh waters.

To see one, head out at dawn or dusk and scan the water’s surface for ripples or a moving wake. On the coast, pick a rising tide. Clues to the presence of otters include tracks and spraints on banks and shores, and whistles between a mother and her cubs in summer.

Best places to see an otter

  • Isle of Skye, Scotland
  • Shapwick Heath, Somerset
  • Shetland Islands, Scotland
  • Thetford, Norfolk