WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre

WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, Fochabers: Hours, Address, WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre Reviews: 4.5/5

WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre

WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre
4.5
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
About
We are a visitor Centre based at the mouth of the river Spey, where it meets the North Sea. Bottlenose 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! You can book a private tour of the historic Tugnet icehouse (Scotland's largest surviving icehouse), or book onto the Explore the Bones family activity. Currently the cafe is a takeaway only facility, but will change to a sit in eatery as of 10th September. Onsite is an eco-friendly gift shop and in the interactive exhibition area you can listen to sounds of whales and dolphins and use 'Dolphin Cam' to look out for dolphins swimming out in the bay! 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!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
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2 within 5 kms
Popular mentions

4.5
381 reviews
Excellent
220
Very good
103
Average
34
Poor
8
Terrible
16

brightonlovestravel
Brighton, UK42 contributions
What a treat!
Jun 2021 • Family
We weren’t necessarily expecting to see dolphins (as we knew how tricky it can be even when you’re out at sea) but were in for a treat as we sat on the beach and saw a group of people them playing and jumping three different times! Would’ve been a gorgeous day out anyway!
Written 16 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for taking the time to write a review and there is nothing quite like seeing the dolphins in their natural environment, a memory no doubt you will treasure?! Best wishes Lisa Lisa Farley SDC Officer
Written 28 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PhotoColin
Aberdeenshire, UK168 contributions
Accessibility measures non-existent
Jul 2021
In this day and age of the Equality Act 2010, where can I ask are the accessibility measures at this location?

As a disabled individual (wheelchair user) I really looked forward to this visit only to find it is completely inaccessible.

Surely a platform and walkway could be installed to enable those of us with mobility issues to still have the same opportunity as able bodied individuals!

What a disappointment, not only not being able to see the Dolphins (or even the chance to see them) but the complete lack of consideration.
Written 13 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Colin I appreciate your frustration and I am just sorry that none of our guides talked to you about going up to the small hill in front of the icehouse, which is where we do land-based 'watching out' for the bottlenose dolphins. We know that even for some able bodied visitors the shingle is still a challenge and as it is a 'fluid' landscape the shingle shifts continously making any kind of walkway extremely difficult to engineer. You do not mention if you actually visited the Centre, we do have regular wheelchair users visit us and we have tried to make is as accessible as a 250 year old Grade 1 listed building can be, however, we can always improve and welcome any input. If you would like to discuss your experience in more detail then please do not hesitate to call me or our Centre Manager, Alison Rose. Best wishes Lisa Lisa Farley SDC Officer
Written 28 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Neil G
4 contributions
'Explore the Bones Box'
Jul 2021
Another great visit, thoroughly entertained and educated by the knowledgeable
staff here. A very friendly and relaxed place to visit, with staff who are clearly passionate about what they do. A more beautiful location you could not ask for, we didn't use the cafe on this occasion but would highly recommend it!
Written 6 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aw thanks for writing a review and it's fab to read that you had another great visit! We have only been able to re-open the exhibition area in the last week after 15 months and it is fab to see visitors enjoying it again! We look forward to welcoming you back very soon! Best Lisa Lisa Farley SDC Officer
Written 28 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LyndsGar
Edinburgh, UK29 contributions
Ice house tour highly recommended
Apr 2021 • Family
We booked the ice house tour and it was absolutely fascinating. We heard about both the history of the ice house and also all about whales and dolphins. Our children (aged 8 and 10) enjoyed it too. The lady taking our tour shared loads of interesting facts.
Afterwards we had a browse in the shop and picked up some delicious takeaway soup for lunch.
We also had a wander up the river to the old railway bridge which crosses the Spey.
Beautiful part of the world, just a shame the easterly wind was quite so strong on the day of our visit!
Written 29 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Lynds I am so glad to read that you enjoyed the icehouse tour, the heritage of the ara know as Tugnet is absolutely fascinating! I will pass opn your comments to the cafe team, the will be delighted to know you thought the soup was delicious. It's a shame you couldn't visit this week as the sun is shining and I think the whole of the North East is for once sunny and warm! Take care and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Best Lisa Lisa Farley SDC officer
Written 1 June 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DJM1945
Montrose, UK1,780 contributions
Interesting area .
May 2021
The cafe was very busy which was a pity but not surprising as it was a holiday weekend. Due to the pandemic it was essentially a take away but the food was good. Unfortunately, we did not see any dolphins but the information boards were excellent and told us a lot about the area.
Written 2 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks so much for the review, we did have a very busy bank holiday weekend but I am glad you managed to 'queue for your brew' and enjoy the food! I am delighted to read that you thought the info boards were excellent, we thought it would be a great idea for visitors as we are unable to chat at length with people due to the one way system and physical distancing. If you are local the best months for dolphin sightings are May to early Sept, but it can be a bit like waiting for a bus, nothing and three or four at once! We hope to see you again! Best Lisa SDC Officer
Written 7 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

james w
Glasgow, UK212 contributions
Enjoyed the bay
Sep 2020
Regretfully did not see any dolphins but thoroughly enjoyed playing on the beach with grandchildren and family. Competitive skiffing and pebble collection kept everyone happy. Pleasant walks around the bay completed a pleasant afternoon visit.
Written 5 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi James Thanks for taking time to write a review! Dolphin sightings are not so common in the winter months as they tend to be much further out to see, hunting and fishing, but Spey Bay is still a fabulous place to come and spend time on the beach. I hope you can visit with the grandchildren again soon, they might enjoy a lovely homebak from the cafe?! Best Lisa SDC Officer
Written 7 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PeterChad
Durham, UK19 contributions
Shop and cafe within yards of where the Osprey fish!
Sep 2020
The northern end of Spey Bay is a perfect spot for watching both sea and estuary: it is where the Spey comes out into the Moray: on a good day thirty species of bird can be seen, including divers, whooper swans and osprey who fish regularly in the Spey. The Dolphin Centre and cafe is right here: you can book dolphin-watching cruises as well. A good spot to spend a few hours, over a tide reversal, and a good spot for lunch!
Written 14 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Peter Many thanks for review, you are absolutely right it is a perfect spot for wildlife watching! We do not actually run cruises, we focus on land-based dolphin watching and we are hoping for some great sightings this season! We look forward to welcoming you back. Best Lisa SDC Officer
Written 7 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

clarem534
Hexham, UK14 contributions
Horrible experience
Oct 2020 • Couples
Horrified by my and my husband's treatment in the gift shop yesterday. We entered the gift shop, there was an assistant by the door. We wore masks and santized as we went in. We were not stopped. There were 2 other customers in the shop. We intended to buy some gifts then go into the cafe and have lunch. The shop is very poorly laid out considering the current situation. I was trying to walk around the edge of the shop looking at displays but needed to walk past the till to get to the other displays. I registered someone at the till and made to manoeuvre past. I didn't see the person on my left and she evidently didn't see me. We brushed and I backed off quickly and apoogised profusely. I moved to a different shelf. Then the shop assistant at the till told me I would have to leave as there were too many people in the shop. There were 4 customers and no one minded when we came in. We had also been in 5 minutes then asked to leave. We left, as we left 4 people at the door stood by to let us out and then went in. They were all allowed in. Horrified. Not sure if my closeness to another customer - which I politely and rapidly rectified - freaked out the shop assistant, but allowing twice as many people in as we left was very cutting. All the people allowed in thereafter were white.
Written 9 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Clare I am extremely sorry to read you had such a negative experience. We take the Covid threat extremely seriously and as such have a very strict physical distancing programme in place and are actively managing the number of people in the building and have been told again and again by our visitors how safe they feel. We have also had the local Environmental Heath officer involved in our planning, to ensure that we are Covid Secure, however, if there is more that we can do then we will absolutely do so. I have just spoken to the team who were working on Thursday and they have confirmed that there were too many visitors in the shop, so unfortunately they had to ask people to leave. However, the visitors that came in as you were leaving, were not going into the shop, they wanted a takeaway so they were able to go via the one way straight through to the cafe. I fully appreciate that it is not a pleasant experience for either our visitors or our staff to have to do this, but I want to absolutely re-assure you that the only reason you were asked to leave is because there were too many people in the shop and we have to be very disciplined when following all of the Scottish Government's restrictions and guidelines. If you wish to discuss your experience in more detail then please contact the Centre on 01343 820339 (press 2) on Monday or send an email to dolphincentre@whales.org with your contact details and the Centre Manager will contact you directly. Best wishes Lisa Lisa Farley SDC OFFICER
Written 10 October 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alan B
22 contributions
Great coffee and a scone
Sep 2020 • Couples
Visited during Covid restrictions so limited involvement on the WDC front. Cafe was takeaway only and extremely good. Great banter with the staff whilst waiting for excellent scones, cakes, coffee and soft drinks which we duly consumed leisurely in the sun overlooking the bay. A wonderful addition to the spectacular Spey Bay scenery.
A must visit when you're in the area.
Written 30 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Alan Thanks so much for taking the time out to write a review. I am glad to read that you enjoyed your visit and experienced the 'SDC Welcome'! We look forward to welcoming you again perhaps when life is a bit more 'normal'?! Take care and stay safe Lisa Lisa Farley SDC Officer
Written 1 October 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lindsay R
Glasgow, UK14 contributions
Family visit
Sep 2020 • Family
Lovely cafe, food delicious and vegan options, nice to have recyclable cutlery! Soup was delicious. Covid precautions very good, gift shop lovely. Dog friendly and a lovely afternoon for the kids. Only negative was the coffee was lukewarm!
Written 27 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Lindsay Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review and I am so glad to read that you had a lovely visit even in these very challenging times we now find ourselves in and that you felt safe :-) I will pass on the comments to our cafe team, we want to ensure that all of our visitors enjoy their coffee! I hope you and your family can visit again when we can re-open fully and are able to run a few activities? Take care and stay safe. Best Lisa Lisa Farley SDC Officer
Written 29 September 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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