United Kingdom

West Coast of Scotland Canoe Adventure

2

Spend five days touring the West Coast of Scotland by canoe, exploring lochs, castles, remote beaches and the Harry Potter Viaduct.

Itinerary

Day 1: The Golden Sands of Arisaig

We meet in Mailag, and after a quick briefing to prepare for the week ahead, we launch and canoe towards Arisaig. We will give you plenty of top tips and coaching to get your canoes under control and moving nicely.

Along the way, you will see wildlife, including birds. As we enter the Skerries of Arisaig, look out for a colony of seals.

We have lunch on one of the Skerries before heading back to camp at our starting point. If the wind is in our favour, we sail the canoes back!

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Day 2: Loch Shiel and Harry Potter Viaduct

Today we launch on to Loch Shiel for an overnight wild camp.

First, we head up to the Glenfinnan Monument and visit the Viaduct - famously seen in the Harry Potter movies.

Afterwards, we head off down the loch and into the wilderness. Along the way, we will likely see more of the local wildlife, not to mention the beautiful scenery.

For tea, our guides will prepare one of their favourite camp meals - and no, it's not army rations!

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Day 3: Loch Shiel and the River Shiel

We depart in the morning to arrive at the southern end of Loch Shiel, where we can visit Acharacle to re-supply and make a cafe stop.

In the afternoon, we paddle down the beautiful River Shiel to the sea and Loch Moidart, where we will set camp for the night.

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Day 4: Discover Loch Moidart

Today we break camp and paddle over to Tioram Castle for a look around.

After a morning coffee, we paddle off to explore Loch Moidart. There are a few choices of golden sandy beaches for us to rest on before heading off to our last (and best) wild camp.

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Day 5: The Final Day

Today we spend a bit of time at camp before completing our journey. We land around 1:00 PM and take you back to the meeting point.

What's Included

Included
  • Expert guide.
  • Tents and sleeping mats.
  • Canoeing equipment (canoes, life jackets, dry-bags etc.)
  • All meals (excluding when we eat out for lunch/tea).
Not Included
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Transport to the meeting point.
  • Additional snacks and drinks.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

Rated 4.5

2 verified reviews

Ann
Ann

(Jun 2024)

Beautiful part of the world to canoe. More isolated than the Great Glen which I did 2 years ago. So peaceful with just our small group (4 plus Chucky our guide) and the wildlife for much of the trip. The weather was not kind to us. Rain I can cope with (waterproofs held up as did the supplied tent), but it was a shame we had headwind so much and couldn’t get as far on some days as planned. I think this was Skyhook’s first time doing this route and there’s probably improvements that could be made in some of the fallback plans. I loved the mix of loch, river and sea. We had a reprieve in the weather for our last day off Arisaig and the skerries. Truly stunning scenery, beaches, blue skies and such clear, turquoise waters. Chucky looked after us, cooked us hot, tasty meals, kept us upbeat with his cheery banter and encouraged us to fight the damned headwinds. Definitely an experience. Notes: make sure your waterproofs are good. 3 season sleeping bag is recommended for staying warm at night. Midge net was only needed on one day, but was a life saver. Don’t forget to put suncream on backs of hands for the sunny days. Take lots of photos as the scenery is seriously stunning.

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Nigel
Nigel

(Jun 2024)

We did this trip from the 8/6-13/6 2024. Chucky, not Richard and certainly not Dick was both a very capable and very amiable guide. Just the 4 of us on the trip, all very diverse as individuals but he did well to blend us and even had me talking to the wife about direction and not arguing. Well not too much. The weather was truly awful on day one and indeed other parts of the week. But, and this is important, Chucky managed the trip with alternative achievable routes where others may have given up. He did so to accommodate all and despite the fact that the effect on him was no less than we. It was a great do. The scenery was as always in the highlands on the trips he organises just amazing and despite the hard going af times well worth every bit of effort. The food was good and seemed never ending. As a trip I would recommend this trip without hesitation. But I’d suggest July onwards.

FAQs

Before you go

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. This typically involves about 6 hours on the water per day. You can expect plenty of rest stops along the way. If you regularly participate in activities like walking, swimming, cycling etc., you will already have a good level of fitness for this trip. Some local canoe lessons before the trip will help, but aren't essential. If you wish to train, swimming and walking are the best activities. Most people have little to no canoe experience, and that's ok. You'll spend time learning the basic skills from your expert guide.

Yes, of course you can - lots of guests book solo. Plus, you'll be joining like-minded travellers on this trip.

You don't need to be able to swim as you'll have a life jacket (buoyancy aid/ personal floatation device) on. However, some level of water confidence is essential. While unlikely, it is possible that your canoe could capsize. So you need to be happy spending some time in the water while your guide empties your canoe.

We accept customers from 14 years of age. Anyone under 18 years old needs to be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian.

There will be a maximum of 12 people per trip. 2 people will share a canoe. There will be 2 guides if the numbers are above 8.

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 is fit for purpose and also the best quality. WE PROVIDE: - 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 specialist canoeing equipment such as buoyancy aids. YOU NEED TO BRING: - Sleeping bag: 3 seasons is best - Waterproofs: Jacket AND trousers - 2 x sets of outdoor clothing to wear on the water: Synthetic walking, cycling, and running are best with a thin fleece. Avoid heavy cotton. - Sun hat and a warm hat/ beanie - Warm jacket/fleece for camp - Shoes for on the water (these will get wet) - Shoes for camp - Toiletries - Torch - Midge net and spray - Sun protection - Personal medication - Camera Overall, keep your kit pretty basic. Most people don't change clothes throughout the trip unless they get wet. It is worth investing in quality waterproofs. You will need more than a Pac a Mac as your primary waterproof. If it is a wet week, a spare cheap Pac A Mac works well as a 2nd waterproof. Buy it a size up to go over your existing set up. ** If you have your own buoyancy aid, that’s great. To use it on any of the guided trips, the equipment must be CE marked (EN ISO 12402), under 5 years old, and be fit for use.

The nearest airport is Glasgow. You can catch a train from Glasgow to Fort William. From Fort William, you can catch the Mallaig Train (the first one leaves at 8:15 AM).

On your trip

We will be wild camping in tents in beautiful locations. We provide 2-man tents which you can share, or you can have your own - we don't make anyone share!

This trip heads into the wilderness much more than our other trips. We do have a couple of opportunities to use toilets on the trip. But mainly it will be wild toilets. To reduce environmental impact we will carry a camp toilet on the trip. There may be an opportunity to have a shower on day one. From day2-5 you can swim in the lochs! At the end of the trip there are public showers in Mallaig

All 4 nights are spent wild camping. There is an opportunity to swim in the sea and the lochs if you wish to wash! Besides that, we visit the village of Acharacle for supplies and toilets. We will also have a camp toilet on this trip.

We will provide Day 1 Lunch and Tea Day 2-4 Breakfast, Lunch and Tea Day 5 Breakfast and Lunch. We also provide snacks, and tea/coffee etc at break times. Feel free to bring your own favourites! There may be some opportunity to eat out at a cafe or restaurant, so bring some spending money The menu usually consists of: Breakfast, Porridge, Granola, fruit. On some mornings we will have bacon/sausage butties Lunch, Sandwiches/wraps etc with a picnic style spread Tea: Carb based meals with meat and veggie/vegan alternative. Expect the likes of Bangers and mash, spaghetti bolognese, Lemon chicken with rice. We can cater for all dietary requirements.

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. If we have bad weather we have several options to adapt the itinerary.

The guides supply dry bags and barrels to keep everything nice and dry! Each person will have one large 60-litre drybag for their own personal use. This can easily fit your tent, sleeping bag, and personal possessions.

We meet at 10:00 AM in the long-stay car park on the left as you enter Mallaig. Currently, this is free but could be subject to change. There is a Co-op in town for any last-minute essentials.

Sometimes the weather can deem an activity unfeasible for a set period of time. If this is the case, 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

Other FAQs

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

Absolutely. We just ask that you give us as much notice as possible of any dietary requirements. You can do this when completing your trip 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