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 beach 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 7.30am 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|
|24th Aug - 30th Aug 2019||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,095|
|Trip Dates for 2020||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|6th Jun - 12th Jun 2020||7 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 GavanAsk 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 4.91 out of 5 based on 35 review(s) of Sea Kayaking in 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 19/08/2019
Age: 50 - 60
Trip Date: 06/07/2019
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Donald and Sarah were excellent in every way. They listened to the group's wishes about whether we wanted to see the standing stones or spend more time on the water. They paid attention to both the stronger and the weaker paddlers. They did not discriminate against the women when it came to heavy lifting nor against the men when it came time for clean up. Above all, they paid attention to the weather and water conditions to ensure we were safe. I especially appreciated the fact that when I hurt my back, they did everything possible to ensure I could continue with the group without compromising my safety or the group's pace. They were very supportive and set the tone for making sure the rest of the group knew that I wasn't trying to get out of helping with the heavy lifting. They took the time to call the office to have a backup plan ready if I wasn't strong enough to paddle with the others. The food was excellent. I especially liked the cauliflower dinner and the many options at breakfast. Having hot tea or coffee with breakfast and lunch was a treat. I did not feel the need for all the sugary desserts. I loved staying in the crofting village--the accommodations were lovely and I felt a connection to the Scottish history. I wish the guides had explained that there was a set of additional bathrooms right next to our cabins. I also didn't realize that there was a hot water spigot in the kitchen--so the first time I did the dishes, the water wasn't hot enough to sterilize the dishes. I was so impressed that Donald and Sarah were able to take so many photos of us for the group website. I also appreciated that when I asked for them to post a map with our daily trips, they took the time to do so. This was, by far, the best kayaking trip I have experienced. It was the perfect blend of nature, history, visiting with like-minded paddlers, and spending time in remote and stunningly beautiful environments.
Staying in the crofting houses was amazing. The amount of camping was perfect, though I could have done one more day if needed. The blow up mattresses were genius and easy to pack. I don't think you should put towel on the pack list--because I didn't really need it and would have loved to have saved space. I appreciated that Sarah demonstrated how to put the tent up on the first night. That was helpful.
Donald and Sarah were supportive in every way--they were attuned to everyone's needs while also modeling the importance of working as a group. They were knowledgable about paddling, history, and nature. They made the trip fun, safe, and pushed me to be a stronger and more expert paddler. Fabulous job all around.
Reviewed on 02/08/2019
Age: 40 - 50
Trip Date: 06/07/2019
Trips Taken: 7
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
The original dates were not suitable for me but an additional trip was added. I just happened to check the website and it was there. Perhaps it would be an idea to keep interested date s from guests in mind incase additional dates are added.
More travelling each day than I was expecting
Nice variety. Bunk house better than expected. Hotel nice way to end the trip but the hotel was far too warm
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE: Thanks so much for your feedback. As a regular traveller on our sea kayaking trips we really value your input to help us make improvements, and we hope we'll be welcoming you back again in the future for some more adventures.
Reviewed on 23/07/2019
Age: 60 - 70
Trip Date: 06/07/2019
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Everything was explained well. If I had a question and I called and received a prompt response.
I loved being able to stay at Blackhouse Village the first 3 nights. The finish at the hotel in Stornoway on the last evening was a nice way to relax with the Team.
Both Donald and Sarah were excellent, supportive and genuinely nice folks
My trip choice offered a great variety and the guest to guide ratio was good.
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