UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 1-866-740-3890
National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies
Pinterest Facebook Twitter

Sea Kayaking – Introduction Course

main trip image

Price from: £645

Next trip: 11th July

Duration: 4 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: North West Highlands

Comfort: Basic

Difficulty: 1

95 review(s)
  • Combine learning essential sea kayaking skills with the opportunity to experience some of the best sea kayaking in Scotland
  • Develop your paddling techniques on beautiful Upper Loch Torridon before exploring the Applecross Peninsula
  • At the end of a day on the water, relax with a hot shower, fantastic food and a comfortable bed

Green Graded Sea Kayaking Holidays 1-3

Our Green grade sea kayaking trips are suitable for people new to sea kayaking or with limited experience. The itineraries are designed to be active yet laid back with plenty of opportunity for instruction, sightseeing and relaxation.

You can expect up to 6 hours of paddling each day through mostly sheltered coastal areas and plenty of shore breaks to stretch the legs. All of these trips are accommodation based, with a warm bed and hot shower for you each evening.

Before joining trips in this grade, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

1. Are you generally active and enjoy the outdoors?
2. Are you up for a challenge, learning a new skill and having a lot of fun?

On this sea kayaking for beginners course, you will be based in a private bunkhouse located on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon. The bunkhouse has a traditonal and rustic feel, with a wood-burning stove in the centre of the main living area. However, it has been recently upgraded and boasts a modern kitchen, warm showers and is cosy and dry.

Meals are prepared ‘expedition style’ with everyone lending a hand in both the preparation and clearing up, with our guide coordinating. Naturally, vegetarians and other dietary requirements are willingly catered for simply let us know in advance. On 3 nights, we head out for meals in local inns (these meals are not included in the trip price).

There are 2 dormitory-style bedrooms with 4 beds in each. One dorm will be allocated to males and the other for females.

With sea kayaking being an activity which lends itself perfectly to longer journeys, we feel that this style of accommodation is in keeping with learning the skills necessary for trips involving wild camping, as there will be teamwork involved in preparing the meals. However, we feel it is important at the end of each day to know that you are coming back to somewhere warm and dry.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 1030 on Day 1 of your trip. Your guide will be waiting there with a kayak paddle in his/her hand so should be instantly recognisable! Full details on how to get to Inverness, please see our 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 82

4 star 12

3 star 1

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Katie Donaldson 27/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Great reply time and lots of information given out.
Trip Comments
Getting to try sea kayaking for the first time with 2 excellent instructors and lots of lovely company. Also seeing lots of lovely places and lots of wildlife.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation was lovely, warm and cosy and lots of food and drinks provided for meals and the trips out on the water. Really enjoyed everyone coming together to help out. Great all round.
Your Guide
Really excellent guides/instructors. I had a fabulous time and felt really well looked after. I felt like a learnt a lot for the guides I had on the trip. Excellent, Excellent, Excellent. Can't praise them enough!
The Bottom Line
Had an amazing time. Really, really fantastic. Would highly recommend wilderness Scotland to others.

by Chloe Campbell 27/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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

by Cameron Taylor 16/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The information given for the trip was concise and precise, allowing me to know what I would get out of the trip as well as what I needed to bring with me. Great communication from yourselves.
Trip Comments
This trip was my first time doing any kind of kayaking and I found the preparation done by Wilderness Scotland and by our Guide Zoe Newsam to be excellent. By the end of my trip I was very comfortable being on the water in the Kayak especially as we were able to visit such a great area of Scotland for it.
Accommodation and Food
The accommodation was fine and I felt just about right for the number of people on the trip, although that may have more to do with my being 6ft 3in than anything else. The food supplied for the trip was basic but good, and the selection of places to eat out for our evening meals was great.
Your Guide
Zoe Newsam is an excellent Guide, she was able cover the range off experience within the whole group, giving great tuition on the various aspects of Sea Kayaking which allowed us to enjoy the time that we were on the water. I never felt unsafe and any decisions that Zoe made about what we were going to do/learn were explained to us in full so that we could follow her reasons for making those decisions.
The Bottom Line
This trip is an excellent introduction to the sport of sea-kayaking, whether you have never done it before or you are wanting to learn more about the sport. The location for the course is probably the best that you can have with a wide variety of places to go and visit, and plenty of wildlife to see as well. Our Guide Zoe was highly thought of by the whole group for her making the trip both fun and informational.

by Robin Armstrong 13/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
It he folks who answere email and phone questions were exceptionally friendly and helpful!
Trip Comments
We paddled in the most beautiful place in the world!
Accommodation and Food
We stayed in the Loch Torridon bunk house which worked ok for four people, but the rooms are so small there is no room for out gear. The list of equipment to bring that you thoughtfully provided meant that I had quite a bit of gear but the room so small that there was no place to put it. I can not imagine being at all comfortable had our trip had the full eight people. The rooms were so small that four people in one room would have totally ruined the trip for me. I lucked out with only two of us. Four would have been intolerable.

The location is excellent otherwise - a really pretty spot and close to so many good spots to paddle, but the size is extremely problematic. I would consider taking one of the hotel-based tours you run, but I will never register for another bunk house experience.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Thanks so much for the comments about the bunkhouse. The accommodation we use can be quite cosy but hopefully the amazing location more that makes up for this. When I was there I took my morning cup of tea down to the beach to watch the otters play, which was pretty special. We view this trip as an introduction not only to sea kayaking but also an introduction to expeditions – it’s not wild camping but it does give you a feel of expedition living.
Having said that we are always looking for ways in which we can improve which is why your feedback is so important to us, we’ll take it on board and look at what we can do it make the trip even better!
It sounds like you had an amazing time overall so hopefully we’ll see you back in the Highlands again soon!
Your Guide
Zoe is an amazing teacher!! Our intro course involved four people at four very different levels, but she gave us each exactly the care and instructions we needed to learn., whatever our level, without sacrificing attention to one in favor of a stronger or weaker student. She continually assessed our needs and balanced well our different strengths and coped really well with our individual weaknesses. She made sure to properly challenge us so we would grow confident quickly in our skill levels, but always made us feel completely safe. She always asked for our input so she could give each of us what we wanted out of the experience. Our fun and our adventure and our learning were really important to her.

She worked also with us on knowledge as well as skills, teaching us the whys of the decisions, teaching us to think through different questions to develop an answer rather than just telling us what to do. I learned about weather and tides and physiology, not things I expected, but all really interesting.

She had us work through our own answers to questions and problems so that we learned how to think about things, rather than just giving us answers to use.

She really cared that we each have the type of experience that we wanted and that we each learned as much as we could in a short span of time. I can not imagine a better instructor, and I can not imagine having such a successful experience with a different instructor.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

We say all the time that our guides make our trips and this was obviously true in this case!
The Bottom Line
BEST VACATION EVER

by Sandra Morris 18/05/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Any correspondence sent or received from Wilderness Scotland was always super friendly and helpful in advance of my trip. The tone of emails was very open and friendly and the online booking was simple and easy to use.

I did have to check if there was a hairdryer available in Mol Mor in advance of my trip, so perhaps that could be included in the optional equipment list for future travelers.

Another piece of advice would be to stress the logistics of the kayaks and that they are quite heavy and need to be unloaded and loaded in often difficult terrain i.e. slippery rocks or wet muck hills etc. I think I am more sore from lifting the kayaks than I am from paddling but I think this aspect of the trip needs to be stressed and highlighted more in advance. But it was definitely all part of the experience :-)
Trip Comments
I loved every aspect of this trip...the people, the kayaking, the location in Torridon and all the spots we kayaked in. Most importantly the local food was wonderful. Luke did keep saying we were on an eating holiday with some kayaking thrown in and he brought us to the best local restaurants!! The entire trip was an escape from the office in a location that has hardly changed over the centuries, with wild seals, deer and highland cows watching us along the way.
Accommodation and Food
There was just too much food!! Got to eat haggis for my first time too so I really appreciated that. Loved the stoat bars, especially the Apple and Cinnamon. But on a more serious note, the local restaurants Luke brought us to were superb with fabulous fresh fish dishes that would rival any city restaurant.

Accommodation was a lot better than what I had imagined as the term bunkhouse sounds very very basic. Mol Mor had charm and country living written all over it so it came as a very pleasant surprise. Perhaps you should include some photos on the website or more information about what is and is not available in Mol Mor i.e. no hairdryer but there is a drying room with a tumble drier and washing machine etc to dry your clothes at the end of a damp day
Your Guide
If I had a higher option than excellent I would award it to Luke, but I will try to summarise it with words instead:

Luke is phenomenal in many ways and to give him the title "guide" would be a disservice to him. Luke had to wear many hats during our trip due to changing weather conditions.

As a kayaking expert and instructor he was calm, encouraging and always giving you helpful advice on posture, hand positioning on the paddle, trim and edging. The fact that I was able to stay afloat and paddle out of 1 foot of water after 60 minutes was impressive. The fact that I did not capsize for the next 4 days is absolutely down to Luke's guidance, instruction and encouragement.

Luke as a tourist guide was great as we rambled along the roads he pointed out various places of interest and took us to some beautiful scenic viewpoints for some stunning sunset and daytime views.

Luke as a seaweed expert is wonderful & refreshing! We got to see and hear about the different types of seaweed available in the local lochs, including channel wrack & spiral wrack. We even cooked some on our lunch stop and got to taste some. It was clear to us all that Luke was passionate about the outdoors and eating seaweed and also some wild flora.

Luke as a health and safety expert was constantly checking the weather conditions to ensure we were not in any great harm. On day 2 we were challenged with particularly strong winds and he had to make some tough calls at our lunch stop for the safety of our group. This really highlighted the intense pressure he was under in challenging weather conditions, which he coped with fantastically.

Luke as a cook isn't bad either....his scrambled eggs were yummie and the haggis was good, even if Luke decided to clean the kitchen window with it the floor became a sticky mess :-)

As I said at the start, if I could give Luke higher praise than excellent I definitely would. He really demonstrated fantastic change management skills by working with the environment and climate changes we experienced. Luke's passion for kayaking, the outdoors and seaweed came through in spades. He was an excellent kayaking coach while at the same time always looking to add more to our trip experience by getting us to do various additional techniques or skills. Luke also demonstrated very strong patience and was always open to suggestions and very approachable. I thought he was fantastic.
The Bottom Line
The kayaking introduction course will help you move from capsizing in 1 foot of water (I think I capsized 6 times in an hour!!) to exploring new depths (possibly 50 feet in places) around the islands in Scotland's sea loch to see wildlife, seals and an array of birds while on the water, but also wildlife on land. From the outset you get whisked away to timeout in the Highlands to learn new skills, meet new people, eat fantastic food, see nature at its very best regardless of the weather and have an exhausting but wonderful adventure. Although I am back home and in temporary "dry dock", I can't wait to go back and do another Wilderness Scotland trip. Absolutely worth it and more!

by Graham Holdsworth 18/05/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The trip was an absolute joy from start to finish. We were presented with some "interesting" weather conditions, but we managed to get out on the water safely every day. The group "bonded" very quickly, allowing us to share a fabulous "group experience" both on and off the water.
Accommodation and Food
The bunk house was warm, comfortable and very welcoming. The drying room was an absolute godsend for a serial "capsizer" like myself. There was always plenty of food for breakfasts & lunches, while Luke's encyclopaedic knowledge of local restaurants ensured we never went hungry in the evening.
Your Guide
Luke was just about perfect - He managed to find safe but challenging kayaking for us every day, even though the weather proved a challenge. Not only was he an excellent kayak instructor, but his love of the area and its flora & fauna shone through and made every day an experience to remember. Thanks Luke!!
The Bottom Line
Many thanks for a week that will live long in the memory for all the right reasons. If anyone's thinking of booking but is yet to commit, my only advice is "do it, you won't regret it" (and the water's not as cold as you might think...).

by David Mann 16/05/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Had some discussion re accommodation which staff dealt with very well. Feel there should be some mention of need to move kayaks which might be a problem for some less fit people.
Trip Comments
Trip was well organised and structured to allow guide to adapt to clients, weather and other variables. Great locations and Luke took as much time as was needed with everyone to ensure we all got the most out of every day.
Accommodation and Food
We had enough food to sink the proverbial battleship and certainly a kayak. Lots if variety and Luke gave us some great suggestions for evening meals too.
Accommodation was good for bunkhouse style (though I'd prefer a nice 5 star!!, but I knew what I was coming to so it was not an issue). I had read that the bunks weren't big enough for anyone over 6' and disagree. At 6'2" I could stretch out no problem and my tent was definitely not required.
Your Guide
First class in every way - except clutch control!!
Took us to some great places in challenging weather and always ensured we all got something out of each day.
Sure Luke didn't expect to become a founder member of HIDA, but he did!!!!
The Bottom Line
You have got the balance of learning and having a great time spot on - the beautiful places help of course.

by Katie Frew 16/05/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Good information via email.
Trip Comments
Incredible location of bunkhouse, fantastic amount of food and great guide knowledge to be able to source appropriate spots to kayak and to eat!
Accommodation and Food
As before, lots of food brought by the guide and great eating out opportunities.
Your Guide
Really knowledgeable and worked very hard in difficult circumstances to make sure we kayaked as much as possible while also ensuring safety. Really appreciated all of the extra scouting Luke did, would have been easy to call off in challenging weather but managed to find fantastic spots suitable for our beginners level.
The Bottom Line
Excellent trip and wonderful way to see more of Scotland.

by Laurie Conway 05/05/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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

by Yvonne Post 03/05/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The kit list was very useful
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

Prices and Departures

105 people viewed this trip in the last week

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
11th Jul - 15th Jul 2015
£645
Trip Full
18th Jul - 22nd Jul 2015
£645
Trip Full
15th Aug - 19th Aug 2015
£645
Trip Full
22nd Aug - 26th Aug 2015
£645
3 place(s) left
19th Sep - 23rd Sep 2015
£645
3 place(s) left
26th Sep - 30th Sep 2015
£645
Places available
16th Apr - 20th Apr 2016
£645
Places available
23rd Apr - 27th Apr 2016
£645
Places available
30th Apr - 4th May 2016
£645
Places available
7th May - 11th May 2016
£645
Places available
14th May - 18th May 2016
£645
Places available
4th Jun - 8th Jun 2016
£645
Places available
11th Jun - 15th Jun 2016
£645
Places available
9th Jul - 13th Jul 2016
£645
Places available
16th Jul - 20th Jul 2016
£645
Places available
23rd Jul - 27th Jul 2016
£645
Places available
20th Aug - 24th Aug 2016
£645
Places available
27th Aug - 31st Aug 2016
£645
Places available
24th Sep - 28th Sep 2016
£645
Places available

Trip Details

If you haven’t tried sea kayaking in Scotland before, this short break kayaking course for beginners will equip you with the essential kayaking skills to get you started and ready for longer sea kayak journeys.

Based at Upper Loch Torridon in the north-west Highlands, you will benefit from lots of kayaking instruction but also enjoy some of the finest sea kayaking in Scotland as we explore Loch Torridon and the surrounding coastline in this area.

Unlike our other sea kayaking holidays in Scotland which involve wild camping, this trip is based indoors, enjoying comfortable accommodation at a private bunkhouse on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon. It has hot showers, warm beds and a cosy, rustic feel, with a wood-burning stove in the living area. This means that if you get wet in the kayaks, you can be assured that a hot shower and a warm bed await you at the end of the day!

The group size has a maximum of 8 clients so you will receive personal kayak coaching throughout the trip from our highly qualified sea kayaking guide. Scotland is a wonderful destination for sea kayaking holidays, and this short break is the perfect introduction to this fascinating activity, opening up the possibility of joining some of our longer sea kayak journeys in the future.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Sea Kayaking Instruction, Upper Loch Torridon
You will be met by your guide at Inverness Railway station from where we travel to the north-west Highlands. After settling in and a welcome from the guide, you will have your first experience of sea kayaking in the sheltered sea-loch of Upper Loch Torridon. Returning to the bunkhouse, we will prepare our evening meal and discuss our aims for the trip.

Day 2 – Sea Kayaking Instruction, Upper Loch Torridon
After a relaxing breakfast, we will return to Upper Loch Torridon and launch the kayaks once again. Your guide will introduce you to new kayaking strokes before you set off on an exploration of this beautiful loch, perhaps venturing into Loch Shieldaig, stopping for lunch in one of the sandy bays. Surrounded by the imposing Torridon mountains, you will develop your sea kayaking skills and gain confidence to allow a longer journey on the sea the following day.

Day 3 – Sea Kayaking in Torridon or Applecross
Today we will build on your skills and enjoy a paddle, exploring some of the beautiful coastline or perhaps even visiting some of the islands which are located just off the coastline of the North West Highlands.

Day 4 – Sea Kayaking in Applecross
Sea kayaking in Applecross is superb and on this journey we explore Loch Shieldaig and Shieldaig Island. Known for its beautiful Scots Pines, heronry and seal population, the island is protected by the National Trust for Scotland. We may paddle further along the north Applecross coast and kayak into Loch Torridon or to the remote Diabaig coastline before kayaking back to the pretty village of Shieldaig. After a warm shower at the bunkhouse, we will visit the local pub for a hearty meal and to reflect on a superb day of sea kayaking.

Day 5– Sea Kayaking Journey, Applecross
The final day will see you embark on a sea kayaking journey in Loch Kishorn on the southern coast of Applecross. We will kayak across the bay to Kishorn Island with its seal colony, using our enhanced sea kayaking skills as we journey through this beautiful corner of Scotland. We’ll kayak back to shore early afternoon, load up the kayaks and travel back to Inverness for the end of the sea kayaking course.

Download Dossier

Prices and Departures

105 people viewed this trip in the last week

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
11th Jul - 15th Jul 2015
£645
Trip Full
18th Jul - 22nd Jul 2015
£645
Trip Full
15th Aug - 19th Aug 2015
£645
Trip Full
22nd Aug - 26th Aug 2015
£645
3 place(s) left
19th Sep - 23rd Sep 2015
£645
3 place(s) left
26th Sep - 30th Sep 2015
£645
Places available
16th Apr - 20th Apr 2016
£645
Places available
23rd Apr - 27th Apr 2016
£645
Places available
30th Apr - 4th May 2016
£645
Places available
7th May - 11th May 2016
£645
Places available
14th May - 18th May 2016
£645
Places available
4th Jun - 8th Jun 2016
£645
Places available
11th Jun - 15th Jun 2016
£645
Places available
9th Jul - 13th Jul 2016
£645
Places available
16th Jul - 20th Jul 2016
£645
Places available
23rd Jul - 27th Jul 2016
£645
Places available
20th Aug - 24th Aug 2016
£645
Places available
27th Aug - 31st Aug 2016
£645
Places available
24th Sep - 28th Sep 2016
£645
Places available

Trip Photos

Sea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction CourseSea Kayaking Introduction Course
View Gallery

Download your trip dossier

All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures

 

  • All info in one document
  • Print-friendly PDF format
  • Details of the meeting point
Download Dossier



Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
Had an amazing time. Really, really fantastic. Would highly recommend wilderness Scotland to others.

Katie Donaldson
27/06/2015

5

Chloe Campbell
27/06/2015

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 95 review(s) of Sea Kayaking – Introduction Course

5 star 82

4 star 12

3 star 1

2 star 0

1 star 0

Read All Trip Reviews