Half-Day Canoeing

Based in Inverness, Explore Highland can offer a number of local paddling options suitable for beginners and families.

These include paddling on the Caledonian Canal,  Paddle Loch Ness, or Paddle Aigas Gorge.

Trips start from £210 based on three adults or for a family of two adults & two children. With one coach/guide, the maximum number of paddlers is eight (four tandem canoes). Larger groups are possible with more advanced notice.

The benefit of having a Private Caledonian Canoe Experience is that your family gets a personalised outing and choose your own preferred paddle time.

See below for more details on how to book a private half-day canoe experience.

Caledonian Canal by Canoe

The Caledonian Canal runs through the heart of Inverness on the east coast of Scotland, all the way to Fort William in the west. The canal sections make up twenty-two mile of the full 60 miles coast to coast, Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich & Lochy Lochy are interlinked to allow transit.

For family groups with adult and child paddling tandem, the sheltered canal waters between Tomnahurich Swing Bridge and Dochgarroch Locks are ideal for a great first canoe outing.

Private Caledonian Canal Experience

During summer Explore Highland suggests sunrise 7-10 am, morning 9 am- 12 noon, afternoon 2-5 pm, and evening 6-9 pm options. No matter the time of day, this Aigas Gorge Experience is always truly memorable.

Paddle Loch Ness by Canoe

The Aigas Gorge is part of the River Beauly river system. This lovely relaxed canoeing adventure takes you into a different world. Lush foliage, stunning rock formations set in a gorge environment. Stunning scenery, the possibility to spot an osprey & other birds of prey, and with a relaxed professional coach/guide, you will certainly have a memorable experience out on the water.

Our Paddle Loch Ness trips are very popular and we offer sea kayak guided trips on a regular basis. If you prefer to Paddle Loch Ness by Canoe

Some prior tandem canoeing experience is required for this trip as the open waters of Loch Dochfour and out onto Loch Ness can be challenging in light wind conditions. Coaching will be given where required.

Set dates for Paddle Loch Ness by tandem sea kayak can be found and paid online via the booking diary page. Should you wish to book this as a half-day canoe experience this can be booked as a private trip.

Canoe Loch N ess

Private Loch Ness Experience

During summer Explore Highland suggests sunrise 6-10 am, morning 9 am-1 pm, afternoon 1-5 pm, and evening 6-10 pm options. No matter the time of day, this Loch Ness Experience will be fun.

Paddle Aigas Gorge by Canoe

The Aigas Gorge is part of the River Beauly river system. This lovely relaxed canoeing adventure takes you into a different world. Lush foliage, stunning rock formations set in a gorge environment. Stunning scenery, the possibility to spot an osprey & other birds of prey, and with a relaxed professional coach/guide, you will certainly have a memorable experience out on the water.

Our Paddle Aigas Gorge trips are very popular so we offer open group trips on a regular basis.

Little to no canoe experience is required for this trip as coaching will be given where required.

Set dates for these can be found and paid online on the booking diary page

Canoeing River Beauly

Private Aigas Gorge Experience

During summer Explore Highland suggests sunrise 6-10 am, morning 9 am-1 pm, afternoon 1-5 pm, and evening 6-10 pm options. No matter the time of day, this Aigas Gorge Experience is always truly memorable.

Canoes are the craft of choice for this trip, however for experienced stand-up paddleboarders, Explore Highland can also offer this as a guided paddleboard trip.

What Equipment do we supply

For half-day canoeing we supply the following kit with all bookings:

  • tandem open canoes. The instructor will paddle solo with an even paddler group or pair up with the odd paddler,
  • a personal buoyancy aid, and a suitably sized canoe paddle
  • a large dry bag per canoe if required
  • approx three hours on the water paddling time
  • copies of photos taken during the trip

What you need to bring

When paddling, you should expect some splashing and drips from the paddle. The weather can also change rapidly out on the water so its best to be prepared for the worst. Please bring suitable outdoor clothing to keep you warm for your time outdoors in the Scottish Highlands. As we are going on a wee journey, we will be outdoors for the full duration and not able to just nip back to the start for shelter if it starts to rain.

Essential Items:

  • a waterproof jacket and waterproof over-trousers are highly recommended
  • leggings/baselayer/fleece jumper
  • a hat/ cap to keep your head warm
  • old light footwear/trainers that you don’t mind getting wet/splashed

We recommend also bringing along;

  • water or juice as you may get thirsty
  • any medication you may require
  • towel & complete change of clothes for afterward – can be left in your car at the start/finish point!

Jeans and hiking boats are NOT suitable for watersports and will not be allowed on the water.

Booking a Private Half-day Canoe Experience

Our Paddle Loch Ness and Paddle Aigas Gorge trips are very popular so we offer open group trips on a regular basis. Set dates for these can be found and paid online on the booking diary page.

You can book your Private Half-Day Canoe Experience in three easy steps.

Step 1 – Check out the online activity diary for Donald’s availability/clear day for a suitable date.

Step 2 – Complete the downloadable Private Group Booking Form,

Step 3 – Email completed form to Donald at info@explorehighland.com

Please be aware as featured on the diary page, Donald is out coaching/guiding and not office based, so please apply with plenty of time to allow enquiries to be processed.