Home » Sea kayak Arisaig » Family Sea Kayak Trip – Arisaig


Half day trip - up to 2 hours journeying time Arisaig

WHAT TO EXPECT   Arisaig has some sheltered coastline that is perfect for a family day out sea kayaking. On a family sea kayaking trip we will journey along the Arisaig coastline looking for Seals, landing on beaches and just having a good time exploring. These trips are exclusively for families - we'll keep the pace relaxed, take a few breaks and make sure you all have a great time on the sea. If your kids are older, sporty and confident then they may be able to paddle their own kids sea kayaks, we also use double kayaks so that parents can join younger kids.

Please note these are family trips - we don't offer any trips just for kids without their parents present.

HOW OUR TRIPS WORK Family kayak trips are very similar to our Arisaig half day tour but just for mixed family groups.

  • Small group family trips for adults and kids aged from 6 upwards. If your kids have sea kayaking experience and/or they are older than 12 then you could also join one of our regular Arisaig day or half day trips instead if you wanted.
  • Paddle at a relaxed pace in a group made up of families only.
  • Our guides choose where to paddle based on their expert knowledge of the Arisaig coastline and the sea conditions.
  • For younger (under 11) or more nervous kids we tend to use double kayaks with a parent, for every child of this age booked please make sure there is a parent to paddle a double kayak with them. We have kids single sea kayaks for older or more confident kids.

TRIP OPTIONS   Half day | 09.30 - 12.30 or 13.30 - 16.30 | £50 Adult | £35 under 16

If you'd rather be in a private group or go out for a day trip instead then we can also run a family day trip on request.

Scroll down to read more about our Family trips. 

Family trips are currently under review, we may choose to alter the format of these trips for the 2019 season, booking will be available from January 2019.


Shown as a guide, each trip has its own story, plans are always open to change.

*EXPLORING THE SKERRIES - The Skerries are a unique landscape - they appear from a distance as a mass of rock and sand - it is only when we approach that their true nature starts to reveal itself, showing a maze of shallow channels and small islands.

They invite us in to explore - the strip of white sand, the glimpse of a common Seal, the little flashes of Oyster catchers and Terns. The glide of a sea kayak places you closer to the detail of this landscape than anything else - reaching out you can touch the rock and seaweed or land on a beach and feel your footprints etch into the soft sand then dig your fingers into the mass of shells to get lost in the search for something unique.

The sand and sea always rises and falls in the time we spend here: sometimes supplanting each other with a shimmering, tropical clarity.

Look up and the jagged fingers of the Isle of Skye stretch into the distance, look back and the neat, white houses of Arisaig village nestle far away at the foot of mountains and clouds.

The hundreds of Seals that make this place their home constantly remind us of how we are guests in their realm, popping up behind us and then in front as if to demonstrate how much better their mastery of the sea is.

Spend time here and you'll be fascinated by the rich palette of sea and sky that is ever changing. When the mist shrouds the hills it is easy to get lost in the drama and intrigue of the West coast when we imagine the Jacobites gathering their rebellion in the rough bounds or the open boats of the Island Kingdoms plying their way between distant harbours.

Whatever this landscape shows us - we can't help but be fascinated by it. By choosing to kayak we choose to get closer to the landscape, not as passive observers looking on from a viewpoint, but involved deeply in a journey that will give us memories and insight and a story to tell.


| Explore by sea kayak

See - Seals and seabirds

| Location - Loch nan Ceall


Available from April to the end of September.

Half day | 09.30 - 12.30 or 13.30 - 16.30 | £50 Adult | £35 under 16

Family trips are currently under review, we may choose to alter the format of these trips for the 2019 season, booking will be available from January 2019.


Trips meet at 09.30 or 13.30 (please don't be more than 10 mins early for your trip). All trips meet at Arisaig sea kayak centre, Arisaig village, PH39 4NH.


Arisaig has lots of accommodation to offer, we are located next to the Arisaig hotel. There are campsites, B&B's and hostels locally in Arisaig and Mallaig. Fort William is one hour away and has lots of accommodation to choose from. We have an accommodation page with more information.


Up to 8 people on most trips (or 12 with 2 guides on some trips), most trips usually run with one or two families. We can also cater for private group trips for larger groups.

We set 6 as a minimum age because we feel that in most kids that is the age that they can start to take an active part in a sea kayak trip. However, for most kids aged 6 - 8 they are mostly passengers in a double kayak and will only paddle some of the time, and so will need a parent to take charge, paddle the kayak and look after them in the front of the kayak. Kids younger than 9 usually aren't very good at maintaining their own temperature, adjusting clothing and looking after themselves and so in most cases you should also be prepared to do this during the trip. If your kids enjoy being outdoors and are happy in mixed weather then they should have a good time if you are also happy to take full control of the double kayak.

Kids older than 9 really start to get stuck into sea kayaking - they can paddle their own kayak if they are confident or have experience or a good level of fitness. Or if they are in a double kayak then they should be able to paddle most of the time and take an active part in controlling the kayak.

Most kids older than 12 can take part in a sea kayak trip in a similar way to an adult, they can usually take control of their own kayak. With kids older than 12 and teenagers then you may want to consider joining a non-family trip, although its best to bear in mind that the rest of the group will likely be adults and so the kids/teenagers will have to keep up with them.

We use different types of kayaks for different ages of kids and different groups.

We have kids kayaks that can be paddled by confident kids with a good level of fitness or if they have been sea kayaking before and got on fine with their own kayak.

We also use double kayaks, with an adult in the back of the kayak and a kid in the front, these are used for kids who haven't been sea kayaking before or are more nervous or generally for smaller kids age 10 and under.

We also use double sit on top kayaks, these are great for smaller kids as they can paddle much easier on these open kayaks and they are lighter and easier to handle than the larger double kayaks.

The guide will choose kayaks for the group based on the conditions and the ages, experience and confidence of the group. Sometimes if its windier then the whole group may use double kayaks/double sit on tops as this makes it much easier for kids. The guide always has final say in which kayaks are used as it relates to trip safety, we'll take into account your preferences but best not to tell your kids that they can definitely have their own kayak.

Sea kayaking is an adventure activity - it is subject to the natural variations in weather and the sea and requires physical effort and a positive attitude to have a great time sea kayaking, due to these things some trips are naturally harder than others and the activity does not universally suit everyone. Every kid is different and sometimes its very hard to tell how they react to being in a kayak; if your kids love being outdoors or are sporty and naturally adventurous then they will have a great time. If your kids are naturally a bit more nervous or don't like exercise then they may find a trip tougher but they may have a greater sense of achievement from a kayak trip. If, as a family you don't spend much time in nature, out in all weathers then it may be harder to gauge whether being out on the sea will result in a good time. It is rare that kids don't enjoy sea kayaking though and our guides are expert at working with mixed groups, different ages of kids and different styles of learning - we'll adapt what we do to suit your family, showing you what you need to know and practice to have a great time journeying in a sea kayak.

Our family trips are half day trips - we feel this is a good length of time to be sea kayaking with younger kids. If your kids are older than 12 you may also want to consider a day trip.

A half day trip allows enough time for a short journey of 2 or 3 Km's and about 1 hour 45 mins on the water. If you've never been in a kayak before and are nervous or unsure, have a limited amount of time or a limited budget, or just want a taste of the activity then a half day trip may suit you.

A day trip allows for a journey of about 6 - 12 km and 4 to 5 hours on the water (including breaks and lunch). If you are after a longer journey, you'd like to learn and develop more sea kayaking knowledge and skill, you'd like to spend a full day in a wild place and you have an average or above average fitness level (you do some exercise as part of your week) then a day trip may suit you better. We like to think of a day trip as a more natural sea kayaking trip length - a full days journeying and adventure around a wild bit of coastline allows a fuller experience of the activity. If you'd like a bit more adventure then a day trip is the best choice.

In terms of fitness requirements - on all sea kayak trips this is conditions dependent. On a day with little wind then both trip lengths are very similar in physical demands, a day trip can be a bit tougher if its a lot windier but on all trips we'll adapt our location to the conditions. We do pace our journeys for beginners and a day trip is often a slower or easier pace than a half day, mainly because we have more time and we also have more time to take breaks on beaches and islands. With the limited time frame of a half day trip we often spend a much higher proportion of the trip time actively paddling - therefore they can feel slightly more intense, but still within the capabilities of a beginner (there is further info. on fitness below).

The bottom line with both trip lengths is that we want you to have a good time, we'll teach you things and help you get the most from the kayaking, and won't force you to paddle faster or further than is reasonable for the trip length.

We don't publish a set route for any of our trips. The guide will choose a location that suits the conditions on the day and the experience and needs of the group - this is the safest and best way to operate sea kayak trips in Scotland.

All of our guides are qualified and experienced professionals who are very used to delivering safe and enjoyable sea kayak trips. Nowadays we have a good amount of research and knowledge to draw on in order to help us structure adventure experiences. Safety is often more subtle than you expect on sea kayak trips and rarely takes the form of long briefings, capsize drills or overly tight group control. The only expectation of yourself is that you trust our experience and judgement.

No - our trips are suitable for beginners, sea kayaking is easy to pick up and beginners can complete a decent journey on their first time in a sea kayak. All of our trips are about journeying - we don't practice skills in a static location or run overly long briefings for beginners - we learn on the move and enjoy the freedom that sea kayaking offers. Where possible we may mix groups of similar experience, if you are a group of experienced paddlers wanting to complete a demanding journey or benefit from individualised coaching then a private trip would be a suitable option.

Sea kayaking is similar in intensity to walking - its is moderate aerobic exercise involving lots of different muscle groups but mainly the muscles of the torso and upper body. It places a light but repetitive load on these muscles - you don't need to have big muscles but you do need to be capable of sustaining a moderate level of physical effort. If you don't do any exercise, don't enjoy physical effort or have a very low level of fitness then you may find sea kayaking challenging. The most important thing to note is that we are here to enjoy the journey - we'll take plenty of breaks and paddle at an achievable pace.

Although our trips are primarily about guided experiences, you will also learn some skills as part of the journey. A lot of learning about sea kayaking comes from experience and is best done as individuals on the move and in context. We won't spend time on long instructional briefings or static group skills practice but will give you little hints and tips on the journey to make it easier for you and suggest improvements to your technique as we go along.

The weather on the West coast of Scotland can vary through the course of the season and from area to area - Scottish islands and coastline can see dramatically better weather and more sunshine than more mountainous areas inland. The wind speed and sea state are the primary factors that affect whether we will run the trip - if the conditions are dangerous then we will cancel and you won't be charged (any deposit paid will be refunded), we can try and re-schedule if possible. You should note that it is very rare that we have to cancel trips. For full terms and conditions see the link below. You can read more about the weather/cancellation/booking on our FAQ page.

We can provide all specialist sea kayaking kit. You'll need to wear the right type of clothes for a more comfortable trip, full details are given in a kit list when you book a trip or if you'd like to read a kit list now then see this -  kit list


Full terms and conditions regarding booking our trips can be read here.