Trip Highlights: Canoeing – The Great Glen Canoe Trail
- Canoe from the west to the east coast through the spectacular Great Glen loch and river system – including some canoeing in Loch Ness
- Journey in the company of experienced wilderness canoe guides and develop your paddling skills en route
- Wild camping on the shores of some of Scotland’s finest lochs with superb wilderness cooking throughout
- 4 nights wild camping on the banks of the lochs
- All meals as stated in the itinerary (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- All transport, starting and finishing in Fort William (with the option to be dropped in Inverness on Day 5 if required)
- The services of at least one experienced and knowledgeable canoe guide / driver throughout your trip.
- All group equipment including tents, group safety equipment and cooking /eating equipment and utensils. Please note that sleeping bags are not included. However, sleeping bags and sleeping mats are available for hire.
- All specialist open canoe equipment, including canoes and buoyancy aids.
Blue Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 4-6
This Blue graded canoeing trip is suitable for people with no previous canoeing experience, but a good level of fitness is required. We will be paddling for up to 7 hours each day on flat water lochs and canals, however in windy conditions it will be challenging and we will encounter small waves on the larger lochs.
River Spey Descent
This Blue graded canoeing trip is only suitable for people with some previous canoeing experience and a good level of fitness. Since we are paddling on moving river waters, including several more exciting rapids (up to Grade 2) competence steering the canoe is an essential skill from the beginning. You can expect up to 7 hours of paddling a day plus breaks.
5th Sep - 9th Sep 2018
Mark FrenchWelsh gymnastic champion Mark will always make you feel at home on a trip with him.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
On this trip we wild camp near the loch shore.
We provide tents and also carry a base camp tipi, which means that we can all gather together for dinner and a hot drink even if the weather is inclement. If you require a single tent we are happy to provide this, but otherwise we do ask that those who are happy to share a tent with other travellers do so. This helps to keep our camp size small, giving us more options of where to pitch and reducing our environmental impact on these precious places.
Great food is essential to all our trips and expeditions are no different. While the guide will co- ordinate the cooking and help out, everyone is asked to lend a hand as this ensures the best meals in the shortest possible time after what are often long days. We will carry plenty of food to cater a varied and satisfying menu throughout the trip, and some of these may even be prepared on an open fire. Dietary requirements can still be catered for but please ensure we know at the time of booking.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide Fort William Railway Station at 10:30am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Fort William station for 5:00pm on the final day of the trip. Alternatively, you can also be dropped off earlier at the station in Inverness.
For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/
The Great Glen Canoe Trail is a classic canoe journey from coast to coast through the spectacular loch and river system of the Great Glen, including canoeing in Loch Ness.
The adventure begins just outside Fort William on the easy, sheltered water of the Caledonian Canal. We then journey through a series of amazing lochs before finishing near Inverness on the other side of Scotland!
The journey includes some straightforward canal and loch paddling. Throughout the expedition, coaching will be given to help you develop your paddling skills, so by the end of the route, you will not only have enjoyed a unique journey, you will also be a more competent canoeist.
Day 1 – Canoeing in the Great Glen: Loch Lochy
Our canoe journey begins above Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal, a gentle introduction as we make our way to Gairlochy, and the first of several lock gates, at the end of Loch Lochy. Here we will set up our first camp of the trip, enjoying views of Ben Nevis from our tents. (L, D)
Day 2 – Canoeing in the Great Glen: Loch Lochy to Loch Oich
Today we start on the open water of Loch Lochy, aiming to reach the end of this loch by the end of the day, or if conditions are favourable we may reach the waters of Loch Oich. Our campsite tonight is on the grassy shore of Laggan Locks. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Canoeing in the Great Glen: Loch Oich to Loch Ness
After crossing Loch Oich we are back on the canal today for the few miles up to Fort Augustus. We will need to portage every canal lock but this is all part of the journey! Our efforts are rewarded as by the end of the day we will now have reached Loch Ness. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Canoeing on Loch Ness: Fort Augustus to Urquhart Bay
Loch Ness is awesome in any weather conditions, so as we continue our canoe journey we may be sailing with a following wind or watching reflections of the steep mountains in mirror calm water. Urquhart Castle guards the bay into which we plan to paddle for our last night’s camp, or we may stop on the south shore depending on the conditions. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Canoeing on Loch Ness: Urquhart Bay to River Ness
On our final day we set out onto Loch Ness for the last time, paddling until the end of the loch is in sight. This is the end point of a memorable canoe trip through the Great Glen where the River Ness snakes it’s way down to the sea. After sorting our kit, we are transferred back to Fort William for our journey’s end. (B, L)
Prices and Dates
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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.
by Lianne McCann 03/10/2017
We were given all the information we needed to prepare for the trip. They were able to answer our questions when we called
Our guides provided us information on what to expect and involved us in discussions on plans for next day. They were very knowledgable about the area and made the trip fun. Had a great time.
Accommodation and Food
The tents were good for size and in good condition. The new Teepee tent was very good it accommodated everyone easily. Dinner meals were very good but breakfast could be a little better.
They were very knowledgeable and helpful. They kept the group together. Made the trip enjoyable.
The Bottom Line
I would absolutely recommend this trip to others
by Lisa Alexander 04/09/2017
Office staff was super responsive to emails.
Grant, Ted and Alex did a fantastic job of not only creating an excellent outdoor experience, but also fostering a wonderful group experience. It was obvious they were total pros at their jobs.
Grant is truly excellent at his job. He is calm, even tempered and an extremely skilled guide. His easy going nature put everyone at ease.
The Bottom Line
This is a great trip for novice canoeists and seasoned outdoors people alike. Don't be fooled by the description "wilderness camping" - there were flush toilets and hot showers three out of four nights.
The pace of the trip is excellent. No one complained about paddling too much or too little.
I highly recommend this trip.
by Margaret Owen 13/08/2017
Great guides, challenging itinerary (in a good way), spectacular scenery
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation absolutely fine (tents) Food could have been better although I appreciate the challenges of carrying food with us for the whole trip. The food that was freshly cooked by the guides was better than the prepared food that was a bit lacking in vegetable. Bagels and oatcakes were great and last longer than fresh bread so more of them would have been good. More fruit and vegetables would have been good.
Friendly competent encouraging - lovely people.
by David Wood 12/08/2017
Had a great trip. Special thanks to our excellent guides, Grant, Ted and Alex who were so calm and helpful. They truly made it a memorable and enjoyable adventure with their professionalism and good humour.
Struggling into a headwind and seeing the best rainbow of my life on Loch Ness was truly memorable.
The guides were excellent, professional, competent and patient.
The Bottom Line
One of the best trips of my life.