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Isn't it every child's dream to see a dolphin jumping out of the water and swimming right alongside your boat? You don't need to go on a long flight to a far flung land to catch a glimpse of a dolphin because there are 4 different types that you can find frolicking around the British Isles. From the famous bottlenose dolphin to the lesser known and harder to spot Risso's dolphin, there are loads of places you can find them and we're going to show you where you'll have the best chance.



Bottlenose dolphin

Image source: orcaweb.org.uk

The bottlenose dolphins found off our coasts are the biggest bottlenose dolphins in the world. There is a reason for this as them being so big helps them survive in the chilly waters. They are the most common dolphin spotted around the UK and can often be found alone or in small groups. It's easy to identify them as they are a plain grey colour with a short and stubby beak, and they have a large dorsal fin.

When to see them: All year round

Best places to see them:
England - Cornwall and Northumberland
Scotland - Moray Firth
Wales - Cardigan Bay and North Wales



White-beaked dolphin

Image source: TN_Lark

White-beaked dolphins are a very social species and will often be seen swimming alongside your boat and doing amazing acrobatics out of the sea. They can often be found in pods of 5-10 and are black in colour with a distinctive white beak.

When to see them: All year round

Best places to see them:
England - Lyme Bay and North East coast
Scotland - Hebrides



Common dolphin

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A popular dolphin that can be found in the South and West coasts of the country, they spend most of their time out at sea but often come close to the shore to feed. They travel in groups and are highly sociable. You'll often find them leaping from the water - get your cameras ready!

When to see them: All year round

Best places to see them:
England - South and West coasts
Scotland - West coast
Wales - West coast



Risso's dolphin

Image source: tetiaroasociety.org

The Risso's dolphin is the hardest dolphin to spot off our coasts. They spend most of their time in deep water but can occasionally be spotted on the surface. You don't have to worry about issues identifying them as they are a much whiter colour than other dolphins and the older they get the whiter they become.

When to see them: All year round

Best places to see them:
England - Cornwall
Northern Ireland - All around the coast
Scotland - Outer Hebrides
Wales - South West and North West coast
Isle of Man