Nestled in the heart of Fife, the Scottish Deer Centre spans over 55 acres of parkland and is a haven for nature enthusiasts and families alike, offering an intimate encounter with many of Scotland’s most iconic wild residents.
The Scottish Deer Centre isn’t solely focused on deer, though, as it’s committed to the conservation, education, and celebration of all Scottish wildlife. In addition to 14 different species of deer, the park is home to birds of prey, Scottish wildcats, lynx, wolves, and a variety of other animals, many of which are endangered.
In this article, we’ll explore the Scottish Deer Centre and highlight its unique features, conservation efforts, and the unforgettable experiences it offers.
|The Scottish Deer Centre,
Bow of Fife,
|Open every day except Christmas Day and New Years' day.
Park, Coffee Shop and Retail all open at 10 am.
Retail closes at 5 pm, Park and Coffee shop at 4:30 pm.
Family 2+2: £38
Family 2+3: £45
Under 3’s Free
|Free car park on-site
|Cafe, shop, toilets, guided tours, disabled access, picnic area, play park
The Scottish Deer Centre, near Bow of Fife, is a captivating wildlife park that specializes in deer from across the globe. It spans over 55 acres, offering a unique collection of 14 deer species as well as wolves, lynx, and birds of prey. Visitors can experience guided tours, demonstrations, and interactive exhibits, making the centre a great destination for families.
The Scottish Deer Centre is an animal conservation park that looks after a variety of deer from around the world as well as wolves, otters, wildcats, birds of prey and many other animal species.
Inside the park you’ll find a varied collection of creatures from across the globe with wolves, brown bears, Asian otters, northern lynxes, owls and many more furry and feathered critters in enclosures that recreate their natural habitats.
The park can be easily walked around via the wheelchair-friendly paths and the deer will come bounding over if they think you have food, which is great because, unlike a lot of animal attractions, at The Scottish Deer Centre you’re encouraged to interact with them.
The setup is similar to East Links Family Park where you can get up close and personal with the animals by feeding them bags of food pellets, and in a similar vein to the East Lothian park, you can buy the pellets near the entrance. As soon as the deer see you with the snacks they’ll come running over and I guarantee your children will love feeding these gentle creatures.
There’s also an educational element to this attraction as the Scottish Deer Centre is actively involved with breeding programs to conserve all species of deer, just like the RZSS has accomplished at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park.
1: It’s great fun feeding the deer, and the falconry and otter displays are equally enjoyable. If you like animals you’ll love the Scottish Deer Centre.
2: Although deer are the main focus, there are lots of other animals to see at the park. The Scottish wildcats, in particular, are a real show-stealer.
3: Kids will love this attraction, partly because of the cute furry critters but also thanks to the play park. This attraction is very family-friendly.
1: This is one of the few attractions I’d recommend visiting at the weekend rather than mid-week as the Scottish Deer Centre hosts school tours which means it’s often packed with hordes of excitable children Monday to Friday.
2: There’s an on-site cafe which is quite good, but if you’d like to save money consider taking a picnic as there’s an enclosed picnic area near the entrance with plenty of space for families to sit. There are also outside benches for relaxing on sunny days.
3: If you’re looking for an entire day of family-friendly activities you might consider heading north on the A91 to Scone Palace which is a huge historic building set in enormous gardens. Alternatively, head east to St. Andrews Cathedral for an equally interesting historic attraction.
The enclosures at the Scottish Deer Centre are very well-maintained and they’re a real pleasure to walk through, with deer taking up the majority of the site and bears, lynx, raptors and wildcats living in the other enclosures.
There are a few seating areas to stop and take a break during your walk around the park and once you’ve completed a circuit you can send the kids away to burn off some energy on a go-kart track and an indoor play park.
The Barns Play Park is a highlight as it’s fully covered, meaning younger members of the family will be able to enjoy their visit whatever the weather is doing. It’s a nice touch having a covered area like this and it means you won’t have a wasted day if the skies turn grey. There are also picnic tables in there so you can eat a packed lunch hidden away from the often miserable Scottish weather.
In addition to the main park, there’s a falconry area with a collection of birds which features daily shows where you’ll get to watch them swooping about while the keepers deliver interesting talks about them. Next to that is another enclosure with some playful otters, and yet again there are regular shows to watch.
Families will likely want to take a picnic as there are a couple of outside eating areas, but there’s also a nice wee courtyard cafe if you fancy something cooked on-site. The courtyard includes a gift shop that sells everything from whisky to clothing as well as a good selection of locally sourced food products.
Things to Do
See the Deer: Discover the world of deer at the Scottish Deer Centre. As you walk around the park’s 55 acres you’ll learn about their behaviour, diet and conservation. The park is home to 12 species of deer from across the globe, as well as Scotland’s majestic red deer.
Bird of Prey Centre: Experience the thrill of seeing birds of prey up close at Raptor World. With expert handlers demonstrating the birds’ hunting skills and providing valuable insights into their lives, this is a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts.
Forest Safari: Take a woodland walk and experience a Scottish Safari. Footpaths will take you through the Witches Wood and the Wolf Wood where you can see wildlife in its natural environment. Witches Wood even has a treetop walkway where you can watch moose from the tree canopy.
Otter Enclosure Visit: Enjoy watching the playful antics of the resident otters. The Scottish Deer Centre houses Asian short claw otters, and visitors can learn about their habits and diets as well as watch them being fed.
Adventure Playground: Perfect for families, the Scottish Deer Centre’s indoor barns and adventure playground offer fun for children of all ages. With climbing frames, slides and swings, it provides a safe and enjoyable environment for kids to burn off some energy.
Things to Do Nearby
Lomond Hills Regional Park. East Lomond KY15 7AE. 20-minute drive.
An expansive park with several walking trails and a large reservoir. The park is easily accessed thanks to a road that runs through it and a car park located in the centre.
Hill of Tarvit Mansion and Garden. Cupar KY15 5PB. 10-minute drive.
A large Edwardian mansion that was originally built in the 17th century and is now managed by the National Trust for Scotland. The house and landscaped gardens are open to the public for self-guided tours.
Blackhouse Rossie Estate. Collessie KY15 7UZ. 7-minute drive.
A country estate and manor house. The gardens offer a range of activities including a putting green, garden and woodland walking trails, a garden café and more.
Lindores Abbey and Distillery. Abbey Rd, Newburgh, Cupar KY14 6HH. 13-minute drive.
Lindores Abbey has links to the earliest written references to Scotch whisky. The distillery offers tours around the modern whisky-making complex as well as apothecary experiences where you can make your own spirit.
Falkland Palace. East Port, Falkland, Cupar KY15 7BY. 14-minute drive.
A Renaissance palace that was the country residence of Mary Queen of Scots. The palace is open to the public for tours and the grounds feature formal gardens, an orchard and the oldest surviving tennis court in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do people spend at the Scottish Deer Centre?
Most visitors spend between 2 to 3 hours at the Scottish Deer Centre. However, the duration can vary depending on personal interests. The centre offers a variety of activities including deer feeding, bird of prey shows, and woodland walks, so you can spend more time there if you want to fully experience everything.
When did the Scottish Deer Centre open?
The Scottish Deer Centre opened in 1986 originally to farm deer for venison, but when the business was purchased by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill in 1997, the centre was turned into a visitor attraction.
Is the Scottish Deer Centre dog-friendly?
Dogs are not allowed inside the Scottish Deer Centre, although they are permitted in the retail and café courtyard area.
What animals are at the Scottish Deer Centre?
The Scottish Deer Centre is home to 12 species of deer as well as wolves, Scottish wildcats, otters, bears, lynx, fox, elk, and a variety of birds of prey.