The temperature is below zero and a bitter wind is tugging at our clothes. In the distance, the Grampian hills are catching the early sunlight but it’s dark in the shadows of the wood. Curious eyes are trained on us from beneath the trees – a pack of grey wolves are just metres away. It’s rare to see these beautiful creatures at such close quarters: wolves are naturally wary. The privilege of the moment is lost on six-year-old Nelly. Her toes are aching with cold.
We’ve come to Scotland to seek out some of her favourite polar animals, creatures she’s so far enjoyed only in books and wildlife shows on TV – but wolves are not on her list.
Way to go
The trip was provided by RZSS Highland Wildlife Park and Visit Scotland. Entry to the park costs £15.40 adult, £11.55 child. Guided Land Rover tours are free (nine people at a time) and take around 40 minutes. New “keeper for a day” and photography experiences start at £150pp, for over-18s only. The nearest station is Kingussie, five miles away. Two-person lodges at Hilton Grand Vacations in Coylumbridge costs from £200 for three days.