Itinerary

Day 1: Neptune Staircase to Loch Lochy

You'll meet the team at Neptunes Staircase in Fort William, where you'll start your canoeing adventure.

The calm waters of the Caledonian Canal offer a perfect opportunity to learn some of the basic skills, before heading out onto Loch Lochy. Arriving at your wild camp on the side of the Loch, you'll enjoy dinner around the fire and some star gazing.

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Today you'll paddle along the shore of Loch Lochy, taking in the amazing views of the Highland backdrops. At Laggan Locks, you can visit the Eagle Barge for refreshments, before heading to your camp on the shores of Loch Oich.

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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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As you paddle onto Loch Ness, the views are simply spectacular. Straight away you'll feel very much in the thick of the Scottish highlands, with a backdrop of the mountains and the myth and legends of the Loch itself. Make sure you keep a watchful eye out for Nessie. Your camp this evening will be on the shores of Loch Ness around the campfire.

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

We usually arrive in Inverness between 1-2pm. We then shuttle you back to Fort William, arriving around 5pm.

If you want to be dropped off in Inverness we can drop you off at the airport, train station or a hotel. If you are wanting to fly or catch a train that day, we suggest booking a departure after 6pm.

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117 verified reviews

Rated 5.0
David
David

Traveled Sep 2022

This was an amazing experience, lizzie and Duncan, both accomplished outdoor instructors were brilliant. Lots of knowledge and gentle help. So good we are organising the next one.

Joanne
Joanne

Traveled Sep 2022

Absolutely brilliant. Our guides Billy& Sam were Absolute legends. Helpful, knowledgeable, fun 😀 & professional at all times. Cam the van man was definitely a sight for sore eyes !! Also met a lovely bunch of others from around the country. We definitely had the best group of people. Would recommend this trip most definitely 👍 👌 💯 🙌 Thank you. Pukka !!!!!

Harry
Harry

Traveled Sep 2022

Sam =PUKKA

Tina
Tina

Traveled Sep 2022

The trip was brilliant , very hard but worth it . Billy and Sam our guides made our trip , knowledgeable, funny , helpful and Sam wow, does the best vegan food . Thank you guys for making my challenge a great one x

Ewan
Ewan

Traveled Sep 2022

Trip of a lifetime. The guides and support crew Sam, Billy and Cam were brilliant. They set us up for success, and we ended up paddling the entire trip. The food was excellent, and equipment all provided for the trip was fantastic. Highly recommend to others, bare in mind it is quite a hard physical challenge, but well worth the effort when you reach the end!

Helen
Helen

Traveled Sep 2022

An amazing adventure! Totally suitable for beginners. Our guide, Lizzie, was particularly good - very skillful and knowledgeable. Excellent organisation. The only thing to mention is that the Web content could be a little misleading. Your tents aren't put up for you and aren't yurt/teepee types as shown on the pictures. Whilst this was absolutely fine for our group, others may be disappointed. The wild campsites were great and the stop off in Fort Augustus for a bit of civilisation I.e..chips and ice cream, was great Would reccomend.

Fiona
Fiona

Traveled Sep 2022

It was brilliant. Sam our guide was very knowledgeable, supportive and empowered us to complete the trip safely. Would not change a thing and would definitely recommend it. Thankyou

Sue
Sue

Traveled Sep 2022

Absolutely loved the trip and would highly recommend. Our Guide Sam was excellent - experienced, professional, chilled and his cooking was great.

Louisa
Louisa

Traveled Sep 2022

Fantastic five days of wild camping and canoeing across the Great Glen. Weather was kind to us and could not have asked for a better group of people to do it with. Sam our guide was amazing. Great instruction and personality. Also a great cook. It was challenging and I'm knackered but would recommend it. So glad I booked it.🛶🦟🦕🔥⛰️🌊🛶🍻😄

Sophy
Sophy

Traveled Aug 2022

The trip was great and the views were stunning. The guides Lizzie and Lee were fantastic, so knowledgeable and made the trip brilliant. We were mostly lucky with the weather, it only affected us on one day which made crossing Loch Ness difficult but Lizzie had a plan so we could still enjoy the day. The group was also great, lots of laughs were had. I was very sad to finish the trip and have to return home.

Carrie
Carrie

Traveled Aug 2022

We had an unforgettable adventure & I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to explore the scenic Scottish Highlands from a different perspective. Full credit to our guides Lizzie Harrington and Lee Rushworth for sharing your knowledge & expertise of the water & its surroundings, and for keeping safety at the forefront throughout. Your hospitality was exceptional - I’ve never eaten so much food whilst wild camping! @good2go_adventuresuk 🙌 I cannot rate this trip enough, the booking process was seamless too, thanks Skyhook Adventure! I’ll be using again for sure.

Samantha
Samantha

Traveled Aug 2022

Firstly, I could not fault the trip leaders, Lizzy was very knowledgeable and did her best to support and help at all times. Lee was always there to help, and Cam was lovely. The trip overall was fantastic, with amazing views and great camp spots. It helped that we had a fantastic crew. We also had the weather on our side most of the trip. Rain and worse winds would have changed outcomes. Things to improve upon would be the following: the trip is not for beginners. I have never been canoeing before and it was tough. When canoeing over Loch Ness conditions were windy and it was not somewhere for inexperienced people. As mentioned above, Lizzy was excellent, but it wasn't the best situation. The trip does require a degree of fitness, I class myself as pretty fit undertaking regular trail runs and other sports. At times I struggled so just to point out it does require fitness. When I got my tent it was damp, it smelt terrible and hardly had any tent pegs. I was not on my own with this issue but we cleaned our tents out the best we could and used them. It worked out, but if the wind had been any worse we wouldn't have had enough pegs. It would be better if they were checked before each trip. The food was adequate, but it could be improved upon with organisation as reaching into a large blue tub for whatever was left over didn't really work very well. Possibly pre-packed lunch could have worked and one pots for tea such as stew. Finally, just to say that you get given one large waterproof bag and two smaller ones to put in your canoe. The large bag fits whatever you have brought plus your tent. The smaller bags are for whatever you might need in the day. This was not made very clear to us before we went on the trip so just thought I would mention it. Despite all of the above, the trip was still fantastic and I am really pleased I had the opportunity to experience it.

Caroline
Caroline

Traveled Aug 2022

It was good , but I do think u need some experience due to unpredictable weather conditions & a good level of fitness and stamina is needed. Think the tents need drying before the next trip as they weren’t ! And better planning for food and meals .

Kenny
Kenny

Traveled Aug 2022

I'd highly recommend this trip to anyone absolutely fantastic experience or guides Lee and Lizzie were unbelievably brilliant we were really lucky with 5 Days of sunshine and a fantastic group of people that that made the experience worthwhile.

Nigel
Nigel

Traveled Aug 2022

Lizzie Harrington is a wonderful and very patient guide. The trip is well organised and thought through. In the face of different characters being thrown together it finds its balance and was very enjoyable.

ali
ali

Traveled Aug 2022

Absolutely incredible trip! Our guides Sam and Geoff from Good2Go were highly knowledgeable, dependable, experienced and professional plus, most importantly, great company. They gave us exceptional guidance, info and support at all stages of the trip, from the tranquil canal to tackling the wind on the open water of Loch Ness. Wild camping sites were expertly chosen for great views and secluded spots. Food was delicious: the menu had been carefully planned and there was always more than enough to satisfy hearty canoeing appetites. Can't recommend Sam and Geoff enough and the Good2Go team!

Eleanor
Eleanor

Traveled Aug 2022

What a trip! What an adventure! Right from the start, Sam and Geoff, our instructors, were reassuring, friendly and filled us with huge confidence that we could do the trip. The wild camping and lunch spots were so well selected, and the group dynamics was excellent - we really did become a canoe family very quickly! The company in charge of us, Good to Go, was so good, especially the day before, when one of our group landed in Glasgow minus her case. Chucky couldn't have been more helpful. I highly recommend this trip - it is challenging and inspiring.

Salomina
Salomina

Traveled Aug 2022

Absolutely amazing trip! highly recommended. Sam and Geoff our guides from Good2Go were fabulous, very experienced, professional and great company. Loved the wild camping sites we stayed at, the views were just incredible. The food was delicious and catered for all dietary needs, inlcuding the snacks! Can't recommend Sam and Geoff enough and the Good2Go team!

Ian
Ian

Traveled Aug 2022

A fantastic experience with some stunning views

Mafe
Mafe

Traveled Aug 2022

A fantastic adventure! The group got along well and we all raised to the challenges of the trip. We worked together very well. Also, the guides were fantastic. I will love to have another adventure with this company. Felt safe and well looked after.

Kate
Kate

Traveled Aug 2022

Fantastic 5 days. Canoeing was great. Well organised and caring leaders. 12 on the trip, all like minded people. Food good and plenty of it. Tents and equipment good quality. And it didn't rain all the time 🤣 honest Thanks to Chucky, Billy and Pete x 2

Louise
Louise

Traveled Aug 2022

Wow! What a mega trip, excellent guides, stunning scenery in all weathers, great group of like minded individuals 🙏🛶🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Highly recommend even if no canoeing experience. Was a great challenge and inspired me to do more outdoor activities.

Mike
Mike

Traveled Aug 2022

Money well spent ...exactly what it said on the tin . Well organised , well planned and guides were first class :-)

David
David

Traveled Aug 2022

Fantastic trip. My first time using Skyhook and I was not disappointed. The route through the Great Glen was breathtaking. I took some stunning photos. Our guides were friendly and engaging and the group as a whole were in high spirits throughout the journey, even in the rain! The guides’ local knowledge was excellent. The trip was very well organised and the land based support crew were spot on. The sense of achievement on completing the journey was incredible. I’m exhausted… in a good way!… and will fondly remember this trip for a long time to come.

Kim
Kim

Traveled Aug 2022

What an amazing trip.. Chucky and Lizzie were great guides. The scenery twas out of this world and we were fortunate to have excellent weather for most of the trip. Highly recommend 😀

Sonya
Sonya

Traveled Aug 2022

Had an amazing adventure, I was a solo traveller and quickly felt part of a team. The weather was fantastic most of the trip, our expert guides lead us through inclement spells with ease and confidence.

Teresa
Teresa

Traveled Aug 2022

Absolutely amazing trip - beautiful scenery and an awesome adventure. Can not praise Sam amd Geoff - our guides enough for their support, great company and getting us through. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Carol
Carol

Traveled Aug 2022

An amazing adventure with fantastic guides (Sam and Geoff), outstanding scenery, brilliant group and food (all cooked on little camping stoves) was well above expectation. Even the thunderstorm could not dampen our spirits (Note to self: get waterproofs that are actually waterproof). And I got to swim every night in such wonderful locations, who could ask for anything more?

Gurdeep Singh
Gurdeep Singh

Traveled Aug 2022

This was amazing, the scenery breathtakingly beautiful and our guides Geff and Sam where a class act always supportive and going the extra mile. It was a great challenge with great people and scenery. Thank you.

Wendy
Wendy

Traveled Aug 2022

Fantastic trip with incredible experienced Guides Sam, Geoff and Marlee. Would highly recommend this adventure 🤩 it was just brilliant from start to finish The planning , company and the food were all fabulous - Lots of laughs , lots of Paddling and magnificent scenery

FAQs

Not at all! If you book solo, you won't have to share a tent. If you book with someone else, and you would like your own tent, we can usually accomodate this too.

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 20km per day, which will involve about 6 hours on the water per day. You can expect plenty of rest stops along the way. At the lock gates, the group will have to carry canoes around the lock gates. This requires some effort but the group will work together to do this. We provide trolleys to maneuver the canoes and your drybag has rucksack straps. Most people have little to no canoe experience, and that's ok. You'll spend time learning the basic skills from your expert guide.

Day 1: Lunch, Dinner. Day 2 - 4: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Day 5: Breakfast. The guides also provide snacks throughout, that are high in energy. Typical food items include: Breakfast: porridge, Bacon or Sausage sandwich, tea, coffee or juice. Lunch: sandwiches or soup - lots of different fillings available. Along with fruit and snacks. Dinner: BBQ, stir fry, spaghetti bolognese, lemon chicken, risotto. On some trips there will be the opportunity to eat in a pub. If you want to do this, it will be at your own expense.

Included: - Guides - All technical equipment (canoe, paddles, drybags) - Cooking and camping equipment (tents, sleeping mat, stoves, crockery etc) - Food - Transfer back to Fort William (Covid restrictions depending) Excluded: - Sleeping bag - Personal spending money for drinks and snacks - Appropriate clothing (waterproof jacket, trousers and a warm coat). Also check the kit list for personal items to bring.

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on this trip.

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 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 on this trip believe that to give you a quality experience, you need to be comfortable. They work with a number of companies to ensure that the equipment available on the trips are not only fit for purpose but also the best quality. You’ll be provided with: - Tents (We won't make you share with strangers. If you have booked as a group, you may need to share, but we can usually accommodate needs.)*** - Self inflating 3cm sleeping mats. - Large Dry bags - All Safety equipment** You’ll need to bring: - Sleeping bag (3 season is best) - Waterproofs (Jacket and Trousers) - Outdoor clothing for wearing when your on the water x2 sets, sythetic walking, cycling, running is best with a thin fleece. Avoid heavy cotton. - Sun hat and warm hat. - Spare clothing for wearing in camp or if you have an out of boat experience. A warm jacket too. - Shoes for on the water (These will get wet) - Shoes for camp - Toiletries - Torch - Midge net and spray - Sun protection - Personal medication - Camera ** If you have your own safety equipment then that’s great. To use on any of the guides trips, the equipment must be CE marked, (ENISO12402) under 5 years old and be fit for use. *** Depending on Covid restrictions, you may need to stay in a tent on your own, or with somebody from inside your bubble.

There will be a maximum of 12 clients, with 2 people sharing a canoe.

There will be 4 nights of wild camping with no facilities. Depending on availability, you may have the opportunity to grab a shower on 2 of the days. If the weather is in our favour, we will camp on a campsite with facilities on night 3.

There are several designated "wild camping" locations along the way where you'll camp. At the lochs, there are toilet and shower facilities.

Your Canoe will be 'Prospectors'. They are all made in the UK and can have 2 people in each one.

Yes you can leave any unneeded possessions in the guides shuttle bus, at your own risk. These items won't be available every day - just the beginning and the end of the trip.

We recommend a minimum age of 18, or 14 if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Anyone under the age of 18 must share a canoe with their parent or guardian.

Start: You'll meet your guide at 10am in Banavie at Neptunes Staircase.

End: At the end of the trip the guides will transport you back to Fort William. If Covid restrictions apply, you'll be required to make your own way back to Fort William. There are various public transport options available.

The guides supply dry bags and barrels to keep everything nice and dry! Each person will have one large 80-litre drybag for their own personal use. This can easily fit in your tent, sleeping bag and personal possessions.

There will be times that you'll pass by the shops. On the third night, you'll camp next to the highland town of Fort Augustus where there are a few small shops.

Yes absolutely! It's a great way to meet like-minded people. If you book solo, you will have your own tent.

Car: you can follow your satnav to the following address – Neptune’s Staircase, Banavie, Fort William, PH33 7NG. There is free car parking available at this point. Bus: There are buses available from both Fort William and Inverness. However, this is a much slower option. Full details can be found on the Scotland Citylink Bus website. Taxi: Taxis are available from Fort William Train Station and cost around £10 to your start location. Train: You can get a train to Fort William, and then a taxi to your start location at Neptune’s Staircase. At the end of the trip, we will transport you back to the start location, or a place in Inverness.

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.

We usually finish the trip around 1pm, depending on the weather. After we have loaded up, we will transport you back to Fort William. We can either drop you off at Neptunes Staircase, local hotels or the train station. If you wish to catch public trabs from Inverness (this has a better train network than Fort William), we can drop you off at the station, airport or a local hotel. If you want to do this we suggest not departing before 6pm.

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

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. 

Your head guide is Richard

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Good2Go Adventures, based in Leeds.

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!

Richard