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

ISLAND ESCAPE - KAYAK & FORAGE ON THE ISLE OF CANNA

4 day explore Isle of Canna Canna campsite pods & Bunkhouse

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 4 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 4 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.

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DATES AND PRICES

This trip can also be run as a private trip if you have a group of 4 or more.

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 & Bunkhouse

*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 *EXPLORE A WILD ISLAND

| Get to know a wild Scottish island

Trip ends - Arisaig 18.00

TRIP INFORMATION

Accommodation is in Canna campsite pods or in the simple Canna bunkhouse close by. The pods are simple wooden shelters and are perfectly situated on the quiet Canna campsite, there are toilets, running water, cooking shelter and showers. 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). It is also possible to camp if you wish, or to wild camp close to the campsite. The bunkhouse is close to the campsite and is a basic building with a single room that sleeps 6 (we won't use it to sleep 6), as well as kitchen/dining room, this bunkhouse also provides a base in the event of poor weather. Accomodation will be allocated based on the split of bookings, if you have a preference then feel free to mention that.

Includes meals - late afternoon lunch on day one through to lunch on day 4. If the group wished then 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 as well as local produce we source from the island. 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.

Please bear in mind we will be sourcing some of our food from the Island on this trip - this will likely include Crab, Lobster and Rabbits from the island. The Rabbits we will butcher ourselves (but not kill) and if we have Crab and Lobster then we'll kill and prepare these ourselves. This is a great opportunity to learn about preparing and butchering but for this reason this trip may not be a good choice if you do not wish to encounter these processes.

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

Meet at Arisaig sea kayak centre at 08.00 on day one. Trip ends at Arisaig sea kayak centre at 18.00 on day 4.

We will bring one or more double kayaks on this trip if there are beginners in the group. If you've never been sea kayaking before then we may ask you to paddle in one of the double kayaks for this trip, or we may use the double kayaks to make the kayaking easier for anyone who wishes, or if you have a preference to paddle a double kayak then feel free to let us know.

As this trip relies on using a ferry to access the Island then there is a small risk that the ferry service will be cancelled. If this happens then we'll adapt the trip which may mean a longer stay on the island or it may mean the trip is based around Arisaig until we can reach Canna - please bear in mind there is a very small chance of this happening and in 5 years of running trips to Canna this has never happened.

DATES AND PRICES

This trip can also be run as a private trip if you have a group of 4 or more.

LOCATION 

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.

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

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