United Kingdom

Canoe & Wild Camp Across Scotland

28

A 5-day epic canoe journey across the Scottish Highlands, through Loch Ness.

Itinerary

Day 1: Neptunes Staircase - Gairlochy

Your guide can collect you at Inverness at 8.30 am or meet you at the start point in Fort William at 10:30 am.

The journey begins on the calm waters of the Caledonian Canal, which is a perfect place to learn basic skills before heading out onto the Lochs. Your wild camp spot this evening will be on the picturesque shores of Loch Lochy.

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Day 2: Gairlochy - Loch Oich

After a hearty breakfast, you'll get back into your canoe and paddle towards South Laggan, which provides a perfect opportunity to grab some refreshments at the Eagle Barge. After lunch, you'll make your way onto Loch Oich - the watershed of The Great Glen.

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Day 3: Loch Oich - Loch Ness

After sunrise, the tranquil paddle along Loch Oich offers you opportunities to explore secluded shores and wooded bays. At the end of the Loch, you'll join the Caledonian Canal towards Fort Augustus, where you can enjoy some food and drink overlooking Loch Ness.

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Day 4: Invermoriston - Drumnadrochit

You'll continue your journey down the famous Loch Ness. With the rolling hills of the Scottish Highlands on either side of you and Urquhart Castle guarding the bays, today is truly one of those spectacular moments.

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Day 5: Drumnadrochit - Inverness

The final day will see you leave Loch Ness for a more relaxing paddle on the canal and on to Inverness, where you will have paddled across Scotland.

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Rated 5.0

28 verified reviews

Adam
Adam

(Aug 2023)

Really enjoyable experience despite the rain for the first couple of days dampening the mood. Both Lianne and Steven were great hosts throughout, accommodating any issues we had throughout the trip.

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Colm
Colm

(Aug 2023)

Brilliant guides. Lovely food. Amazing scenery.

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Paul
Paul

(Aug 2023)

Wow. Emily and I have been looking forward to this trip for over two years and as the time approached and the weather reports suggested rain all week we were a little anxious. From minute one at the pick up Terry welcomed us with motivational smiles and as the rest of the team arrived we were soon into introductions and chatter. Our guides Lianne and Stephen were amazing. Instructions and advice on what to pack in what container were simple, getting the canoes ready for the water was easy and we were on our way within an hour from being dropped at the canal. Whilst day one was "wet" we still managed to get some social time under the tarp with drop of wine. The weather then turned in our favour.... A wet lunch or two followed but the evenings at camp became very sociable and the entire team got on brilliantly. The whole trip was a team effort, pitching and striking camp, cleaning up, loading the boats and portaging were made so easy because everyone chipped in. The meals were fabulous and no one went hungry. The canoeing was amazing and the sailing even more so. Thank you Lianne and Stephen for a fabulous experience.

N
N

(Jun 2023)

This was a brilliant trip. I loved every minute of it! Rory - our guide - was fab, and the other people on the trip were so lovely. And the scenery! Just spectacular. Couldn't recommend it more :)

Paul
Paul

(May 2023)

Awesome experience. We were blessed with superb weather but having done this trip before I know it wouldn't have made any difference. Our guide Rory was excellent throughout, knowledgeable, helpful, easy to talk to and just let us get on with it whilst keeping an eye on us. Plenty of good food and even wine in the evening. Would recommend.

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FAQs

- Waterproofs, top and bottoms - Walking trousers (synthetic materials; jeans or similar are not suitable) - Spare shoes to get wet plus dry shoes for camp - Quality, breathable waterproof jacket and trousers. We recommend Gore-tex or similar - Spare insulating layer - Hat & gloves - Warm socks - Sleeping bag, 3 season - Spare full set of clothes x 2 - Some large zip-lock bags to keep your clothes and equipment organised  - Head torch, plus spare batteries - Water bottle or flask - Foldable camping chair (optional) - Sunglasses and sun cream (you just never know!) Personal medications

If you book solo we will provide a tent to have your own sleeping space. If you book as part of a group/pair then we would provide either 2 or 3 man tents to share

Included - Highly experienced & qualified guide - On-course transport - Canoes, paddles & buoyancy aids - Waterproof storage, 60ltr barrels per person - Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinners - Camping stoves, tea, coffee - Inflatable camping mats - Tents 2 or 3 person - Safety equipment - Photos from your adventure Excluded - Sleeping bag - Personal spending money for drinks and snacks - Appropriate clothing

There are several designated "Wild Camping" locations along the way where you'll camp.

You don't need any paddling experience to enjoy this adventure - the guides are great at making it enjoyable for all abilities. You'll need a moderate level of fitness, as you'll paddle around 15-20km per day, which will involve about 6 hours on the water per day. There are some portages that will require a bit of team effort to get the boats around the canal locks. We have trollies to help with these sections. You can expect plenty of rest stops along the way.  Most people have little to no canoe experience, and that's ok. You'll spend time learning the basic skills from your expert guide. 

Start: There are 2 options on day 1 of the itinerary: - 08:30 at Inshes Retail Park in Inverness. From here, Our 9 seater minibus will transport you to Fort William. - 10:30 at Banavie Locks Car Park in Fort William. Also the official start of your canoe journey. End: Your trip will end in Inverness roughly at 2 pm. Please note, we don't return to Fort William at the end of the trip. This is why we advise you meet us in Inverness on the first day to leave your transport at the end of the trip.

There will be a maximum of 8 clients, with 2 people sharing a canoe. There is no minimum group size (all trips are guaranteed to run).

Day 1: Lunch, Dinner. Day 2 - 4: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.  Day 5: Breakfast and Lunch.

The total distance is 100km. Each day you will paddle for up to 6 hours at a moderate pace, with plenty of breaks along the way.

You don't need to be able to swim as you will have a life jacket (buoyancy aid/ personal floatation device) on, but some level of water confidence is essential. Whilst unlikely, it is possible that your canoe could capsize, so you need to be happy spending sometime in the water, whilst your guide empties your canoe.

The guides supply dry bags and barrels to keep everything nice and dry! Each person will have one large 60-litre barrel for their own personal use.

Yes absolutely! It's a great way to meet like-minded people.  Around 40% of booking are solo travellers.

The minimum for this adventure is 18, or 14 if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Anyone under the age of 18, must be sharing a canoe with their parent or guardian.

There will be times that you'll pass by shops throughout the trip How much money you take, depends on your spending habits. 

Winter season (Nov – Mar) Winter in Scotland can be extremely cold. In Scotland, temperatures can go as low as -15 degrees Celsius. Shoulder (Apr– May & Oct) Temperatures in Scotland can vary at this time of year. Lows of 2 degrees Celsius and highs of 15 degrees Celsius. There can be some chances of rain, with May turning very green. High Season (Jun – Sep) June to Sept can be warm, with daytime temperatures ranging from 10 – 25 degrees Celsius. There can be some rain. The weather in the mountains can be quite unpredictable and weather situations can change very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to always be prepared for such a change.

Sometimes the weather can deem an activity unfeasible for a set period of time. If this is the case, then your guide will offer an appropriate alternative. Examples are as follows: - The itinerary in reverse. The trip is much more enjoyable when you are not battling against the wind.  - Canoe a different section of water. - Hike the Great Glen trails. 

Absolutely - try and give the guide as much notice as possible of any dietary requirements. You can do this when completing your participation form after booking. 

Your head guide is Stephen

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Scottish Rock & Water, based in Newtonmore.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Stephen