Trip created by David Russell
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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.
From Inverness, a short transfer takes us to the shores of Loch Ness. After a safety briefing, we head onto the water to learn or refresh our paddle strokes. We’ll then enjoy a 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 Beauly. (L, D)
Close to our hotel flows the meandering River Beauly, which is today’s route. Today we will start to work on skills for paddling on moving water while keeping an eye out for river wildlife such as otters and osprey. The day ends with a spectacular paddle through the steep-sided walls of the Aigas Gorge, a quiet and serene piece of water. (B, L)
We have several options for paddling today. An hour’s drive takes us to Glen Affric – one of the most beautiful in Scotland and offering fine loch paddling in beautiful scenery. Alternatively, if the group are eager to continue developing those river skills then we can paddle on the River Glass – a faster section of the same river we paddled on yesterday. Bounded by beautiful woodlands and shingle banks, the upper section is a stunning paddle. (B, L)
Today we will choose one of the rivers that flow north-east from the Cairngorms through the rolling countryside of Moray. There are several options we can choose from depending on water levels such as the Lower Findhorn or a section of the Spey. 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)
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)
For our last day, we can enjoy a great paddle taking in both loch and river boating. Starting on Loch Insh we can look out for birdlife including goldeneye ducks and osprey before we set off downriver on a section of the Spey with great views of the mountains. We paddle downstream to Aviemore where we finish the trip at one of the best pubs in the Cairngorms, with time for a farewell drink before heading to the station. (B, L)
This trip is based at a two comfortable small hotels, where you can be sure of a warm Highland welcome. Accommodation is in a choice of double or twin rooms with ensuite bathroom.
There is no 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 £200 is charged if a single room is available – please see booking form terms and conditions.
Food is of paramount importance and our meals are prepared from the best local produce. Leisurely lunches are enjoyed on the side of the rivers each day. In the evening we’ll enjoy wonderful home- cooked meals with good, healthy portions. Naturally, vegetarians and other dietary requirements are happily catered for – simply let us know at the time of booking.
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Inverness Railway Station at 10:30am on Day 1 of your trip. The trip will finish and you will be dropped off at Aviemore Railway 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 Dates for 2019||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|1st Jun - 6th Jun 2019||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,295|
|13th Jul - 18th Jul 2019||2 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,295||Book Now|
|7th Sep - 12th Sep 2019||5 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,295||Book Now|
|Trip Dates for 2020||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|23rd May - 28th May 2020||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,295||Book Now|
|13th Jun - 18th Jun 2020||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,295||Book Now|
|1st Aug - 6th Aug 2020||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,295||Book Now|
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.
David loves the lure of wild places. He’s regularly seen heading off with his canoe, camera and tent for a night under the stars. David spent 5 years as an outdoor guide and instructor with qualifications from the Mountain Training Association and British Canoe Association.
- David RussellAsk David a Question
Green Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 1-3
This Green graded canoeing trip is suitable for those with little or no previous canoeing experience. There is an emphasis on instruction and developing your skills while enjoying the surroundings of some superb locations. You will be able to progress your skills and experience throughout the trip.
You should have a reasonable level of fitness and you can expect up to 6 hours of canoeing each day, with breaks to stretch your legs. You will also be asked to assist with carrying the boats to and from the water, working as a team.
Rated 4.93 out of 5 based on 14 review(s) of Open Canoeing – Canoeing the Scottish 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.
Reviewed on 11/06/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
The comments from previous clients on the website was very useful. Jane Gilles was helpful. Pretty efficient really.
Overall great trip. The canoeing was actually harder than I expected but that made it more of an adventure. The guides were clearly very experienced so I felt very safe. The rover was low on day three so canoeing was harder and we did lots of walking with the canoes but in hindsight that was possibly the best day!
Both Paul and Myles were excellent guides. They were technically very capable and also helped managed the group dynamic and kept people engaged. I would happily recommend both of them as guides.
Great trip, excellent guides, good adventure, stunning countryside - highly recommend this trip to anyone thinking about a bit of time in the Highlands.
Reviewed on 10/06/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Great communications between prospective clients and your staff. And your great service continued once we signed up with you. Very quick responses that answered our every question
Extremely knowledgeable and helpful guides. They made a point of making sure each and every clients needs were met
Very knowledgeable in all aspects of canoeing, the outdoors and many interesting subjects surrounding their ecperiences. They loaned out their personal gear to make sure we had everything we needed if we forgot our own.
Kathy and I agreed that your guides were the best we’ve ever had, and we have been on many trips with other companies. Your office staff and company far exceeds all the others in the business
Reviewed on 10/06/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Nothing to complain about - on a contrary, Bridget made a great job - she guessed by my strange questions, that I am about to make an organizational mess and she supported a lot ... Good job!! :-)
The trip was a bit more "challenging" (in terms of paddling technique) than I thought, but I felt well taken care of and got support and explanation whenever needed. Not that I understood all of it (my "Canoe English" is not very well developed) - but I made it finally to the level of a "Super potential" :-)) that makes me very proud! And without my capsizers - I would have never got the chance to get an original "Wilderness Scotland" cap ... This alone was worth every bruise and every wet clothes!!
Hotel in Beauly seemed sometimes a bit helpless reacting to customer requests ( a fan in the room and some light in breakfast room) - but all in all was ok. Hotel in Aviemore was great ... nice people and a dry room :-)
These 2 guys did a super natural work!! Myles seems to be born for this job - also when river Findhorn decided not to give us access and (just to please us in addition) have extremely low water - he arranged and managed everything to make the trip go on. Great... And then Paul! His canoeing capabilities are only topped by his great fine type of humour, that I would book to have at my breakfast table every day (if that would be possible ;-) It didn't even stop, when he got in trouble with his car. Also this problem was solved without having any influence on us or on the trip. ....
I booked Wilderness the 2nd time now and it was as great as the first time (MTB trip on outer Hebrides). For this trip, perhaps I would not emphasize so much the "unlikeliness of capsizing" :-) - but perhaps this is only what I wanted to focus on, because I am not so much a "water person" ...
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