5 day expedition North West Highlands Wild camp
WHAT TO EXPECT Our journey will begin in Kylesku, a tiny hamlet 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.
*WILD NORTH WEST - We’ll meet in Inverness before driving through the North West Highlands to our expeditions start 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 ONE *WILD NORTH WEST
| Meet Inverness at 09.30
| Sea kayak - Kylesku
| Stay - Wild camp
*OLDANY AND HANDA - These two islands are both incredible places to explore. Oldany features sheltered bays and small Skerries where Seals haul out and some fantastic white sand beaches to explore and wild camp above. 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 - a huge block of sandstone. Tunnels cut the base of the stack and its possible to paddle straight through the stack, only for calm conditions!
DAY TWO TO FIVE *OLDANY AND HANDA
| Explore by sea kayak
| Trip ends - Inverness 17.00
ACCOMMODATION For this trip we will be wild camping. Tents can be provided (see kit list for full details), if booking as an individual you will not have to share a tent.
FOOD Includes meals - lunch on day one through to lunch on day 4. We can accommodate any dietary requirements if notified in advance.
START AND FINISH Meet Inverness at 09.30, trip ends Inverness 17.00. Alternatively we could meet you in Ullapool.
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 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 - 20km. 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.
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
Trip calendar - If you would prefer to view our trips listed by date then we have a full calendar view of our scheduled trips