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Five Best Trails in Britain for Bird Watching

Britain is a bird watcher’s paradise. We may get complacent at times, but Britain boasts diverse habitats and a rich avian population. From the cliffs of Wales to the marshes of England, there’s a trail for every bird enthusiast – here are our top five.

1. Gower Peninsula, Wales  

The Gower Peninsula offers some spectacular scenery with its cliffs, salt marshes and sand dunes. This Welsh trail offers a lot of variety which creates a haven for birds. The coastal views are stunning, making your bird-watching experience even more memorable.  

Birds to Watch: Here, you can spot the charismatic chough with its red bill and legs. The powerful peregrine falcon and various wading birds along the shoreline can be seen. Each season brings different species to observe, and many people travel from afar to see puffins.

Best Time to Visit: Visit in spring and autumn to catch migrating birds. Summer is ideal for watching seabirds during their breeding season.  

2. West Highland Way, Scotland  

The West Highland Way is a legendary trail, starting in Glasgow and winding through the dramatic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. It’s Britain’s most famous trail for a reason. The rolling hills can feel like stepping into a different universe at times.

Birds to Watch: Look out for majestic golden eagles soaring above, ospreys fishing in lochs, and ptarmigans blending into the rocks.  

Best Time to Visit: Late spring and early summer are prime times for spotting breeding birds in the wild setting.  

3. Norfolk Coast Path, England  

The Norfolk Coast Path takes you through a mix of marshes and sand dunes, making it quite a British affair. The coastal lagoons and its flat, accessible trail make it ideal for bird watching.  

Birds to Watch: This area is famous for avocets, striking marsh harriers and elusive bitterns. 

Best Time to Visit: Winter is great for migratory waterfowl, while spring brings breeding waders. 

4. Rutland Water, England  

Rutland Water is a renowned bird-watching site with its extensive wetlands and lagoons. The well-maintained trails and hides make it easy to spot a variety of birds.  

Birds to Watch: Ospreys are a highlight here, along with the elegant great crested grebe and numerous duck species. 

Best Time to Visit: Spring and autumn are peak times for migrating birds, while summer is perfect for watching ospreys.  

5. Coast to Coast Walk, England  

The lengthy Coast to Coast Walk stretches from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay, offering quite diverse landscapes from the Lake District to the North York Moors.  

Birds to Watch: On this trail, keep an eye out for the curlew with its distinctive call, the lapwing and the hardy red grouse in upland areas.  

Best Time to Visit: Spring and summer are the best times to see breeding waders and upland birds along the route.  


Britain’s bird-watching trails are somewhat underrated, with many species being more easily spotted in Wales than elsewhere. From eagles and puffins to guaranteed Osprey sightings, there’s a wealth of diversity and stunning landscapes to immerse yourself when walking Britain. By visiting these trails at the right times, you can experience the best of what British bird watching has to offer.