Great Glen Guided Expeditions, Journeys & Day Tours
Nearly 400 million years ago a massive fault in the earth’s crust emerged through Scotland and formed what is now known as the Great Glen or Glen More. This massive geological tear in the earth’s crust is hugely dramatic in its own right but it also gives the Highlands of Scotland some of the most dramatic and iconic scenery seen anywhere in the world. From just outside Fort William (the village of Corpach) through Loch Ness we can make journeys through nearly 70 miles of stunning Scottish scenery by open canoe, sea kayak or maybe by bike or on foot.
Great Glen Canoe Trail Expeditions by Open Canoe or Sea Kayak
4 or 5 Days | Ratio 1:8
Previous experience required Paddlers should have already taken part in several full days of paddling on open water and be reasonably fit. Participants should be able to put into practice at least BCU 3* proficiency skills for open canoes or sea kayaks at an appropriate level on the 70 mile paddle West to East along the Caledonian Canal Wild camping along the way between Fort William and Inverness. Depending on weather, there may be excellent canoe sailing opportunities on Loch Lochy & Ness.
This itinerary is purely an indicator and will depend entirely on the weather, wind direction and the fitness of the group overall. We advise that if there are any juniors in family groups that you allow 5 days for the journey.
Minimum Ages We suggest that a minimum age of 8 yrs is suitable for family orientated journeys & day tours. We do not take unaccompanied youngsters with us on day tours below the age of 12 yrs. 16 years is the minimum age for unaccompanied young people on 2 -5 day journeys. We do have plenty of other options for unaccompanied young people under the age of 12 years on our other paddlesports activity days.
Price From £355 per person for 4 days. Includes guide, canoe or sea kayak hire package including barrels/waterproof bags, full camping gear package, transport. No food is included in these prices, or accommodation on the first or last night. For this we can offer our own comfortable hostel/bunkhouse accommodation
Fort William (Corpach) to Glas Dhoire
You may have stayed with us the night before. We meet at Snowgoose Mountain Centre, 4 miles from Fort William to get kitted out, sort out food, pack your barrels, have a final kit check and a briefing on the journey. The canoes are loaded ready for the drop off at the top of Neptune’s Staircase a short distance away. The first day starts with an easy paddle along the Caledonian Canal section to the foot of Loch Lochy passing under the swing bridge at Gairlochy. There will be a panoramic view to the south of the Ben Nevis Range, Anoach Mor Ski Area & the Grey Corries – as well as views across Loch Lochy as we hug the north side of the loch away from any traffic. Put up tents and cook a meal. Wild camp overnight.
Loch Lochy ( Glas Dhoire) to Loch Ness (north of Fort Augustus)
Break camp after cooking breakfast. Take to the water and paddle to Laggan Lochs. There is a short portage around the locks here – then a paddle along the canal section onto Loch Oich, one of the four main lochs in the Great Glen past the Well of the Seven Heads. After Loch Oich there are 3 further short portages around the locks at Cullochy, Kytra and Fort Augustus and a paddle along the canal section all the way to the start Loch Ness, one of the most famous bodies of water in the world! There are shops in Fort Augustus! Paddle onto Loch Ness and wild camp overnight.
Fort Augustus to Whitefield (south side of Loch Ness)
A really stunning day canoeing the open waters of Loch Ness, passing the ruins of Urquhart Castle on the north shore – maybe some monster watching along the way. No matter what the weather does – come rain or shine – this journey is spectacular keeping well away from the busier north shore of Loch Ness. If you are lucky enough to be paddling on the Loch when it’s a mill pond then you will enjoy crystal clear reflections of the surrounding mountains. Tonight we sleep on the wild side of Loch Ness and cook up dinner our last dinner.
Campsite south side of Loch Ness to Inverness ( DochGarroch)
We complete the remaining stretch of Loch Ness by canoe, through Loch Dochfour usually ending our journey at Dochgarroch just outside Inverness where our trip comes to an end. We will then load our canoes & gear onto the trailer and head back to Fort William for you to pick up your cars – and a well earned rest after a magic experience.
There is an option to paddle further into Inverness to Tomnahurich or Clachnaharry toward the Beauly Firth – we would recommend that the itinerary is adjusted to accommodate this and allow five days for the journey.
There are other fabulous 2 -5 day journeys elsewhere out on the water, sea or hills from our base at the end of the Caledonian Canal . At all times you are accompanied by experienced guides who will keep you safe, help you understand our wonderful landscape & wild life around you and make sure that you have an enjoyable time.
Visit our main website to learn more
Loch Lochy Open Canoe Overnight Wild Camp
2 Days ( 1 over night) | Ratio 1:8
Guided local paddle & skills training with an overnight wild camp on the shores of Loch Lochy as part of the Caledonian Canal Canoe Trail – if the wind is fair then maybe start at Gairlochy and paddle up to a wild camp site near Achnacarry Castle or Clunes at the bottom of the River Arkaig – explore the wild side of Loch Lochy. Excellent location for wild life watching – pike – trout – salmon – occasional ospreys along with a variety of ducks, geese, herons & visiting sea birds with big dragon flies in summer.
This is an excellent introduction for family groups to experience an overnight paddling trip without going too wild!
Price from:- £ 150 per person for 2 days. Includes guide, canoe or sea kayak hire package including barrels / waterproof bags , full camping gear package, transport. No food is included in these prices, or accommodation on the first or last night. For this we can offer
our own comfortable hostel / bunkhouse accommodation
We have other samples of thoroughly enjoyable 2-5 day expeditions out on the water, sea or hills elsewhere in our iconic outdoor location. At all times you are accompanied by trained guides who will keep you safe, interpret the wild life & landscape around you and ensure your comfort. Learn more
Great Glen Day Tours by Open Canoe or Sea Kayak
1 Day | Ratio 1:8
During the spring and summer months into early autumn we run day journeys or tours in the Great Glen for those who wish to venture into more challenging country without staying out overnight. These are undertaken by open canoe or sea kayak sometimes with the opportunity to experience some unique open canoe sailing.
Previous Experience: Previous experience is not absolutely essential on these day tours for clients to really enjoy their day tour. These are ideal opportunities to get away from everything with family and friends.
Minimum Ages: We suggest that a minimum age of 8 yrs is suitable for family orientated day tours. We do not take unaccompanied youngsters with us on these day tours below the age of 12 yrs. We do have plenty of other options for unaccompanied young people under the age of 12 years on our other paddlesports activity days.
These local day paddles usually on Loch Lochy by open canoe or sea kayak are ideal for individuals families or groups of friends who do not necessarily have a high level of technical skills but who really do want to get out there on the water. Experience a unique sheltered paddling experience with spectacular west coast highland scenery on a one day guided open canoe or sea kayak adventure.
We travel by our minibus to the freshwater Loch Lochy – a 30 minute drive away to Bunarkaig – at the bottom of the river Arkaig where the road ends at a small settlement with the last easy access to Loch Lochy. Here you will embark in open canoes that will take you on an easy jaunt into some of Lochaber’s most breathtaking scenery. Loch Lochy forms part of the 70 odd mile long Caledonian Canal which runs from Fort William to Inverness From Loch Lochy we have superb views of the north face crags of Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor ski area, the Grey Corries and the surrounding mountains – from water level. Your well earned lunch destination will be on the forested shoreline. There may be time for a swim on a hot day – if the water is warm enough!! Or a walk through along the shore through the wonderful forests along the shoreline or just nap in the sun before you returning to our base after an extraordinary day out.
These deep fresh water lochs such as Loch Lochy are surrounded by steep sided mountain and hills and have great beauty and calm. They are often home to a variety of wildlife – we frequently see ospreys nesting – some eagles – a visiting variety of nesting ducks, geese and grebes. Very occasionally we see otters, a mink, bats (late in the day) deer early in spring and autumn. During the autumn months the area is a transit camp to migrating ducks, geese, grebes, and other diving birds. As well as occasional salmon and pike.
Price: from £65 per person for 1 day. Includes guide, canoe or sea kayak hire package including barrels/waterproof bags, transport. No food is included in these prices, or accommodation on the first or last night. For this we can offer our own comfortable hostel/bunkhouse accommodation
We have other samples of thoroughly enjoyable 1 day journeys out on the water, sea or hills elsewhere from our base at the end of the Caledonian Canal . At all times you are accompanied by experienced guides who will keep you safe, help you understand our wonderful landscape & wild life around you and make sure that you have an enjoyable time. Visit our main website to learn more.
Great Glen Open Canoe Sailing Courses
1 Day | Ratio 1:6
The aim of the course is to equip students with the additional skills needed to combine open canoeing and sailing in a safe and competent manner. These skills will enable students to undertake more adventurous and efficient journeys in open canoes.
Previous experience required: All students should be at a level for the BCU 3 or 4* Open Canoe. A choice of sailing rigs will be experimented with, after covering the basic course sailing skills. These will be put into practice for a full sailing trip on the second day. Minimum Age 16 years
sea kayak hire for the Great Glen
explore the Great Glen by sea kayak through the Caledonian…
hire a river or touring kayak
paddle some of the best white water rivers in the…
open canoe hire for the Great Glen Canoe Trail
paddle your own way through wild & wonderful landscapes
make your canoeing & kayaking plans
divide your journey into enjoyable paddling “day”s
shuttle service for canoes, kayaks & gear
paddlers do not often finish in the same place!
canoe & kayak guided expeditions
take part in our guided overnight trips or day tours