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Selected Trips


    Selected Trips

      Open Canoeing
      North West Highlands

      50 review(s)

      Next Trip(s): 15th May | 12th Jun Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

      From £1,065 View Prices & Departures

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      Trip Details & Highlights

      Trip created by Stevie Christie
      View Stevie's Profile

      Region: North West Highlands
      Trip Type: Canoeing
      Comfort: Wilderness Camping
      Max Group Size: 8
      Confirmed: When 2 Traveller(s) Book
      Deposit From N/A £266.25


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

      Download Itinerary

      Trip Details

      This challenging wilderness trip explores one of the most pristine natural areas of Scotland. We will journey into a remote region of lochs and mountains in the Northwest of the Scottish Highlands. Some days will be spent journeying in our canoes, paddling and portaging all our boats and gear from loch to loch. On other days we will remain in the same camp and hike up to the iconic peaks that surround us by wild and rarely hiked routes. 

      We will enjoy an inherently flexible itinerary and plan our trip day by day as we travel, based on the conditions. This is a true wilderness trip, a long way from the nearest road or town and we are unlikely to meet other people during our adventure. At night we wild camp where we please on small islands and sandy coves, enjoying the spectacular views all around.

      Trip Highlights

      • Explore the wildest parts of Inverpolly Nature Reserve in Scotland's remote north west.
      • Make an expedition by canoe, carrying everything we need for the duration of the trip.
      • Hike iconic peaks such as Suilven and Cul Mor.

      Day by Day Itinerary

      Day 1 – Meet Inverness, transfer to Assynt

      This morning we will meet in Inverness and then transfer north to Assynt and our put-in at Loch Sionascaig. After loading the boats with everything we need for the next two nights of adventure we take to the water and paddle to our island camp-site, surrounded by wild country and towering mountains. (L, D)

      Day 2 – Hiking Cul Mor

      We’ll need our walking boots today as we hike to one of Scotland’s best mountain viewpoints. Setting off from our island, a short paddle takes us back to the mainland. From here we set out on foot through wild terrain and start our ascent. No path – just heather, stone and wild raw landscape everywhere we look. We’re almost guaranteed to have this side of the mountain to ourselves. After drinking in the views from the summit we return to our boats and paddle back to camp. (B, L, D)

      Day 3 – Paddle out and rest day

      After breakfast, we pack up our camp and paddle back to the van. We transfer to the nearby village of Ullapool where we will settle in to our lodge accommodation for the tonight – what luxury! A relaxed afternoon can be spent wandering around the grounds or just gazing across the loch to Suilven from the comfy living room sofas! (B, L, D)

      Day 4 – Journeying on Loch Maree

      Departing Lochinver we drive south to the shores of stunning Loch Maree. Once again we will load up the boats with all we need for 2 nights wild camping and set off on the water. Today we will spend the day exploring among the dozens of islands that dot the loch, covered in beautiful forest. Your guide will tell you all about the amazing history of this beautiful loch – tales of Vikings, Saints and Lunatics! We will make camp on one of the islands, and maybe go looking for Scotland’s only island on a loch on an island on a loch! (B, L, D)

      Day 5 – Beinn Airigh Charr

      We’ll need our boots again today! First, we cross Loch Maree to its remote shore eastern shore. Leaving the boats again we start hiking up through stunning wild forest before gaining the open hillside. We hike to the summit of Beinn Airigh Charr which stands on the boundaries of an area known as “The Great Wilderness”. The view from the summit is one of the best mountain scenes in all of Scotland. Once again we return by the way we came and paddle back to our island for the night. (B, L, D)

      Day 6 – Paddling on Loch Maree

      After packing up camp we can enjoy a final paddle on Loch Maree before returning to the van. Once all is packed away we transfer a short distance to Gairloch where we will spend the final night in a comfortable guesthouse and enjoy a celebratory meal together. (B, L, D)

      Day 7 – Return to Inverness

      On our final morning we’ll enjoy a leisurely breakfast and maybe a stroll on the beach at Gairloch before we start the drive back through the Highlands to Inverness, arriving early afternoon. (B, L)

      Download Detailed Itinerary

      North West Highlands

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

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      What's Included

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


      On this trip we wild camp in spectacular locations. These are often remote and hard to reach on foot alone, adding to their appeal. 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. Mid-trip we will spend one night staying at a beautiful lodge near Lochinver, and we will spend the last night in Gairloch. So you can enjoy a hot shower and comfy bed during the trip and before departing on the final morning.

      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 a varied and satisfying menu throughout the trip. 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 at Inverness Railway Station at 10:30am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Inverness Station for 14:00pm 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
      15th May - 21st May 2021 7 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,065 Book Now
      12th Jun - 18th Jun 2021 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,065 Book Now
      17th Jul - 23rd Jul 2021 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,065 Book Now
      21st Aug - 27th Aug 2021 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,065 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 love for adventure and knowledge of Scotland inspired him to design this exciting canoe 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 4.82 out of 5 based on 50 review(s) of Open Canoeing – North West Highlands


      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.


      Jonathan Richards

      Reviewed on 18/08/2019

      Age: 50 - 60
      Country: United Kingdom
      Trip Date: 03/08/2019
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      Start to finish it was a great trip in a very special corner of Scotland.


      Nicky Richards

      Reviewed on 12/08/2019

      Age: 50 - 60
      Country: United Kingdom
      Trip Date: 03/08/2019
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      It was a great holiday!


      Tony Colmer

      Reviewed on 25/05/2019

      Age: 60 - 70
      Country: United Kingdom
      Trip Date: 11/05/2019
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      This was a really great adventure in a wonderful bit of wilderness.

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