There will be time to take a break and have some homemade cake with freshly brewed coffee (or tea or hot chocolate). Not quite as good as Costa or Starbucks, but the view is so much better!
Open Canoe Explorer Weekends
Do you fancy exploring areas overlooked by most canoeists?
A region with stunning sandy beaches, rocky shorelines leading to unique wooded mountains, miles of lochs and open sea to explore?
Or are you looking for otters, porpoise, white-tailed eagles, common seals, urchins and starfish to discover and admire?
With two full-days exploring on the water, you will see some of the best locations and experience some of the best journeys in places few come to visit. You will create many memories along the way.
Activity Level Moderate3/8
Group Size Small Group4
These open canoe ‘Explorer’ weekends are going to get you straight to the best locations on an overlooked region on the stunning West Coast of Scotland.
It might only be two days, but they will give you the time to really explore and get to know the local area – the Ardnamurchan Peninsulas. The emphasis is upon slowing down, exploring and leaving with a better understanding of the places you have visited and the region in general.
Our local guide will ensure you get to the most appropriate locations for the weather and your skills.
Ardnamurchan is often overlooked in favour of Fort William, The Road to the Isles and Skye; but that means that it is really quiet here with very few (if any) other people on the water. It is not a place where we will be fighting for landing space on stunning beaches or queueing to take pictures of stunning landscapes with no people in them!
It also means you are more likely to see some amazing wildlife and cause less disturbance to it.
We will have the flexibility to tailor the weekend to the people on it. With very small group sizes (maximum 4 people), you should be able to improve your planning as well as your paddling during the week.
If you want an exclusive booking for your kayak club or family, then please let me know at the time of booking and we can discuss exactly what you require from the weekend to make sure it is possible.
- A local guide with you throughout the weekend to help you plan the best locations to paddle
- Comfortable self-catering lodge accommodation in twin or double rooms
- All in-course transport *
- Use of our Venture Canoes and robust Ainsworth paddles or Palm wooden blades
- All specialist equipment such as adjustable buoyancy aid, waterproof jackets & trousers, spraydecks, etc.
- All food from Saturday breakfast through to Sunday lunch
- Non-alcoholic drinks throughout the weekend
- Opportunity to hire a drysuit for the duration if desired
If you think we may have missed something and that is important to you, please ask before booking.
*If the group decides to make an ‘A-B’ trip, then you may be asked to drive a ‘shuttle’ vehicle at some point.
- Travel to and from Resipole at the start and end of the course
- Personal clothing, except specialist equipment and waterproof clothing
- Personal washkit and first aid kit
- Dinner on Friday or Sunday
- Alcohol during the course
- Single occupancy of a room is not possible; sorry.
Arrival & Kit
You should aim to arrive between 18:00 and 20:00 on Friday.
This gives you ample time to travel, even if you are coming from the North of England, and to settle into your accommodation.
When we have all arrived, we will head to Strontian where we will get you kitted out with all specialist equipment in the right sizes.
Back at the lodge, and over welcome snacks, we can get to know each other, relax and think about where we would like to paddle the next day.
After breakfast we will head to our chosen paddling venue and see how everyone gets on once on the water. You will not need to be an expert canoeist for these holidays, as tuition can be given, but it will definitely help if you have had some experience and are reasonably fit.
We will aim to paddle ’tandem’ but it may be possible for you to paddle solo at times. This is not guaranteed, so please do check if this is important to you.
Paddle, kit return and departure
Your last day brings a shorter, more local paddle (4-5 hours) so that you can change in the chalet after the trip and pack up around lunchtime.
From here you will head back to Strontian to return all the equipment (although if Strontian is on the way back from our paddle, we will do this first) and you can start your journey home around 15:00.
With a variety of canoe paddles to try during your weekend, you should find something comfortable. You will certainly be able to feel the difference between wooden and composite paddles as we have both.
Our comfortable lodge for the weekend with all the facilities you would expect - and pretty much on the shores of Loch Sunart.
The central location of Resipole Campsite and Holiday Park on the Ardnamurchan Peninsulas makes it an ideal base for exploring all of the West Highland Peninsulas. None of the best paddling locations is more than an hour away and, wherever we go, we will be surrounded by amazing landscapes and wildlife.
The lodge is self-catering and spacious with all the comforts you would expect – including a dishwasher! With space for six people and only a maximum of five people staying (including your guide), you will not be cramped. It is also in a quiet corner of the site.
The rooms can be made into twin rooms or doubles – please let us know well in advance how you would like your room. There is no option for single-room occupancy unless there is an odd number of people on the trip. Sorry.
Bedding and towels will all be provided for your stay.
Your guide will do most of the work in preparing meals which will be sourced from local crofts as much as possible. It is not possible to provide everything locally due to our climate and growing conditions, but we will do our best to give you a real taste of the region.
- Alcoholic drinks
The minimum age for these sea kayak explorer weeks is 18 years of age as, in our experience, people younger than this cannot sustain five full days of kayaking.
If you wish to bring children as young as 14 years and make this a family holiday, then book all four places and we will balance the sea kayaking with other adventurous activities, days off, and exploring the region. This way the agenda is set by you and can be adjusted to suit the weather.
Family holiday, activities, exploring, local guide, etc. all sorted for you.
Our base is in a quiet corner of the holiday park which in on the shores of Loch Sunart about seven miles west of Strontian. Its central location on the Ardnamurchan Peninsulas makes it an ideal base for exploring the whole region: Morvern, Ardnamurchan, Moidart, and even on to Loch Ailort and the Arisaig Skerries if we wish.
The easiest way to get to it is to use the Corran Ferry about eight miles south of Fort William. Buy your ticket on board (currently £8.50 per car each way – no additional charge for passengers) and, after crossing, turn left towards Strontian. Stay on this road to Strontian (12 miles) and on to Resipole (another seven miles). There is a signpost before the site and the entrance is pretty large and on your right. Call in at reception upon arrival for directions to the lodge.
Bring plenty of warm clothes – several thin layers of synthetic materials are best. Modern outdoor or fitness clothing is just fine no matter what sport it is designed for.
Don’t forget a sunhat and warm hat (you never know – it is Scotland!) and also sunglasses and sunscreen.
We will provide waterproofs and all technical and safety equipment. If you do want to bring your own equipment, please drop us an email to check it will be OK. As a rule, we say that safety equipment (buoyancy aids mainly) must be CE approved and less than five years old).
If there are any special items that you like to bring with you that make your adventures more comfortable, please do not hesitate to do so. A reading book may be a good idea as there will be tiem to relax as well as paddle.