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Selected Trips


    Selected Trips

      Open Canoeing
      Great Glen Canoe Trail

      67 review(s)

      Next Trip(s): 16th May | 20th Jun Duration: 5 night(s)

      From £845 View Prices & Departures

      Trip Details & Highlights

      Trip created by Stevie Christie
      View Stevie's Profile

      Region: Multi-Location
      Trip Type: Canoeing
      Comfort: Wilderness Camping
      Confirmed: When 2 Traveller(s) Book
      Deposit From £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 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.

      Enjoy wild camping in the beauty of the Great Glen area and our experienced Wilderness guide will show you how to correctly camp in the wild.

      Trip Highlights

      • 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.

      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 – Loch Ness/Expedition Ends

      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)

      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:

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      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 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.

      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 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.

      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 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:

      Trip Dates & Prices

      Trip Dates for 2020 Availability Status Price Book
      16th May - 21st May 2020 6 place(s) left CONFIRMED £845 Book Now
      20th Jun - 25th Jun 2020 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £845 Book Now
      11th Jul - 16th Jul 2020 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £845 Book Now
      22nd Aug - 26th Aug 2020 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £845 Book Now
      12th Sep - 16th Sep 2020 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £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 over 7 years has helped design this exciting canoeing trip.

      - Stevie Christie

      Ask Stevie a Question

      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: 50 - 60
      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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