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Sea Kayak North West

5 day expedition North West Highlands Wild camp

What to Expect Our journey will begin near Kylesku on the North West coast. We can journey in multiple directions depending on the conditions, exploring a mix of sheltered sea Lochs and more exposed coastline. There are some stunning sections of coastline all within a couple of days paddle - the point of Stoer with its lighthouse and famous sea stack, Oldany island with its sheltered sandy lagoons and Handa island with its towering sandstone cliffs. This journey presents a real chance to explore some very wild coastline and to gain some experience in more challenging seas.

Trip Highlights   An expedition aiming to explore a spectacular section of coastline in the North West Highlands, journeying and wild camping for 5 days.

  • Paddle round the Great stack of Handa - home to thousands of nesting seabirds and riddled with caves and tunnels.
  • Wild camp above beaches or on uninhabited islands.
  • A great chance to experience a more challenging expedition - we'll encounter some waves, tide and swell throughout our journey.
  • Have the place to yourself - this areas coastline is always quiet.

Grade:

Dates and Prices

Back in 2025

Scroll down or click to see the trip story or the detailed trip information

Story

Shown as an example, plans are always based around the conditions we encounter on a trip.

Day 1 - Arrive in the North West

We’ll meet in Inverness before driving through the North West Highlands to our launch at Kylesku. Taking part of the NC500 route through the Highlands, the drive is famous for its mountain and coast backdrop. We'll take to the water, ahead of us lie miles of wild coastline waiting to be explored. The route we will follow is likely to involve more challenging sea conditions than our expeditions around Arisaig and so this trip would form an excellent expedition for those who are keen to develop their sea kayaking experience and knowledge. 

Day 2 and 3 - Exploring Oldany and Kylesku

Exploring the North West coastline is full of contrasts - Oldany features sheltered bays and small Skerries where Seals haul out and some fantastic white sand beaches to explore and wild camp above. Kylesku features deep sea Lochs surrounded by mountains - both make for excellent expedition paddling and we'll explore this area before journeying North.

Day 4 - Exploring Handa island

Handa is a block of Torridonian sandstone jutting out into the Atlantic, home to thousands of nesting seabirds, it is truly a spectacular place to paddle a sea kayak. Our journey will take us past the Eastern side of Handa island, through the narrow channel separating the island from the mainland, before journeying around the West of the island to the Great Stack of Handa - tunnels cut the base of the stack and its possible to paddle straight through the stack, only for calm conditions!

Day 5 - Heading home

Our journey will end back in Kylesku from where we'll drive back to Ullapool with great memories of wild coastline and good times.

Trip Information

Accommodation For this trip we will be wild camping.

Food Includes Breakfast and evening meals. You'll need to bring snacks and lunch.

Start and Finish Meet at Inverness 09.30 or Ullapool 11.00 on the first day of the trip. Finish at Ullapool (approx 15.00) or Inverness (approx 17.00) on the last day of the trip.

Kit List Our expedition kit list applies to this trip. All specialist kayaking equipment and some camping equipment can be provided.

Trip Grade This is an expedition style trip, we will paddle variable distances each day depending on conditions but these could include days of up to 15 - 25km. The area we intend to paddle in is open to the wind and swell from multiple directions and so it is very likely that we will experience wind and waves at some point in the trip. If conditions aren't suitable for our intended route then we will paddle in an alternate, more sheltered location.

Location

Frequently Asked Questions 

Individuals, couples or small groups of friends. Our Expeditions are only open to over 18's.

Yes - 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 during an expedition but will give you hints and tips on the journey to make it easier for you and suggest improvements to your technique as we go along. We'll help you develop your knowledge and sea kayak handling skill throughout the trip but also allow plenty of time simply to enjoy the journey and the experience of sea kayaking.

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 on the West coast. The wind speed and sea state are the primary factors that affect the trip - if the conditions are difficult then we will seek out a more sheltered section of coast to run the trip. You should note that it is very rare that we have to stay off the water on multi-day trips and the vast majority of trips run as planned. For full terms and conditions see the link below. You can read more about the weather/cancellation/booking on our FAQ page.

A 25% deposit is required at the time of booking, the balance is due 11 weeks prior to the trip, for cancellation policy please see our full terms and conditions.

We have a much larger FAQ page that covers all aspects of sea kayak trips with us.

Other Trips to Consider

Full list - Sea Kayak Expeditions