The Scottish Owl Centre is a popular destination for bird enthusiasts and families alike. Located in West Lothian, Scotland, the centre is home to a wide variety of owls from all over the world. Visitors can get up close and personal with these fascinating birds and learn about their habits, behaviours, and habitats.

The centre offers a range of experiences for visitors, including owl encounters, flying displays, and educational talks. During an owl encounter, visitors can handle and interact with some of the centre’s resident owls, while flying displays showcase the birds’ impressive hunting skills and aerial acrobatics. Educational talks provide an in-depth look at the world of owls, covering topics such as conservation, breeding, and behaviour.

Location and Accessibility

Edinburgh

The Scottish Owl Centre is located in Polkemmet Country Park, which is just a short drive from Edinburgh city centre. Visitors can enjoy a beautiful scenic drive through the countryside, passing through charming towns like Bathgate and Whitburn before arriving at the park.

Polkemmet Country Park

Polkemmet Country Park is a stunning 168-acre park located in West Lothian. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, otters, and of course, owls. The Scottish Owl Centre is located within the park, making it a perfect destination for a day trip.

West Lothian

West Lothian is a historic county located in central Scotland. The area is known for its stunning countryside, charming towns, and rich history. The Scottish Owl Centre is just one of many attractions in the area, making it a perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.

Wheelchair Friendly

The Scottish Owl Centre is fully wheelchair accessible, making it a great destination for visitors with mobility issues. The centre has ramps and lifts throughout the facility, making it easy for visitors to explore the exhibits and enjoy the shows. Additionally, the park itself is wheelchair friendly, with wide paths and paved walkways throughout.

Owl Collection and Displays

The Scottish Owl Centre boasts the largest collection of owls in Scotland, with over 100 birds from around the world. Visitors can see a wide variety of species, from the tiny pygmy owls to the majestic great grey owl.

Largest Collection of Owls

The Scottish Owl Centre has an impressive collection of over 100 owls, making it the largest collection in Scotland. The collection includes a range of species, from the common barn owl to the rare spectacled owl. Visitors can learn about the different types of owls and their habitats from the knowledgeable staff.

All-Weather Flying Displays

The Scottish Owl Centre offers all-weather flying displays, so visitors can enjoy watching the birds in action no matter what the weather is like. The flying displays are a highlight of the visit, with the birds swooping and diving through the air.

Siberian Eagle Owl

One of the most impressive birds at the Scottish Owl Centre is the Siberian eagle owl. This majestic bird is one of the largest owl species in the world, with a wingspan of up to 6 feet. Visitors can see the Siberian eagle owl up close and learn about its habitat and behaviour.

The enclosures at the Scottish Owl Centre are designed to mimic the natural habitat of the birds, with plenty of space for them to fly and hunt. The staff also provide nest boxes and feeding posts to encourage natural behaviour.

The flying shows at the Scottish Owl Centre are a great way to see the birds in action and learn about their behaviour and hunting techniques. Visitors can see the birds in flight and learn about their camouflage and hunting skills.

Human impacts on owl populations are also discussed at the Scottish Owl Centre, with information about habitat destruction and pollution. Visitors can learn about the importance of conservation efforts to protect these amazing birds.

Visitor Experience

Hold an Owl for a Photo

One of the highlights of a visit to the Scottish Owl Centre is the opportunity to hold an owl for a photo. This experience is available to all visitors, and is a great way to get up close and personal with these magnificent birds.

To hold an owl for a photo, visitors must book a session with one of the experienced owl handlers. During the session, visitors will learn about the different owl species at the centre and how to handle them safely. The handlers are knowledgeable and informative, and will answer any questions visitors may have.

Meet the Birds

In addition to holding an owl for a photo, visitors can also meet the birds at the Scottish Owl Centre. The centre is home to a wide variety of owl species, including the majestic scops owl. Visitors can learn about each species and their unique characteristics from the informative signage throughout the centre.

Adventure Playground

Families with children will love the adventure playground at the Scottish Owl Centre. The play park features a range of equipment, including swings, slides, and climbing frames. It’s a great place for kids to let off steam while parents relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Golf

For those who enjoy a round of golf, the Scottish Owl Centre has its own 9-hole golf course. The course is well-maintained and offers a challenging game for players of all levels. Golfers can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside as they play.

Overall, the visitor experience at the Scottish Owl Centre is excellent. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and the centre is clean and well-maintained. Families, couples, and individuals will all find something to enjoy here.

General Tips:

  • Book in advance for owl handling experiences
  • Bring a camera for the perfect photo opportunity
  • Pack a picnic to enjoy in the designated picnic area
  • Check the events calendar for special activities and demonstrations
  • Members receive discounts on admission and other benefits

Location Information:

The Scottish Owl Centre is located in West Lothian, just a short drive from Edinburgh. There is ample parking available, and the centre is easily accessible by car. Accommodations are available nearby for those who want to extend their visit.

Facilities and Services

Cafe

The Scottish Owl Centre has an on-site cafe that offers a variety of hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals. The cafe is a great place to relax and enjoy a bite to eat after exploring the centre. The menu includes vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Gift Shop

The gift shop at the Scottish Owl Centre is a great place to find souvenirs to remember your visit. It offers a variety of owl-themed gifts, including books, toys, and clothing. The shop also stocks a range of Scottish gifts, including tartan scarves and whisky glasses.

The Scottish Owl Centre is located within the Polkemmet Country Park, which offers a range of outdoor activities for visitors. The park has several walking trails, a children’s play area, and a golf course.

Entry to the Scottish Owl Centre is priced at a great value, with discounts available for seniors, children, and families. The centre is ranked highly by visitors, with many praising the knowledgeable staff and the variety of owls on display.

Nearby attractions include the Almondell and Calderwood Country Park and the Five Sisters Zoo. The Scottish Owl Centre is located in a tranquil setting, with gravel areas and plenty of seating for visitors to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Reviews order: Many visitors have praised the facilities and services on offer at the Scottish Owl Centre. The cafe and gift shop have been particularly popular, with visitors commenting on the great selection of food and gifts available. The staff have also been praised for their knowledge and enthusiasm.

Conservation Efforts

The Scottish Owl Centre is committed to the conservation of owls and their habitats. The centre works closely with various conservation organisations, including the Scottish Raptor Study Group and the Barn Owl Trust, to promote the welfare and protection of owls.

The centre participates in breeding programmes for endangered owl species, such as the European eagle owl and the snowy owl. These programmes aim to increase the numbers of these species in captivity and eventually release them back into the wild.

In addition to breeding programmes, the centre also conducts research on owl behaviour, ecology, and conservation. This research helps to inform conservation efforts and ensure that the centre’s activities are effective in promoting the welfare of owls.

The Scottish Owl Centre is also a registered charity and relies on donations and support from the public to continue its conservation work. The centre runs various fundraising events and initiatives throughout the year to raise money for its conservation efforts.

Reviews and Ratings

The Scottish Owl Centre has received numerous positive reviews and high ratings from visitors on TripAdvisor, a leading travel review website. Visitors have praised the centre for its knowledgeable and friendly staff, impressive selection of owls, and commitment to industry-leading trust and safety standards.

Many reviewers have also commented on the value for money offered by the centre, with admission prices being considered reasonable given the quality of the experience. The centre’s transparency report, which details its policies and procedures for animal care and visitor safety, has also been praised by reviewers as a reassuring sign of the centre’s commitment to ethical and responsible wildlife tourism.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, the Scottish Owl Centre has continued to provide a high-quality experience for visitors. Reviews from this period have highlighted the centre’s adaptability and dedication to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both visitors and animals.

Nearby Attractions and Accommodations

The Scottish Owl Centre is located in the heart of Scotland, making it a great base to explore the surrounding area. Here are some nearby attractions and accommodations to consider:

Attractions

  • St. Andrews: Just a 30-minute drive from the Scottish Owl Centre, St. Andrews is a historic town known for its ancient university, beautiful beaches, and world-famous golf courses.
  • Falkland Palace: This stunning Renaissance palace is just a 20-minute drive from the Scottish Owl Centre. Visitors can explore the palace and its gardens, which were once home to Mary, Queen of Scots.
  • Loch Leven: This beautiful freshwater loch is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and birdwatching. It’s just a 30-minute drive from the Scottish Owl Centre.

Accommodations

  • The Old Manor Hotel: This charming hotel is located just a 10-minute drive from the Scottish Owl Centre. It offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant serving Scottish cuisine, and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
  • The Red Lion Inn: This traditional Scottish inn is located in the nearby town of Auchterarder, just a 20-minute drive from the Scottish Owl Centre. It offers cosy rooms, a bar serving local ales, and hearty pub food.
  • The Gleneagles Hotel: This luxury hotel is located just a 25-minute drive from the Scottish Owl Centre. It offers elegant rooms, a spa, and three championship golf courses.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed adventure, there’s something for everyone near the Scottish Owl Centre.

Visitor Information

The Scottish Owl Centre is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in birds of prey. Here’s all the information you need to plan your visit.

Hours

The centre is open every day from 10am to 5pm, with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Visitors are advised to arrive no later than 4pm to ensure they have enough time to see all the birds and attend any scheduled events.

Entry Price

The admission price for adults is £12.50, while children aged 3-15 can enter for £8.50. Children under 3 can enter for free. Family tickets are also available for £38, which covers 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children.

Value for Money

Considering the range of birds on display and the quality of the facilities, we believe the Scottish Owl Centre offers excellent value for money. Visitors can see over 100 birds of prey, including owls, falcons, and eagles, and there are daily flying displays and talks to attend. The centre also has a gift shop and café on site.