Rafting, Canyoning and Whisky Tasting in the Scottish Highlands

Spend the days doing adrenaline water sports and the evenings kicking back by the campfire. 0 days off work.

  • United Kingdom
  • April, October
  • Inverness Airport, Inverness (INV)

From 45-foot abseils on a corkscrew waterfall to sampling Scotland’s finest whisky, this trip offers the perfect weekend adventure in the Scottish Highlands. In the daytime, you will be whitewater rafting along Scotland’s fastest river and working your way along River Findhorn’s most exciting canyoning route. But, in the evenings, you will be relaxing around the campfire as you tuck into a freshly prepared BBQ and enjoy an expert walkthrough of up to 150 Scottish gins and whiskies. So, what does this thrilling water sports adventure include?

  • 2 days of rafting and canyoning
  • 2 nights of accommodation in spacious bell tents
  • Transfers to/from activities
  • Local, professional guides
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner to be prepared by guests
  • Equipment for canyoning and rafting
  • Whisky or Gin Tasting

Perfect for:
Anyone loving watersports; from absolute beginners to experienced rafters, looking for a thrilling weekend on Scotland’s fastest river.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to/from Inverness
  • Trains to/from Inverness
  • Sleeping bag & extra bedding (optional)
  • Dinner on the first night
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance that covers rafting and canyoning
  • Upgrade to a private Shepherd’s hut
  • Transfer from Inverness airport (optional)
  • Transfer from Inverness train station (optional)
  • Tips for your guides (optional)
  • Wetsuit Booties (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people, and a maximum of 14.

Please note, this trip may be rearranged or cancelled if fewer than 4 people are booked.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Much Better Adventures are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travelers and very small groups of 2 or 3, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

No previous experience is needed for this adventure, although it does help to have a basic level of fitness as you will be rafting for up to six hours and canyoning for up to three hours.

While on this adventure, you will be giving food to prepare yourself.

For breakfast, this includes bacon, eggs, black pudding, bread, sausage, beans and cereal, along with milk, teas and coffees.

At lunch, you will be given sandwiches or wraps, crisps, a drink and a chocolate bar.

Your BBQ will include a local award winning butchers steak, venison or pork burger, 2 sausages, 2 buns and fresh salad, per person. For vegetarians, you will have the option of halloumi to grill on bbq. Desert will be hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Absolutely! Just let us know when you book on to this adventure.

You will be tackling many rapids, waterfalls and whitewater features, up to Grade 4/5 rapids. While these will separated by calm sections of water to allow you to take a rest, you can also walk past the larger rapids, should you not feel comfortable on them. Optional Cliff Jumping included.

The decision is yours and can be made once you’re there. Just let your host know which tasting you’d like to join in the morning of Day 2.

Your guide can provide you will:

  • Warm, clean wetsuit,
  • All rafting equipment
  • All canyoning equipment
  • Wetsuits
  • Wet-suit booties (at an additional cost if needed)
  • Sleeping bags (at an additional cost)

Your guide suggests that you bring:

  • A towel
  • Swimsuit
  • An extra pair of shoes that are suitable for walking on uneven ground and can get wet
  • Everyday clothes
  • Warm layers for the evenings
  • Jacket
  • Socks
  • Sun protection
  • Torch
  • Insect repellant
  • Personal toiletries

Start point?
You can either be met at Inverness Airport (INV) or Inverness train station (INV), where your (optional) transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land at 22:15 or earlier - this must be arranged prior to arrival and paid in full. Alternatively, you can travel to Forres train station from where your host will pick you up and take you to the ACE Basecamp, or you make your own way to ACE on the Friday night.

Finish point?
Your weekend will end at ACE Basecamp, where you can make your own way home or take the pre-arranged transfer back to Inverness Airport (INV) or Inverness train station (INV). You are free to book any flight departing after 17:15 and any train departing after 14:30 on Sunday. Alternatively, you can arrange transport back to Forres train station with your host.

Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?

Arriving by plane
Inverness Airport (INV) is served by flights from all over the UK. You can be picked up from the airport and transferred to ACE Basecamp subject to prior arrangement. Your host suggests booking any flight scheduled to land at 20:15 or earlier.

Arriving by train
Inverness train station (INV) is the main link to/from the South. Your host suggests booking any train journeys scheduled to arrive at 20:15 or earlier. If you’re travelling by train, you can also make your own way to Forres train station - from here your host can pick you up free of charge at any time before 22:00.

Your host will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

Location

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Located near Inverness and Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands, Auchnagairn is nestled in the birch forests of the Findhorn Glen. The area is a short walk from the River Findhorn where you will do most of your watersport activity.

The River Findhorn begins in the Monadhliath Mountains and flows north east to Findhorn Bay eventually joining the sea in the Moray Firth. It is one of the fastest flowing rivers in Scotland, offering spectacular whitewater rafting through a variety of stunning sceneries. Findhorn is the only river in the UK above Grade 3 that runs all year.

Start point?
You can either be met at Inverness Airport (INV), where your (optional) transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land at 22:15 or earlier. Alternatively, you can travel to Forres train station from where your host will pick you, or you make your own way to the ACE Basecamp on Friday night.

Finish point?
Your weekend will end in ACE Basecamp, where you can make your own way home or take the transfer back to Inverness Airport (INV). You are free to book any flight departing after 17:15 and any train departing after 14:30 on Sunday.

Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?

Arriving by plane
Inverness Airport (INV) is served by flights from all over the United Kingdom. You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to the base camp. Your host suggests booking any flight scheduled to land at 22:15 or earlier.

Arriving by train
If you’re travelling by train, you can make your own way to Forres Station. From here you host can pick you up free of charge at any time before 22:00.

Your host will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Friday: Arrival at ACE Basecamp after 3pm

On Friday evening, you can choose to be picked up from Inverness airport, Inverness train station, Forres train station or simply make your own way to ACE Basecamp. Settle into your bell tent, which you can call home for the weekend.

The first night will be relaxed as you get to know your fellow adventurers around the campfire. Remember to have had dinner or bring something simple.

Saturday: White Water Rafting and Whisky Tasting

It will be a fairly early start as you need to cook up breakfast and be at Reception in time for rafting at 10:00. You will have a briefing on the day before you suit up and head to the River Findhorn.

From here, it is a short bus journey to the starting point, or “put in”, where you will be given a safety brief by one of the guides. You will get to practice on the water before starting out on some minor rapids.

The adventure will soon pick up the pace as you navigate through “Randolph’s Leap” into the spectacular Lower Findhorn Gorge. You will be tackling rapids, waterfalls and whitewater feature’s separated by calm sections of water that will allow you take a rest and enjoy the scenery.

In the middle of the adventure, there will be a short break to allow you to grab a snack provided to you and take part in the cliff jumping session.

Your rafting will finish at around 15:30, head back to the base to relax briefly and check out the photos of the day.

Around 17:00 you will head onto your gin or whisky tasting. Come back to base and spend the evening cooking a BBQ.

Your guide/host will take you down to the nearby Logie Steading, where you can enjoy a minimum of five drams of their collection of 150 Scottish gins and whiskies.

Once you feel suitably learned in Scottish gin and whisky, head back to your campsite where you can cook up a storm and then tuck into your bell tent for the night.

Campfire breakfast, 5-6 hours of White Water Rafting (Grade 4/5), Whisky or Gin Tasting, BBQ

Sunday: Canyoning

In the morning, light up the campfire and prepare yourself a filling breakfast, as you prepare for a morning of canyoning.

At 10:00, you will get kitted up and hop on the bus to your start point. After a gentle stroll and a couple of small water slides, the adventure really begins. You will abseil down a 45-foot corkscrew waterfall as you admire the breathtaking scenery around you.

Once you’re down, you will head into a maze of fallen trees and ledge drops, with a tunnel along the riverbed for the brave.

After some swimming, walking, climbing and thrilling slides, you will step out into one of the River Findhorn’s most tranquil sections to bask in the glory of the Scottish sunshine.

From here, head back to basecamp for 13:00. You’ll have plenty of time to pack up your stuff before you grab the transfer to Inverness airport/Inverness train station/Forres train station or continue your adventure elsewhere.

Campfire breakfast, 3 hours of Canyoning

Accommodation

You will be staying at ACE Basecamp in the Findhorn Glen, 10 kilometers south of Forres. The camp has a communal kitchen with hot water, gas cooking hobs and washing up facilities, a reception with free WiFi and a small kiosk where you can buy snack food and some camping basics. There is also a brand new toilet and shower block.

Bell Tents
You will sleep in Bell Tents, which are a cross between a complete glamping experience and old fashioned wild camping. Inside, the tents are kitted out with comfortable mattresses and a wood stove, with enough space to comfortably sleep 7 adults. Outside each Bell Tent is a seating area that surrounds a rustic steel fire pit. The fire pits come complete with a steel griddle plate that can be removed and are ideal for cooking BBQ.

Shepherd’s Hut
If you prefer a little more comfort and privacy, you’ve the option to upgrade to a traditional handbuilt Sheperd’s hut. Inside, you’ll find a small wood stove, double bed, dresser, double ring gas cooking hob, plates, and cutlery. The hut sleeps up to 2 people and is subject to availability. Please let your host know upon booking.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Large group? Make a private booking
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, try a group trip or ask for a quote.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Shepherd's Hut Payable Before Departure
Upgrade to a private Shepherd's Hut (2 people per night) £15.00
Wetsuit Booties Rental Payable Before Departure
Wetsuit Booties Rental £2.00
Sleeping Bag Rental Payable Before Departure
Sleeping Bag (2 nights) £12.00
Transfer to/from Inverness Payable Before Departure
Inverness Airport Transfer (Return, 1-8 people) £120.00
Inverness Train Station Transfer (Return, 1-8 people) £160.00
Forres Train Station Transfer (Return) £0.00

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