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“friendly, helpful staff, good food...oh and dolphins (if you're lucky!)”

WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Fochabers
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: We are a visitor Centre based at the mouth of the river Spey, where it meets the North Sea. Dolphins are regularly spotted at the mouth of the river Spey and close to the shoreline, along with ospreys, seals, a huge variety of bird life and the occasional otter! Join us for land based dolphin watching, take a tour in the historic Tugnet icehouse (Scotland's largest surviving icehouse), go on a guided wildlife walk and take part in our family fun days. There is a lovely gift shop and cafe on site as well as an interactive exhibition area with details of all the latest sightings. The Centre is the public face of the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation, so come and have a fun day out and learn about whales and dolphins and support our charity work to protect these wonderful creatures!
Useful Information: Food available for purchase
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We discovered the centre though the web site while up visiting family. We arrived just in time for a tour of the ice house which was fascinating. there was only 2 of us on the tour but the staff member was still more than happy to take us on the tour and appeared really knowledgeable and friendly. This was complimented by a lovely chat with Jim, the handyman who was more than happy to take a moment away from his work to tell us about about his work, a little more history and the future developments for the centre -a really interesting chap to talk to :-)

We then paid a visit to the visitor centre and cafe which are both excellent. My fiancée and I both enjoyed our paninis although we had to rush them as the extremely helpful centre staff came round to tell everyone the dolphins had arrived! We rushed outside and were treated to over an hour of around 6 dolphins leaping and splashing about. Added to that a seal popped up to say hello too! needless to say, the staff were again really helpful and informative and only too happy to let the public use their binoculars to get a closer look.

All in all,a great day out and we'll definitely be back. Hopefully with a longer lense for my camera!

1  Thank Madcyclepath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert_J_Ward, Centre Co-ordinator at WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2013

Hi there,

Thanks a lot for the kind review! We extremely pleased that you had a great experience and the dolphins came along to make the day!!

Thank you for taking the time to tell others about your day, your support is very helpful :-)

All the best

Rob Ward

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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224 - 228 of 256 reviews

Reviewed August 21, 2013

We had heard about the dolphins in Scotland, and visited the Dolphin centre in Spey Bay. Spey Bay itself is very informative, and the staff are really friendly and helpful. However, be warned that seeing dolphins here is only by chance - we unfortunately did not see any, though there had been a sighting a little earlier in the day.
That said, this is a great place to pick up information about dolphins, and they have a number of activities for little ‘uns.
Entry is free, and donations are taken in the centre, through one of those conical shaped drop-boxes (where a pound coin goes round and round till it drops into the hole). My 5 yr old was fascinated by the way the coin went :-).
If you really want to see the dolphins themselves, though, you’d best head to Chanonry Point.

Thank aaron_jiji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert_J_Ward, Centre Co-ordinator at WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2013

Hi Aaron,

Thank you for the review, shame you didn't get to see the dolphins but glad you still had a great time. We have had an excellent summer with sightings, but sometimes even the dolphins can be a bit elusive.

You are right Chanonry Point is a great place to watch but with all wild creatures there is an element of chance in sightings so you can never guarantee it unfortunately :-)

Hope to welcome you back to the Centre in the near future.

All the best
Rob Ward

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Reviewed August 12, 2013

We visit Scotland each year and always visit Spey Bay because it is a lovely place to be. The small shop and education centre run by the ever helpful staff is worth a visit. The café has always been one reason to go to Spey Bay as the food is good and made on the premises (I understand that there will be change of ownership next year). The star though is the outside with always the prospect of seeing the dolphins and seals just off the shore. Ospreys fly overhead looking for fish and are often harassed by gulls and terns. There are walks along the coast and the Spey River, and from the disused railway bridge I have seen salmon leaping. Alternatively, just sit and watch, no need to be too energetic.

1  Thank normalf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert_J_Ward, Centre co-ordinator at WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

Hi,

It's great to hear that you come to Spey Bay every year! It's support like this that is so important to our charity in helping to protect whales and dolphins.

Thank you for taking the time to tell people about our Centre! We hope to see you for many more years.

Thanks again

Rob Ward

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Reviewed August 8, 2013

We came here and initially thought we would be able to spend a couple of hours here looking around but ended up spending the whole day here and having a great time. Inside the main building, there is lots of information about dolphins and lots of educational stuff for kids. One of the staff gave my son a quick lesson on dolphins which held his interest and he seemed to enjoy. There is also an activity area for the kids to make badges, colour in etc. IN the visitor centre there are also 2 cameras that you can remote control with views over the bay. Also, at certain times of the day they have a telescope out that you can look, with help of a staff member, out into the bay.

The beach is a shale beach, absolutely stunning.

Unfortunately we didn't visit the ice house but that is something I will definitely do next time.

We ate lunch at the cafe and my hubby thoroughly enjoyed the haggis baked potato. The cafe offers a lot of lunch time snacks and lovely home made baking. The prices were reasonable compared to other cafes we have eaten at in the area.

There is a shop attached to the visitor centre selling a wide range of goods, mostly dolphin based but with lots of other items. Prices here were reasonable with lots of things to choose from.

We spent a good few hours walking round the bay, looking out for dolphins but unfortunately didn't spot any. We did see some leaping salmon at the mouth to the river spey. There was a nice footpath round the area but unfortunately we didn't get very far on that as my son got fed up walking!!!

One of the best days of our holiday and we'll certainly return here on future holidays and hope to see some dolphins on our next visit.

Thank scotstjej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert_J_Ward, Centre co-ordinator at WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

Hi there,

Thank you so much for the 5 star rating and in depth review. It's great to hear you spent the whole day here enjoying the Centre and Spey Bay, sound like you did lots of exploring!

Glad we could be part of one of the best days of your holiday!

Hope you enjoyed the rest of your hols!

All the best

Rob Ward

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Reviewed August 5, 2013

My wife and I went to see the Dolphins and the Ice house. The Ice house was closed and we were 2 hours early for the tour. It is a wonderfully beautiful area off the beaten track. Plan to go and have strong binoculars so you can look for dolphin and birds. You can pack a picnic lunch or there is a small cafe there. We didn't see anything, but we weren't unhappy.

Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert_J_Ward, Centre co-ordinator at WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

Hi Richard,

The review is much appreciated, I am really pleased you enjoyed the beautiful area. I thought you may also appreciate a bit of info on our tours:

Tours of the icehouse generally run at 12:15pm and 3:15pm everyday of the season, but occasionally we do get big tour groups in who book in advance so we have to alter things.

During the summer we also have a Wildlife Wander at 1:15 on the reserve to discover the wonderful flora and fauna of Spey Bay (weather dependant - in poor weather and outside of the summer season we revert to an icehouse tour ).

We also do free binocular hire in the Centre to help visitors spot the dolphins and you can join our guides on the hour every hour for land-based dolphin watching

I hope this information helps and you enjoy many more visits to the Centre in the future,

All the best

Rob Ward

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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