Sea Kayaking in Scotland

For sometime now, myself and Bob (a close friend and fellow instructor of CHMAS) get together for a week of adventure, which has seen as winter walking in Scotland, mountain walking in Poland and via ferratas in the Italian Dolomites. This year, we decided that a sea kayak expedition to the Knoydart in Scotland to climb a few Munro’s would be a new challenge for us and as we both had a week free in September we thought this would be a good time to go (at least that’s what we thought).

Bob sorting lunch

We arrived in Mallaig on the first day of our trip (Monday) to be greeted with rain and high winds (southerly force 6 / 7 winds) so decided to find the nearest cafe to comtemplate our options. After much deliberation, we decided to chance our arm and wait for better weather to make the crossing to Inverie. Tuesday passed much in the same way and by Wednesday with the  weather showing little sign of improvement, we reluctantly opted for a day paddle around the sea loch at Arisaig (Loch Nan Ceall) and were fortunate to see a few otters and seals on the outward trip. On the way back, the weather changed, which caused a bit of excitement before we arrived safely back at the cars. Over a few beers in the evening, it was agreed that a change of location was in order to at least ensure we managed to get another days paddling and on the Thursday we headed to Oban in search of better conditions. Fortunately, this proved to be a good move and we managed a days paddle on the Loch Creran. As always we had a great time putting the world to rights and for those who might be planning a similar trip the following might be worth noting:

  • It appears the ‘best’ time for sea trip to Knowdart is May as this has more reliable weather, calmer seas and slightly warmer weather;
  • If you are based at Mallaig, I would recommend staying at the Camasdurach Campsite, which has great facilities and very friendly owners (£7.00 per person per night) – Tel 01687 450221.
  • If you are looking for a camp near at Oban, I would recommend the Seaview Caravan & Camping Park which is a great little site and Duncan the owner is very friendly (£6 per person per night) – Tel 01631 720360.


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