I have been kayaking in Scotland and abroad, for over 40 years, on the sea, rivers, and lochs. I’m a kayaker, but have been seen occasionally kneeling with a single bladed paddle! I was the youngest Senior Instructor (now level 3 coach) when I qualified on my 18th birthday and went on to gain the highest coaching qualification of Level 5 in both Inland and Sea. My passion is Sea Kayaking where I focus my efforts on training and assessing for the BCU 4* and 5* leader awards. I lead several expeditions a year in Scotland and occasionally overseas, and have achieved a number of firsts, including the first return St Kilda trip, and the Orkney, Fair Isle, Shetland crossings.
My passion is passing on the knowledge I’ve gained over the years to all abilities. From basic strokes to those starting kayaking, through to advanced boat handling skills for those who want to take their paddling further. I particularly enjoy supporting and developing those with a few miles under their belt who want to lead groups and expeditions to the places I love.
I have an extensive knowledge of the Scottish coast, and islands, the people, and the history that makes Scotland such a special place. For me, I enjoy nothing better than passing it on to those who like me love Scotland.
A hard question. Scotland is a world class sea kayaking destination. If I had to choose it would probably be the Outer Hebrides, particularly the southern isles – I love the remoteness. Closer to home the Sound of Luing and associated Islands and tide races – lots of interest and challenge in a small area.
I am the only person to have kayaked to all the Scottish islands (as defined in Hamish Haswell Smiths book Scottish Islands). 169 before you ask!
“My passion is passing on the knowledge I’ve gained over the years to all abilities. From basic strokes to those starting kayaking, through to advanced boat handling skills for those who want to take their paddling further.”
As mentioned, I have kayaked to all the Scottish Islands, the last of which was N Rona, 50 miles N of Lewis. It took 5 years before I was successful and finished my quest. I also lead the first successful return kayak trip to St Kilda in 1991.
I have an in-depth knowledge of the Scottish Islands, and in the history and folklore, associated with them and the rest of Scotland.
Over the years I have contributed articles on various trips to the Scottish Paddler and the Sea Kayaking Magazines. I also contributed information to Doug Copper for his North and East Coast of Scotland guidebook and wrote the foreword. I Also contributed to the Wilderness Scotland blog on 5 best trips in the Outer Hebrides.
Donald and Paul make an awesome team. Both are great teachers, have a wealth of historical, wildlife & 'all things relating to Scotland' knowledge, they are very understanding and have a great sense of humour. Donald's ingenious dry paddling lesson resulted in me having an eureka moment and Paul went beyond the call of duty to ensure we had butter for our first breakfast when it had been accidentally left out of our provision box! So that, combined with their culinary skills, you couldn't ask for more.
Sea Kayaking - Outer Hebrides
Reviewed on 08/09/2019
Donald is really skilled as a leader and teacher. He is very good with people. He is also very knowledgeable about Scottish history, wildlife and culture which added a great deal of extra interest.
Paul is a great teacher and has excellent skills and knowledge about kayaking. He is interested in everyone and has a great sense of humour.
Both guides worked well together to make the trip a fantastic experience and also great fun.
Sea Kayaking - Outer Hebrides
Reviewed on 04/09/2019
Two great guides: Donald's experience and advice and Paul's enthusiasm made a good trip even better
Sea Kayaking - Outer Hebrides
Reviewed on 02/09/2019
|Trip / Departure||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
Sea Kayaking in The Outer Hebrides
4th Jul - 10th Jul 2020
|7 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,255||Book Now|
Sea Kayaking – The Summer Isles
1st Aug - 6th Aug 2020
|6 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£935||Book Now|
Sea Kayaking – West Coast Explorer
8th Aug - 13th Aug 2020
|8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£955||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
We work together with our team of guides to decide which departures they lead each year. As part of that, guides provide available dates that they are free to be booked. This means that any of the dates you see in the first field of the form below, could be perfect for your private departure or customised tour.
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