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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

Blue Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 4-6

The Great Glen Canoe Trail is still suitable for people with no previous experience. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required.

For the River Spey Descent and the Whisky Trail previous canoeing experience is required as we will experience some sections of more challenging rapids, a good level of general fitness is also required for these trips.

For all Blue Graded canoe trips you can expect up to 7 hours of paddling each day with plenty of breaks.

These trips generally involve being further away from civilisation with multi-day wild camping.

Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

Do you have a reasonable level of fitness?
Are you happy camping under the stars for a few nights?

 

On the River Spey Descent canoe trip we camp in peaceful locations on the river bank. Our tents are single tents unless you are travelling with a partner or in a group and would like a two/three man tent to share. We also carry a base camp tent, which means that we can all gather together for dinner or a hot drink if the weather is inclement!

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the Waiting Room at Aviemore Railway Station at 10:00 on Day 1. For full details on how to get to Aviemore, please see our website: Travel to Scotland.

 

Customer Kudos

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.

5 star 34

4 star 2

3 star 1

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Steve Harrison 22/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Website where payment actually worked
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Given the nature of trip this aspect was well thought out and excellent.
Your Guide
Both guides where first class and we would happily do further trips with them.
The Bottom Line
Trip excellent Guides excellent will do again definately

by Dominic Batten 22/09/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Equipment and guiding is always good with Wilderness Scotland and I always feel I'm getting the best out of what the area offers. Capsizing was the highlight of the trip for me, my only regret is not spending more time in rather than on the River Spey - the water is very pleasant at this time of year.
Accommodation and Food
I've reached an age when the discomfort of camping isn't much fun any more. Loads of food and it was all good especially the haggis.
Your Guide
Two knowledgable guides. Biscuit's relentless enthusiasm and capacity for distributing unmerited praise combined with John's more phlegmatic approach and devotiion to the stove made for a good balance
The Bottom Line
Definitely a classic trip, shame it wasn't longer. By the last day I felt I had some control over the canoe. It was good to find that rapids are just as much fun going backwards

by Trond Larsen 15/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Good and informed contact prior to trip.Maybe advice for those who haven't camped in awhile.. Invest in a good mattress that's comfortable and easy to transport.. Some warm clothing for sleeping in.
Trip Comments
Although never having met the rest of the people we traveled with it didn't take long for us to bond as a team on and off the water.. Really great guides in Biscuit and John.. Helped us all the way
Accommodation and Food
Tent was a bit smaller than I expected as we are two big blokes but we managed and I understand the need to keep it compact.. The food was plentiful , but only got one snack bag on the first day? I'd brought my own snacks so managed for the rest of the trip.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Thanks so much for your feedback, I’m sorry about the confusion with the snack pack, there should have been 5 chocolate or muesli bars in the bag that were to last the trip and then you do have to top the bag up with fruit/nuts - or more chocolate - each day. I’m sorry if this wasn’t clear.
Your Guide
Couldn't heap enough praise on these two (Biscuit & John) handled the group really well with great instruction on the canoes, and the cooking skills not bad either
The Bottom Line
We were blessed with good weather, wonderful nature, excitement, and good cameradrie wouldn't hesitate to recommend this team and the trip itself.

by Siobhan Cherrie 15/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Food was excellent. Good varied menu and plentiful supply. Loved the picnic lunches in the sun. Tent was good size and quality.
Your Guide
Biscuit and John were fantastic. Excellent instruction throughout the trip. Both lovely guys with an abundance of knowledge.
The Bottom Line
An excellent trip. Fun and exciting. Great guides and a lovely group of like minded people to share the experience with.

by Robert Cherrie 15/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Professionalism of the team
Trip Comments
The guides Biscuit and John were excellent. Great guides and fantastic cooks. Couldn't have made the trip without them
Accommodation and Food
Great food
Your Guide
Very professional. Learnt a lot
The Bottom Line
Fantastic trip from beginning till the end. Would highly recommend

by Simon Haigh 15/09/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Jane Hague 14/07/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The rapids were great fun even though there was some loss of control at times and being greeted by two seals in Spey Bay at the end of our journey was a real treat.
Accommodation and Food
Excellent food, meals produced very efficiently from well prepared set of ingredients.
My tent was a little small for coping with a lot of wet gear and wet weather.
Your Guide
Biscuit and Ed were brilliant. Highly competent, made us feel confident, giving appropriate instruction as we were ready for it on the way, and lots of interesting information about the area we were passing through.
The Bottom Line
An excellent trip, very well planned to make the most of every day without being too tiring.

by Eric Joiner 26/05/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Kept in contact regarding our trip providing phone number for our guide.
Trip Comments
The whole trip was excellent. Well planned yet our guides were flexible and willing to go with the flow.
Accommodation and Food
Still can't believe what you can do with a petrol stove and a frying pan. Food was excellent and there was plenty of it. The frequent coffee brakes were also very welcome.
Your Guide
Couldn't ask any more of Biscuit and Jason. Both VERY knowledgeable and brilliant teachers. At the same time made the trip fun and were always up for a laugh
The Bottom Line
We set out in this trip with no real skills on the water. By the end of our trip we have all fallen in love with paddling and also the location. We'll definately be back. Thanks again to Biscuit and Jason for making the whole experience just perfect! !!!

by Neil Sutherland 26/05/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Biscuit and Jason are a credit to your organisation, they took 4 guys who had no real experience and taught us so much in a way that was fun. I felt as if it was the 6 amigos right from the start and I can honestly say that it was a pleasure to spend the time on the Spey and in the tepee with them, Thanks so much
The Bottom Line
No matter how little or how much experience you have before you start paddling down the Spey I can say that you will have so much fun that you won't want to go home. Give it a try!!!!

by Martin Taylor 04/10/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Very efficient and friendly as always.
Trip Comments
Great canoeing, great company, great guides, great food.
Accommodation and Food
Wonderful food as always.
Your Guide
Wonderful guides. Great company and looked after us extremely well
The Bottom Line
Great trip, would recommend to anyone.

Prices and Departures

56 people viewed this trip in the last week

Book with confidence - we guaranteee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
28th Apr - 1st May 2017
£595
Places available
30th Jun - 3rd Jul 2017
£595
Places available
8th Sep - 11th Sep 2017
£595
Places available

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 – Canoeing on the River Spey: 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.

Day 2 – Canoeing the Spey: 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.

Day 3 – Canoeing on the Spey: 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.

Day 4– Canoeing on the Spey: 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.

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Prices and Departures

56 people viewed this trip in the last week

Book with confidence - we guaranteee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
28th Apr - 1st May 2017
£595
Places available
30th Jun - 3rd Jul 2017
£595
Places available
8th Sep - 11th Sep 2017
£595
Places available

Price from: £595

Next trip: 28th April

Duration: 3 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Cairngorms and Central Highlands

Comfort: Wilderness Camping

Difficulty: 5

37 review(s)

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
Trip excellent Guides excellent will do again definately

Steve Harrison
22/09/2016

4

Definitely a classic trip, shame it wasn't longer. By the last day I felt I had some control over the canoe. It was good to find that rapids are just as much fun going backwards

Dominic Batten
22/09/2016

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 37 review(s) of Open Canoeing – River Spey Descent

5 star 34

4 star 2

3 star 1

2 star 0

1 star 0

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