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Sea Kayak Orkney

7 days Orkney Campsite & Wild Camp

Inclusive of campsite fees, travel from Inverness, all meals and all kayaking and camping equipment.

What to Expect   A sea kayaking holiday to Orkney has a lot to offer - the many different aspects and types of coastline coupled with the Atlantic on one side and the North sea on the other means that there will always be lots of energy in the sea. However, its not all big waves and exposed headlands - there are many sheltered sections of coastline to explore and they are no less spectacular than the big Atlantic cliffs. The islands are also fascinating places to explore on shore with such a diversity of history, interesting towns and scenic coastline.

We will paddle day trips from a base on the islands, this allows us the chance to explore lots of coastline without being too committed. The trip will be based from a campsite on South Ronaldsay, we will explore on day trips an overnight expedition.

Trip Highlights

  • Spectacular islands offering some stunning sea kayaking.
  • The islands are rich in wildlife - Seabirds, Seals, Otters and Whales can all be seen here.
  • A chance to complete advanced sea kayaking journeys with powerful tides and exposed coastline.

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Dates and Prices £790/720 per person

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Story

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

Day 1 - Arrive on Orkney

We'll meet in Inverness (or you can meet us on Orkney if you wish) before driving North to the ferry crossing at Gills Bay. This ferry route offers fantastic views of the swirling tides and wild uninhabited islands of the Pentland Firth.

Once on Orkney we'll get acquainted with our surroundings by going for a short paddle - exploring the famous Churchill barriers and the sandy bays, Seals and sunken blockships.

Day 2, 3 & 4 - Orkney Day Trips

We are based at a campsite on South Ronaldsay for this trip. We can access the water from the campsite and explore Orkney's scenic East coast or make use of our vehicle and travel further afield.

There are many caves to explore and three spectacular Gloups we can visit - sea caves with collapsed roofs. Any journey on the East coast of Orkney is characterised by exploring caves, landing on sandy beaches and watching seabirds and Seals (we even came within metres of a pod of Orca on our 2021 trip!).

Day 5 & 6 - Overnight Expedition

As part of this trip we'll go on an overnight expedition for 2 or 3 days (1 or 2 nights wild camping).

There are many options for short expeditions in Orkney and we can choose an option that suits the forecasted conditions - the wind is always quite variable in Orkney and a flexible plan allows us to take advantage and paddle in the place that works for the skill level of the group

Day 7 - Journey Home

On our final morning we'll wave goodbye to the campsite and head home on the Pentland ferry.

We'll get back to Inverness by mid-afternoon, allowing time for onward travel.

Trip Information

Accomodation For this trip we will be based at Wheems campsite on South Ronaldsay. The trip fee includes a camping pitch at the campsite. The campsite also has pods and yurts, you could book these for the trip if you prefer. Or, you could arrange your own accommodation on Orkney and meet us for kayaking only (email to ask if this is your intention). We may also spend 1 or 2 nights wild camping on this trip when on expedition.

Food Includes meals in the price, Dinner on day 1 through to breakfast on day 7. We could choose to eat out as a group on some evenings (not included in the price). It is also possible to self cater if you prefer.

Ferries Ferries (Pentland Ferries) - 13.30, 6th August. Return 11.30, 12th August.

Start and Finish Meet at Inverness at 09.00 on the 6th August, if you intend on travelling to Orkney with us (alternatively we can meet you on Orkney or on the ferry). Finish at Gills Bay ferry terminal 11.30 or Inverness 15.30 on the 12th August. The trip includes up to 5 full days of sea kayaking and potential for a short trip on the first day.

Kit List Our expedition kit list applies to this trip. All specialist kayaking equipment and camping equipment can be provided (with the exception of sleeping bags).

Trip Grade We will paddle day trips from a fixed base and an overnight expedition. This means the trip can be quite flexible and work around the conditions that are forecast. Orkney is open to wind and swell from multiple directions and feature large areas of remote coastline with few landings, for these reasons a good level of sea kayaking experience and confidence is needed to get the most from this trip.

Dates and Prices £790/720 per person

Frequently Asked Questions 

Individuals, couples or small groups of friends.

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 6 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.

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Full list - Sea Kayak Expeditions