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Sea Kayaking – West Coast Explorer

*main trip image

Price from: £775

Next trip: 18th July

Duration: 5 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: West Highlands including Knoydart

Comfort: Basic

Difficulty: 4

20 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

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 18

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Paul MacLean 28/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Very approachable team, very quick to respond and were happy to help!
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Erin came across very well:
- a competent kayaker (happy to point things out, improve skills etc),
- good trip guide (fairly flexible with tailoring the itinerary to what the group wanted), and
- enthusiastic and knowledgable about the outdoors (wildlife, locations etc).
Thanks for a good trip!
The Bottom Line
Excellent trip! Would be happy to book with Wilderness Scotland again.

by Michael Tait 22/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Excellent fully-detailed e-mail with immensely useful kit list, logistics and background for the uninitiated. Also a check-in mail just before the trip began - all much appreciated.
Trip Comments
We paddled over 20ft of crystal clear water, suddenly aware of being only balanced on the surface tension between worlds, gliding over phosphorescent sea flora and strange creatures, pink sea stars convulsing on the rocks. As we approached the mouth of Loch Hourn, a pod of porpoises began cresting the surface around us. We glided-in to shore, stunned into a sun, wind and sea-chased silence having shared an experience beyond words.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation is basic but I imagine this is to keep the pretty reasonable costs of the experience down. We had everything we needed without luxurious elements. If any aspects could be improved in this direction it would be good. Expedition food was to be expected and good although there are too many oat-based things and tortilla wraps... Food in the centre was ok but could be a little more carefully considered without expecting the leaders to be chefs as well as kayaking instructors. Fresh food is harder work to store, especially meat and fish but a bit more attention to detail interesting salads, good bread. A sense of local food would be excellent. There were some lovely touches, notably that bottle of single malt! There are lots of wild food options as well of course on the West Coast - would be great if the instructors had basic knowledge so everyone could try some dulse in oatmeal or shellfish... Really, everything was good but could be fine-tuned...
Your Guide
Erin is clearly a water-baby - born in the Cornish surf. Her confidence on the water was inspiring and she never exhibited anything other than calm, clear confident leadership even when I was wobbling around the Sound of Sleat. She gave us a bit of freedom to explore on our own when the conditions were calmer and brought us in tight for the more challenging areas. She gave us some sea skills in a perfect area to do so, just challenging enough for a group of fairly new paddlers. She offered a choice of options every day but I think she could be more definitive about where and why because nobody understand the variables of sea and wind as well as she does so it might be better to make a choice and explain why rather than offer options to the blank faces... Having said that, I felt I got a sense from her open deliberations about what is entailed in thinking about destinations.
The Bottom Line
Perfectly-pitched to the level of the paddler, a balanced experience that marries the delights of glass-calm sea loch paddling to challenging open water. The scenery and wildlife are slack-jaw stunning. Glorious pubs and restaurants with the best seafood in the country to share with the new friends you quickly bond with and a wee dram to warm the cockles at the day's end.

by Roger Longshaw 22/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
All excellent thank you
Trip Comments
This was my second Wilderness Scotland trip and yet again my expectations were exceeded. Please pass my special thanks on to Erin for her excellent guidance, sense of humour and all-round friendliness.
Accommodation and Food
Wild camping excellent; perhaps the only "observation" being that bunkhouse nights/breakfasts don't need wild camping breakfast menu (but that's a tiny, tiny point)
Your Guide
Superb: competent, encouraging, good humoured, confidence giving, hardworking, diligent & professional.
The Bottom Line
Another wonderful trip. One thing I would be interested to do in the future is a multi-discipline trip i.e. kayaking, wild camping, hill walking, kayaking, walking, etc - just mixing it up a little really. Five straight days of kayaking (for non-kayakers) was a little tough - a day or two doing something else would have been welcome.

by Glynis Davies 04/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
We had a fantastic few days kayaking off Skye, helped by the glorious weather. Several high points: camping, swimming in the sea, the wildlife and kayaking on Loch Coruisk under the Cuillin ridge. The only low point was it had to end.
Accommodation and Food
I booked this particular trip because I wanted to try some wild camping and I really enjoyed this element of the trip and will be doing more. I was surprised at the high quality of the meals on camp. As a vegetarian, I was well catered for, indeed, the evening meals were all vegetarian and had been planned to provide a balanced diet.
Your Guide
Both guides were fantastic. I particularly appreciated Howard's flexible approach to our last night, enabling those who wanted to stay out on camp to do so, while those who wanted to return to the bunk house for their final night could, and Ali's time organising an evening kayak and evening walk
The Bottom Line
Loved every minute of this trip. We kayaked and camped in stunning locations, we ate really well and the guides went that extra mile. I will be doing more sea kayaking and hope to join more expeditions in Scotland. I will also be recommending you to my boss

by Ben Dugdale 29/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

3Accommodation 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
The bunkhouse was fine - clean and well-kept. The tent we got, however, had two broken pole sections and one of the pole sections was missing. This is the reason I've put average rather than excellent here. Luckily, Howard immediately offered us his tent, but in the end we didn't even need it because the weather was so good. The food was great - much better than I expected to be honest.
Your Guide
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

5Accommodation 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
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

5Accommodation 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
Bunkhouse amenities were as expected - cooking and showering facilities all in good working order. Last night:only one fire alarm set off by the heat!! (no one smoking) Reassuringly, the NT ranger on site very quickly indeed!!
Beware of ticks - I had over 30 and required 'de-bugging' by a friend!!
Midge full body net essential part of kit!!
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

4Accommodation 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
Bunk house was fine, shared facilities all good and got the group working together from the start.
Tents were great. Nice to have that bit of spare room a 3 man tent gives two occupants – would not have wanted 3 in a tent!
Food was plentiful and varied throughout the trip – would have been nice to have meat with the evening meal though!
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.

Prices and Departures

39 people viewed this trip in the last week1 Booking in the last 72 hours

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
18th Jul - 23rd Jul 2015
£775
Trip Full
22nd Aug - 27th Aug 2015
£775
3 place(s) left
11th Jun - 16th Jun 2016
£775
Places available
16th Jul - 21st Jul 2016
£775
Places available
20th Aug - 25th Aug 2016
£775
6 place(s) left

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

39 people viewed this trip in the last week1 Booking in the last 72 hours

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
18th Jul - 23rd Jul 2015
£775
Trip Full
22nd Aug - 27th Aug 2015
£775
3 place(s) left
11th Jun - 16th Jun 2016
£775
Places available
16th Jul - 21st Jul 2016
£775
Places available
20th Aug - 25th Aug 2016
£775
6 place(s) left

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
Excellent trip! Would be happy to book with Wilderness Scotland again.

Paul MacLean
28/06/2015

5

Perfectly-pitched to the level of the paddler, a balanced experience that marries the delights of glass-calm sea loch paddling to challenging open water. The scenery and wildlife are slack-jaw stunning. Glorious pubs and restaurants with the best seafood in the country to share with the new friends you quickly bond with and a wee dram to warm the cockles at the day's end.

Michael Tait
22/06/2015

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 20 review(s) of Sea Kayaking – West Coast Explorer

5 star 18

4 star 2

3 star 0

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