Kayaking in Scotland

Everything you need to know about kayaking in Scotland

From 50£/day All year round 1+ People Beginners to experts

Scotland is a paradise for paddlers, with many different types of kayaking and canoeing pursuits available.  All you have to do is choose a vessel, grab a paddle and decide where you would like to go. Our rivers, lochs and coastlines are waiting, and what better time to get involved than during Scotland’s Year of Coasts & Waters. In Scotland you will come across a variety of types of kayaking, from sea kayaking, open canoeing, kayaking activities for families and more. Kayaking is a popular watersport for individuals and families alike to try out on their holiday in Scotland and is something you can find on offer in all corners of the country. If you’re a complete beginner or you’re still trying to find your sea legs, not to worry. There are many opportunities to try out kayaking lessons or even venture on a kayaking course to get you up to speed. Don’t worry about equipment either, you’ll be provided with all the essential gear when you arrive. Maybe just remember a spare change of warm clothes for after! Keep reading for more information and how to kick start your Scottish kayaking holidays.


Paddle through some of the country’s most beautiful and remote wildernesses on a Scottish loch or river. Take in staggering landscapes and wildlife as you float on a tranquil loch or tackle a flowing river complete with thrilling, white-knuckled stretches of river rapids.Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

River Ness

Try the incredible Great Glen way, which travels from coast to coast through an ancient route of rugged mountainous landscapes in northern Scotland!

River Tay

Weaving its way through Perthshire, the Tay is one of Scotland’s longest and most famous rivers, offering steady conditions for both beginners and advanced kayakers.

Loch Morlich

Located 10 minutes from Aviemore, Loch Morlich is a great place to try out kayaking.

Loch Lomond

Experience what it’s like to paddle on the largest body of fresh water in mainland Britain.

Sea Kayaking

Scotland is one of the best destinations in the world for sea kayaking as it boasts hundreds of miles of secluded beaches, cliffs, caves, tunnels, and beautiful blue waters. You’ll be able to explore curious coves, paddle alongside the local wildlife and make a voyage to distant isles, all the while taking in some refreshing sea air. Sea kayak trips throughout Scotland vary from day trips to multi-day expeditions.

East Neuk of Fife

Explore the beautiful East Neuk of Fife coastline by sea kayak. The Firth of Forth’s unique geography and environment offers a varied selection of trips to suit all levels while taking in some amazing wildlife and history.

Orkney, Shetlands, Skye and the Outer Hebrides

Some of the most spectacular and challenging sea cliffs, arches and tunnels in Europe can be found in Orkney, including the famous Old Man of Hoy. Sea kayaking holidays offer a wonderful way to explore the coastline of the Highlands and Isles, including Orkney, Shetlands, the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye.

Scottish Sea Kayaking Trail

Journey through some of the most scenic parts of Scotland on the unique Scottish Sea Kayaking Trail, a challenging 500 km voyage. Stretching from the Isle of Gigha off the Kintyre peninsyla to the Summer Isles near Ullapool, the trail can be undertaken in four holiday-sized sections or as one, long glorious journey. The trail has been voted a top European tour of lifetime by National Geographic.

Argyll Sea Kayak Trail

Split into eight sections and stretching for 150km in length, the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail hugs the stunning Argyll coast and takes in the Crinan Canal, otherwise dubbed ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’.

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