Two matching canoes ready for an adventure on one of the many the lochs of Ardnamurchan and Sunart
Foodie Pedal and Paddle
On this luxury three-day foodie pedal and paddle you will taste your way across the remote and undiscovered Morvern peninsula and through Sunart, home to the longest sea loch in the Scottish Highlands.
You will discover the best of these regions of the West Highland Peninsulas (or the Ardnamurchan Peninsula) during your luxurious journey by bike and canoe, sampling some of the finest local cuisine and staying in a diversity of accommodation.
A truly immersive experience for any food connoisseur and outdoor adventurer!
Activity Level Strenuous7/8
Group Size Large Group6
Your journey will begin in Loch Aline, located towards the south eastern and most remote part of the beautiful Morvern peninsula. Easily accessible by ferry from Oban via Mull or from Fort William via the Corran Ferry.
Spend the night in a grand Victorian apartment or traditional cosy cottage on the Ardtornish Estate and dine in relaxed grandeur in the award-winning Whitehouse Restaurant sampling the very best of local and seasonal produce.
Leaving from Ardtornish Estate the first day’s adventure will be pedal powered thanks to Sunart Cycles modern MTBs! Self-guided and armed with a map, you will cycle through some of the most breath-taking scenery, stopping to explore heather-clad hills, taking a bracing dip in the waters of remote lochs or rivers or simply enjoying your lunch hamper, supplied by the Whitehouse Restaurant, gazing over a hidden lochan.
After a day of exertions and exploring, cosy up in Sunart Campsite’s bespoke cedar cabins; fully insulated with underfloor heating these are no ordinary ‘clamping’ pods!
For dinner you will head a short distance along the road with your companions to dine at the award winning Kilcamb Lodge where they pride themselves on tracking down the best local produce.
On the second day you will join Otter Adventures for a canoe trip from Strontian to Salen along Loch Sunart (weather dependent). For this you will be equipped with the latest specialist protective clothing and guided by the owner who has over 30 years experience in canoe coaching and guiding.
Food for the day will be supplied by the unique Ariundle Centre in Strontian with freshly brewed coffee to accompany the delicious homemade fare.
Your final evening will see you snuggled in your beds at the Ardshealach Lodge, on the edge of Acharacle, where you can also enjoy a sumptuous dinner, and breakfast, featuring many ingredients grown in their own gardens.
After breakfast you will be free to explore the area under your own steam, join an additional trip with Otter Adventures (book in advance) or depart for home.
- Accommodation for three nights;
- All meals from dinner on day one through to breakfast on day four;
- Modern mountain bike (including helmet, repair kit, and lock);
- Map showing principle bike route options;
- Stable open canoes which will be paddled tandem;
- High quality water sports protective & safety equipment (except shoes);
- Local, qualified guide throughout your canoe journey;
- Shuttle back to the Ardtornish Estate at the end of your adventure.
- Travel to and from Ardtornish Estate where your tour will start (and end);
- Drinks at any of the dining venues;
- Personal clothing for any of the activities or dining;
- Spending money or gratuities;
Day 1: Arrival
Sunart Campsite: 5.00 pm
You should arrive at the Ardtornish Estate office at 5.00 pm, located on the southerly corner of the Morvern peninsula and accessible from Fort William or Oak and Mull, where you will be staying for the first night.
You will be spending the night in a grand Victorian apartment or traditional cosy cottage.* Here your guide will introduce you to the rest of your group and answer any questions you may have about the experience.
They will escort you as a group to your dinner at the Good Food Guide’s Scottish Local Restaurant of the Year 2017 the Whitehouse Restaurant for a four course dinner at 6.30 pm. The four course tasting menu highlignts the very best of locally sourced produce from the hills and waters of Morvern and Lochaber.
They have a heavy focus on local seasonal produce, much of it grown, caught or reared on the Ardtornish Estate, so you will be tasting the best Morvern has to offer.
* subject to availability
* All accommodation is based upon shared rooms and dependent upon availability – please check before booking if you need to know.
Day 2: Pedal
Self-Guided Cycle Journey 10.00 am
After a restful night, a well-stocked hamper of local produce delivered to your accommodation will provide you with everything you will need to create an authentic Scottish breakfast, fuelling your body for the day ahead.
You will meet Tim, owner of Sunart Cycles, at 10.00 am at your accommodation to be fitted for your bike for the day. He will also transport your bags ahead to your accommodation for this evening, Sunart Campsites bespoke cedar cabins.
Armed with a map and self-guided, you will choose your route from Ardtornish to Strontian cycling your way through some of the most breath-taking scenery, stopping to explore heather-clad hills or taking a bracing dip in the waters of remote lochs or rivers.
Route options vary from 30km along the road between Loch Aline and Strontian, 48 km of road via the stunning Kingairloch and through to a 55km predominantly off-road route. There are also longer and tougher routes should wish!
A crafted feast of artisan bread, local cheese, smoked salmon, fresh hand-picked berries* will be your travelling packed lunch companion – please bring a suitable backpack to carry your share of food ands your own drinks. Location for this al fresco dining experience is your choice, driven by the beauty of the landscape or simply your hunger.
Once you arrive in Strontian you will be spending the night in Sunart Camping’s cedar pods. These are fully insulated with underfloor heating and are a warm and dry alternative to sleeping under canvas.**
Tonight you dine at another award-winning restaurant, the Kilcamb Lodge’s Driftwood Brasserie just a few minutes walk from your accommodation and overlooking Loch Sunart, your venue for tomorrows paddle. You will be in for a gourmet treat as they pride themselves in tracking down the best local produce but especially seafood.
* Subject to seasonal availability
** Single accommodation option will be in tents
Day 3: Paddle
Open Canoe Adventure
Leave your luxury cedar pods and wander through the village to the Strontian Hotel located on the shores of Loch Sunart where a hearty breakfast awaits you at 8.30 am. As you enjoy the home cooked food, gaze out the window at the loch where the days adventure will hopefully take place*.
After breakfast, wander along the shore to the Otter Adventures’ base on the eastern edge of Strontian, just five minutes walk from the hotel. Meet there at 9.30 am dressed for a day of canoeing and with spare clothes as todays adventure will see you cruising across the silken waters of one of the many tidal or freshwater lochs on the Peninsulas* in search of beaches, rocky outcrops and wide open skies under the experience leadership of an experienced and qualified guide.
Being on the water offers a unique perspective on the landscapes surrounding Loch Sunart and the wildlife that resides there and a complete contrast to yesterday’s adventures. Here the pace of everyday life takes on a much slower and more relaxed outlook.
Using stable and easy to paddle tandem open canoes, a location for this journey based upon the wind and weather will be chosen for you. We will aim for a journey along a large section of Loch Sunart itself where you may see otter, harbour propose and, of course, common seals.
Your guide will help to make your passage through these wild places as comfortable as possible while their local knowledge offers additional insight into the region’s history and culture.
A gourmet hamper supplied by the Ariundle Centre, a small family business for over 27 years, consisting of homemade crusty bread with smoked salmon, mackerel and venison pate, all enhanced with their special chutneys. Finish this off with their special fruit cake soaked in local whisky and taste their ’must have more’ tablet with coffee brewed over a wood burning and stove on a remote beach or island.
After your paddle enjoy a wonderful final dinner made with produce from Ardshealach Lodge’s private kitchen garden situated overlooking Loch Shiel.
Your final well-earned nights sleep** with either be in one of Ardshealach Lodge’s 3 double rooms, of which two can be made up as a twin room, or in the Strontian Hotel’s guest bedrooms where you will also be able to enjoy a wee dram with the locals in the Bothy Bar before wandering upstairs to your bed for the night.
* Subject to wind and weather conditions
** Subject to availability – please enquire before booking if this is important for you.
Day 4: Departure
Check out and optional Extensions
After a sumptuous breakfast of seasonal produce grown at predominantly at Ardshealach Lodge or sourced locally cooked for you, check out will be by 10.00 am.
While this is the official end of your tour and a taxi transfer back to Ardtornish Estate will be provided for you.
It may be possible to pre-book an additional trip with Otter Adventures, hire a bike from Sunart Cycles for an additional day or simply depart for your next destination for home. Either way, a lift back to Ardtornish towards the end of the day will be possible courtesy of Otter Adventures.
Take a look at the West Highland Peninsulas Tourist Association website or the Otter Adventures blog for ideas and inspiration on what to do in the area once you have your vehicle back should you wish to explore on foot or bike during the day.
The West Highland Peninsulas await your discovery and the choice of what to do is yours…
A red deer stag keeping watch over herd of does