The Boat Hotel is located in Boat of Garten village. It is surrounded by woodlands, moors and with one of the major Scottish rivers, the Spey, flowing along side it.
The perfect place for wildlife lovers, with otters, badgers, pine martens and the Scottish wildcat to the red deer, all of Britain's grouse species, the protected red squirrel and its all a stones throw from the hotel. A rewarding experience with a little patience even for an inexperienced wildlife watcher.
For Bird watching opportunities there is no better place to be than the area in and around Boat of Garten (The Osprey Village) .
With Milton Loch in the heart of the village you will find a Heronry with about a dozen breeding pairs, also Little Grebe, Goldeneye, Mallard, Coots and Moorhen. Woodcock regularly fly over a particular area in the village and just outside the village there are Slavonian Grebe and Wigeon. Down on the banks of the River Spey you may see Dipper, Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker and of course Osprey.
Abernethy Forest RSPB reserve which is located 2 mlies from Boat of Garten has Capercallie, Scottish Crossbill and Crested Tit. Loch Garten is famous for it's breeding pair of Osprey.
Wildlife in the Cairngorm National Park
It is not just about birdwatching here in the heart of the Cairngorms there are also wonderful tours organised by Speyside Wildlife and why not try a bit of reindeer spotting or take a trip to visit the famous Highland Wildlife Park - a great day out for all the family.
The RSPB website contains useful information for bird watchers and details of all of the RSPB nature reserves, six of which are within easy reach from Boat of Garten and many others can be reached on a day trip.
The Cairngorms play host to Golden Eagle, Ptarmigan, Dotterel, Ring Ouzel and Snow Bunting, whilst Black and Red Grouse can be found on local moorland.
- Insh marshes RSPB reserve has a wide range of wildfowl, waders, Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl. Located 20 mins away by car from the hotel.
- Loch Ruthven RSPB reserve has Slavonian Grebe, Raven and Black Grouse.
Findhorn Valley also known locally as raptor valley is where Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Raven may been seen. At certain times of the year, Sea Eagles have been sighted in this Valley.
- Culbin Sands RSPB reserve
Truly get away from it all at this remote and unspoilt reserve. Come during the winter and you'll see sea ducks feeding offshore, while from late summer to late spring, large numbers of bar-tailed godwits, oystercatchers and knots flock at high tide. Look out for our small flock of wintering brent geese.
There are a few RSPB Reserves in which travel is between 1-2 hours to reach by car.
- Fairy Glen RSPB reserve
Walk by a fast stream and gleaming waterfalls in this wooded glen, looking for grey wagtails, dippers and buzzards. This beautiful steep-sided valley is an oasis of calm, but do take care as paths are rugged in places.
- Udale Bay RSPB reserve
From late summer to April you can see thousands of wildfowl and wading birds here. Come an hour or two either side of high tide to be rewarded with spectacular views of flocks of flying birds. In autumn up to 5,000 wigeons feed here, while if you want to see an osprey fishing in the water, late summer is the time to come.
- Loch of Strathbeg RSPB reserve
Britain's largest dune loch is a joy to visit any time of year. In winter, thousands of wild geese, swans and ducks fly in, including 20 per cent of the world's population of pink-footed geese – it's a sight you'll never forget.
During spring and summer, you can see gulls, terns and wading birds raising their young, and you may catch a glimpse of an otter. With panoramic views from the visitor centre, there's plenty for families and children too.