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Open Canoeing – River Spey Descent

*main trip image

Price from: £495

Next trip: 11th September

Duration: 3 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Cairngorms and Central Highlands

Comfort: Wilderness Camping

Difficulty: 5

18 review(s)
  • Paddle through tranquil pine forests and Scotland’s most famous whisky region as you journey the length of the River Spey
  • Experience a diverse range of river conditions, from gentle meanders to more challenging rapids towards the end of the trip
  • Enjoy a true wilderness experience camping under the stars

Blue Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 4-6

Our Blue grade canoeing trips are still suitable for people with no previous experience. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required. You can expect up to 7 hours of paddling each day with plenty of breaks.

These trips generally involve being further away from civilisation with multi-day wild camping.

Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

Do you have a reasonable level of fitness?
Are you happy camping under the stars for a few nights?

 

On the River Spey Descent canoe trip we camp in peaceful locations on the river bank. Our tents are single tents unless you are travelling with a partner or in a group and would like a two/three man tent to share. We also carry a base camp tent, which means that we can all gather together for dinner or a hot drink if the weather is inclement.!

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the Waiting Room at Aviemore Railway Station at 10:00 on Day 1. For full details on how to get to Aviemore, please see our website: Travel to Scotland.

 

Customer Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 17

4 star 1

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Morgan Prior 27/09/2014

3Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The different conditions experienced on the various canoe trips could be better explained.

The provided food could be better explained. Actually the information provided did not cover any of the questions we had.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Tents provided were of much higher quality than we expected.
Your Guide
Biscuit and Mark French were both excellent guides.
The Bottom Line
The trip (Spey Descent) was excellent however for a first canoe trip think I would recommend the Great Glen, it is slightly longer but loch and canal canoeing would be an easier introduction than river canoeing.

by Natasha Redfern 18/09/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
From the moment we were picked up by our guide we were looked after
Accommodation and Food
We were camping as part of our trip I don't feel there could be much to be improved as it would be difficult to carry anything more
Your Guide
Both our guides were excellent both different but complimented each other with the different skills they shared with us plus I have never laughed so much!
The Bottom Line
This trip was excellent it took us through some challenging tough days both mentally and physically but it's am experience I have not stop talking about since I arrived home and now looking at what next adventure to book

by Paul Redfern 18/09/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Kelly McMahon 26/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I was not the primary person responsible for booking the trip so I can only say that what I received from my friend was thorough and helpful and timely.
Trip Comments
Everything was handled smoothly. Loved that there was an extra camping pad in the van because we were unable to fit one into our luggage.
Accommodation and Food
Not fond of the butter cheese. I do love cheese but, there was a lot of cheese (almost every meal) and I didn't care for the one that was like a double cream rolled in oats. It was like eating butter.
Your Guide
Biscuit was the best guide EVER! He could not have been more positive, helpful, sweet, and enjoyable to be around.
The Bottom Line
Ask for Biscuit to be your guide! He's unbeatable, unflappable, and such a joy.

by Barry Ballard 26/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The equipment provided was top notch and the guide, Biscuit, proved not only to be knowledgeable but tremendously personable.
Accommodation and Food
The good was very good, though seemed to be too much quantity.
Your Guide
Biscuit was always positive and encouraging, especially for those of us that had never canoed before. He was a joy to work with and fun to be around in addition to his guidance.
The Bottom Line

by Lynn Bjerke 26/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I always received rapid response to all queries & that is greatly appreciated.
Trip Comments
The entire group feels that our trip was extremely good. They felt that a huge part of our amazing experience was due to the personality & skill of our guide - Biscuit. He was critical and we think he is a prize asset for your organization!
Accommodation and Food
Every meal was very diverse. I personally was happily surprised at just how good food on the move could be. Well done!
Your Guide
I would definitely, unreservedly recommend Biscuit as a guide. He was patient, extremely flexible and always cheerful. What a lovely and perfect guide to enjoy the beauty of the Spey river. He tuned into our group likes and made our journey even better by knowing when to do more or less - when to rest & when to hit the distillery! Biscuit is the best.
The Bottom Line
Our guide was so amiable and competent that it made our river Spey canoe trip just a breeze. We were so well looked after that we were completely free to enjoy our trip, the scenery and the amazing experience of seeing Scotland by canoe!

by Louise Crow 26/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
We had a fantastic time - great weather, beautiful river, riverside camping, and we all skilled up on the boats.
Accommodation and Food
Great job with the food - it was wonderful to have a cooked breakfast and dinner every day.
Your Guide
Biscuit was a wonderful guide, who really made the trip for us.
The Bottom Line
A fantastic trip - we all had a wonderful time in amazing surroundings.

by Caroline Forcer 02/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Although I appreciate that people don't go on these trips unless they are the adventurous type, I think a little more 'checking in' in terms of ensuring clients know how to put up their tents, can pack their barrels etc would be appreciated on the first evening set up and morning pack up
Your Guide
Biscuit was enthusiastic, encouraging, informative,reassuring, motivating, entertaining, friendly, inclusive, a great host, hard working (and a great paddler!) He is also good at picking up on the small signs of tiredness or cold and addresses it without making you feel embarassed.
The Bottom Line

by Stephen Roberts 15/05/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The rapids were a bit more exciting than expected.
At one point I misunderstood the intention of the guide and changed my mind too late to follow down the "easy" route and ended up in the worst place almost capsizing. It turned out the difficult route was chosen for the purposes of the film being made. As a relative novice this knocked back my confidence for the rest of the day and fear dominated. The final day however restored confidence and was a delight.
Accommodation and Food
As expected lots of food variet, innovation and quantity and very satisfying.
Your Guide
Full of energy and always able to find a positive comment after a disaster. Very useful instruction throughout the trip. Worth keeping close to the guide boat to get tips and info. He worked very hard throughout the day.
The Bottom Line
Fast flowing river paddling is very different to paddling on the lochs. You need to keep your eye on the ball and anticipate the hazards. Getting it right is very satisfying.

by Karl Thurlow 15/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Great to learn a new skill and experience the Spey in full flow and enjoy wild camping at it's best.
Accommodation and Food
Great tents for sleeping and communal teepee for dining and hanging out in the evenings. Lots of yummy local produce and plenty of it plus snack bags to keep the hunger at bay throughout the day.
Your Guide
Biscuit was nothing short of fantastic. A very positive, supportive ad energetic guide whose love for what he does was contagious.
The Bottom Line
A perfect choice for escaping the hum drum of day to day life and enjoying a journey that inspires and challenges you along the way. A fantastic experience.

Prices and Departures

52 people viewed this trip in the last week

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
11th Sep - 14th Sep 2015
£495
6 place(s) left
29th Apr - 2nd May 2016
£495
Places available
1st Jul - 4th Jul 2016
£495
Places available
9th Sep - 12th Sep 2016
£495
Places available

Trip Details

Join us for a classic Scottish canoeing trip down the River Spey, as we paddle through Speyside in the scenic North East Highlands.

This wonderful Scottish river trip descends the famous River Spey passing a through pine forests, heather-covered hills and Scotland’s most celebrated whisky region.

The canoeing is easy at first but becomes more challenging as we travel downstream through several rapids. It is not just the character of the river which changes – the pine forests take on a new character with each season. These forests are home to a diverse range of wildlife including red deer and capercaillie, and there’s always the chance of spotting golden eagles and other large birds of prey overhead.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Canoeing on the River Spey: The expedition begins!
Our canoe guide meets you at the railway station in Aviemore and we transfer to our put-in point, a short distance away. We cast off down the gently moving water learning a few paddle strokes as we journey down the river to our first night’s camp.

Day 2 – Canoeing the Spey: Boat of Balliefurth to Blacksboat
Following breakfast, we paddle into the heart of malt whisky country. There is time to work on the open canoe skills which will be essential for negotiating the rapids which lie ahead in the second half of the journey. Indeed, the day finishes with a trip through the short rapid known as the ‘Washing Machine’ before we reach our next camp.

Day 3 – Canoeing on the Spey: Blacksboat to Craigellachie
Our rapid-running skills are tested to the full as we meet unforgettable rapids such as the Station Pool of Knockando and numerous shorter rapids. After an exhilarating day of paddling, we camp near the mouth of the River Fiddich.

Day 4– Canoeing on the Spey: Craigellachie to Spey Bay

Under the shadow of Ben Aigan, we spend the morning descending through the Rothes Glens to the beautiful river pools at Delfur. As the River Spey gathers speed in its race to the sea, we round the many bends that lead through the coastal plain to our journey’s end at Spey Bay. At the end of the journey, you are transferred back to Aviemore Railway Station where the trip ends.

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Prices and Departures

52 people viewed this trip in the last week

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
11th Sep - 14th Sep 2015
£495
6 place(s) left
29th Apr - 2nd May 2016
£495
Places available
1st Jul - 4th Jul 2016
£495
Places available
9th Sep - 12th Sep 2016
£495
Places available

Trip Photos

Open Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey DescentOpen Canoeing – River Spey Descent
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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
The trip (Spey Descent) was excellent however for a first canoe trip think I would recommend the Great Glen, it is slightly longer but loch and canal canoeing would be an easier introduction than river canoeing.

Morgan Prior
27/09/2014

5

This trip was excellent it took us through some challenging tough days both mentally and physically but it's am experience I have not stop talking about since I arrived home and now looking at what next adventure to book

Natasha Redfern
18/09/2014

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 18 review(s) of Open Canoeing – River Spey Descent

5 star 17

4 star 1

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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