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Canoeing and Kayaking In Scotland

Read our guide for Canoeing and Kayaking In Scotland and Find and Book experiences, courses, activities and tours! Browse through the list of experiences, either instantly book onto your dates or enquire to book. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy! If you’ve got any questions about any specific experience, send a message and the providers will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Have a specific experience in mind that we don’t have listed? No problem, drop us a message and we’ll send your quote around to hundreds of the best experience providers nationwide and come back with you the best quote, making it easy for you to make the most of your spare time!

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Best Canoeing and Kayaking in Scotland

Scotland offers canoeing and kayaking like nowhere else in the UK. Providing some of the most remote destinations, stunning mountain ranges and vast wild green spaces. It’s hard to believe the Scottish Highlands are in the UK, as they offer a sense of being on the other side of the World, with incredibly mountain peaks, valleys, rivers and trails. Whilst there are a wealth of rivers to explore, there are an estimated 31,460 Lochs which often provide a more sheltered environment for kayaking and canoeing - an excellent place to practice for beginners. There are 11 major Rivers in Scotland which offer a wealth of opportunities for kayaking and canoeing (with the necessary licenses):
  • River Tay - 193 km (120 miles)
  • River Spey - 172 km (107 miles)
  • River Clyde - 171 km (106 miles)
  • River Tweed - 156 km (97 miles)
  • River Dee - 137 km (85 miles)
  • River Don - 132 km (82 miles)
  • River Nith - 112 km (71 miles)
  • River Forth - 105 km (65 miles)
  • River Findhorn - 101 km (63 miles)
  • River Deveron - 98 km (61 miles)
  • River Annan - 79 km (49 miles)

Often for more tranquil canoeing and kayaking in Scotland, you can explore one of the 30,000+ lochs. The largest Lochs in terms of volume of water are as follows:
  • Loch #1: Loch Ness at 7.45 km³ of volume and 56km²
  • Loch #2: Loch Lomond at 2.6 km³ of volume and 71km²
  • Loch #3: Loch Morar at 2.3 km³ of volume and 27km²
  • Loch #4: Loch Tay at 1.6 km³ of volume and 26.4km²
  • Loch #5: Loch Awe at 1.2 km³ of volume and 39km²
  • Loch #6: Loch Maree at 1.09 km³ of volume and 28.6km²
  • Loch #7: Loch Ericht at 1.08 km³ of volume and 18.6km²
  • Loch #8: Loch Lochy at 1.07 km³ of volume and 16km²
  • Loch #9: Loch Rannoch at 0.97 km³ of volume and 19km²
  • Loch #10: Loch Shiel at 0.79 km³ of volume and 19.5km²

Each one offering different views, paddling experiences and places to explore. As well as lochs, the two National Parks of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and The Cairngorms National Park are hot spots for canoeing and kayaking in Scotland.
Canoe and Kayaking in Scotland

Canoeing and Kayaking the Cairngorms National Park

For beautiful views of the CairnGorms mountain range, white sand beaches and an abundance of wildlife, Loch Morlich is one of the best places to get out and kayak in Scotland. Canoes and Kayaks are available for hire and the lake can be relatively calm, yet with the stunning backdrop of the beautiful Cairngorms. Explore more Kayaking and Canoeing in Scotland

Canoeing and Kayaking Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond offers a great, tranquil place for beginners to practice their kayaking and canoeing skills. If you don’t have your own boat, there are several watersports centres to hire equipment or get instructor sessions or tours. Explore more Kayaking and Canoeing in Scotland

Great Glen Canoe Coast to Coast Canoe in Scotland

Depending on how extreme you’re feeling you can either canoe/kayak for a couple of hours or take on the full challenge of paddling down the whole 100km of the spectacular Caledonian Canal. The route travels from Fort William to Inverness and comes across 29 locks, 4 aqueducts and 10 bridges. It’s a varied stretch of water travelling through calm and still canals all the way to rougher wide-open water sections such as Lock Locky, Loch Ness and Loch Oich. You can do this unsupported, if you have experience, plan sufficiently far ahead and have all the necessary equipment (including boats). Starting off in Fort William and travelling to Inverness is often the recommended route due to the normal prevailing winds. Completing the challenge over 4 days in open canoes is popular, although other routes and itineraries are available. Often with evenings broken up between camping, hostels and hotels, this is a great way to see a huge amount of Scotland. Explore more Kayaking and Canoeing in Scotland

Canoe and Kayak Clubs, Hire and Lessons in Scotland near me

Search through our map of hundreds of canoe and kayak clubs, places to hire equipment or find lessons. If you’re looking for something specific, drop us a message and we’ll find it for you.
Canoe and Kayaking In Scotland Best Routes

Canoeing and Kayaking for Families and Kids in Scotland

Canoeing and Kayaking are great family friendly sports. Canoes are more of the stable and spacious choice that allow for gentle and calm paddling experiences. Kayaking also offers the option for two-seaters that are a great way to bond with a friend or family member. Sea Kayaks and Touring Kayaks are incredibly stable, like Canoes, so it's more difficult to fall in or get wet. When it comes to the types of water to look out for, calmer water makes for a more enjoyable experience with kids. Look out for local lakes or canals for safer and more tranquil paddling. The beauty of canoeing and kayaking are that they are 'sit down' sports. The level of fitness required for both - at entry level - is relatively low, so most people can get involved with the sport.

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