Vote: Which Scottish Wildlife-Inspired Tartan Is Your Favourite?

13 October 2020

Three New Tartan Designs Created to Highlight Some of Scotland’s Most Incredible Wildlife.

Scotland is home to some of the most beautiful animals anywhere in the world.  From the mountains of Aviemore to epic Caledonia forests, incredible coastlines, and everything in between, the country boasts an incredible range of diverse and wonderful wildlife.

To celebrate Scotland’s amazing animals, we’ve taken inspiration from three of these creatures to design three new tartan patterns in tribute to each animal, with one going forward to be created in a limited edition run of genuine tartan fabric.

Each tartan designed takes inspiration from the individual colour palette of one of three animals found in Scotland – the Golden Eagle, the Capercaillie, and the Puffin. Bright colours from beaks and eyes have been mixed with darker shades from feathers and bodies to create a unique, individual tartan for each animal. But which one is your favourite?

Macdonald Hotels (with ten hotels across Scotland including one in Aviemore – one of the UKs prime locations for Golden Eagles), have commissioned these three designs and would like the public to vote on their favourite, to be created in fabric form.

Below, you can see the designs, and how the colours for the tartan are inspired by each animal.

Golden Eagle

The majestic Golden Eagle is one of the largest birds of prey in the UK[1], and they can often be found high above the mountains of Scotland[2], including the Cairngorms in Aviemore. However, spotting one may be easier said than done.

If you are lucky enough to see a mature male Golden eagle in the wild, you’ll no doubt first notice the white tips of their wings against the brown feathers of its body. The cream and buff feathers around a Golden Eagle’s head and neck are the reason for their name.

But it’s up close to the Golden Eagle where we’ve drawn our design inspiration from, focusing on the shades of blue and deep yellows in their muscular beak. It makes for an elegant and light tartan with, a subtle air of nobility.


The Capercaillie is one of the most distinctive birds in Scotland, and they can sometimes be spotted among the Caledonian pine forests[3] that they call home.

While smaller, female Capercaillie are more muted in colour (usually being largely brown and cream, with orange breast[4] and necks), the larger males are the real show-offs. Their dark neck and tail contrast with their turquoise breast, mottled brown wings and deep red around their eyes. It’s a combination that instantly looks timeless, and deep-rooted when converted to tartan.


The Puffin is well known - iconic, even – in Britain[3]. While some Puffins nest around various stretches of coastline around the UK during both Summer and Winter[5], there are parts of Scotland’s mainland coastline and islands where Puffins can be found all year-round.

While their sometimes bumpy landings and comical waddling walk[6] earn the puffin the nickname Clowns of the Coast, they are instantly recognisable to virtually anybody that sees one. Their black back, white head and underparts are distinctive, but it’s that rainbow bill that makes the Puffin a real star. This splash of colour, along with its red eye marking and orange legs make this seabird a favourite with people the world over.

We’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to inspiration from the puffin, but with the orange, red and black palette make for a wonderfully autumnal tartan that evokes feelings of cosiness and comfort.

Vote Now

We want you to choose your favourite wildlife-inspired new tartan design. Are you enamored by the Golden Eagle, considering the Capercaillie, or partial to the Puffin? Have your say, and click here to vote for what you think is the best design