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.

image_TNK4LV959H38B494
image_LYW65LTRWWQ6NY2G
image_QKU63P3VQL4GWFW6

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.

image_BFAGL7777NCECELN
image_Q4RPV29PKSSPN7UQ
image_TJPPWWPWMYD635KV

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.

image_LCGLKXA6X7WM9ABU
image_BYR2GGC7B5U94ZAB
image_GET8GTUN5M7NPYVM

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.

image_SL65HKN6NJ2A8X3W
image_9JAY3GM7ZTAZCJSL
image_PYPHHS8JKFUHVQGT

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.

image_CT2X44VTDSXBDLJ4
image_U92D49Z4Q3UVQZ5C

6 verified reviews

Rated 4.6
Niall
Niall

Traveled May 2022

An amazing trip, professionally organised from start to finish. Our guide, rory, was excellent from the moment we met him, talked us through everything we needed to know, gave safety talks and really put us at ease, then proceeded to lead us through the most beautiful scenery you could imagine. Camping was as described, wild!! If you are expecting glamping and luxury, forget it!! This is a back to nature experience, camping in remote woodland clearings on the banks of lochs, putting up and taking down your own tent, build your own fire, etc etc. Having said that, I would recommend this trip to anyone with a sense of adventure, who doesn't mind getting stuck in and just enjoying everything this trip has to offer

Lynda
Lynda

Traveled May 2022

Had an absolutely brillant time from start to finish. Our guide Rory was a star. First day was wet and cold, but just added to the experience. Would do it all over again. Only suggestion I would make is to put wellies on the list of things to take. Thank you so much for a brillant adventure 😊

Sophie
Sophie

Traveled Apr 2022

The description of equipment needed to bring yourself was inaccurate which impacted on luggage while flying to the destination, meaning we brought unneeded items. The level of fitness required is higher than described in my opinion due to portages etc The guide was very good and provided nutritious tasty food. She was very friendly and attentive to the participants The imbalance between the canoes used meant one was slower than the rest which meant we had to wait for the paddlers to catch up on many occasions. On one occasion during a swell waiting for this couple put us somewhat at risk in my own opinion. At times we were also a distance from shore which I believe is contrary to the guidance I read on boards along the route. Overall I would definitely recommend. Be aware this trip includes wild camping - on these sites no facilities are available. Not an issue for me but some members of the group struggled with this meaning we camped in less Isolated or ideal locations

Naomi
Naomi

Traveled Apr 2022

A fabulous experience , views amazing but not an accurate description or following safety guidance for canoeists. You need a good level of fitness, and will canoe in centre of lock not in the shoreline and the wild camping was more often than not was not wild camping but in a corner of a loch with toilets and showers which we found disappointing when there were beautiful spots near by that were wild. Our boat was wonky and we nearly capsized in heavy wind due to this which was in fact terrifying., especially because we were deep in the water and not near the edge. Please make sure you are fit and prepared to carry heavy loads daily. All this aside, the views were fabulous . One boat was known to be slow which meant waiting around a lot which my partner found very frustrating . A good trip but we were out at risk by not following the guidelines on all the boards along the lochs .

Donna
Donna

Traveled Sep 2021

It was awe inspiring. We are both 50+ and relatively active. We had the best time getting back to basics and enjoying the love of the land. Rory our guide was amazing and knew all the best spots to camp. Portaging was hard work but we loved it. The views were amazing.

Sarah
Sarah

Traveled Sep 2021

Absolutely amazing trip. One to remember for sure!

  • 1(current)
  • 2
FAQs

You'll either be in a 2 or 3 person tent, and share with 1 other. 

  • 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 

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

Start: There are 2 options on day 1 of the itinerary:

08:30 at Insh Marches in Inverness. You can see this on the map here. 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. You can see this on the map here.

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.

Download our handy PDF here. Its has most of the info you will require.

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 
  • Return transport to Fort William

Day 1: Lunch, Dinner.

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

Day 5: Breakfast and Lunch.

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 som eportages 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.  

There will be a maximum of 8 clients, with 2 people sharing a canoe. 

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.  

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

We recommend a minimum age of 18, or 11 if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Anyone under the age of 18, must be sharing a canoe with their parent or guardian. 

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.  

Yes absolutely! It's a great way to meet like-minded people.  

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.