Canoeing holiday in Scottish Highlands
Description of Canoeing holiday in Scottish Highlands
Learn to canoe, or develop your existing skills, in the spectacularly beautiful surroundings of the Highlands with this fantastic canoeing holiday in Scotland.
In the company of an expert canoeing guide, you’ll explore some of the region’s most renowned landscapes in the Cairngorms National Park, followed by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Paddle gently along calm and pristine rivers and lochs, keeping eyes open for wildlife including deer, ospreys and more, while getting to know the rest of your group in a supportive, friendly environment.
Eating as much locally produced food is the best way you can keep your holiday’s carbon footprint to a minimum, and mealtimes will certainly be among the great pleasures of this trip. Staying in a selection of small, locally owned hotels and guest houses (single rooms, where available, at a supplement) you’ll feast on meals created from the great Scottish larder.
This canoeing holiday in the Scottish Highlands is perfectly suited to beginners and intermediates. Roaming from Boat of Garten on the River Spey to Loch Insh and Loch Rannoch and beyond, you’ll be immersed in some of the most magnificent scenery in the British Isles. Landscapes that have inspired artists, writers and musicians for centuries, and beg to be explored through outdoor pursuits. There’s simply nowhere better to put paddle to water.
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1 Reviews of Canoeing holiday in Scottish Highlands
Reviewed on 16 Jul 2022 by Alan Wood
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Excellent instructors/facilitators. Water levels were low and the skill and confidence levels within the group were very varied. However, Jerry and Vic did a fantastic job using their extensive skill, local knowledge and experience to make sure it was a memorable holiday for all members of the group and I personally learnt a great deal. Thanks Jerry and Vic.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Be prepared to be flexible. We all have different skills, abilities, life experience and knowledge to bring to a holiday group. Be aware of others expectations as well as your own and be prepared for a little give and take to enable everyone to enjoy the holiday. Don't forget your insect repellent and, hopefully, sun cream.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
When traveling I always try to keep my environmental impact to an absolute minimum and this holiday has a very small environmental footprint although quite a bit of unavoidable minibus travel is involved. There was no opportunity on the holiday to directly support conservation. Clearly any tourists bring a general economic benefit to the local area through spending in hotels, retail and activities.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Not a great question because you need to be more explicit. Instructors great, hotels great, organisation great. So all those things that the tour operator had control over were excellent. The level of water in the river was disappointingly low, I would have benefited from being in a stronger, more experienced group are negatives that were out of control of the tour operator. However, on the plus side we had fantastic weather and relatively few midges. How would I rate the tour operator as a holiday provider? 5 stars without a doubt. How would I rate this holiday overall probably 4+ stars mainly because of the low water levels. Thanks.
Read the operator's response here:
PlanetWe are firmly committed to responsible tourism and all of our tours reflect that commitment. Our holidays are purposefully designed to provide a visitor experience that maximises the positive benefits of tourism while minimising any negative impacts.
Leave No Trace & Our Guides
We are staunch advocates of the Leave No Trace principles, in which our guides are fully trained. On all of our activities, our guides will ensure that the impact on the environment, wildlife and local community is minimised. Along the way, our guides will teach you how to do this so that the knowledge is spread on your travels in Scotland and further afield. Our guides are ambassadors for Scotland's wild places and are passionate about sharing their knowledge. Your guide will not only lead your activities but tell you all about Scotland's flora, fauna, geology, history and culture along the way.
Our trips focus on enjoying the landscapes through human power, so by walking, biking or paddling through them. We minimise motorised transports as much as possible.
This canoeing holiday in the Scottish Highlands starts and finishes at a mainline train station to encourage the use of public transport. You will spend your days’ canoeing on beautiful Highland lochs and on gentle rivers. This way you get to really immerse yourself in the beautiful and wild scenery of the Scottish Highlands.
Accommodation & Meals
We’ve handpicked your accommodation on this trip and we take the provider’s Green Tourism credentials into account during our selection process and encourage where possible for our partners to reduce, reuse and recycle. You will be spending 3 nights in the Cairngorms National Park, and 3 nights in the Loch Lomonds and the Trossachs National Park.
Scotland is known for its fantastic natural larder so we try to source all food and drink provided on the trip as much as possible locally, and endeavour to take our clients to establishments that celebrate seasonal Scottish produce, meat and dairy. We’ll be paddling the River Spey at the start of the trip, the river that fuels much of Scotland’s whisky industry. If you’re keen there will be the opportunity to try a dram of the local stuff.
In the Office
It's not just on trips that we promote sustainable processes! We operate our holidays out of a carbon-neutral headquarters which is powered by renewable energy. We reduce, reuse and recycle, using environmentally friendly products from local suppliers where possible. In addition, our office car park hosts two public EV charging stations, and we subsidise staff usage. We encourage car-sharing and compete monthly for the most environmentally friendly commute!
In preparation for our trips, we strongly encourage our travellers to bring a reusable water bottle and lunchbox on their holiday to discourage the use of single-use plastics.
Lastly, we are committed to contributing annually to a nature-based charity that promotes conservation in Scotland.
Although our office staff isn’t 100% Scottish, all members of our team live and work in the Scottish Highlands. Because of this, our passionate personnel are able to give expert insider advice on their own favourite playground and ensure the best experience for our visitors.
We ensure a warm welcome from the locals wherever we go as we’ve always strived to work together with the local community and businesses, ensuring that the economic benefits are shared. We seek out locally owned and family-run hotels and restaurants over chain businesses. Packed lunches and snacks are sourced locally, either directly from the accommodation providers or from small cafes and delis.
On each trip, we endeavour to introduce our visitors to local and unique experiences, to channel tourism income back into the local community. On this canoeing holiday in the Scottish Highlands, canoeing will be the main event but we will be stopping at arguably one of the best pubs in the Highlands, one of the best cafes in central Scotland and the famous Doune Castle (known for its role as Castle Leoch in Outlander).
Some of the areas we visit suffer from over-tourism and we do what we can to manage this consequence. The crowding caused by over-tourism not only negatively impacts the natural environment but also the quality of life of the communities who live and work in the beautiful destinations that we visit. To mediate this we take our clients to the lesser-known spots in any given area, extend our tour departures into the less busy shoulder months to spread the flow of visitors and when we do visit ‘hotspots’ we aim to go outside of peak hours.
We deliberately keep our groups small for several reasons. Having smaller groups means less disturbance to the environment and the local community. It also means that we can stay at smaller accommodation providers who are not eligible to benefit from mass tourism providers and have a better guide to traveller ratio.
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