River Spey Service

Explore Highland offers a bespoke River Spey shuttle service for those taking on one of the UK’s best canoe river multi day paddling adventures.

Various River Spey shuttle service drop off and uplift locations are available for hire clients only;

  • Open canoe hire service
  • River Spey shuttle service
  • Emergency shuttle uplift service
  • Another location quotes available by request depending on availability

Ford Tourneo Custom

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.

If you require additional vehicle and canoe trailer support we are happy to arrange this also with Highland Yaks who are an Aviemore based activity transport company.

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.

River Spey Shuttle Service

Explore Highland offers bespoke River Spey  shuttle services for those taking on this river adventure. Based in Inverness we offer a cost-effective shuttle service for open canoe hire clients only.

Drop off/collect from various locations on the River Spey including Newtownmore, Kingussie, Loch Inch/Kincraig, Aviemore, Boat of Garten, Grantown on Spey, Aberlour, Fochabers and Spey Bay.

River Spey Bespoke Shuttle (Inverness to the River)

Most groups we shuttle meet in Inverness by Rose Street car park, close to the heart of Inverness where there is a 24/7 multi-storey car park for those arriving in cars.

After loading up the Explore Highland minibus and/or trailer, we then shuttle you to your requested drop-off/start point. For the majority of paddler groups during summer this is either Aviemore or Kincraig. It is only recommended to start higher up the river at Kingussie or Newtonmore out with Summer months when there is more water in the river.

During the shuttle, you will be able to ask about the route.

River Spey Bespoke Shuttle (Meeting at the River)

Should you wish to meet at your preferred launch spot, Explore Highland can easily shuttle your canoe(s) and kit to there. We would always suggest meeting in Inverness where there is sufficient car parking which can never always be guaranteed or available at the river launch points during busy Summer periods. By meeting in Inverness, the collection return shuttle to Inverness is quicker and more cost effective for clients.

River Spey Shuttle Costs

Below are the costs of the shuttle drop off at main locations along the River Spey.

  • Inverness to Aviemore or Boat of Garten – £75 without trailer, £95 with trailer
  • Inverness to Kincraig, Kingussie or Grantown on Spey – £90 without trailer, £110 with trailer
  • Inverness to Newtownmore – £100 without trailer, £120 with trailer

Below are the costs of the shuttle uplifts from Spey Bay returning to various locations.

  • Uplift from Spey Bay returning to Inverness (104 miles) – £140 without trailer, £155 with trailer
  • Uplift from Spey Bay via Aviemore (141 miles) – £150 without trailer, £165 with trailer
  • Uplift from Spey Bay via Kincraig (153 miles) – £155 without trailer, £170 with trailer
  • Uplift from Spey Bay via Kingussie (163 miles) – £160 without trailer, £180 with trailer
  • Uplift from Spey Bay via Newtownmore (171 miles) – £165 without trailer, £185 with trailer

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

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

All our River Spey hire & shuttle clients at the time of confirming the booking are also given links to a number of key resources which include;

  • link to Explore Highlands interactive River Spey map with key access/egress points
  • directed to the main River Spey Facebook page
  • your bespoke shuttle service overview schedule details
  • a copy of the River Spey guidebook
  • emergency text/contact number for direct contact with Explore Highland

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, Explore Highland is able to plan an emergency uplift around the current workload/bookings in the diary.

All hire clients are given an emergency text/contact number to contact should there be a problem. At the earliest opportunity, Explore Highland can offer advice or suggest a suitable location and time an uplift suggested.

This ensures you have peace of mind when taking on your self-guided adventure. All emergency shuttle uplift prices will be quoted at the time of request.

These are based at £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) is needed, with completed forms returned within 48 hrs. All forms should be forwarded to Donald at info@explorehighland.com

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

    To book your preferred shuttle time and uplift service it is recommended to book 2-3 months in advance. Explore Highland only offer one shuttle at a time and booked on a first come first served basis.

    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 www.explorehighland.com/downloads/, 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.