Your family travel assistant

It's once again time to dig out those trusty binoculars and tell everyone in the family keep a close eye out for some of the world's biggest creatures. We've told you where the best places to see dolphins around the British Isles are and now it's time to search for some incredible whales and sharks. So if you're looking for something a bit different to do, why not spend the day on the water looking for these magnificent creatures.



Basking sharks

Did you know that there are more than 10 different types of sharks in the waters around the British Isles? Most of them prefer the deeper waters and none of them like the taste of us. During the summer months we're lucky enough to be visited by the second biggest fish in the ocean - the basking shark. These giants of the sea can grow up to 8 meters in length, but despite their size, only feed on zooplankton which is 2mm small. Basking sharks are unmistakeable not only due to their size, but also the way they swim with its cavernous mouth open.

When to see them: Summer months

Best places to see them:
England - Cornwall
Scotland - Inner Hebrides
Isle of Man



Humpback whales

Every year there are more and more sightings of  humpback whales around the UK. The humpback whale has one of the longest migrations of any mammal, feeding in cooler waters and then heading to warmer waters to give birth to their calves. In the UK seas, they are usually spotted travelling in pairs or alone. You most likely won't spot a group of them. Humpback whales are very distinctive with their knobbly heads and long wing like front flippers. The sign you have to look out for when searching for them is their blow. With humpbacks it can reach 3m high and is very bushy. Remember those binoculars we mentioned, you can can't go on a trip like this without them. The best place to see them are in Scotland but there have been sightings in the south west of England in the past.

When to see them: Summer months

Best places to see them:
Scotland - Shetland Isles and the Hebrides



Orcas (killer whales)

Now I bet you weren't expecting us to tell you that orcas can be spotted off the coast of the British Isles. Famously known for hunting penguins and seals in the south oceans, orcas can in fact be found all around the world, including off the coast of the Scotland. Before you get too excited we have to tell you that our resident orca population consists of only 8 individuals. They also roam massive distances in search for food making it less predictable to know where to exactly find them. It might seem slightly unfair to bring this to your attention but imagine if your family spotted them!

When to see them: All year round

Best places to see them:
Scotland - Northern Scotland
UK - the west coast