Explorers Connect

Canoe Across Scotland
4th - 8th May 2020

This fantastic coast-to-coast journey along the Great Glen Canoe Trail takes you through the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Starting in the west at Fort William, you'll follow the Caledonian Canal east to Inverness crossing Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and the world famous Loch Ness.


Duration: 4 days | Location: Scotland | Distance: 60m | Price: from £459


OVERVIEW

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This brilliant week-long adventure will see you spending five days travelling in open canoes along a 60 mile route, along man-made canals and across stunning Scottish lochs; paddling in pairs to make lighter work. At night, you'll stop on the shores of some of Scotland's most beautiful lochs to wild camp and savour meals cooked over wood fires. 

Throughout the week you'll develop new expedition and wilderness travel skills, and along the journey your experienced and qualified guides will teach you how to get the best out of your canoe by paddling effectively. You’ll even learn how to rig a sail in your canoe to catch the wind! On your final day, you can test your new skills on a section of grade 2 rapids (gentle, faster flowing water).

Group size is limited to six boats to ensure an exceptional experience. We have found this is the perfect size both for socialising and for keeping the group moving together.


ITINERARY

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Day 1 - You'll meet up with your guides at 9am at the finish point - the head of Loch Ness, near Inverness - where you'll be able to park your car for the week if needed. You'll load equipment onto minibuses and travel to Fort William to the start of the Great Glen Canoe Trail. After a safety briefing you'll set off along the canal to Gairlochy canoeing in the shadow of the mighty Ben Nevis before making a short portage out onto Loch Lochy where you'll spend your first night.

Day 2 - After breakfast you'll head off along Loch Lochy to Laggan where you'll stop for lunch. There are toilets and showers here for those who want them. You then head along a short but beautiful canal section to Loch Oich, the smallest of the three lochs, to your second waterside campsite.

Day 3 - You'll continue your journey by canal to 'the watershed' at Fort Augustus where there are showers and shops. If the wind is suitable you'll build a raft from the canoes and sail across Loch Ness - keep your hands out of the water! Half way across you'll stop at a wonderful remote location to make camp for the night.

Day 4 - After breakfast it's back onto the loch either sailing or paddling. Weather permitting you'll cross over to the north to canoe under the walls of Urquhart Castle, a great place for lunch. By early evening you'll reach the end of Loch Ness for your final waterside camp.

Day 5 - After a short paddle you'll enter the River Ness where you'll spend your final hours on this grade two river using the skills you've learnt throughout the week before paddling to the head of Loch Ness.

Please be aware that the route can be affected by weather conditions and changes to the itinerary may be needed to ensure both a successful and a safe adventure.


ADVENTURE HOST

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Your guide for this adventure is Adam ‘Robbo’ Robson. Adam has a wide range of interests when it comes the outdoors. He paddles, he climbs, and will do anything to avoid being stuck inside. He has worked and played both in the UK and abroad introducing all sorts of people to the things he loves.

His main passion is for canoeing & coaching and he has completed several solo expeditions over the past few years. In February 2017, he published a guidebook 'Welsh Canoe Classics'.


DIFFICULTY LEVEL

This adventure involves five consecutive days of paddling around 96km (60 miles) in total. No previous canoeing experience is required but you should be of an average or better-than-average fitness level. You'll be working in pairs to make lighter work and using the wind to assist you. The Monday and Friday are typically half days with three full days of paddling in between. There'll be regular breaks in the day where you'll stop, light a fire and put the kettle on!


LOGISTICS

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Getting to Inverness is easier than you might think with daily flights from London, Bristol, Manchester and many other UK airports. You can also take the Caledonian Sleeper, one of only two overnight train services in the UK departing London, Watford and Crewe in the evening and arriving into the heart of Inverness the following morning.

You will then need to make your way to the start point near Loch Ness. We can arrange outbound transfers from Inverness airport and train station to the start point for a small additional fee.

All meals are included and everyone gets involved with the campsite cooking whether it's collecting wood for the fire, preparing food or washing up. Please note that as there are no fridges to store meat, the menu is made up predominantly of vegetarian dishes.


KIT LIST

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Here is a link to our canoe expedition kit list. It's worth noting that you'll be paddling in May, so all weather conditions are possible. We’d recommend packing plenty of warm layers and extra sets of dry clothes.

You'll also need to bring your own tent, sleeping bag and mat but you're welcome to share your tent with a friend (or stranger!) if you want to save space in your boat.

We recommend that you bring plenty of snacks to maintain energy while you're paddling. There are opportunities along the route to fill up with drinking water.

The canoe and all safety equipment is included in the cost of the trip. This includes transfer of canoes and kit to and from the start and finish points.


WHAT'S INCLUDED 

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  • 5 days guided canoeing across magnificent, famous lochs and waterways with two experienced, qualified and friendly paddlesports experts

  • 5 days use of canoes and paddling equipment

  • All safety equipment required throughout the expedition

  • All food and water, excluding snacks. Breakfasts, packed lunches, and freshly-cooked camp dinners. It’s an all-hands-on-deck environment.

  • 4 nights guided wild camping in stunning loch-side locations

  • All group camping/cooking equipment (bar personal crockery/cutlery)

  • Transport of the canoes to the start point and from the finish point

  • Transfers to the expedition start point at Fort William

  • Transfers from Inverness airport (optional extra) or free parking at meeting point at the end of the route

  • Camaraderie of a friendly group! It’s the people who make our trips

Not included:

  • Personal travel insurance

  • Tent, sleeping bag & mat, and personal crockery/cutlery

  • Snacks


DATES AND PRICES

  • Dates: This adventure runs from 9am on Monday 4th May to 5pm on Friday 8th May 2020

  • Price: £519 (member price: £479)

  • Earlybird: Book before 31st December 2019 to save £20

  • NB: If you would like to book your place with a deposit please call the office, we’re happy to arrange this for you. Tel 0117 405 7497


If this trip is fully booked, this button will take you to join the waiting list


CANOE ACROSS SCOTLAND PHOTO GALLERY


QUESTIONS?

If you'd like to know more about this weekend or have a particular question about this or any of our adventures, please email enquiries@explorersconnect.com or call the office on 0117 405 7497 during normal office hours and we'll do our best to help you.


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