Family open canoe adventure weekend

Open Canoe Adventure Weekends

from £0

Spend time with your family (or friends) exploring Loch Sunart, Loch Moidart or one of many lochs and beaches in a unique open canoe adventure. Feel closer to nature in the shadow of rocky peaks and shorelines as you discover wildlife on and in the water.

Pause on a beach to search rock pools, dip your toes (or more) in the salty waters and discover natural treasures as you wriggle your toes deeper into the soft sand;

Land like pirates on an island only accessible by boat to explore untouched woodland and search for signs of wildlife.

Cook over an open fire, brew coffee on a wood burning stove, and generally forget about the hectic pace of modern life as you discover a simpler and slower way of living. Sleep in the wild (tents provided) and wake to nature’s alarm clock.

All these elements combine to create moments and memories that will define your open canoe adventure weekend for years to come.

  • Activity Level Leisurely
  • Group Size Large Group
All about the Open Canoe Adventure Weekends.

During a family open canoe adventure weekend, you and your family will explore a suitable loch under the guidance of a qualified guide. From on the water, you will be able to view the landscape from a unique perspective and, hopefully, get closer to the wildlife.

You will be given advice on efficient paddling, how to load canoes, look after your safety throughout the trip and in camp craft and tent pitching.  Any wildlife that appears or cultural or historical sights on your journey will become part of your adventure story. Your guide will probably tell a few stories and jokes along the way…

The price is for two adults and two children. Adults are classed as 16 years and above, children must be six to fifteen years of age. We can take a maximum of six people from one family or group with a maximum ratio of one adult to two children (adults must be a legal guardian or parent of the children). If you have a different combination of group, please email us details and we can get back to you with a price and block out the weekend you prefer.

Food will be sourced locally from the varied produce grown, reared or caught from small, local businesses and crofts. This is seasonal and down to the availability, so is not guaranteed. It may not be possible to meet your dietary requirements from locally sourced food and it is unlikely that everything will be local.

Adults and willing teenagers will be asked to help move and lift canoes during the weekend. Please let your guide know if this is going to be difficult for you or if you have any medical concerns that may affect your participation in the day.

We hope that you will stay dry, but occasionally people do capsize canoes and it does sometimes rain so please act and dress appropriately. Please also bring a complete set of spare clothes for everyone. Add additional jumpers and hats for children as they do feel the cold more in, especially on the wate rin the wind and in the evenings at camp.

Keep your fingers crossed for an otter or eagle to make an appearance!

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this activity?Items that are included in the cost of the activity

The following are included in all family canoe adventures:

  • Qualified and experienced guide throughout your journey
  • High quality, stable canoes
  • Paddles in a size to suit you
  • Adjustable buoyancy aid to fit – children’s sizes also available.
  • Waterproof paddlesport jacket & trousers – I have not yet been able to source any high-quality waterproofs for children. Sorry!
  • Two 30 litre plastic barrels and two 100 litre dry bag (to put your belongings in during the trip)

* Please feel free to use your own paddle sport equipment as long as it confirms to current UK safety standards and best practices.

What's not included in this activity.Items not included in the activity price

The following is a non-exhaustive list of things that are not included as standard:

  • Clothes to wear under our waterproofs suitable for the weather (please avoid jeans and cotton clothes; modern outdoor clothing will be an excellent choice)
  • Sleeping bags and mats – you need one person
  • Extra jumpers or jackets as it may be cold on the water or when you stop paddling
  • Shoes to wear whilst paddling (these will get wet)
  • Sunhat or beanie (depending upon conditions)
  • Sunglasses & retainer cord (if you wear glasses normally, please ensure they are secured by a retainer of some form)
  • Lunch
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Complete change of clothes for everyone
  • A towel (just in case!)
  • Personal washkits and first aid kit (with any medications in it)

NB: Some of these may be available to borrow from Otter Adventures if you should forget them.

  1. Saturday Adventure, canoeing and wild camping

    After meeting at Otter Adventures at 10:00 am on Saturday morning, you will be equipped as necessary for your open canoe adventure weekend. After a chat about the weather and tide forecasts, your guide will advise possible locations to visit – if the weather allows a choice, it will be down to you to decide.

    Changing facilities are currently very limited, so please come ‘dressed’ for the first day.

    The journey may require two vehicles (due to numbers, wind forecasts, chosen location, etc.) so you may be asked to drive your vehicle in order to enable the perfect adventure for you to happen.

    Your accommodation for the night will be two-person tunnel tents with large porches – so ample room for you all. Depending upon the weather, you may be cooking on an open fire, BBQ or gas stove. Be prepared to be outside in the evenings…

  2. Sunday Open canoe adventures and heading home

    Having slept through the night, we will rise and consider a hearty breakfast for us all before packing up, taking down the tents and continuing your adventure.

    There will be more canoeing, exploring, stories and memories to create as you carry on toward your destination. We will aim to return all kit to Otter Adventures in Strontian by 16:00 to allow you to travel home without arriving too late in the evening.

    The storytelling at work or school on Monday morning will then be down to you…

We will supply you with a high quality waterproof jacket and trousers (if desired) designed specifically for paddle sports. They won’t keep you dry if you fall in, but will keep most of the rain and wind off (thereby keeping you much warmer).

You will need to decide what to wear underneath these. We would suggest that any modern outdoor of fitness related clothing would be suitable. Modern materials are excellent at wicking away moisture from your body and also dry very quickly compared to cotton, wool and denim (jeans) which should all be avoided.

It can be colder on the water than you think as you will be more open to the wind, so please dress accordingly or at least bring a spare jumper with you.

This is especially important with children as their body temperature can drop quite rapidly as they become more exhausted from prolonged exercise.

We do not provide any footwear so you will need to bring your own. When getting in and out of the canoes, you are very likely to get wet feet, so bring an old pair of shoes as well as a pair to change into after the trip. We would suggest something with a reasonable grip on the bottom as you are likely to walk over wet rocks and seaweed which may be slippery.

Changing facilities are currently very limited at our base, so please come dressed ready for the activity.

Unless agreed in advance, you should meet at our base adjacent to Otterburn Bed & Breakfast where there is parking available for a few cars.

From here we will decide on the most suitable location based upon the weather (especially the wind) and the group. This may be a short drive (possibly 20 minutes) away and we may ask you to use your vehicle as well as ours to enable us to maximise our time on the water.

Family canoe adventures meet at 10:00 and you should expect to be back at our base roughly 16:00.

Please arrive at this time as our guide will be preparing for the day until that point and will brief everyone together before equipping you all for the day.

It is not practical to allow pets of any sort on our trips; our guides are trained to look after people and not animals.

In many places we visit at various times of year the wildlife is very sensitive and easily disturbed by animals that do not normally reside there.

Our definition of ‘bad weather’ is anything from force 4 winds (13+ mph / 20+ km/h) on the Beaufort scale and above as this makes it very hard to control the canoes and make progress (except downwind).

For these reasons, we always look at the weather forecasts on the day of the journey and make a decision on location and trip that morning.

If it is too windy and no suitable location is available, we will cancel the trip and refund your money (please see our cancellation policy for full details).

Rain is not a reason for us to cancel a trip which is why we include use of our waterproofs in the cost of the trip. Please dress appropriate to the conditions and make the most of what may well be an evocative day on the water…

Family canoe adventures are an ideal way to explore the lochs, rocky coastline and beaches of the Ardnamurchan Peninsulas. You will be able to share the paddling between two people in one very stable canoe and work together to make progress should the wind pick up a little.

You do not need any previous experience of paddling (although it does help) as I will show you an efficient way of paddling and offer tips to steer the boat as the journey progresses.

There is no pressure to complete a specific distance or route and circular journeys allow the distance to be adjusted as the day goes on.

As long as you have a basic level of fitness that enables you to undertake light to moderate exercise that causes you to be slightly out of breath, you should be fine paddling for the day.

If you are in any doubt, please consult your own doctor before booking. If you feel there is a medical issue you would like to discuss with us before booking, then please do get in touch using whatever method you wish.