- 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
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/
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.
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.
Prices and Dates
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by Rachel Cousins 23/05/2018
We really enjoyed our fantastic adventure from start to finish, we learned so much and it was a pleasure to so in beautiful surroundings with great company.
Accommodation and Food
The camping equipment provided was all excellent and we loved wild camping by the river, one night was even spent in earshot of our greatest challenge 'The Washing Machine' Thankfully after we had all made it through without capsizing!
Our guides, Mark and Grant, were excellent. Great instruction especially when needed. Building our skills and confidence for each new challenge throughout the 4 days. Friendly, well organised and really lovely people to lead us on our adventure.
The 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!
by Isabella Pereira 13/05/2018
helpful telephone staff
Mark and Grant were really patient, encouraging and gave great instruction.
The 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.
by George Glasgow 11/05/2018
First and foremost, the guides priority was always SAFETY. They complemented each other with both their experience and "people skills" making this a fantastic experience.
by Annie Rugg 11/05/2018
A great trip, well organised and fun with a group of very nice people. Our Guides looked after us very well and put our safety first. Lovely choice of wild campsites on the banks of the beautiful Spey. An all round great adventure.
Accommodation and Food
Excellent quality tents and super easy to put up. The communal wigwam was spot on and spacious.
Professional, informative and very safety conscious. Nice guys.
The 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.