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Selected Trips


    Selected Trips

      Open Canoeing
      Great Glen Canoe Trail

      67 review(s)

      Next Trip(s): 26th Jun | 24th Jul Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights

      From £845 View Prices & Departures

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      Travel Planning and Advice

      Trip Details & Highlights

      Trip created by Stevie Christie
      View Stevie's Profile

      Region: Multi-Location
      Trip Type: Canoeing
      Comfort: Wilderness Camping
      Max Group Size: 8
      Confirmed: When 2 Traveller(s) Book
      Deposit From N/A £211.25


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

      Download Itinerary

      Trip Details

      The Great Glen offers a classic canoe trip from coast to coast, following an ancient route through the Highlands that has been used since time immemorial to journey through the rugged and mountainous landscape of northern Scotland.

      Our adventure begins near Fort William, and for the next five days, we will paddle our way northeast along several lochs and sections of the Caledonian Canal, culminating in the famous waters of Loch Ness.

      This is old school journeying at a slow pace where we can take in the detail of the scenes around us. Enjoy the sound satisfaction of every mile earned by honest hard work.

      Trip Highlights

      • Paddle from coast to coast on a traditional canoe journey.
      • Develop your canoe skills under the guidance of your expert guides.
      • Enjoy views of Ben Nevis, ruined castles and the beautiful Scottish landscape from the water.

      Day by Day Itinerary

      Day 1 – Expedition Begins

      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 – 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 – 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 – Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

      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 – To Inverness

      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 its way down to the sea. After sorting our kit, we head to settle into our comfy accommodation in Inverness* before a delicious dinner to celebrate our adventure.  (B, L, D)

      *Please note that on the 20th June and 22nd August departures, the last night of the trip will be in Aviemore instead of Inverness. 

      Day 6 – Expedition Ends

      After enjoying a hearty Scottish breakfast this morning you can depart the guest house to begin your onward travel, rested and with plenty of great memories to see you home. The train station is a short walk where your guides will say farewell. (B)

      Download Detailed Itinerary

      Great Glen Canoe Trail

      To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

      Fields marked with * are mandatory

      The phone number field is not required but if you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

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      What's Included

      Accommodation - Accommodation in carefully selected guest houses and hotels Read More

      On this trip, we camp at campsites along the route. 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.


      There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex on the final night in Inverness.

      During the expedition, we will provide you with a single tent if you require, but 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.

      In Inverness, there is no single person supplement charged to solo travellers however you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you wish to reserve a room for single occupancy a supplement will be applied.

      Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

      Meals - Meals Info (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) Read More

      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 long days. We will carry plenty of food to cater to a varied and satisfying menu throughout the trip, and some of these may be prepared on an open fire. Dietary requirements can still be catered for but please ensure we know at the time of booking.

      Travel - All transport throughout the trip Read More

      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 Inverness Railway Station for 10:00am on the final day of the trip.

      For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/

      Trip Dates & Prices

      Trip Dates for 2021 Availability Status Price Book
      26th Jun - 1st Jul 2021 3 place(s) left CONFIRMED £845 Book Now
      24th Jul - 29th Jul 2021 6 place(s) left CONFIRMED £845 Book Now
      28th Aug - 2nd Sep 2021 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £845 Book Now
      18th Sep - 23rd Sep 2021 6 place(s) left CONFIRMED £845 Book Now

      Make This Trip Private

      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.

      Speak to an Expert

      As an avid adventurer, Stevie has life-long experience in Scotland’s outdoors. He’s Co-Owner and Head of Adventure with Wilderness and been with us for over 15 years in a variety of roles, with innovative trip design being both a passion and a speciality. In his spare time, Stevie runs the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, bringing the world’s most inspiring adventure filmmakers and athletes to an audience of over 1,500 each year. His experience of living in the Cairngorms National Park for many years has helped design this exciting canoeing trip.

      - Stevie Christie

      Ask Stevie a Question

      Meet Your Guide

      Difficulty Grades Explained

      Blue Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 4-6

      Great Glen

      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.

      Compare open canoeing grades

      Trip Reviews

      Rated 4.87 out of 5 based on 67 review(s) of Open Canoeing – Great Glen Canoe Trail


      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.


      Kevin Jones

      Reviewed on 20/06/2019

      Age: 60 - 70
      Country: United Kingdom
      Trip Date: 12/06/2019
      Trips Taken: 2

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line



      Thomas Jones

      Reviewed on 19/06/2019

      Age: 30 - 40
      Country: England
      Trip Date: 12/06/2019
      Trips Taken: 2

      The Bottom Line


      Scott Younkin

      Reviewed on 12/09/2018

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      The canoe trip was beginner in the sense of requiring minimal skills but very strenuous. I had a great time and loved the challenge but I would suggest being clear about this. Most people have better lower extremity than upper extremity fitness A person must be in good physical shape and pursuing a fitness program to enjoy this trip canoeing is much more strenuous than walking or biking

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