7 day explore Orkney Base camp
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 to explore lots of coastline without being too committed. The trip will be based from a campsite, in Kirkwall on the Orkney mainland, the plan is deliberately flexible so that we can take advantage of the forecasted conditions.
- 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.
Dates and Prices
Accomodation For this trip we will be based at Pickaquoy campsite in Kirkwall. The trip fee doesn't include accommodation and you can either stay at the campsite or choose your own accommodation in Kirkwall.
Food Doesn't include food.
Start and Finish Meet at Arisaig (or Fort William) at 11.00, Inverness at 14.00 or Gills Bay ferry termainal at 17.00. Finish at Gills Bay 13.00, Inverness 16.00 or Arisaig (Fort William) at 19.00.
Group Up to 4 people with one guide, or 8 people with two guides.
Kit List Our expedition kit list applies to this trip. All specialist kayaking equipment and camping equipment can be provided.
Trip Grade We will paddle day trips from a fixed base. 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
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Frequently Asked Questions
Individuals, couples or small groups of friends. This trip is not suitable for families.
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 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 inland. 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.
Midges are most active during mid summer, although it only takes a light breeze or direct sunlight to keep them away and they don't venture out onto the sea so most of the time they are not something we experience a problem with. However, they can be present in mid-summer in still and overcast conditions so bringing a midge head net and some repellent such as smidge (no DEET products allowed) is a necessary precaution.
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.
Other Trips to Consider
Uists and the Sound of Harris Expedition
7 day expedition 17th July. £650 (2 places left)
A seven day expedition from Lochboisdale on South Uist, aiming to explore the Uists, the Sound of Harris and the Monach Islands.
Orkney and the North Coast Expedition
11 day expedition 1st June. £780 (fully booked, get in touch if you'd like to join the waiting list)
An expedition through the Orkney islands, highly flexible depending on conditions but with a primary aim of paddling from the North coast through the Orkney Islands and returning to the North coast.
Please get in touch if you are interested in joining these trips.