Knoydart Canoe Expedition
Itinerary – five days & four nights of wild camping. 2023 departure date, August 7th. Challenging expedition suitable for people with previous paddling experience and expeditions under their belt already. Start 11am Newtonmore, finish 4pm Newtonmore last day.
Knoydart Canoe Expedition
Knoydart Canoe Expedition, see remote mountains, deep lochs, tragic history and one of Scotland’s finest pubs! A magnificent recipe for a truly outstanding canoe journey suited to more experienced paddlers.
Knoydart is perhaps Scotland’s wildest mountain range, with only one settlement. The remote village of Inverie, which can only be accessed by boat or on foot – something unique in Scotland. Before the clearances Knoydart was home to over 400 inhabitants, most of whom were cruelly removed in 1853. The region is formed by the long sea lochs of Loch Hourn to the North and Loch Nevis to the South. This is a truly remote area with no road access into the central or western areas.
Important Information / Grade & Experience
The Knoydart canoe expedition is a 5 day and 4 night river journey. By their very nature journeys on the water can be affected by weather and other environmental factors. Your guide/s may have to alter the itinerary to ensure group safety.
This trip is challenging and is mainly on open fresh water lochs and sea lochs. There is one fairly strenuous portage required. Due to its open waters and position on Scotland’s West coast, this journey is the most exposed to wind of our canoe trips and the route may have to be altered to ensure success. Paddlers should have done at least one previous expedition by canoe or have done an intensive canoe skills training course of 3-5 days duration. If you wish we can help you prepare and get the most from your adventure holiday – prior to your start day we can offer 1 to 5 day canoe skills courses.
|Day 1||Morar to River Meoble|
Our journey begins at Morar with its beautiful golden sands. Loch Morar is Scotland’s deepest loch at 1,017 feet and the reputed home to another great Scottish Monster “Morag”. At first, we spend some time running through safety procedures and paddle technique. Then, journeying east down the loch, we weave our way through the beautiful wooded islands to our first camp at the mouth of the river Meoble. Golden eagles and sea eagles are occasionally spotted around these shores.
|Day 2||River Meoble to Oban bothy|
Today we continue on our journey to the eastern end of the loch. This stretch is more akin to the fjords of Norway with its steep flanking slopes and woodlands of ash, rowan, birch and hazel. We will camp near Oban Bothy. If time allows we hope to be able to hike to the summit of An Stac or Sgurr nan Coireachan; from here you can fully appreciate the beauty of this area.
|Day 3||Oban bothy to Sourlies bothy|
Today we cross from the fresh waters of Loch Morar into the tidal waters of Loch Nevis. This should be the most strenuous day of the trip as it requires a 1km portage with a climb of 90 meters over the bealach and down into Tarbert Bay for a well deserved lunch break. With luck on our side we hope to make good speed, with the assistance of the tide and the wind, as we sail towards the head of the loch with the beautiful peak of Sgurr na Ciche rising ahead of us. Tonight we will camp near Sourlies bothy.
|Day 4||Sourlies bothy to Inverie|
Today’s departure time will be dictated by nature as we use the tides to take us swiftly through the narrows of Kylesknoydart and out onto the open waters of West Loch Nevis. This section of the journey is very open and exposed to the westerly winds that frequent the West coast of Scotland. Some cunning tactics may be required today to ensure we get to Inverie in good time to relax and enjoy our last night, with some freshly caught seafood and real ale at the famous Old Forge Inn – Scotland’s remotest Inn.
|Day 5||Inverie to Mallaig|
Our final day and as we paddle out of Inverie Bay, saying farewell to Knoydart, and head West to the fishing port of Mallaig, we soon get a sighting of the Isle of Skye across the Sound of Sleet. This is normally the sea kayaker’s territory, but with some good luck from the weather and some fine-tuned teamwork, we’ll be able to make it round the coast to the harbour at Mallaig. Seals are common along this coastline and may well follow you for several miles. The drive back along the coast is simply stunning with miles of unspoiled golden beaches.
Note – By their very nature journeys in remote or mountainous country can be affected by weather and other environmental factors. Your guide/s may have to alter the itinerary to ensure group safety.
Day 1 – Meet at Cairngorms Adventure Centre (Newtonmore) at 8am
Day 5 – Return to Cairngorms Adventure Centre at 5pm