All Abilities Wildlife Watching


At the Grant Arms Hotel we aim to enable all Guests - no matter what their level of ability - the chance to make the most of their holiday.
We have two fully wheelchair accessible rooms, which are accessed by lift. All our public areas are wheelchair accessible.

We have information about wildlife watching sites and other attractions that are accessible for wheelchair users and Guests with limited mobility.
If you are planning a stay with us and would like a copy of this, please let us know. Here are a few examples:

Anagach Woods and River Spey

There are all abilities trails within Anagach Woods that can be accessed from the Hotel itself or via a short drive to suitable parking areas. Another all abilities trail can be found in Grant Park/Kylintra Wood (at the other end of the High Street). To get to the River Spey in Grantown you can go on foot/via wheelchair (approx. 1.2miles) or by driving (approx. 5mins – there’s room to park at the end of the road) to the Old Spey Bridge. The bridge provides a great vantage point to look for wildlife.

Throughout the year you could see Crested Tit, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Capercaillie, Scottish, Parrot and Common Crossbills, Tawny Owl, Woodcock, Red Squirrel, Roe Deer, Stoat and Pine Marten. Spring and summer migrants include Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit and Redstart. In autumn you could see Fieldfare and Redwing. Look for Dipper, Goldeneye, Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser on the River Spey, with Grey Wagtail, Common Tern, Common Sandpiper and Oystercatchers joining them in the spring.

Merkinch LNR

Merkinch has a variety of trails that are all wheelchair accessible. The main path leads above the shoreline, giving you great views over the mud flats to the Beauly Firth when the tide is out. Access via a ramp leads to the inland pools. There are picnic tables next to the car park giving you views over the Beauly Firth and benches along the main path.

The habitat attracts a good range of species: Teal, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Goldeneye, Hooded Crow, Red-breasted Merganser, Wigeon, Cormorant, Little Grebe and Snipe. Over-wintering Knot, Dunlin, Redshank and Greylag Goose can be seen, with Brambling, Fieldfare and Redwing regular autumn visitors. Also look out for Water Rail, Otter, Bottlenose Dolphin and Common and Grey Seals.

Findhorn Valley

You can use your car as a hide at the car park at the end of the valley. If you fancy exploring further you can follow the estate track (no vehicular access beyond the car park), which is relatively flat and a good track but may not be suitable for all wheelchairs.

Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Red Grouse and Red Deer are all seen regularly - White-tailed Eagle are also seen occasionally. Ring Ouzel, Wheatear and various waders breed here during the summer.


RSPB Loch of Strathbeg

The Visitor Centre and observation tower is just off the car park (where you will also find accessible toilets). In here you can find information about the reserve with steps up to a viewing area (a stair lift is available). From the Visitor Centre the Tower Pool Hide (fully accessible) is about 700m along a surfaced track.
Driving around to the south side of the loch, you can get great views across the water from the car parking area next to the ruins of St Mary’s Chapel.

Loch of Strathbeg is an important location for migrating and over-wintering birds. Up to 80,000 (around 20% of the world’s population) Pink-footed Geese have been recorded (numbers peak late September-early October) and are usually joined by significant numbers of Whooper Swan and Greylag and Barnacle Geese.
Good numbers of wildfowl are present, and spring and autumn brings passage waders, including Ruff, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Little Stint and Black-tailed Godwit. Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Peregrine, Merlin and Short-eared Owl are often attracted by the density of birds. Summer visitors include Swift, Swallow, Sedge and Grasshopper Warblers, Common and Sandwich Terns, Little Gull, Gannet, Great and Arctic Skuas, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Skylark and Osprey.

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All special events, suggested itineraries and programmes are subject to availability and liable to change without notice.