Guaranteed Dolphin Spotting in Scotland

dolphin spotting

When I was told by Helen at The Aberdeen Altens Hotel that we dolphins could be seen from Torry Battery in Aberdeen, I didn’t actually expect to see them.  I’ve been on many boat trips to see marine wildlife, but only managed to spot seals and a couple of porpoises.  So I was fairly sure we wouldn’t actually see anything.

Torry Battery

Torry Battery was built in the mid 1800’s when the UK was at war with France.  The battery gave a view across the North Sea and was the main defence for Aberdeen harbour.  It was armed with large guns and you can still see where they were placed today.

The battery never actually saw any armed conflict and was mainly used as a training ground for soldiers.  It was manned again during both the 1st and 2nd world wars.  However, after both of the world wars Torry Battery was used as a home by soldiers and families due to a shortage of accommodation in the city.  The last family moved out in the 1950’s and it has since turned to ruin.  Although it has now been listed as an ancient monument and a car park is there to encourage visitors.

Dolphin Spotting

aberdeen harbour dolphins

To spot the dolphins you are best to park at Torry Battery.  Then look out toward the entrance of the harbour from either the car park or at the top of the steps (beside the information board) on the other side of the road.

We found that dolphins mainly appeared to move between the orange end of the Northern part of the harbour entrance and the lighthouse at the south side.  Look out for the triangle fins moving in the waves and if you are lucky like us you’ll see them leaping out of the water and riding the waves back into the harbour.

pebble beach Aberdeen harbour

Apparently you are almost guaranteed to see dolphins when you visit Torry Battery.  Although how active they are depends on the day, we were rather lucky to watch them diving in and out.

Aberdeen harbour dolphins

We also spent some time at a rocky beach below the battery.  Both boys had great fun throwing stones in the water and clambering over the rocks whilst we took it in turns to go back up to the information board and watch the dolphins.

dolphin spotting

RSPB Dolphinwatch Aberdeen

From the 6th April to 20th August the RSPB have a Dolphinwatch van at Torry Battery car park from Thursday to Sunday 11am-6pm (weather permitting).  They had a table with RSPB information, binoculars and telescopes to help visitors spot the dolphins.  So don’t worry if you don’t see the dolphins on your own, just ask at the van and you will have help spotting them.

Aberdeen dolphinwatch

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Scotland dolphins


  1. May 10, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Wow, this looks incredible. Just my sort of thing, I love the water and seeing dolphins. One for our list for when we visit Scotland next!

  2. May 15, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    This looks amazing! It’s brilliant that you’re almost guaranteed to see them. I’ve been to lots of places where you’re supposed to be able to see dolphins, seals, etc, and it’s always a disappointment when they don’t show up.

  3. yo
    June 25, 2017 / 4:15 pm

    hi, thank you for the information, we go to wales just to see the dolphins, love every minute we are there, thats New Quay ,Wales, if anyone wants to know, lots of other wild life there too, but we are in scotland in october 2017, hoping to see the northern lights and lots of wild life, would love to see a killer whale, we are going to be in Grannies Heilan Hame, and may well get round to john a groats, any chance would you know if we may be lucky enough to see either,

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