Enter the Scottish Highlands, on this 5-day canoe trip passing Ben Nevis and Loch Ness.
Book confidently, knowing that if your trip is cancelled, you’ll be offered a full refund.
You can also opt for a free date change at any point up to 24 hours before your trip, if Government restrictions prevent you from travelling*.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on this trip.
Start: You'll meet your guide at 10am in Fort William, where you will then be transported to the start of your Canoe journey. If Covid restrictions apply, you'll be required to meet at Neptunes Staircase in Banavie instead.
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.
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. 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.
Day 1: Lunch, Dinner.
Day 2 - 4: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Day 5: Breakfast and Lunch.
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, stirfry, spaghetti bolognese, lemon chicken, risotto, and a chance to eat out in Fort Augustus (own expense).
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.
There will be a maximum of 8 clients, with 2 people sharing a canoe.
Yes absolutely! It's a great way to meet like-minded people.
Yes you can out any uneeded pocessions in the guides shuttle bus. You do so at your own risk.
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.
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.
There are several designated "Wild Camping" locations along the way where you'll camp. At the lochs, there are toilet and shower facilities.
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.
We recommend a minimum age of 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.
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.
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 will be shopping opportunities. How much money you take, depends on your spending habits.
As it stands, people are unable to share transport due to social distancing regulations. As you may be aware, your trip starts at Inverness train station, where you are then transferred to the start of your canoe journey – this transfer usually takes around 1 hour. If the regulations do not change, this will mean that you will be required to make your own way from Inverness to Neptune’s Staircase.
There are several ways that you can make this journey:
Car: you can follow your satnav to the following address – Neptune’s Staircase, Banavie, Fort William, PH33 7NG. There is free car parking available here
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. Taxi back from the end location costs in the region of £130 - £150 and can be shared with the others in the group. If you decide on this option, then please let the guide know, who can book this for you.
Train: You can get a train to Fort William, and then a taxi to your start location at Neptune’s Staircase.
Hopefully, the restrictions will ease quite significantly before your trip. If this is the case, then the guide(s) can still run the transfers as planned.
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.
Your Canoe will be 'Prospectors'. They are all made in the UK and can have 2 people in each one.
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:
You’ll need to bring:
*Most people bring these items themselves however if you require them please just let us know when completing your form on the Skyhook dashboard.
** 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. As restrictions ease, people will be expected to share a tent with another individual.