Home » Sea Kayaking Holidays and Courses » Island Escape – Sea Kayak Isle of Canna

ISLAND ESCAPE - KAYAK & FORAGE ON THE ISLE OF CANNA

5 day explore Isle of Canna Canna campsite pods

WHAT TO EXPECT   Scottish islands have just a wee bit of magic about them - it’s hard to pin down, I like to think it’s something to do with the endless vision of sea and sky that stretches in front of you or the fact that you can say hello to everyone you see and not feel weird about it. Whatever creates that magic - there is lots of it on the Isle of Canna.

We are collaborating with foraging teacher Mark Williams on this trip, we'll explore the wild food resources of the Isle of Canna, using what we find to create delicious meals. Over the course of the trip you'll get the chance to learn about foraging for wild food in a range of habitats whilst also journeying by sea kayak and on foot.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS   A 5 day wild food foraging and sea kayaking trip exploring a remote Scottish island, staying in simple accommodation in a wonderful setting. May is a wonderful time to visit Canna with the island full of spring life.

  • Get to know a remote Scottish island over the course of 5 days.
  • Get acquainted with the local Puffins and Seals.
  • Beaches and cliffs, sea caves and skerries - Canna is a sea kayaking playground.
  • Learn about wild food from an expert forager, whilst exploring Canna's shoreline and woodland.

Grade:

DATES AND PRICES

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

STORY

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

*MAKING YOUR ESCAPE - We’ll meet at Arisaig to collect the kayaks and kit, then head up to Mallaig for the ferry crossing to the isle of Canna - keep an eye out for Dolphins or Minke whales - often seen from the ferry.

Arriving on Canna is a wonderful experience, with that instant feel of being far away from everywhere else. We’ll have a little explore and then take to the kayaks for a Sea Kayak Journey - if you’ve not spent much time in a kayak before then we’ll make sure you get to brush up on the essential skills before heading out.

DAY ONE *MAKING YOUR ESCAPE

| Meet Arisaig

| Travel to Isle of Canna

| Stay - Canna campsite pods

*FORAGING AND EXPLORING - This is a chance to get really intimate with the flavours of Scotland's wild west coast, connecting with seaweeds, coastal succulents, shellfish, woodland greens, aromatic herbs and medicinal plants in a stunning location. While the flora and fauna of Canna is very special, the foraging knowledge and skills you will learn are fully transferable to less wild settings, and will last you a lifetime.

Our trip coincides with low spring tides, and we will connect with their rhythms in our kayaks and on foot to access, learn about and harvest dozens of delicious and nutritious seaweeds in prime condition. In late May, some of the shellfish we encounter will be out of season, but this will not stop us from learning about them. As the tide comes in we will paddle around the island to explore the succulent and aromatic edible treasures of its upper shores, salt marshes, coastal machair (low-lying grassland) and coastal cliffs. We will also venture inland to look at the edible plants of wet moorlands, woodlands and maritime hedgerows.

DAY TWO AND THREE *FORAGING AND EXPLORING

| Explore by sea kayak & on foot

| Forage and learn

*EXPLORE A WILD ISLAND - We’ll wake up each morning in a wild setting, our accommodation is in perfectly situated wooden pods with a clear sea view. Each evening we will cook meals in a wild place on the island.

Our meals will be full of natural flavour, nutrition and wild inspiration, as we process, cook and eat our finds, learning the best techniques for capturing and preserving the flavours of time and place. Every meal will include foraged ingredients, and our last night will be a multi-course tasting menu of all we have learned throughout the week, cooked on an open fire. We will mix foraged Canna cocktails on the beach, and sip aromatic liqueurs by starlight.

We’ll use or time well - going for a longer explore in the sea kayaks and on foot. The island is home to lots of Puffins and other sea birds, we’ll see them dart back and forth from the cliffs as we paddle along. The conditions will dictate exactly how we spend each day - there are lots of options for sea kayaking and exploring the island on foot, if the conditions are good we'll aim to spend the full day in the sea kayaks.

The week will include relaxed workshop sessions as we tune more deeply into Canna's wild larder, honing our identification skills and foraging repertoire. Participants will have plenty of time and space to develop their own personal connections with the plants we encounter, and should emerge from the week refreshed, inspired and with enough foraging skills to plan they own wild adventures.

DAY FOUR AND FIVE *EXPLORE A WILD ISLAND

| Get to know a wild Scottish island

Trip ends - Arisaig 18.00

TRIP INFORMATION

DATES AND PRICES 

ACCOMMODATION   Accommodation is in Canna campsite pods, these simple wooden shelters are perfectly situated on the quiet Canna campsite, there is a toilet, running water and cooking shelter on site with showers situated on the farm about 1km from the campsite. The Pods are simple shelters - they have no electricity or beds, you will need a sleeping bag and self inflating mat for the pods (can be provided). Each Pod will be shared, either as a couple or with other group members of the same gender (there are two 3 person pods and 1 2 person pod). It is also possible to camp if you wish, or to wild camp close to the campsite.

FOOD   Includes meals - late afternoon lunch on day one through to lunch on day 5. We may choose to eat a meal in the cafe Canna on one of the nights (not included in the trip fee). We will be foraging for wild food on this trip and will use some of what we find in our meals, this will be supplemented by wild food that Mark has foraged and ingredients we bring with us. There is also a small honesty shop on the island which sells some food if you need to purchase any snacks. We can accommodate any dietary requirements if notified in advance.

FORAGING   Mark Williams is the foraging expert joining us on this trip - a member of the Association of foragers and a full time foraging teacher and consultant. He has a wealth of knowledge and is great fun to work with, his website is an excellent resource on wild food:

Galloway Wild Foods

START AND FINISH   Meet at Arisaig sea kayak centre at 08.00 on day one. Trip ends at Arisaig sea kayak centre at 18.00 on day 5.

LOCATION 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Up to 8 people.

No - this trip is graded green and is suitable for beginners.

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.

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. We'll help you develop your knowledge and sea kayak handling skill throughout he 2 days 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 won't go out on the sea or may do a shorter journey. If we can't go sea kayaking then we'll offer an alternative activity such as a coastal walk or indoor session on sea kayaking knowledge. 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, it only takes a light breeze or direct sunlight to keep them away and they don't venture out onto the sea, so they are not really a thing to worry about on sea kayak trips. We rarely experience problems with midges on sea kayak trips, midges tend to favour humid, still and overcast conditions which are not common weather conditions on the West coast.

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

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

OTHER TRIPS TO CONSIDER 

Full list - Wilderness coast sea kayaking courses and holidays

Trip calendar - If you would prefer to view our trips listed by date then we have a full calendar view of our scheduled trips