- 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
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.
8th Sep - 13th Sep 2018
Jonny HawkinsGlobetrotting Jonny has seen it all from kayaking in Borneo to trekking in the Himalayas, but sea kayaking in Scotland holds a special place in his heart.
7th Sep - 12th Sep 2019
Myles FarnbankOur Head of Guides and Training shares a few facts about himself, including that Myles is not his original name...
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
Day 1 – Warm up paddle on 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 Beauly. (L,D)
Day 2 – Canoeing the Beauly and Aigas Gorge
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)
Day 3 – River or Loch Canoeing
We have several options for paddling locations today. If we want to venture into the wilderness then a short transfer 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)
Day 4 – Canoeing in Moray
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)
Day 5 – 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 – Canoeing in the Cairngorms
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)
Prices and Dates
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by Frances Diver 11/06/2018
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.
The Bottom Line
Great trip, excellent guides, good adventure, stunning countryside - highly recommend this trip to anyone thinking about a bit of time in the Highlands.
by Scott Hewett 10/06/2018
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.
The Bottom Line
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
by Johanna Schaub 10/06/2018
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!!
Accommodation and Food
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. ....
The Bottom Line
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" ...
by Sebastian Oliver 02/10/2017
(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.
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.
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)