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Open Canoeing – River Spey Descent

  • Paddle through tranquil pine forests and Scotland’s most famous whisky region as you journey the length of the River Spey
  • Experience a diverse range of river conditions, from gentle meanders to more challenging rapids towards the end of the trip
  • Enjoy a true wilderness experience camping under the stars
  • 3 nights wild camping (2 people per tent)
  • All meals, from lunch on day of arrival through to lunch on day of departure (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All transport, starting and finishing in Aviemore
  • 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 but are available for hire.
  • All specialist open canoe equipment, including canoes and buoyancy aids.

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.

 

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

On this trip we wild camp beside the river each night.

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 at Aviemore Railway Station at 10:00am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Aviemore station for 4:00pm 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 Details

Join us for a classic Scottish canoeing trip down the River Spey, as we paddle through Speyside in the scenic North East Highlands.

This wonderful Scottish river trip descends the famous River Spey passing a through pine forests, heather-covered hills and Scotland’s most celebrated whisky region.

The canoeing is easy at first but becomes more challenging as we travel downstream through several rapids. It is not just the character of the river which changes – the pine forests take on a new character with each season. These forests are home to a diverse range of wildlife including red deer and capercaillie, and there’s always the chance of spotting golden eagles and other large birds of prey overhead.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – The expedition begins!
Our canoe guide meets you at the railway station in Aviemore and we transfer to our put-in point, a short distance away. We cast off down the gently moving water learning a few paddle strokes as we journey down the river to our first night’s camp. (L, D)

Day 2 –Boat of Balliefurth to Blacksboat
Following breakfast, we paddle into the heart of malt whisky country. There is time to work on the open canoe skills which will be essential for negotiating the rapids which lie ahead in the second half of the journey. Indeed, the day finishes with a trip through the short rapid known as the ‘Washing Machine’ before we reach our next camp. (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Blacksboat to Craigellachie
Our rapid-running skills are tested to the full as we meet unforgettable rapids such as the Station Pool of Knockando and numerous shorter rapids. After an exhilarating day of paddling, we camp near the mouth of the River Fiddich. (B, L, D)

Day 4– Craigellachie to Spey Bay

Under the shadow of Ben Aigan, we spend the morning descending through the Rothes Glens to the beautiful river pools at Delfur. As the River Spey gathers speed in its race to the sea, we round the many bends that lead through the coastal plain to our journey’s end at Spey Bay. At the end of the journey, you are transferred back to Aviemore Railway Station where the trip ends. (B, L)

This trip is suitable for people with at least 2 days previous canoeing experience since you will be required to steer on the river right from the start.

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Prices and Dates

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2018 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
14th Sep - 17th Sep 2018
£675
5 place(s) left

2019 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
3rd May - 6th May 2019
£675
8 place(s) left
28th Jun - 1st Jul 2019
£675
8 place(s) left
12th Jul - 15th Jul 2019
£675
8 place(s) left
9th Aug - 12th Aug 2019
£675
8 place(s) left
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Trip Reviews

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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.

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Rated 4.92 out of 5 based on 52 review(s) of Open Canoeing – River Spey Descent

5 star 49

4 star 2

3 star 1

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Rachel Cousins 23/05/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Brilliant, fantastic, would love to do it again! Perfect trip with a great group of people, so well organised, even had plentiful sunshine and Ospreys in Spey Bay!

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by Isabella Pereira 13/05/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Accessible wild adventures in outstanding landscapes that challenge your skills and fitness enough to give you a sense of achievement - but not so much that it's in any way a slog.

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by George Glasgow 11/05/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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by Annie Rugg 11/05/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Exceeded my expectations. I had a brilliant time and would definitely recommend the trip. We were very lucky having great weather which is a big bonus.

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Price from: £675

Next trip: 14th September

Duration: 3 night(s)

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Location: Cairngorms and Central Highlands

Comfort: Wilderness Camping

Difficulty: 5

52 review(s)

Trip Photos

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