Sea Kayaking Scotland Trail Central – Kayaking Scotland West Coast
The Sea Kayaking Scotland Trail is Europe’s first long distance sea kayaking trip, stretching from Gigha in the south to the wonderful Summer Isles in the north.
The Sea Kayaking Scotland Trail is Europe’s first long-distance sea kayak trail, stretching from Gigha in the south to the wonderful Summer Isles in the north.
The trail was created by sea-kayaking videographer Simon Willis to encourage sea kayakers to explore Scotland’s west coast and has quickly been recognised as one of the best sea kayaking journeys to be found anywhere in the world.
Our award-winning Sea Kayaking Scotland trip is designed to allow you to experience some of the best parts of the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail over a number of day trips. Rather than camping, accommodation is provided at a couple of sea kayaker friendly west coast inns, meaning that you always have somewhere warm and dry to return to after a day on the water. We have a split the trail up into 3 manageable sections South, Central and North.
This Sea Kayaking trip explores the central part of the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail, introducing you to wonderful areas such as Loch Linnhe, the Sound of Mull, Loch Sunart and the Sound of Arisaig. Each day, we move a little further north, enjoying some of the best sea kayaking to be found along the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail.
The Trail itself is completely unmarked and undeveloped so the sea kayaking offered is a pristine experience. Under the watchful eye of our experienced guides, you can develop your sea kayaking skills while discovering the amazing seascapes and wildlife of Scotland’s west coast.
At the end of each day, you can enjoy a hot shower and a visit to the local restaurant or pub for dinner before snuggling down with your duvet in our cosy accommodation. If (like some of us) you enjoy your kayaking and your home comforts in equal measure, then look no further than this itinerary.
Experience required: 5 days sea kayaking
If you don’t have previous sea kayaking experience then we recommend that you join our Introduction to Sea Kayaking trip.
- The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail has made the National Geographic’s ’50 Tours of a Lifetime’ and the Outside Magazine’s coveted ‘Travel Hot List for 2011’
- Sea Kayak through some of the best scenery on the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail and explore the history behind Bonnie Prince Charlie
- No camping, just comfortable beds, hot showers and excellent local restaurants/pubs
- Link this trip with our ‘Scottish Sea Kayak Trail: South – The Whisky Coast’ trip and also the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail North – The Gaelic Coast trip, which run on consecutive dates. Join all three trips for an epic sea kayaking adventure
Meet Your Guide
Me in 3 – Passionate | enthusiastic | informative
Place to Play – The far north west of Scotland – Assynt (including the summer isles) – Incomparable variety of sea kayaking, climbing and walking. In my opinion, this is the most stark and somewhat unique places I have ever been. The people in this part of Scotland are captivating and very welcoming. My home from home!
Not a lot of people know this – I recently did a 4 month trip to South America, spending a month in Ecuador and a month in Peru. For the last 2 months, however, we ended up in South East Asia including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Mini Bio – Outside of work I go mountain biking and skiing with my wife and friends. I live in a town called Aberfeldy which is an established outdoor community in the heart of Scotland where there are many like minded people to get out and about with. I enjoy riding local (unmarked) trails as well as visiting the various established riding centres in Scotland.
I studied sports coaching and development of sport in Glasgow for 3 years before volunteering in Argyll for a year. I then progressed to Glenmore Lodge, the National Outdoor Centre for Scotland where I gained further experience in administrative and maintenance skills, as well as expert coaching and qualification in walking and canoe sport. The majority of my work is in a sea kayak. It is my mission to paddle the length of the Scottish coast line by sea kayak. My passion is to share Scotland’s unrivaled diversity, variety and beauty with anyone who will follow me.
Adventurer’s Stories about Ali
Knowledge of the guide regarding local wildlife, history of the area etc was excellent, which greatly enhanced our experience of the trip
Ali looked after us exceptionally well. His enthusiasm for his job shine through. We learned so much about sea kayaking, how to be safe at sea, the local area, local wildlife, and how to make coffee on a beach. Excellent!
Ali McGhee, our guide, shared his amazingly wide knowledge of the history, geology & wildlife on this trip as well as making us feel completely safe on the water. He constantly updated us on how the day and the trip would run with reference to the tides, weather and what the group’s preferences were, all delivered in his relaxed and friendly style. Advice & technique improvement was given: always in a fun & positive way.
Both Tim and Ali couldn’t have been better at their jobs. They were friendly, informative and very professional through out, and dealt with some eclectic and demanding clients while balancing the needs of the many and the demands of the few.
The first and everlasting impression was that both guides were well experienced, thoughtful and safe. They were a well co-ordinated duo and had no difficulty in accepting who was ultimately in charge, which is reassuring.
- 2 nights accommodation at a friendly inn near Loch Sunart
- 3 nights accommodation at a waterside inn located on the Sound of Arisaig
- Most meals, from lunch on Day 1 until lunch on Day 6 (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- All transport throughout the trip starting and finishing in Inverness
- All specialist sea kayaking equipment, including sea kayaks, waterproof cags and buoyancy aids
- The services of our experienced and knowledgeable sea kayak guide throughout your trip
- Day 1 Welcome and onto the water!
You will be met by your guide at Inverness Railway station and we’ll transfer to Loch Linnhe for an afternoon paddle, refreshing your skills and introducing you to the wonderful West Highland scenery. Late afternoon, we transfer to our first accommodation, located on the shores of Loch Sunart. (L, D)
- Day 2 The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail: Sound of Mull
Today we have a choice of areas to paddle in. One option is to head south to the Sound of Mull and Loch Aline, which is part of the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail. This stretch of water is a good place to encounter all kinds of marine wildlife such as dolphins and minke whales. After an enjoyable day’s sea kayaking, we return to our accommodation late afternoon. (B, L)
- Day 3 Sea Kayaking in Loch Sunart
Loch Sunart forms the southern boundary of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula and offers some lovely sea kayaking. We can explore the islands of Risga, Carna and Oronsay, all of which offer interest to sea kayakers. We will look out for sea otters which are often spotted in this sea loch. Further west lies Ardnamurchan Point – this is one area that we will not sea kayak to as it is the most challenging section of the whole trail, and is for experts only! If time permits, however, we will drive to the point to admire the magnificent sea views. We then transfer to our next accommodation, a classic West Highland inn located on the waterfront with views across the Sound of Arisaig. (B, L)
- Day 4 Sea Kayaking in Loch Moidart and Castle Tioram
After breakfast, we continue our journey along the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail. Today we explore the sheltered waters of Loch Moidart, kayaking past the dramatic ruins of Castle Tioram (dating from the 13th Century) to Eilean Shona (the beautiful island’). This is one of the most stunning places on the West Coast. Paddling past stands of Caledonian pines on the shoreline, we can paddle round the point all the way back to our waterside inn, passing an abandoned village along the way. (B, L)
- Day 5 Sea Kayaking through the Arisaig Skerries
Heading north from the inn, we enjoy one of the best day trips by sea kayak anywhere in the world – kayaking through the Arisaig skerries. These beach-fringed islands which guard the entrance to Arisaig are home to countless seals, otters and seabirds, while basking sharks are also regular visitors. Even without any wildlife, it still makes for an amazing paddle through the turquoise waters of the skerries. On clear days, the Atlantic views west to the mountains of Rum and Skye are magnificent – this really is Scottish sea kayaking at its best. (B, L, D)
- Day 6 Final morning’s paddle
After breakfast at the inn, we’ll enjoy a morning sea kayaking before we make our way back to Inverness. We often explore either Loch Ailort (easily accessed from in front of the inn) or Loch nan Uamh. We follow the coastline of the peninsula with its rich history of the Jacobite rebellion of the 1740’s. This is a great way to end the trip and we can reflect back on the experience as we load up the vehicle and trailer and make our way back to Inverness, arriving late afternoon.
If you are keen to keep on kayaking, our trips which explore the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail South: The Whisky Coast section run the week before this trip, so the two itineraries can be easily linked together for a longer trip. (B, L)
On this accommodation-based sea kayaking trip, you will stay in two different locations. For the first two nights, we stay at a Highland inn located on the shores of Loch Sunart. Accommodation is in a choice of twin or double rooms.
We then move slightly further north and spend the final 3 nights based in a traditional inn which is located right beside the beach in a sheltered bay in the Sound of Arisaig, south-west of Fort William. The traditional inn has been the hub of the community for years and is a great place to eat, drink and share a joke with the locals. The accommodation is in a choice of double or twin rooms. Best of all, however, is the inn’s shoreline location which means that you can walk out of your door and jump straight into your sea kayak each morning!
Breakfast and packed lunches are provided each day. For evening meals, we visit local bars and restaurants, enjoying the best of local produce.
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT
We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. Please note that for operational reasons on this trip single rooms can not be reserved by request.