Trip created by Rachael Gavan
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For the ultimate sea kayaking adventure in Scotland, join us as we explore the wild coasts of the Outer Hebrides.
The Hebrides boast some of the best sea kayaking in Scotland, if not the world. With crystal clear turquoise waters, incredible wildlife and stunning coastal scenery, this is sea kayaking for the connoisseur. Outer Hebrides sea kayaking feels like floating in another world.
On this sea kayaking adventure, we will explore some the wildest places left in Europe – the islands of the Outer Hebrides. Facing the wild Atlantic, these rocky and intricately shaped islands offer a unique coastline to explore, with islands dotted around them and pierced by fjord-like sea lochs.
For the first 2 nights of the trip we will be based from a bunkhouse at a thatched heritage village on the west coast of Lewis, before setting out for 3 nights wild camping on an expedition by sea kayak. For the last night of the trip, we return to Stornoway where a celebration meal, hot showers and warm beds await us after a wonderful time of Outer Hebrides sea kayaking.
This morning we meet in Inverness railway station at 7.30am and then drive through the Highlands to Ullapool. Here we board the ferry that carries us across the Minch to the Outer Hebrides. After disembarking we travel across the island to the historic village of Gearranan which will be our base for 3 nights. (L, D)
Today we do a day trip by sea kayak on nearby Loch Roag, refreshing our paddling skills and exploring amongst the many islands that dot the loch. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for wildlife such as sea eagles that can often be seen here, and may paddle up towards the ancient standing stones of Callanish before returning to our bunkhouse at Gearranan late afternoon. (B, L, D)
From the fissured east coastline to the long, sandy beaches of the west coast and the skerries of the Sound of Harris, the coastline of Harris and Lewis leave sea kayakers spoiled for choice! Our guide will assess the weather and sea conditions before selecting a day trip which will live long in the memory. Return to our bunkhouse at Gearranan late afternoon. (B, L, D)
On the morning of Day 4, we will load the boats with everything we need to take with us for the expedition phase of our adventure. Having checked the weather, sea states and tides your guide will choose a route that explores the rocky coastline, beaches and deserted islands, wild camping along the way.
As the Hebrides are exposed to the weather of the Atlantic the route will depend very much on the conditions at the time. If conditions permit then a point to point route along the west coast of Lewis and/or Harris is an excellent adventure, further exploring the islands of Loch Roag or visiting the now uninhabited islands of Scarp and Taransay.
If a more sheltered location is needed then we are spoiled for choice as there are many superb paddling options exploring the sea lochs of Lewis’ east coast such as Loch Seaforth, Loch Sealg and Loch Eireasort. This area is also home to magnificent wildlife, including the greatest concentration of golden eagles in the world. Wherever we venture we can sure of a true wilderness trip! (B, L, D)
On the last day of our paddling expedition, we will complete our route before transferring to Stornoway where we will enjoy the luxuries of civilisation once again, with our last night in a 4 star hotel in Stornoway. Here we will enjoy a delicious meal to celebrate our adventure. (B, L, D)
Today we will have a leisurely morning with some time to explore the town of Stornoway under your own steam. After lunch we embark on the ferry, arriving back on the mainland at about 4.30pm. We then drive back through the Highlands to Inverness and drop you off at the station around 6.30pm. (B, L)
For our first 2 nights, we will be based in a private bunkhouse on the west coast of Lewis. The bunkhouse is in an historic stone built cottage but has a modern, cosy interior. Sleeping arrangements consist of bunk beds with separate rooms for male and female accommodation. There are two modern shower rooms and bedding is provided. Please bring your own towel and toiletries.
During the expedition part of our trip, we will wild camp in remote locations. Tents are provided, and sleeping bags and sleeping mats can be reserved with us if you do not wish to bring your own. We also bring a large tipi style tent so that we can all gather together for meals and a hot drink even if the weather is poor. For camping, you will need a sleeping bag and sleeping mat, which can be reserved with us. Please request these at the time of booking.
On the final night of the trip, accommodation is in a 4 star hotel in Stornoway.
On this trip, there are no single rooms available during the first 2 nights as we are based at the bunkhouse. During the expedition phase we are happy to provide single tents for solo travellers, but if you are willing to share with another traveller this does help reduce our camp size, giving us more options of where to camp and reducing our impact on the ground.
For the final night of the trip: 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 £55 is charged if a single room is available.
Meals will be prepared either at the hostel or while camping, except for the final night, when we’ll go to a local pub for a celebratory meal. The guide will coordinate and undertake as much of the cooking as possible on the trip, but everyone is asked to help out with the preparation of meals and with washing up. Expedition life is all about teamwork!
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Inverness Railway Station at 8.30am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Inverness Station for 6.00pm 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 - 7th Jun 2019||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,095|
|6th Jul - 12th Jul 2019||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,095|
|24th Aug - 30th Aug 2019||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,095|
|Trip Dates for 2020||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|6th Jun - 12th Jun 2020||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,095||Book Now|
|4th Jul - 10th Jul 2020||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,095||Book Now|
|15th Aug - 21st Aug 2020||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,095||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.
Rachael is a true gem and we regularly receive feedback thanking her for designing inspiring itineraries and for being such a pleasure to chat to. In many cases the people Rachael designs tailor-made trips for, actually become friends and she’s had more than one invite to far off lands as a result.
Rachael loves to explore Scotland’s wild place and to share these locations with others. While travelling around Lewis and Harris she was struck by the island’s beauty and inspired to create this sea kayaking tour.
- Rachael GavanCall Rachael Ask Rachael a Question
Blue Graded Sea Kayaking Holidays 4-6
Our blue graded sea kayaking trips are suitable for fit paddlers with a minimum of 5 full days of sea kayaking experience, with a basic level of technical competence. You can expect 6/7 hours of sea kayaking each day, with plenty of breaks onshore to stretch your legs. You will also be asked to assist with carrying the boats to and from the water, working as a team.
The kayaking will be in coastal waters with few open crossings but you can expect to be paddling in some choppier conditions during the trip. This may be around Sea State 3 (with waves up to 1m high). On the higher Blue grade trips you may be paddling in more exposed areas and encounter stronger winds and waves up to Sea State 4.
If you are unsure about your experience or about Sea States, please give us a call or email to discuss. If you do not yet have enough experience we suggest our Green graded sea kayaking trips.
In the event of bad weather preventing us from kayaking your guide will offer an alternative activity such as a hike.
Rated 4.89 out of 5 based on 28 review(s) of Sea Kayaking – The Outer Hebrides
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 31/07/2017
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Quickly and accurate information of all the details of the trip, especially in relation to equipment and safety
Experience, landscape, organization... what else?
Even when Scotish/British food is not the best in the world, the food was well thought out in the sense of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, sugars... all you need for a hard activity day.
warm, patient and extremely professionals...
The only thing to improve isn't the quality or organization, well, always you can improve it, but to ad a couple of days will make a better experience, at least for me a couple of extra days will be better.
Reviewed on 30/07/2017
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
The tray bakes were too sickly. Their gooey, fatty texture was not appetising. The only one which was ok was the chocolate brownie. Otherwise food was good. Chorizo stew was particularly good. Howard is an excellent chef. TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE: Thanks so much for your feedback. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy some of the tray bakes. These are made by a local cafe for the trip and can be a highlight for some people but may not be to everyone’s taste. Hopefully there were lots of other snacks you did enjoy!
I cannot praise Howard and Donald enough. Their patience, good humour, knowledge and teaching skills are exemplary. I felt privileged to have them as my guides.
This was my fourth Wilderness Scotland holiday and very enjoyable as ever. I stayed on campsites for this trip which was ok but not as satisfying for me as wild camping. The facilites at Horgabost were satisfactory but not good. I realise there is very little choice in the Outer Hebrides but for me benefit of a hot shower did not outweigh the disadvantages of being on a huge campsite. Wild camping provides peace and quiet and more of a sense of wilderness.
Reviewed on 19/09/2016
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Walk out to the lighthouse on Harris. Dinner in the bar on Harris on the last night a contrast with battling with wet tents & wind!!! (although the wet tent & wind bit was fun too!!!) The flexability of the guide to adapt to the weather conditions.... still offering us value for money when the weather was too bad for kayaking. The group dynamic was excellent.
Excellent guide. Very adaptable, friendly & knowllegable on the area & the environment/ wildlife. 5 stars
Great fun; well organised, felt very safe & looked after.
Reviewed on 06/09/2016
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Some suggestions for gear (more water proof items, shoes for camp) given the weather we experienced.
The weather wasn't on our side for this trip to the Outer Hebrides, but we made the most of the location, esp. Harris and Lewis. Craig was a stellar guide, constantly exploring options with the group for the ever changing weather.
Camping locations were fine with decent facilities, esp the North Uist spot. Tough weather conditions - gale force winds and rain - made camping and tent set-up / meals a challenge at times. Food was decent and a good variety. Given this wasn't expedition kayaking, more vegetables or salad would have been nice.
Craig is an excellent guide. We were unlucky with tough weather conditions, but he was always exploring options (A, B, C...) to make the most of our time either on or off the water. He was very good about checking in with each one of us throughout the trip. I felt like I was in excellent hands and I would highly recommend his guiding expertise.
Overall a very fun and positive experience, even with the difficult weather. The Outer Hebrides are beautifully remote and it was nice to see them in varied conditions, even if the weather did limit our time on the water. For this trip, I would suggest the itinerary be changed to include more time on Harris (3 days) vs. North Uist (2 days). I preferred the paddling, scenery, and non-kayaking options on Harris and Lewis (decent walks, Callanish).
Reviewed on 17/08/2016
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
My contact was David Russell. He always was timely in his replies, polite, knowledgeable and professional.
My first time sea kayaking in Scotland. In fact, my first time in Scotland. B.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. The trip was well planned and that included being flexible due to changes in weather and water conditions. Routes were chosen for their beauty, level of difficulty, weather conditions and variety of scenery, fauna and flora. Safety was a priority. Myles Farnbank and Howard Jeffs were the perfect guides team: Knowledgeable, super experienced, organised, patient, took safety seriously, great lobbyist for the local fauna and flora (and Scotland in general), and added a ton of cultural information that went beyond the mere kayak experience. I now have a great traditional music play list... Myles and Howard represent what I have in mind when I think 'guides', having qualities beyond "I am certified and I know how to kayak". Material and equipement was top and in great condition. Food was excellent, albeit too many sugar treats for my taste. They took the time to cater to our different dietary needs and preferences. Everyone on this trip had been on at least one trip with or had received previous instruction from Wilderness Scotland. Returning clients means something.
See previous note.
Myles Farnbank and Howard Jeffs were the perfect guides team: Knowledgeable, super experienced, organised, patient, took safety seriously, great lobbyist for the local fauna and flora (and Scotland in general), and added a ton of cultural information that went beyond the mere kayak experience. I now have a great traditional music play list... Myles and Howard represent what I have in mind when I think 'guides', having qualities beyond "I am certified and I know how to kayak".
Excellent trip overall. I'm still on a water cloud... Only negative point: The trip was too short by 2 days. Due to the extensive traveling time on the first and last days and the time it took to reach our starting points every day, we lost considerable water time. I highly recommend this trip in particular, the Outer Hebrides, but I have a feeling that any trip with Wilderness Scotland will be a great experience.
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