Canoe and Wild Camp Coast to Coast, across Scotland
5.0
| 171 reviews

100km Canoe Expedition Across Scotland

4 nights
Moderate

Cross Scotland from Fort William in the west, to Inverness in the east along the Caledonian Canal

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with local, certified canoe guides

Wild camping

4 nights wild camping

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from the start point in Inverness

Equipment

All your canoeing, camping and safety equipment

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 7 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

5.0
| 171 reviews
Wonderful trip with new friends
May 2024
Ian B.
Wonderful trip with new friends
May 2024
Ian B.
Wonderful trip with new friends
May 2024
Ian B.
Amazing trip and experience!
May 2024
Nikki R.
Amazing trip and experience!
May 2024
Nikki R.
Amazing trip and experience!
May 2024
Nikki R.
Amazing trip and experience!
May 2024
Nikki R.
Two 60yr old geezers.
May 2024
John D.
Two 60yr old geezers.
May 2024
John D.
Two 60yr old geezers.
May 2024
John D.
What an expedition. Guided by
May 2024
Anna H.
What an expedition. Guided by
May 2024
Anna H.
What an expedition. Guided by
May 2024
Anna H.
Amazing expedition experience.
May 2024
Mark R.
Amazing expedition experience.
May 2024
Mark R.
Amazing expedition experience.
May 2024
Mark R.
Amazing expedition experience.
May 2024
Mark R.
Amazing expedition experience.
May 2024
Mark R.
Amazing expedition experience.
May 2024
Mark R.
Amazing expedition experience.
May 2024
Mark R.
Amazing expedition experience.
May 2024
Mark R.
Fantastic trip, super well organised, great food and people
April 2024
Roxanne T.
Fantastic trip, super well organised, great food and people
April 2024
Roxanne T.
Fantastic trip, super well organised, great food and people
April 2024
Roxanne T.
Fantastic trip, super well organised, great food and people
April 2024
Roxanne T.
Fantastic trip, super well organised, great food and people
April 2024
Roxanne T.
Challenging at times
April 2024
Wendy R.
I loved that I could have such a fantastic,...
November 2023
Sarah
I loved that I could have such a fantastic,...
November 2023
Sarah
I loved that I could have such a fantastic,...
November 2023
Sarah

Traverse 100km of flat water and experience the Great Glen Trail on a long-distance canoe adventure across Scotland

Cross the legendary Loch Ness and pretend that you’re not secretly looking for monsters

Wild camp at remote and beautiful spots along the way surrounded by some of the UK’s highest mountains

Key Information

Day 1

Banavie to Gairlochy

Canoeing

11km

Meet your host in Inverness and drive to Banavie (near Fort William) where you’ll pack your canoe, get to know the group and have a practice paddle in the canal basin. Head for Gairlochy, where you’ll choose a suitably remote campsite and tuck into some tasty grub prepared by your guides and wild camp under the stars.

Day 2

Loch Oich

Canoeing

25km

Get back on the water and paddle the length of the creatively-named Loch Lochy. Pass through Laggan Locks and navigate your way to Loch Oich from where you can explore the surrounding, wooded bays and look for a secluded and scenic camping spot.

Day 3

Loch Ness

Canoeing

24km

Portage around the lock gates at Cullochy and Kytra, before reaching the village of Fort Augustus. Re-stock and then take on the world’s most famous loch, Loch Ness. Find a remote spot to camp and enjoy dinner on the beach as you pretend that you’re not secretly looking for Nessie.

Day 4

Head of the Loch

Canoeing

22km

The weather will determine your route and conditions today. If a strong wind is blowing it can get tough and you might even find yourself negotiating some decent waves. In normal conditions, however, it’s a leisurely, scenic paddle with views of Urqhuart Castle. That done, it's time to find a spot for the night at the head of Loch Ness before heading to the nearby Dores Inn to celebrate your last night with the group.

Day 5

Inverness

100km Canoe Scotland. Photo: Customer/David Johnstone

Canoeing

10km

Paddle along Loch Dochfour and through rolling farmland before entering Inverness where your adventure will come to an end. Unpack your canoe and head back to Inverness train station (or a location of your choice in the city centre) ready for your journey home.

Day 1

Wild camping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Wild camping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

For breakfast expect cereal, bread, tea and coffee. For lunch, you can expect wraps with a variety of fillings, soup, and some home-baking for afters. Dinner will be 3-courses including pate and oatcakes, followed by a pasta or rice dish and a freshly made dessert such as chocolate cake made in a Dutch oven. Snacks and drinks will also be available between meals. Vegetarian, vegan and most dietary requirements can be catered for.

What is the accommodation like?

Wild Camp

You’ll wild camp in twin share tents in remote and beautiful spots by the loch side. Accommodation is basic with only one opportunity for a shower (Fort Augustus). Single Tents are available upon request.

Upgrades

For solo travellers wanting their own personal space, you can request your own private tent on the trip (subject to availability). Just request when booking.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Central Inverness

09:00 on Day 1

Ends

Inverness town centre, train station, bus station, or your accommodation in town.

Early afternoon on Day 5

Transfers

You’ll meet your host in the car park at the Tesco Metro on Tomnahurich Street in Inverness at 09:00. You will then be transferred by minibus to Fort William (2-hour drive). We recommend you arrive the night before to ensure you don't miss your transfer.

Your trip will end in Inverness mid-afternoon. Your host will transfer you to the town centre train station, bus station, or your accommodation in Inverness. It is also easy to get a 25-minute taxi ride to Inverness Airport to catch a flight from late afternoon onwards. Please don't book any onwards travel before 5 pm in case of bad weather and a delayed arrival into Inverness.

Travel options

Inverness is well served by train routes and flights. There is a daily Virgin Trains East Coast from London King’s Cross to Inverness, and a number of route options within Scotland with ScotRail. There are also direct flights from across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Tent
  • Inflatable sleeping mat
  • Cutlery, mug, bowl, plate
  • Buoyancy aid
  • Waterproof barrel for personal kit
  • Canoe helmet
  • Waterproofs (if requested)

Please let your host know of an indication of size for the waterproof clothing and helmet. Either an extra small, small, medium, large or extra large. An approx guess will do.

Available to Hire

  • Sleeping Bag - see Optional Extras.

What do I need to bring?

  • Sleeping bag & sleeping bag liner if required (for extra warmth)
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • 2 sets of paddling clothes (lightweight, quick drying trousers, woolly socks, base layer top, t-shirt or shirt)
  • Pyjamas if required (most sleep in a set of thermals or similar)
  • Fleece x 2 (1 for paddling, 1 for evening)
  • Canoeing shoes/ Trainers that you don’t mind getting wet (no flip flops). Wellies are good too.
  • Dry trainers for evenings
  • 1 set of warm evening clothes (we hope to have a campfire some nights so take old clothes that you don’t mind getting smoky and dirty)
  • Warm gloves depending on time of year.
  • Warm hat/ sun hat
  • Spare socks and underwear
  • Sun cream/ Lip salve/ sunglasses with protective case
  • Midge head net & Midge repellent (June to September)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, biodegradable shower gel/soap
  • Small-medium towel
  • Swimming costume if you fancy a swim in a cold loch!
  • Torch (preferably head torch)
  • Small day sack for waterproofs, snacks, sun cream etc.
  • Camera (in waterproof bag if necessary)
  • Spare batteries
  • Water bottle
  • Personal hand sanitizer

Please note that cotton and denim clothing are not recommended for paddling in, as they have no thermal properties when wet.

Bear in mind when packing - that all your personal kit, including sleeping bag and part of a tent - needs to fit into a 60 litre canoe barrel (about the size of an expedition rucksack).

If you like to snack, please pack your own light snacks - remember they must fit in the bag!

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Sleeping Bag Hire

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag Hire

Per Person

Jenny P.(May 2024)
Amazing Trip

7 mums, 4 canoes, stunning scenery, the northern lights and a giant snack barrel, what's not to love! Scott our guide was informative, kind and clearly very passionate about his job and the local area. The equipment and instruction was all easy to get along with and Scott knocked up some fine evening meals. We will definitely be signing up for another trip.

Leah W.(May 2024)
Great trip, amazing guide!

My partner and I had the most incredible experience in Scotland! Our guide Duncan was awesome, made us feel really safe and was an excellent teacher, making sure we were fantastically fed and telling us interesting things about our picturesque surroundings. Couldnt have asked for more from him! Would highly recommend this trip. It's tough but gave us a real sense of acheivement. We will be taking on more challenges of a similar nature in the future because our experience was so memorable. Thanks Duncan! 😁

Jamey K.(May 2024)
Fantastic Canoe Trip Across Scotland (2024)

Had a wonderful time on this trip. The feeling of achievement having paddled across Scotland and braved the windy wilds of the lochs we crossed was very satisfying. Great meals at the end of the day, and our group dynamic was very supportive, fun, and enjoyable. I wish the area was a bit "wilder" (felt like there was almost always the sound of a car or truck within earshot, and was a bit of a bummer seeing cars driving along the road in the distance), but I know that's not really something that can change given this specific itinerary, haha. George got us to and from our put-in and pull-out safe and sound, and Duncan was a supportive, patient, safe, fun and instructive guide on and off the water. Give that man a rise! Great trip, highly recommended.

Dave W.(May 2024)
Scottish perfection 🏴💙

Absolutely fantastic trip lead by the brilliant leader Andy. Met some great fellow team mates who all chipped in with lovely stories and banter. Food was excellent throughout the trip, couldn’t fault one meal. Would highly recommend this little adventure. We struck lucky with the weather and have already started to look at next year’s options. Would definitely use much better adventures again. Five stars from me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heidi C.(May 2024)
Unbelievable trip!!

Unbelievable trip!!! So, so pleased I booked this trip with much better adventures/ in your element. The whole trip was super well organised, absolutely beautiful and an unforgettable experience with a great group of likeminded people. A special shout out to our amazing guide Andy, who kept us well fuelled with epic food (three course meals!!), it was clear he was very experienced, knowledgeable and passionate and safety was always his top priority making the right decisions in terms of direction to travel, when to stop, when to raft etc. So we always felt in super safe hands and managed to canoe the whole way even though the winds were really strong! Overall the trip was much better than I could have imagined, thoroughly enjoyed it and 100% recommend...just wish I could do it all again haha

Ian B.(May 2024)
Wonderful trip with new friends
Wonderful trip with new friends
Wonderful trip with new friends
Wonderful trip with new friends

Just returned from a wonderful trip hosted by our fabulous guide Elliot. As a 61 year old, I was slightly apprehensive about the effort needed to paddle 60 miles with all the food and kit needed for 5 days.

Although you should not underestimate the work, especially when paddling against the wind, you get rewarded by fantastic scenery and a real sense of achievement. I started the trip with 7 complete strangers and ended it with 7 firm friends.

Paddling each day along side each other, chatting and supporting each other then sitting round a campfire in the evenings with a wee dram or two.

The food cooked by Elliot was amazing and very welcome; 3 course dinners with wine. We all mucked in at the campsites, which were very well chosen.

Elliot gave us all confidence that we were in safe hands and was knowledgable about the local history and folk tales.

One piece of advice I would give to anybody doing this trip is, take a sit mat; it will help alleviate the 'numb bum' during the daily 6 hours of paddling.

I was impressed with the environmental aspects of 'leave no trace' at the campsites and the recycling.

Nikki R.(May 2024)
Amazing trip and experience!
Amazing trip and experience!
Amazing trip and experience!
Amazing trip and experience!
Amazing trip and experience!

I write this to help those ladies over 50 who are concerned. Just back from the most incredible trip. Elliott, our guide, was simply brilliant. His cooking was great and the menu was so much more than I could have imagined. I had never canoed, was concerned about toileting in the bushes and worried about whether I would cope. I travelled with my son (grown up) which a was such a privilege and the rest of the crew were all men - very welcoming and we all got in so well. There is an amazing device (Lulu) which makes going do a poo an almost luxurious experience and I took my she wee (a must) for the other. We thought we’d have to share a tent but everyone had their own unless they asked specifically to share. We did the trip backwards because of the wind forecasts and although we had some scary winds on one day and some tough headwinds on another I never felt unable to cope or deal with the canoeing part at all - all supported by the team and Elliott. The portages (there are 6) are tough work but there is no getting around them and no one is in my hurry so we all just mucked in and got things unloaded, moved and reloaded. Everyone mucked in with washing up etc and had you struggled with putting up your tents they would have stepped in. The most amazing experience and I am so pleased I chose to do it, so pleased we were doing it with In Your Element (IYE). We were really lucky with the weather, and going early enough not to be bothered by midges. Friends made for life and we even had a real life pop star join us! If you are thinking about doing it - just jump in and do so - blooming marvellous!

John D.(May 2024)
Two 60yr old geezers.
Two 60yr old geezers.
Two 60yr old geezers.
Two 60yr old geezers.

Wow, what an amazing experience myself and best pal had, cerebrating our 60th year. We were lucky as we had a fantastic group and our guide Elliott, made it even better. Once he’d shown us we all got stuck in with any tasks, my favourite was lighting the fires and topping them up with firewood. As a vegetarian, the food Elliott prepared was way better than I’d have imagined.

Regarding the actual trip and canoeing, I don’t think you have to be too fit, however you need to be prepared to grind it out and have the mental strength to plough on each day. Setting off early in the morning definitely helped us. Sitting in the canoe for any length of time can be an issue, I was advised to take a small padded mat, which was a life saver for my knees and ankles. The was a truly fantastic life experience, which I will treasure forever.

Anna H.(May 2024)
What an expedition. Guided by
What an expedition. Guided by
What an expedition. Guided by
What an expedition. Guided by

What an expedition. Guided by the brilliant Andy, such a cool and funny, experienced, confident and informative guy we were clearly in safe hands from the start. Scotland showed off its breathtaking beauty, kayaking in headwinds and tail winds, sails up, or just meandering, what a stunning beauty of a place. White tailed eagles, osprey, ticks! Loch Ness and Ben Nevis, we had it all with incredible weather and warmth. And then the company... we needed teamwork, communication, humour and chill out, camp fires, portage, wine... and it was brilliant. A group of strangers who so quickly became a group of friends. A magical week great for the body and soul, and to be so fondly remembered... thank you to all. Anna x

Mark R.(May 2024)
Amazing expedition experience.
Amazing expedition experience.
Amazing expedition experience.
Amazing expedition experience.
Amazing expedition experience.
Amazing expedition experience.
Amazing expedition experience.
Amazing expedition experience.
Amazing expedition experience.

An all round amazing 5 day adventure. Everything was organised perfectly and we were so lucky to get our guide Andy who as well as being professional and skilled was the most positive funny and friendly guy you could wish to meet, always taking time to explain everything and encourage everyone as well as being an excellent cook, we went expecting 3 course meals every evening! We had a great group of people and all got on so well. All the equipment provided was excellent and we stayed over at some amazing locations by the side of lochs in the evenings. If you're think of booking this expedition don't hesitate to use this company, you'll make memories for life.

Kerry S.(April 2024)