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.

image_TKULYL9LBGNDJC4L
image_C2BPJBHWQU8QFUMY
image_8TSLB8AETK4MRPTA
media_LT49FT373EREDHCT
media_M3UZXN74J5829W8K

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.

image_UQDWBDNBFJR2LRWN
image_KMM2TT2PNGS8ZGNF
image_ZJ8YD7VY9KRJ2V59
media_QMQ5QEEPCM6H58WX
media_T23FB58UUFKU9U29

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_QYHXLNR6BLN7NF7U
image_NDGH5FQNUVZUTTHW
media_3TSMTNUHL7CEGNKK
media_QGNGUV39PNDT3LBB

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.

image_HT9ENSBTUF24UYY8
image_72HY4F7NGZX9YX5H
image_47CPUWNBX2CF5CCM
media_YH2TSGYDFQXAWMWS

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.

image_6EWSUAUBD6RSQED4
image_NKSQFDN7XWL3FKYD
image_YWPLHZ3SXEX7KRMJ

84 verified reviews

Rated 5.0
Anna
Anna

Traveled Aug 2022

5 stars simply won't cover the expertise, knowledge or quality of kit we had on our canoe trip. The supply top ups along the trip were invaluable as it kept food fresh and eggs unbroken until needed! The only thing that couldn't be predicted were our trip group who turned out to be real teammates and everyone took the same outlook on making it the best trip possible. Thank you so much for an amazing adventure. 💪💪💪💪💪💪💪🎯

Karen
Karen

Traveled Aug 2022

Amazing. Very experienced and knowledgeable guides. Felt safe when Loch ness got a bit choppy. Very well fed on the 'culinary cruise'. Met a great bunch of people. Will be booking with them again 😊

Aileen
Aileen

Traveled Aug 2022

The trip was absolutely amazing and an experience we will never forget! Our guides Sam and Geoff couldn't have done more to make this trip unforgettable. It was a real adventure and definitely an experience we will treasure.

Michael
Michael

Traveled Aug 2022

My trip across Scotland was everything I expected and more fantastic guides (Sam and Geoff) . Great food , fantastic views and meet up with new like minded people who be come good friends. Will do another trip 100%.

Lorraine
Lorraine

Traveled Aug 2022

Amazing experience. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Sam and Geoff were great guides - not only looking after us but also giving information on the various places we passed. Would strongly recommend going on this trip

Nikki
Nikki

Traveled Jul 2022

Excellent five days with a great group of people. The trip was challenging enough to feel like a real achievement but not out of reach for anyone with reasonable fitness, a bit of determination and a sense of humour and adventure. The equipment was fit for purpose and any issues quickly put right. This isn’t a luxury glamping holiday and you should be prepared to muck in and work as a team. The food is great and plentiful and we quickly grew to love the snack barrel! Chucky and Lizzie were brilliant, knowledgeable guides and focused on making sure everyone got what they wanted out of the trip. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend and am looking forward to future trips with these people.

Ray
Ray

Traveled Jul 2022

A good but challenging trip with a fun group. Competent guiding with decent kit provided. Portaging and camping skills are as much a part of this adventure as the canoe paddling is. But don't under-estimate the Scottish Midge :) If you book this trip be prepared to muck in and work hard to achieve your goal and you wont be disappointed.

Andrew
Andrew

Traveled Jul 2022

Absolutely loved it from start to finish. Even though we got soaked on the very first night it didn't dampen our spirits. The guides where great, talked us through every step and cooked up some great food. Great adventure with a great bunch of people. Will remember it forever.

Paul
Paul

Traveled Jul 2022

Where to start … how about awesome .. !! Hard yes … tiring yes … demanding yes … But .. rewarding yes… fun yes … team building yes … fabulous few days with a great bunch of strangers .. strangers at the finish .. no ! The support team were great and never failed when support and training was needed .So what’s to say …. Awesome 👍

Nic
Nic

Traveled Jul 2022

THE most spectacular trip from start to finish! Experience of a lifetime. Sam and Geoff were the most attentive and knowledgable guides. Still in complete awe at what we've achieved together!

Lorraine
Lorraine

Traveled Jul 2022

The Great Glen canoeing trip was beyond my expectations. Sam and Jeoff were amazing leaders and made the trip a lasting memory for me. The food was delicious and 3 of the campsites had spectacular scenery to enjoy. Based on this experience, I would definitely book with skyhook again.

Jamie
Jamie

Traveled Jul 2022

Great adventure, would highly recommend doing this one. If your lucky and get Sam and Geoff as your guides you’re in for an educational and fun time.

Stefan
Stefan

Traveled Jul 2022

This was an excellent experience and one that I would happily repeat. Our guides Lizzie and Pete were more than exceptional, you really felt that you were in extremely capable and competent hands and I felt that I learnt so much from them in a short amount of time. Cam our support driver was great fun and kept the group stocked and our canoes in the right place. They were all very welcoming and with the group I was in, it became a friendly family feel very quickly. Looking back through the FAQ sections and information sections, its all makes much more sense now we have been on the trip, so to help others, it would be nice to, in more detail describe the trip and your options with a bit of reality thrown in. So, although you are in a group, you will carry all your own gear and you will of course with the positive team mindset, assist others in the team. You have an 80 litre dry bag that you will need to put your gear in, plus your tent, sleeping blow-up pad, sleeping bag etc, so make sure you pack with an easy life in mind as it gets heavy. Find a way to separate your wet stuff. You will put up and take down your own tent, in the dark/dusk sometimes depending on condition, so my recommendation would be to take your own tent that you are familiar with if you have one. The boats are heavy, and the handles can be unforgiving, so when I do this again I will take gloves to make it easier on my office pampered delicate hands :-). The food prep was great, and Lizzie and Pete did an amazing job keeping us fed, however, if you like your little luxuries, take them with you. I will be taking my own coffee next time, although the team did provide coffee that I did get used to :-) oh.... and don't hope there will be no midges :-) Take you midge cream/spray and use it before you get bitten, not after. In summary, an amazing trip with amazing people, that I will be repeating.

Daren
Daren

Traveled Jul 2022

A great trip through incredible scenery. The guides (Lizzie and Pete) were exceptional. Their knowledge and experience was immense and Lizzie made wise decisions regarding the weather and when/where to paddle. The food was plentiful and catered for everyone. The canoes were good quality. The only room for improvement would be the tents. I took my own but the others given out were all different, had no instructions and most pegs were bent beyond usefulness. I would suggest these are looked into. Sadly, I fell ill on day three (covid). Lizzie got me a test kit and ensured I was taken back to Fort William so I could get a good night’s sleep before heading home. She checked in on me regularly to make sure I was ok. I would thoroughly recommend this trip.

Karen
Karen

Traveled Jul 2022

My trip to Scotland was such an amazing experience. From the onset there was an opportunity to chat with other people on the trip. Our guides Lizzie and Pete were fantastic. Both were highly experienced, well informed and always looking out for our needs and caring about our expectations for the trip. Canoeing was harder than I expected and there was a good deal of shifting heavy loads in between locks but the team effort made it all bearable. Scotland is a beautiful county and the photos shown through Skyhook are true to life. Highly recommended.

michael
michael

Traveled Jul 2022

Absolutely fantastic , a really well organized trip by knowledgeable and fun guides. Peter and Nigel where amazing , let us have fun kept us safe informed and where very entertaining. Great experience with some wonderful people on the trip. The scenery and wild camping where breath taking. Would highly recommend. Be prepared that the portaging can be a little tiring. However our guides set the pace and made sure everyone was looked after.

Cecile
Cecile

Traveled Jul 2022

It was excellent! Really enjoyed everything, the food was great too and I learnt new skills. The guides were extremely qualified in terms of how they knew everything and were very funny and nothing threw them and were always positive. Met some great people and we made a group chat so are still in contact! Thank you for experiencing such a great adventure!

Darren
Darren

Traveled Jul 2022

This trip is a life experience Battling different weather conditions, The wild camping was an amazing experience, one I shall share many times over. Our guides NIGEL AND PETE were spot on shich gave our group the confidence.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline

Traveled Jul 2022

Excellent from start to finish. Such an adventure. Amazing leaders and group gelled very well.

Ian
Ian

Traveled Jul 2022

Brilliant time with a great group of people. Thanks to Lizzie and Lina for making it such a successful trip. Loads of welcome advice on canoeing and wild camping and created a lovely friendly vibe from the off. Could not have had better weather and the midges weren't anywhere near as bad as feared. First time with Skyhook but it wont be the last if this is the benchmark. Excellent.

graham
graham

Traveled Jul 2022

Superb trip from start to finish. Our guides Lina and Lizzie were excellent knowledgable and fun. The trip is what you make it of is a group and I was lucky enough to land with an awesome group. Mucking in collectively helps the trip run smoothly. Everything is on the fly which is all part of the adventure. I feel like I have learnt new skills met awesome people along the way and pushed myself to complete the trip and get everything from it. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this trip. Graham

Angela
Angela

Traveled Jul 2022

A friend and I have just completed the canoe across Scotland trip and I can honestly it's one of the best experiences I've ever had. Sam and Billy were amazing hosts and guides. My friend who has is coeliac was well catered for and wanted for nothing. The trip was well run and you always felt that you were in safe hands. We will definatley be coming back for more. So Billy and Sam thank you so much for a memory of a lifetime. Cam, thank you for all the behind the scene stuff you did, it really didn't go unnoticed. Trip of a lifetime.

Miss
Miss

Traveled Jul 2022

Really enjoyed the whole trip. The guides Billy and Sam were amazing, nothing was to much trouble. Cameron who helped with the supplies was brilliant, full of lots of interesting facts and good at telling jokes!! The food was brilliant, loads of veg and fruit and tons of it, you wont go hungry. A perfect trip to get away from it all. The whole trip has the most stunning views. Its a challenge worth doing.

Simon
Simon

Traveled Jul 2022

Stunning scenery, and a real feeling of peace and getting away from modern day trappings. It is a long way though! I had signed up to the trip with little thought to my fitness or skill levels and didn't quite realise the length of the trip until we took the coach from Inverness to Fort William. 'All abilities' is, I feel, pushing it a bit - you need a basic level of fitness. However, no day really felt like a slog - and this was completed with a heavy cold in my case. Each day, the canoe was loaded with apportioned group essentials and we paddled until a mid-morning tea break, then to lunch, then another break, then camp. The guides, Lizzie and Lena, were very knowledgeable and good fun, and provided the help we required, whilst still letting us discover things for ourselves. Whilst we weren't able to complete a full run of Ness, the call was made with our safety in mind and there was no doubt it was the correct one. Loads more food than we could eat. Logistics van met with us several times and was supportive, providing me with a Covid test, another chap was taken to have a tick bite checked (speaking of wildlife, midge nets are essential), town runs for extra beer, etc. The trip is very hands on, with everyone expected to pull their weight and contribute. If you are expecting everything to be set up for you, you will be disappointed. Portage is required at several points, and it's a hard slog, so my advice would be to pack as lightly as possible. Likewise, you'll need to be able to pitch a tent, help with washing up and offer whatever skills you can to make the trip go smoothly (in my case, I helped cooked breakfast one morning). If you're open to it, this all enhances the trip and helps build rapport with the rest of the group (I was very lucky in this case, as everyone was lovely). Overall, I would be happy to recommend this trip.

Tony
Tony

Traveled Jul 2022

This trip is truly amazing, the scenery is breathtaking, the peace and tranquility is staggering. The description states that it is for all abilities, however, this may be abit misleading. Yes, you can do it with minimal training and don't need to have any previous paddling experience, but, the portage sections, especially the one at Fort Augustus, can be brutal. Unpacking your canoe, then transferring from one section to another, then repacking can be very tiring. The equipment used, and by that I mean the tents, were very easy to put up even without any instructions...one tent in particular took 4 or 5 of us to figure it out on the last night. The sites used were excellent, and this being my first foray into the world of wild camping and camping in general, I felt they could not have chosen better spots. The food, considering was being prepared on camping stoves etc, was actually surprisingly excellent, and the stops along the way were also well catered for. The support van met us at various areas to restock with food etc, and this was very efficient. One of the things that made this trip, was the excellent guides we had, and they were Lizzie (along with Blodyn her Welsh collie), and Lina. Both were an absolute scream, and made us feel as though we could accomplish the trip. Lizzie was very informative about the areas we were paddling through, as well as giving us instruction, and Lina was excellent at giving us instruction as well. We were not able to complete the whole trip due to the weather conditions on Loch Ness, and thankfully both Lizzie and Lina took the decision to not put us at risk, so we had a cracking day paddling the river at the last camp. All in all, it was a phenomenal trip, and definitely one I would recommend....just be prepared for the portage areas, as they are not very well described.

Mark
Mark

Traveled Jul 2022

Loved every single minute, challenging, breathtaking scenery and laced with many laughs along the way. Great group, new friends made! Thank you Lizzie and Lina.

Cat
Cat

Traveled Jul 2022

Hello, I joined a group a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Except disappointingly we did not manage to paddle to Inverness because of the wind. Mother Nature took over. We stopped at Port Augustus which was stunning. Luckily our group got on, we had real team work and spirit. We keep intouch. The only thing was the portage, emptying the canoes and lifting them across the locks. You really need to be physically capable of this. I recommend any like minded people to do this, its great for the soul.

Catherine
Catherine

Traveled Jul 2022

My canoe trip with Sam from Good 2 Go was amazing. I had high expectations and it lived up to them. Sam and Cam were excellent guides and great cooks. Sam had great knowledge and helped us improve our canoeing skills. Both he and Cam made sure we stayed safe, while ensuring we had a great all-round experience and timed the stops and camps carefully so we could take some time out to relax, but also complete this epic adventure. I can't recommend highly enough.

Emma
Emma

Traveled Jul 2022

I had the most amazing time. Sam was a brilliant guide and everything worked out perfectly, including the weather! The group was lovely too, which helped and the food was astonishing, given the cooking equipment. I used to hate camping but I loved wild camping in Scotland - it's a unique experience - and I was so proud to paddle the Great Glen. I'll be back with my jealous observers from social media boasting posts!

Lynne
Lynne

Traveled Jul 2022

Amazing adventure with Sam and Cameron as our very capable, encouraging and friendly guides. Good food and plenty of it all cooked by the boys. Memories and new friends made. I would definitely book again through good2go for another adventure holiday.

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.

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

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