A 5-day epic canoe journey across the Scottish Highlands, through Loch Ness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.
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- 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
Please see 'Inclusions' section above for full list of inclusions and exclusions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
There are several designated "Wild Camping" locations along the way where you'll camp.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Premier Inn Inverness East Hotel is within walking distance of the trip meet-up point in Inverness. It's a short drive to the Inverness airport.
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!