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Open Canoeing – Canoeing the Scottish Classics

  • Enjoy the best canoe trips in Scotland, returning to a cosy hotel each night.
  • Paddle classic Scottish rivers such as the Rivers Spey, Glass & Beauly
  • Enjoy warm hospitality and great meals in carefully chosen small hotels.
  • 5 nights accommodation in small hotels and guest houses
  • Most meals, as detailed above (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All transport, starting and finishing in Inverness
  • The services of at least one experienced and knowledgeable canoe guide / driver throughout your trip.
  • All specialist open canoe equipment, including canoes and buoyancy aids.

Green Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 1-3

Our Green grade canoeing trips are suitable for people new to open canoeing or with limited experience. The itineraries are designed to be active yet laid back with plenty of opportunity for instruction, sightseeing and relaxation.

You can expect up to 6 hours of paddling each day through mostly sheltered rivers and lochs with plenty of shore breaks to stretch the legs. These trips are usually accommodation based, with a warm bed and hot shower for you each evening. Otherwise there may be some wild camping involved.

Before joining trips in this grade, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

Are you generally active and enjoy the outdoors?
Are you up for a challenge, learning a new skill and having a lot of fun?

 

Accommodation
Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors including charming locations, very good facilities and a reputation for providing Highland hospitality. Wherever they are available, we will reserve ensuite rooms for you.
Single Room Supplement
There is no single person supplement charged to solo travellers however you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we will check availability for you. A single room supplement of £175 is charged if a single room is available.

  • You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland guide in the waiting room at Inverness Train Station at 10:30 on Day 1. On the final day you will dropped back at Inverness Train Station at 13:00.

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 10

4 star 1

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Sebastian Oliver 02/10/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
(Sebastian sent this link, I didn't get an evaluation feedback form???)
This trip was perfect for me and Sebastian, rapids great fun, and we really enjoyed the pictures and the personal attention for everyone consistent with their skills and experience. The hotel accommodation was just fine, food and beverages, and choice of restaurants appealed to us. I would also commend Myles and Howard for their flexibility in taking us all to Culloden for the last 1/2 day as I think we all very much preferred not to miss it.
One suggestion, I wonder if the trip might be better classified as beginner rapids for people with at least some experience with basic canoe paddling strokes.

Neil Oliver
Trip Comments
Highlights had to include tipping the canoe in a nasty left turn, a real learning experience, getting through Washing Machine, and Myles documentation of the trip - all my family, other kids, friends were blown away by this unexpected visual and (Washing Machine) AudioVisual record provided - priceless.
Accommodation and Food
Fine accommodation, food and adult beverages.
Your Guide
Myles and Howard - I really appreciated their accepting of a 72 year old anomaly in the group - not all river runners are as free from ageism attitudes. I really appreciated them. As mentioned all of us seemed managed on the basis of skill and experience, the perfect approach, I think.
The Bottom Line
I'm likely never to be in Scotland again, and North America is not likely to be a big resource for you, but I'd recommend this to anyone - and have. Now the free advertising you could get if you gave a branded t-shirt woven included in the price.....or even had branded product available to participants might help (Black Feather in Canada gets lots of publicity from my wearing their "free" branded T shirt everywhere)

by Natasha Christine 18/09/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Very good prompt communication every time and all questions answered
Trip Comments
I had a really great time everyday with great company. Enjoyed all of the different aspects of the trip, the put in, take out, loading and unloading the trailer, the meal times, the hot showers, the little journeys to and from the action sites, all of it! If I could change anything I would make the paddling days longer.
Accommodation and Food
The evening food exceeded any of my expectations, wonderful and plenty in all the restaurants/B&B we dinned at. Breakfast was also great, plenty of variety with cold and hot options available. I don't usually eat much and on this trip I ate a lot which means the food was outstanding. I think the packed lunches were maybe not much for some but for me pretty normal for a day outdoors when the top up is done at the end of the day. Myles and Howard also made sure we always had plenty variety to add to the packed lunch by topping up the pick n mix crate all the time with several fruits, cereal bars, protein bars which was always plenty. The addition of a hot drink at breaks by the river bank was also great, nothing like a hot brew when you are wet and cold. The accommodation was great! Nice, warm rooms and comfy beds, it was a nice change for me as I mostly spend all my outdoor nights outside. The service at both Cnoc and Ravenscraig was good but the Cnoc staff went out of their way to ensure our happiness and did their best to keep us satisfied when faced with unexpected problems. Milly, the cat, at Ravenscraig was a great addition and a nice unexpected visitor to my room :)
Your Guide
Myles and Howard were outstanding on all aspects. We not only got to enjoy the trip but they were also a good example of extraordinary team work in all aspects, from unexpected situations both in the water and out of it. It was very evident at all times that our safety and well being were at the top of Myles' and Howard's priorities. We were a diverse group with different skill levels and different personalities sometimes wanting different things. Both guides ensured decisions (sometimes on the heat of the moment) that kept everyone happy. The best for me was to experience the great team work involved keeping all team members in mind. The photos taken by the guides were an unexpected fabulous bonus.
The Bottom Line
overall experience was wonderful. I had done the Great Glen Canoe Trail last year with Wilderness Scotland and knew that things don't always go according to plan due mainly to the unpredictable weather. Nevertheless I truly enjoyed every aspect of the trip. Sure the "washing machine" rapids would have been scary if I was on my own with not much knowledge of the moving water but that's why the guides were there, so we can try things out of our comfort zone. I want to do more out of my comfort zone and for sure I will come back for more. Only one little thing was strange, the fact that the last day finished so early. Later is better for all I believe.
Thank you Wilderness Scotland for organising a fantastic trip and hats off to Myles and Howard for the effort, patience and commitment throughout the week.

by t Scott 17/09/2017

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The itinerary and equipment list gave plenty of information,.
Trip Comments
No time wasted, time spent physically engaged with a sense of accomplishment at the end.
Accommodation and Food
Meals out well chosen and very good value.
Second B&B in Aviiemore really understood its target audience and made the dips into the river more survivable. The first hotel (cnoc) clearly a work in progress, less prepared f.or our needs but responsive nevertheless and no doubt will improve with a few pointers from yourselves.
Your Guide
I really must take my hat off to both Howard and Miles, to cope with such a diverse group with such a range of skills takes some expertise. Myles leadership skills are exemplary but you already know that. Tough decisions had to be made and were quickly made for the benefit of the group.
The Bottom Line
I have walked and cycled with you in the past, had I known before what the canoeing might involve I probably wouldn't have signed up but now as I look back on it I have no regrets and probably learned things about myself.

by Phil McCoy 17/09/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Maybe a little Facebook group could be formed or email addresses exchanged (if individuals desire) so initial introductions could be made before actually meeting to get an idea of who you'll be holidaying with
Trip Comments
Well organised with great leaders. Maybe the standard of my beginners / intermediate open canoe course was at a slightly higher level than I was expecting
Accommodation and Food
Evening meals excellent, so was breakfast in one hotel but breakfast and packed lunch in another was only average
Your Guide
Very committed and clearly experienced, not just in canoeing but in the environment we passed through. Having photos taken and supplied via an internet link was a nice touch
The Bottom Line
Above average holiday experience with expert and committed guides who will happily go the extra mile to provide a first class holiday

by Pat Stoney 16/09/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Probably the day we did Aigas Gorge, but the next two days were great too.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Kevin had a lot of local knowledge and experience which certainly added to the enjoyment of the trips. Jonny was good at explaining techniques and suggesting things to improve our paddling. Both had a good sense of humour.
The Bottom Line
It was an amazing trip, we were very lucky with the weather, but you would have to be prepared to paddle in any weather. One reservation would be the Saturday paddle on the Caledonian Canal. We put in near a lock and had to contend with boats coming out of the lock, also the tourist boat coming past with it's wake. It wasn't too much of a problem for our group but if everyone had been real beginners it might have been.

by Christine Hall 14/09/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Any queries we had were answered clearly and swiflty
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Our guides Kevin and Jonny were excellent - very professional and very personable.
Nothing was too much trouble. They adjusted the trips according to the ability and needs of the group, without making it obvious. They coped excellently with all aspects of the trip which were not anticipated. Would certainly recommend them.
The Bottom Line
We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip, canoeing open water on lochs and moving water on rivers. We saw eagles and dippers, swam in the river, had fabulous food and excellent tuition from our Guides. Didn't want to come home!

by Graeme Hall 13/09/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Quick efficient answering of email queries.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Both Kevin and Jonny were very good. Couldn't have asked for more professional and friendly guides - excellent. They tailored the days to the needs and wants of the clients, judgeing each's ability without making it obvious. Never making a drama out of a crisis, just coped really well, leaving everybody feeling very confident in them. Wilderness should be hiring these guides regularly.
The Bottom Line
Fantastic trip - highly recommended!

by Liz Cross 13/09/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Equipment list was comprehensive and realistic. Good that very specialist kit was not emphasised. Felt part of the group before arriving really as communication with Wilderness Team was regular and encouraging.
Trip Comments
The trip was beyond my wildest dreams! I felt safe, valued and and encouraged. That I am registered as partially sighted did not cause a problem and the guides did not make a fuss or make me feel a nuisance! Kevin and Johnny were highly professional, but showed warmth and humour throughout the trip, nothing was to much trouble for the,. Their expertise and knowledge of the terrain was exceptional. They took very opportunity to educate us about the area, the river systems and local history. Kevin is a natural storyteller and Always calm, fun and thoroughly focused on our safety and enjoyment. I liked the balance between challenge and relaxation. Both Kevin and Johnny were able to read the energy of the group and lead accordingly. Their attention to detail was exceptional. I liked the way that the 'team' was always paramount and that we were always asked and consulted re our preferences when appropriate,
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation was excellent. I'm pleased that a twin rooms were available at each. Rooms were cosy and warm. More hanging and drying space in the rooms would have helped, especially in the last accommodation in Aviemore - but a minor issue. Food was also excellent. Lots of it and tasty!
Your Guide
Have said so much previously. They were superb. Good balance between safety and humour,they deserve medals!
The Bottom Line
Wilderness Sotland is second to none! You even sent photos of our trip within a day! So lovely that you took the trouble to take our photo's in the first place as it was tricky at times to take our own - we were concentrating so hard on not capsizing!

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Wow its sound like you had an awesome time, we will pass on your feedback to our guides. Thank you for joining our Scottish Classics adventure and hope we get the opportunity to welcome you back to the Highlands soon.

by Hanna Makkonen 17/08/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
It was like a private canoeing trip with a guide - three participants!
Accommodation and Food
Lunch boxes included were quite basic and not really nourishing for 7 hour canoeing trip a day.
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
I'll be back!!

by Martin Taylor 23/09/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The trip was tailored to our needs and every day was thoroughly enjoyable
Accommodation and Food
Another great trip - 4 years in a row now.
Your Guide
Both guides, Neil and Duncan, were great, very knowledgeable and fun, and always looking to make the best trip possible for us all.
The Bottom Line
Excellent trip. We had fun while learning and improving our paddling skills, and the guides, Neil and Duncan, were fantastic.

Prices and Departures

45 people viewed this trip in the last week

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

2018 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
2nd Jun - 7th Jun 2018
£1,295
5 place(s) left
8th Sep - 13th Sep 2018
£1,295
7 place(s) left

Trip Details

This trip takes you canoeing on beautiful lochs and rivers while spending the evenings in carefully-selected Highland hotels.

Suitable for beginners and intermediate canoeists, you will learn new skills and develop techniques while enjoying day trips on classic Scottish rivers and lochs.

Exploring the central Highlands and Speyside, you will experience outstanding scenery, wildlife and whisky – as well as superb canoeing! If you’re looking for a trip that allows you to spend your days exploring the great outdoors and your evenings in comfortable accommodations, this could be the perfect trip for you.

Experience: This trip is suitable those who have little or no experience at all. You will need to be fit enough for 6 active days of canoeing. There is no hiking or portages planned for this trip – other than moving unladen canoes to and from the trailer at the start and end of each day.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Canoeing Loch Ness
We meet in Inverness, from where a short transfer takes us to the shores of Loch Ness. After a safety briefing, we head onto the water to refresh our paddle strokes and learn some new techniques. We’ll then enjoy a short paddle on the famous loch, looking out for Nessie as we go! Late afternoon sees us transfer a short distance to our welcoming small hotel near Beauty. (L, D)

Day 2 – Canoeing the River Glass
The River Glass is a stunning river, bounded by beautiful woodlands and shingle banks. Canoeing on rivers brings a new set of challenges and you will learn skills to allow you to negotiate river currents and the occasional small rapid. We canoe for almost 10 miles downstream, finishing close to our hotel. (B, L)

Day 3 – Open Canoeing: Canoeing the River Beauly & Aigas Gorge
Close to our hotel, the River Glass becomes the River Beauly, which is today’s route. Continuing from where we exited the river yesterday, we launch the canoes and head downstream on the slightly faster waters of the River Beauly. The day ends with a spectacular paddle through the steep-sided walls of the Aigas Gorge, a haven for wildlife such as ospreys and otters. We return to our hotel and celebrate completing this two-day river journey. (B, L)

Day 4 – Open Canoeing: Canoeing the River Nairn
We transfer east to enjoy a canoe trip through history along the rarely-paddled River Nairn. As we paddle, we will stop at the Clava Cairns – burial mounds which date back 4,000 years. Continuing downstream, we then arrive at Culloden, where the last hand-to-hand battle on British soil was fought in 1746. At the end of the day, a short transfer takes us to the Cairngorms National Park and our hotel for the next two nights. (B, L)

Day 5 – Open Canoeing: Canoeing the River Spey
Canoeing the River Spey will be a highlight for many people. It is one of Scotland’s classic canoeing rivers and many people return to undertake the complete 4-day trip from mountains to the sea. Our guides will decide which section of the river to take on, with regards to water levels and conditions. Wherever we canoe, you’ll have a great day on the river and you may want to celebrate with one of the many local malt whiskies made in this region. (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Open Canoeing: Canoeing in the Cairngorms
We enjoyed a relaxed end to our trip with a peaceful morning paddle on one of the local lochs, such as beautiful Loch Morlich, looking up at the high peaks of the Cairngorms. Coming off the water, we transfer you back to Inverness for the trip end. (B)

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Prices and Departures

45 people viewed this trip in the last week

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

2018 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
2nd Jun - 7th Jun 2018
£1,295
5 place(s) left
8th Sep - 13th Sep 2018
£1,295
7 place(s) left

Price from: £1,295

Next trip: 2nd June

Duration: 5 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Cairngorms and Central Highlands

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 3

11 review(s)

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
I'm likely never to be in Scotland again, and North America is not likely to be a big resource for you, but I'd recommend this to anyone - and have. Now the free advertising you could get if you gave a branded t-shirt woven included in the price.....or even had branded product available to participants might help (Black Feather in Canada gets lots of publicity from my wearing their "free" branded T shirt everywhere)

Sebastian Oliver
02/10/2017

5

overall experience was wonderful. I had done the Great Glen Canoe Trail last year with Wilderness Scotland and knew that things don't always go according to plan due mainly to the unpredictable weather. Nevertheless I truly enjoyed every aspect of the trip. Sure the "washing machine" rapids would have been scary if I was on my own with not much knowledge of the moving water but that's why the guides were there, so we can try things out of our comfort zone. I want to do more out of my comfort zone and for sure I will come back for more. Only one little thing was strange, the fact that the last day finished so early. Later is better for all I believe.
Thank you Wilderness Scotland for organising a fantastic trip and hats off to Myles and Howard for the effort, patience and commitment throughout the week.

Natasha Christine
18/09/2017

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 11 review(s) of Open Canoeing – Canoeing the Scottish Classics

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