Great Glen Shuttle Service

Explore Highland is able to offer a craft hire, drop-off, and collection service for all your Great Glen Canoe Trail adventures.

Various shuttle services listed below are for hire clients only;

  • Great Glen Canoe Trail & Loch Ness shuttle service
  • Great Glen emergency shuttle uplift service
  • Another location quotes available by request depending on availability

Explore Highland’s Ford Tourneo

In 2021 Explore Highland took delivery of a very high spec Ford Transit Tourneo Titanium LWB. Fitted with eight individual leather passenger seats, spacious legroom with dual air condition units, it’s the perfect comfortable shuttle vehicle.

The minibus commercial roof bars can carry two standard open canoes.

Should you need a group larger than eight(8) paddlers moved with hire canoes & kit, we are happy to arrange additional transport services with our local taxi company. Inverness Taxis support our work as and when required with their private hire cars and minibuses.

Open Canoe Trailer

The Explore Highland canoe trailer can carry up to eight(8) standard open canoes. This takes our total carrying capacity to ten(10) canoes when teamed up with the minibus.

Great Glen Canoe Trail Shuttle Service

Explore Highland offers bespoke Great Glen Canoe Trail shuttle services for those taking on this formal Canoe Trail. Based in Inverness we offer a cost-effective shuttle service for canoeists and paddleboarder hire clients.

Great Glen Bespoke Shuttle (Inverness to Fort William)

Most groups we shuttle meet in the Coop car park, Telford Street, just beside the Canoe Trail car park finish point. Here there is space to pack your kit into the hired drybags and barrels. Plus if you have forgotten anything, you can pop in for additional food at the store, or if it’s camping equipment, Go Outdoors outdoor store is only 200m away. You can also pick up your Canoe Trail facilities key from the Scottish Canals Seaport Marina office which is just by the canal during office hours.

After loading up our minibus and/or trailer, you can park your car(s) in the Great Glen Canoe Trail car park by Muirtown Basin where there are designated parking spaces you can use for free during your Great Glen Canoe Trail adventure.

From here we shuttle you to your requested drop-off/start point. Majority of which is to the top of Neptune’s Staircase at Banavie, Fort William. This takes just under two hours in summer, but with swing bridges opening, heavy traffic with many tourists around, occasional road works, and other unforeseen delays f, it can sometimes take a little longer.

During the shuttle, we also offer safety advice en route and can stop off briefly at the side of Loch Ness, Fort Augustus, and Loch Lochy to highlight various options to offer local information to aid in making your expedition across Scotland much easier and safer.

Great Glen Bespoke Shuttle (Meeting in Fort William)

Should you wish to meet at the Canoe Trail start, Banavie, Fort William, we can easily shuttle your prebooked craft(s) and kit to Fort William. After dropping off your own equipment at the top of Neptune Staircase, Banavie, the driver can then move their vehicle down the the main Scottish Canal car park besides the Moorings Hotel where there is plenty of space and free parking.

Once completed your Great Glen paddling adventure, Explore Highland will meet you at the finish point by Muirtown Basin, Inverness and collect back the crafts and kit hired.

There is a two hourly Scottish Citylink bus service from Inverness returning to Fort William for approx £12 per person.

Inverness to Banavie, Fort William Shuttle

Six-hour shuttle overview:

  • 60 mins – Check and load hire kit and drive to meeting point
  • 5 mins – Meet n greet clients at Coop Telford Street car park
  • 20 mins – Pack kit into hired barrels and bags, and load minibus and/or trailer
  • 5 mins – Clients move cars across the road to the Canoe Trail car park
  • 2 hour – Shuttle to Banavie, Fort William
  • 10 mins – Unloading minibus and/or trailer of bags, boats & kit
  • 20 mins – Advice on packing, moving & handling, portaging, and canoe sailing kits if required
  • 2 hour – Return drive to Inverness for driver

Great Glen Canoe Trail Shuttle Costs

Below are the costs of the shuttle from Inverness to various locations along the Great Glen Canoe Trail.

  • to Banavie – from £180 no trailer, £220 with trailer
  • to Well of Seven Heads – from £150 no trailer, £170 with trailer
  • to Fort Augustus – from £100 no trailer, £120 with trailer
  • to Foyers – from £100 no trailer, £120 with trailer
  • to Dores Beach – from £60 no trailer, £70 with trailer
  • to Dochgarroch Locks – from £50 no trailer, £60 with trailer
  • to Muirtown Locks – from £30 no trailer, £ £40 with trailer

* Prices based on shuttles for our hire clients with a maximum capacity of eight paddlers.

** These are allowing for a max 50mph trailer/minibus speed limit and loading/unloading time.

*** At busy times or last minute bookings, single canoe bookings may not be accepted.

All our Great Glen Canoe Trail shuttle clients at the time of confirming their booking are also emailed a number of key resources including a copy of the Great Glen Canoe Trail Guidebook to assist route planning and offer additional trail information to ensure you make the most from your paddling adventure.

Additional Support

Explore Highland strongly suggest the group (especially the group leader) is familiar with the area prior to adventure and looks into various weather/wind options and evacuation planning. 

Should you require, we can assist groups of paddlers traveling up to the Highlands and Moray by public transport with the following;

  • Transport from local hotel or B&B collection
  • Transport to the local superstore for food supplies
  • Transport to the local outdoor store for extra clothing or stove fuel

PLEASE NOTE: These additional support services need to be requested at the time of booking the shuttle service so an appropriate timing for driver & minibus use is allocated.

Emergency Shuttle Uplift

Should the weather turn for the worst or one/all of the group decides not to continue on with their paddling adventure, Donald is able to plan an emergency uplift around the current workload/bookings in the diary.

All hire clients are given an emergency text number to contact should there be a problem. At the earliest opportunity, a suitable place and time to uplift can be planned.

This is to ensure you have peace of mind when taking on a self-guided adventure. All prices will be quoted at the time of request and payable at the time of shuttle but based on £35 per hour minibus & driver only, or £45 per hour if a trailer is required.

Booking Your Canoe Hire & Shuttle

You can book your canoe hire & shuttle in tw0 easy steps.

Step 1 – Please complete the provisional canoe hire & shuttle request form below.

    Your Name (required field)

    Email Address (required field)

    UK Mobile No. or Whatsapp no. if outside UK (required field)

    Have your read and understood the canoe hire sections listed above?

    Are you and all group members competent experienced paddlers in the environment/river grade you plan to canoe, and have all participants received canoe safety & rescue skills/training within said river grade/environment?

    Number of 16' tandem open canoes required?

    Number of 16' solo outfitted open canoes required?

    Where would you like the canoe(s) drop off at your starting point?

    Date/Time you require the canoe(s) dropped off?

    Where is your planned finish point where you need the canoe(s) collected from?

    Date/Time you required the canoe(s ) collected?

    Please note any additional comments relating to your hire and shuttle service!

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    Once the form has been received and reviewed, Donald will get back in touch by email to accept or decline the provisional booking request.

    Step 2 – If your provisional booking is accepted, additional information (Hire & Shuttle Booking Form along with your Canoe Kit List and if required the Additional Kit List) is needed, with completed forms returned within 48 hrs. All forms should be forwarded to Donald at

    Please Note – A minimum of two weeks notice is required to turn around emails, forms, create booking/invoice and allocate resources around other prebooked coached/guided activities.

    Responsible Access

    When out paddling under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, you must take responsibility for your own actions on and off the water. Further details can also be found online at, but Donald can help by providing you with further local knowledge on responsible access at the time of hire also. This includes parking, access and egress location, wild camping, and campfires etiquette in the Highlands.

    As a responsible business, open canoe hire is only available to those with paddling and safety experience in craft & intended environments. For those who have no experience or looking at venturing into unknown waters, a professional guiding service is available.

    Alternatively, Donald can offer a skills/safety training workshop for those wishing to hire canoes without any experience.