7 day explore Harris & Lewis Base camp
WHAT TO EXPECT The best beaches in the world - in our humble opinion! Harris and Lewis make an excellent sea kayaking destination, complete with everything you could want - wild islands, white sand beaches, rugged headlands, sheltered bays, sea stacks and caves. The islands are open to the full force of the Atlantic on their western side, with the east being open to the Minch - offering two contrasting coastlines that offer kayak journeying possibilities under most conditions. This trip offers intermediate paddlers a great chance to experience some wilder coastline and exposed coastline.
TRIP HIGHLIGHTS A seven day explore holiday paddling sea kayak day trips from a base camp on the island of Harris & Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
- Sea kayak above turquoise water, walk on white sand beaches and paddle round rugged cliffs and headlands.
- Explore on day trips from two different comfortable base camps.
- A chance to complete exciting sea kayaking journeys with powerful swell and exposed coastline.
*SEA KAYAKING ON LEWIS - The Isle of Lewis, made from the oldest rock in Britain - Lewisian Gneiss, is a fortress against the full power of the Atlantic. It's Western edge is lined with cliffs, stacks and wave-washed beaches that have withstood countless storms. It is truly a spectacular place to explore in a sea kayak - the contrast between sheltered bays, sandy lagoons and the exposed headlands creates a landscape that offers almost everything you'd want from a sea kayak trip in a single day.
If the Western side of the island is out of bounds due to swell and wind then the Eastern side is a fantastic counterpart with several winding sea lochs to explore.
DAY ONE - THREE *SEA KAYAKING ON LEWIS
| Ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway
| Sea kayak journeys
| Stay - Fixed camp
*SEA KAYAKING ON HARRIS - The Isle of Harris has some of the best beaches anywhere - Luskentyre is becoming increasingly famous for its white sand and island and mountain backdrop. We can often paddle out to island beaches and make the first footprints in the white sand. The Harris Machair, a carpet of wildflowers above the beaches, is simply stunning in May and June and offers some great places to camp.
The Eastern side of Harris is an entirely different landscape with a rocky coastline indented with many small bays and sheltered spots - offering some very rewarding journeys when the Western side of the island is off limits.
DAY FOUR - SIX *SEA KAYAKING ON HARRIS
| Sea kayak journeys
| Stay - Fixed camp
| Trip ends Ullapool, Inverness or Arisaig
ACCOMMODATION For this trip we will be camping - we'll set up a fixed camp in two or more separate locations throughout the trip and paddle day trips. 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 - breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 7. We can accommodate any dietary requirements if notified in advance.
START AND FINISH Meet at Arisaig at 11.00, Inverness at 13.00 or Gills Bay ferry terminal at 16.00. Finish at Gills Bay at 13.00, Inverness 16.00 or Arisaig 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. Harris and Lewis are 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.
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