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Canoeing, Kayaking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Scottish white water rivers and lochs offer some of the best canoeing and kayaking trails in the world

Canoeing, Kayaking and Sea Kayaking
Canoeing, Kayaking and Sea Kayaking
Canoeing, Kayaking and Sea Kayaking

The Scottish water network includes white water rivers, peaceful channels, and numerous lochs, one of which is said to be inhabited by monsters... The best way to explore the Scottish wilderness is definitely by canoe or kayak.

If you prefer a paddle in calm waters, a good choice would be the sheltered bay in Fife. The Outer Hebrides and the Small Isles represent another area to be discovered by canoe. A lot of other popular canoeing routes include the rivers Tay and Spey, Caledonian Canal, and endless lochs like Lomond, Earn, and of course—the sinister Loch Ness supposedly teaming with monsters which is included in the famous Great Glen Canoe Trail.

Kayaking is the most enjoyable during the snow melting season when the Scottish rivers are replenished with water. You will be carried away by River Findhorn in both literal and figurative senses. The Highland's River Etive with its waterfalls also promises a thrilling kayak-trip.

Sea kayaking also enjoys growing popularity. The majority of sea kayakers choose the west coast of Scotland famous for its watersports. The most known kayaking areas include Oban, Clyde, Seil, Cumbraes, and Sound of Luing.

The season runs from April to October.

Practical info

What are the best water trails in Scotland for canoeing?

Scotland offers excellent options for canoeing enthusiasts, with rivers like Tay and Spey and several lochs like Lomond and Earn. Paddle in the Caledonian Canal, or take the popular Great Glen Canoe Trail inland, culminating in the legendary Loch Ness. Alternately, try sea kayaking in the sheltered bays of Fife or venture to the wilds of Outer Hebrides. Scotland is ideal for all kinds of paddlers looking for adventure and picturesque vistas. Show more

When is the best time to go kayaking in Scotland?

Kayaking is a fantastic adventure sport, best enjoyed between April and October, peak season when rivers and water bodies are replenished. However, late spring to early summer is optimal as the weather is mild, the water is fresh and the rivers are at full capacity. Scotland's melting snow season ensures paddlers enjoy thrilling rides along rivers like Tay and Etive. It is advisable to book early to avoid missing out on the experience. Show more

Where can I go sea kayaking in Scotland?

For sea kayaking enthusiasts, Scotland's west coast has much to offer, with numerous locales like Seil, Clyde, Oban, and Sound of Luing. These regions are very popular due to their scenic beauty and ample opportunities for spotting wildlife in their natural element. Sea kayaking requires expert guidance and essential safety protocols that facilitate a comfortable and enjoyable ride. Adventure lovers will have a thrilling time navigating through breathtaking coastlines and natural coves. Show more

What is the Great Glen Canoe Trail?

The Great Glen Canoe Trail offers paddlers an inland canoeing experience, covering sixty miles of Scotland's finest terrain. The trail stretches between Fort William and Inverness, passing through a network of canals, rivers, and lochs, concluding with a breathtaking view of Loch Ness. The trail provides an adrenaline rush, with challenging sections that require mapping and navigation skills, expert gear, and camping equipment. The Great Glen Canoe Trail provides an adventure of a lifetime to experienced paddlers. Show more

What makes Scottish water trails unique for paddlers?

Scotland's water trails offer paddlers unique opportunities to explore the country's water bodies, including channels, canals, rivers, and lochs. One can witness beautiful landscapes like highlands, waterfalls, and the myth of Loch Ness. Experience breathtaking adventure rides like kayaking down the swift and fresh melting rivers of Findhorn and Etive. Paddlers in Scotland also have access to rare wildlife sightings, making it both a thrilling and ethereal experience for both beginners and experienced kayakers. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin