The annual deer rut is one of Britain's most exciting autumn wildlife spectacles – find out where you can see these magnificent animals in action with our pick of the UK's best deer rutting destinations
Here is our guide to the best locations in Britain to see the autumn deer rut – just stand well back!
New Forest, Hampshire
All six of the UK’s deer species found in the wild have been spotted in the southern oasis of the New Forest. Be sure to catch the fearsome action this autumn, watching these great creatures lock antlers at renowned rutting grounds that date back as far as a century.
Galloway is bursting with red deer, the largest of our UK species. Catch a sight of the roaring stags at the Red Deer Range. The visitor centres at Kirroughtree, Glentrool and Clatteringshaws will advise on the best and safest routes to follow.
The Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire
North of the Chilterns, this parkland is washed with golden hues in autumn. Home to roaming herds of fallow deer, it has many trails and walks geared towards wildlife watching, and also a great visitor centre that runs early morning walks to catch the stags in rut. Find our more about Ashridge wildlife, including their red deer here.
Margam Park, Glamorgan
Red, fallow and the lesser known Pere David deer are the roaming residents of this parkland near Port Talbot. Deer herd tours ranging across the 500-acre grounds are available from local experts, offering a first-hand encounter. Find out more about Margam and their deer herd here.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, North Yorkshire
You’re sure to see some elaborate displays of superiority occurring in this deer park where 500 roam wild, as crisp autumnal leaves crunch underfoot. Park ranger Paul has mapped out a deer walk for visitors to enjoy this impressive autumn spectacle.
Eastern Moors, Peak District
The autumnal moorland may act as camouflage for the russet-coloured coats of the red deer, yet their rutting routine is hard to miss. Home to around 130 red deer, the exposed Peak District National Park is an ideal location for sighting stags in battle. Why not try the red deer and edges walk?
The Isle of Jura, Inner Hebrides
Anywhere in the Scottish Highlands makes for ideal viewing of the rut, but with the human population outnumbered 30 to 1 by their red deer co-habitants, an encounter with rutting stags is inevitable. Find out morehere.
As the stags vie for supremacy, the RSPB reserve of Minsmere is offering a close-up view from one of their 4×4 safaris. This rutting ride (£155 per vehicle or £90 for members) provides the opportunity to get some impressive photos. Find out more here.