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Sea Kayaking – West Coast Explorer

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Price from: £695

Next trip: 13th June

Duration: 5 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: West Highlands including Knoydart

Comfort: Basic

Difficulty: 4

16 review(s)

Trip Highlights – West Coast Explorer

  • Discover the fabulous sea kayaking on Scotland’s west coast, exploring locations such as Plockton, Skye and Knoydart
  • Experience an overnight sea kayaking expedition, packing everything you need into your kayak and wild camping
  • Revel in the flexibility of an itinerary which combines some nights indoors and other nights camping wild – the best of both worlds!

Blue Graded Sea Kayaking Holidays 4-6

Our Blue grade sea kayaking trips are suitable for people with at least 5 days previous experience, although don’t worry if you have never Eskimo Rolled! You should be confident on the water and it is preferable if at least some of this experience was under instruction, such as on our Introduction to Sea Kayaking in Scotland course.

You should have a good level of fitness as you can expect up to 6 hours of sea kayaking each day, with plenty of breaks onshore to stretch your legs. The kayaking will be in coastal waters with few open crossings and you can expect to kayak up to 12km in a day, although this will be subject to weather and wind conditions.

Again, all of our blue trips are accommodation based, so you can enjoy hot showers and a warm bed throughout the week.

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

1. Do you have more than 5 days paddle experience?
2. Do you have a good level of fitness?
3. Do you love getting out and about in some beautiful wild places?

Accommodation – West Coast Explorer

This trip combines hostel accommodation with wild camping. Based from a hostel in the West Highlands, we also come prepared with all the equipment we need to go on overnight wild camping trips by sea kayak.

The itinerary will be very flexible, allowing us to choose to camp for 1, 2 or even 3 nights over the course of this 5 night trip, depending on the weather and sea conditions. Meals will be prepared either at the hostel or while camping, except for the final night, when we’ll go to a local pub for a celebratory meal!

This trip is perfectly suited for people who have some previous experience of sea kayaking and who want to try an overnight sea kayaking trip with camping – but who don’t feel ready for the challenge of our longer sea kayaking camping expeditions.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 10:30 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! For full details on how to get to Inverness, please see our website: Travel to Scotland

by Ben Dugdale 29/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Good, clear information that gave an accurate idea of exactly what the trip would be like. Friendly, helpful responses to further enquiries. Thanks.
Trip Comments
The locations we visited were truly spectacular, but what really made the trip were the guides. Howard and Ali were meticulously organised, exceptionally helpful and always willing to 'go the extra mile' to make the trip really special - everything from offering extra 'experiences', like guided walks and evening paddles for those who wanted them, to giving more detailed individual tuition, and even resolving conflicting wishes within the group! I can't complement those two chaps highly enough - if I was to book another holiday with Wilderness Scotland, it would be in the hope that the guides would be of the same quality as those two.
Accommodation and Food
Good, clear information that gave an accurate idea of exactly what the trip would be like. Friendly, helpful responses to further enquiries. Thanks.
Your Guide
See above. I expected the guides to be experienced kayakers, obviously, but I was amazed at how knowledgable, enthusiastic and organised Howard and Ali were. Can't overestimate the positive impact they had on the trip - they really pulled out all of the stops to make sure everyone in the group got the best experience possible. I had a wonderful time thanks to them.
The Bottom Line
This really was a unique experience. We were immersed in the flora and fauna of the highlands, with the wild camping really making it feel like a wilderness experience. Both the mountains and the sea were teeming with wildlife and the journeys we took were breathtaking.

by Carol Cotterill 28/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The final dossier and joining details did not make it to me first attempt with the group mailing, but when I contacted the office about not receiving anything so that I could book train travel, they sent them on immediately and very efficiently
Trip Comments
The trip was superb with the guides adding incredible knowledge to the whole experience
Accommodation and Food
The final dossier and joining details did not make it to me first attempt with the group mailing, but when I contacted the office about not receiving anything so that I could book train travel, they sent them on immediately and very efficiently
Your Guide
The guides chosen were a good combination, and having two guides ensured that we could easily split into two paddling speeds without feeling pressurised to keep together. It would have been nice to have had a few more short skills sessions interspersed between the paddling - I probably wouldn't have suggested that had we not had one on one of the days which made me realise how much I could learn technique wise from the guides!
The Bottom Line
The scenery was stunning, the camping spots well chosen to maximise the calm sea state, the weather and the glorious sunshine! The length of daily paddles was chosen to suit all involved, and the numbers were not too large so as to spoil the overall experience.

by Carole Morris 27/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Prior to kayaking trip: not all staff in the 'office' were clear regarding which maps were relevant to trip.
Otherwise, all were friendly and helpful.
Trip Comments
High point: Glorious sunny weather. Stunning scenery, with unique visual aspects of Skye not otherwise available from land. The transporting of kayaks up to the fresh water Loch Coruisk under the Black Cuillins was worth the considerable physical effort in spades!!
Accommodation and Food
Prior to kayaking trip: not all staff in the 'office' were clear regarding which maps were relevant to trip.
Otherwise, all were friendly and helpful.
Your Guide
Your personable guides, Harold and Ali, were up there among the best I have come across in ten years of kayaking. Their kayaking expertise, skills fine tuning, if required, and communication abilities were excellent. In Aberdeen, citizens are fortunate to have access to outdoor experiences partially funded by 'Common Good Fund' founded by King Robert the Bruce. So I have taken these day trips with various leaders fairly often over the years.
The Bottom Line
Very good value for money. Would love to go on another trip next year.

by David Giddons 15/06/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Oh those midges and those achy muscles, grim and painful at times, but who cares, this is at the top of things I most want to do again. The wildlife, the scenery, especially between Elgol and Loch Coruisk on Skype, and the thrill of paddling on those seas was just unbeatable.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Both Erin and Malcolm were great. They inspired one with confidence and a love of kayaking and had so much knowledge, not just of kayaking but of the landscape, fauna and flora.
The Bottom Line
I’ll be back, just as soon as I can.

by Kevin Jones 09/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Really helpful but a few inaccuracies in what we were told and what we received.
Trip Comments
Low point - getting out of the kayak to pitch camp when cold and wet.
High point – Kayaking straight into driving rain with waves washing over us.
Accommodation and Food
Really helpful but a few inaccuracies in what we were told and what we received.
Your Guide
Erin – her enthusiasm, hard work and energy rubs off on all, she got us together working as a team from the beginning and did a fabulous job.
Malc – he helped make this trip for me. His insights into the local flora and fauna were fascinating and we loved his knowledge on whisky tasting!
The Bottom Line
Don’t tell my wife, but best holiday ever.
A great chance to meet a superb group of people, spend valuable time with my son and live a truly outdoor life in beautiful surroundings.
most inspirational moment? Carrying our Kayaks from our camp site, up the river to paddle around Loch Coruisk with a beautiful sighting of a pair of Golden Eagles.

by David Marks 09/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Erin and Malcolm were really excellent and complemented each other brilliantly. Both are very knowledgeable and energetic - it was full on for them both from start to finish and nothing was too much trouble. I particularly like the way we found our capabilities tested and our comfort zone stretched, but always within secure boundaries. They also kept a broad group fully included and divided their efforts accordingly. I wouldn't hesitate travelling with them again or recommending them to others.
The Bottom Line
Paddling a sea kayak on freshwater Loch Coruisk inside the Cuillin range. This was just one of the trip's highlights but the no1 for me.

by Sue Andrews 08/06/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I rang with a few questions more than once and everyone I spoke to knew their stuff and were helpful.
Trip Comments
Everything well organised.
Accommodation and Food
I rang with a few questions more than once and everyone I spoke to knew their stuff and were helpful.
Your Guide
We put our trust in Erin and she didn't let us down! Her confidence and expertise was a major part in the success of the trip. Malcoms knowledge and care also was valued.
The Bottom Line
The wild camping by far the best bit. A magical experience, a first for Tony and I. We are planning our next trip with Wilderness Scotland

by Cleo Moloney 16/12/2013

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Staff were great, food was ideal, but unfortunately I paddled with a small group who had no people skills, so it wasnt as pleasant as I'd hoped.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The guides were excellent as I had an arm injury: so they were very helpful. It was a pity re the small group, Also I think I'd also prefer a journey instead of the one day trips.
The Bottom Line
I think a large group is important as a small group can be quite closed:

by Julia Fabricius 11/10/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Please see my email correspondence with Stef Lauer in early June in which I gave detailed feedback. The trip was excellent but two negative items were:
allowing guests to play amplified music at campsites and the fact my kayak, although the smaller size (yellow) was too big - the foot rest dis not come far enough back for my feet, my knees and my back to all touch the kayak.,
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Jan Ferguson 11/10/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
As I was meeting the group in Plockton, WS was very good in organizing where I would meet everyone - no worries!
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
As I was meeting the group in Plockton, WS was very good in organizing where I would meet everyone - no worries!
Your Guide
Have nothing but good things to say about Mark Cox! Luke Partridge is a keeper. He took a lot of ribbing from the guests (age differences!) and he was very good about it all. He made a special effort to meet up with the guests at the train station - even though traffic was horrendous. He certainly didn't have to but that he did certainly did not go unnoticed.
The Bottom Line
The Gaelic Coast portion of the Trail was amazing. We travelled to many remote areas and are paddling conditions were great! I only wish we could have paddled more "up north" versus spending 3 days in the Plockton area - but that is only because of my combining of the West Coast Explorer and this trip.

Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
13th Jun - 18th Jun 2015
£695
Places available
18th Jul - 23rd Jul 2015
£695
Places available
22nd Aug - 27th Aug 2015
£695
Places available

Trip Details

The West Coast Explorer is designed to highlight the best of what sea kayaking in Scotland can offer.

Based from a hostel in the West Highlands, we also come prepared with all the equipment we need to go on overnight wild camping trips by sea kayak!

The itinerary will be very flexible, allowing us to choose to camp for 1, 2 or even 3 nights over the course of this 5 night trip, depending on the weather and sea conditions.

This flexibility allows us to experience both expeditioning and also day paddles. It also means that we have lots of options for where to sea kayak – Kintail, Plockton, Loch Hourn at Knoydart, Skye … the options are limitless! This trip is perfectly suited for people who have some previous experience of sea kayaking and who want to try an overnight sea kayaking trip – but who don’t feel ready for the challenge of our longer sea kayaking expeditions.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Sea Kayaking Holiday Begins

We travel to Kintail in the West Highlands. After lunch and an opening briefing, we head out for an afternoon sea kayaking, most likely in the sea at Loch Duich, where we can kayak past the iconic Eilean Donan Castle! Overnight hostel.

Day 2 – Sea Kayaking Touring and Coaching

We head out for a day sea kayaking. There are so many places to choose from! Perhaps we’ll paddle with the seals at Plockton, or maybe head across the Skye Bridge and explore the islands of Broadford Bay. As we kayak, our guides will offer tips and advice to improve your sea kayaking skills. Return to the hostel late afternoon to plan our expedition!

Days 3, 4 and 5 – Sea Kayaking: Overnight Expedition

Having checked the weather, sea state and tides the previous evening, we will set off on an overnight expedition, wild camping along the way, leaving the hostel behind! This allows us to reach and explore some really wild locations. For example, we could venture to Knoydart and explore the wild coast of Loch Hourn, or possibly even go to Skye and explore some of its 400 miles of spectacular coastline! We will wild camp in remote locations, revelling in the dark, starry skies and spectacular scenery.

Day 5 – We would return to the hostel late afternoon, enjoy a shower and then head out to a local pub for a slap up meal!

Day 6 – Final Day Sea Kayaking in Scotland

After breakfast, we enjoy a morning paddle before packing up and returning to Inverness, arriving late afternoon.

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Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
13th Jun - 18th Jun 2015
£695
Places available
18th Jul - 23rd Jul 2015
£695
Places available
22nd Aug - 27th Aug 2015
£695
Places available

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

This really was a unique experience. We were immersed in the flora and fauna of the highlands, with the wild camping really making it feel like a wilderness experience. Both the mountains and the sea were teeming with wildlife and the journeys we took were breathtaking.

Ben Dugdale
29/07/2014

5

The scenery was stunning, the camping spots well chosen to maximise the calm sea state, the weather and the glorious sunshine! The length of daily paddles was chosen to suit all involved, and the numbers were not too large so as to spoil the overall experience.

Carol Cotterill
28/07/2014

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 16 review(s) of Sea Kayaking – West Coast Explorer

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