CENTRES AND HIRE

Where it is known that a Centre will hire kayaks (and not all do), that's noted. It's worth noting that hiring a sea kayak in the UK is a little less easy that it would appear to be in some other parts of the world. Whether that's down to the economics of it, or something else is hard to say. Be prepared to provide proof of your competence. Bing Maps will help you find places mentioned. Inclusion here doesn't mean that UKSKGB endorses these providers in any way, or acts as an indication of excellence.

Ideas, suggestions or broken links? Please email me with details.


Scotland


"Visit Scotland" (the Scottish Tourist Board) asserts that Scotland has "the best sea kayaking in Europe". Their website has a lot of background, some trip suggestions and good general advice, including a list of "operators". (Outfitters / guides to you and me). Some (but not all) of these offer kayak hire but you'll have to make your own enquiry as the site doesn't give that info.

Adventure Hebrides - half day and day trips run out of Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides

Applecross Mountain & Sea Guides provide sea kayaking expeditions and courses for beginner to advanced intermediate paddlers. They also run expeditions to the Arctic Lofoten Islands, Orca whale paddling in Canada and the Dalmatian islands of Croatia. Sea kayak and kit hire available all year

Arisaig Sea Kayak Centre run guided trips and hire out sea kayaks, canoes and sit on tops. Based at the Arisaig hotel in Arisaig village.

Boots n Paddles describe themselves as a mobile outdoor adventure activity company with bases at Inverness and Aviemore. They offer sea kayak hire.

Canoe Hebrides - Tailormade trips in the Outer Hebrides run by Tim Pickering and other top Hebridean guides. They also run trips to Sub Arctic Sweden sea kayaking in the Lulea Archipelego.

Chris Dickinson runs sea kayaking guided trips.

Clearwater Paddling are based on Barra in the Hebrides, but offer trips in Norway, Oman and Trinidad as well as their Hebridean ones.

Cumbrae - a sportscotland national centre - they say they "are a good base for any sea kayakers wishing to explore with safety support and instruction".

Explore Highland are Inverness based and offer a range of courses, holidays and other activities, and also have a range of sea boats for hire.

Glenmore Lodge offers a variety of courses and trips, including sea kayaking.

Glenuig Inn offer a variety of courses and trips, and have Tiderace kayaks for hire.

Highland Ascent are based in Ross-shire, near Inverness and offer sea kayaking holidays and courses as well as mountaineering and mountain biking.

Island Cruising / Cuma specialise in trips to St Kilda and some of the following islands en route, Scarp, Taransay, Monach Isles and the Flannan Isles. As well as kayaking specific trips, they also operate as a dive charter, bird watching trips and almost anything else you'd like.

John Muir Trust offers "cutting edge adventurous activities and environmental education experiences in wild places. Led by skilled and qualified leaders these trips are open to people of all ages and abilities."

Kari-Tek, based in Ayrshire, will hire Nigel Dennis boats - they also have a limited range of roof racks for hire, so you could fly to Glasgow or Prestwick, hire a car (check the appropriate type with Kari-Tek first), pop down to Ayrshire (under an hours drive) and you're then positioned to take your hired boat away! Nice lateral thinking. With the Clyde on the doorstep, and easy access to road and ferry links to the West Coast, this has got to be worth considering if you're planning on visiting Scotland.

Kate Duffus Paddling - Kate offers a range of trips and coaching in Scotland, Cumbria and elsewhere.

Kayak Bute offer trips and coaching in the sheltered waters of the Kyles of Bute and the open water to the west. Dominated by the mountains of Arran, the Isle of Bute is a first class destination for sea paddlers.

Kayak Scotland is based in Aberdeenshire in the North East of Scotland and offer a variety of day trips around the North East coastline and also offer multi day trips at various locations throughout Scotland including the West Coast.

Lakes Canoe & Kayak Hire.co.uk profess to do what it says on the tin - and offer instruction as well. Based in Keswick, so handy for Scotland if you were coming up from England.

Lochaline Dive Centre in the Sound of Mull offer accomodation and can arrange use of their "hard boats" - something which may be of interest to a sea paddling group looking for a base in the area.

Lochore Meadows Outdoor Education Centre near Lochgelly in Fife offers Sea Kayak hire. Contact Ali Dreyer, the Outdoor Learning Manager on 01592 583388 or info.outdoored@fife.gov.uk

National Kayak School offer a range of sea kayaking trips and courses and being based in Oban are well located for some great paddling areas. They say they offer sea kayak hire as well, so you can either hop on a ferry to the Hebrides or paddle straight out of Oban harbour. Part of Sea Kayak Oban.

NorWest Sea Kayaking are based in the Achiltibuie, Summer Isles, Ullapool, Lochinver area. It seems they hire boats.

Oban Sea Kayaking Expeditions offer guided sea kayak expeditions and skills training on the West Coast of Scotland, based in Oban.

Paddle Lochaber are based in Ballachulish and offer half, full and multi day trips or courses for people of all abilities. All trips and courses are available to book online.

Peregrinations - Laura Bennitt offers trips, coaching and various courses, and can tailor make an itinerary to suit your needs.

Rowland Woollven is a British Canoe Union Level 5 Sea Kayak Coach specialising in individual and small group sea kayak coaching and guided tours in the Oban area and on the west coast of Scotland.

Rockhopper Scotland say they offer "high quality guided sea kayak trips based from Fort William" and also provide a hire service with pick up and drop off available.

Sea Freedom Kayak Company operate near Oban and "run trips and sessions for individuals and small groups". They also offer a number of P&H Capellas for hire to "suitably qualified people".

Sea Kayak Alice - Alice McInnes runs a range of trips in Scottish waters, including "women only" trips.

Sea Kayak Argyll - offer sea kayak guided journeys and coaching sessions on the Argyll coastline, including guided journeys along the 150km Argyll Sea Kayak Trail.

Sea Kayak Arisaig - based at the most excellent Glenuig Inn - guided trips in a superb area using Tiderace boats. Boats also available for hire to people with at least 4* Sea.

Sea Kayak Oban - a superb dedicated sea kayaking retailer in Oban. Boats available for hire.

Sea Kayak Plockton - offer a range of courses and trips based out of Plockton, including "women only" courses.

Sea Kayak Scotland are offering courses and trips "on the West Coast" - they also seem to have boats for hire - based on the Isle of Seil between Oban and Lochgilphead.

Sea Kayak Shetland offer guided trips on Shetland.

Sea to Skye Xperience offer sea kayaking and walking activities in Skye and Lochalsh in the North West Highlands.

Skyak on Skye. Gordon Brown's centre, in a superb part of the world. Trips and coaching.

Snowgoose are based near Fort William and offer sea kayaking as well as a range of other outdoor activities. They have sea kayaks for hire.

Summer Isles.com appear to offer sea kayak hire - based near Ullapool.

Tiso have some sea boats for hire. Shops in Glasgow, Perth, Edinburgh, Stirling, Inverness.

Uist Outdoor Centre is set in a truly magnificent Outer Hebridean setting and provides a variety of paddling opportunities.

Visit Scotland (the Scottish Tourist Board) have links to some of the centres in Scotland

WhiteWave on Skye offer a variety of activities, including sea-kayking.

Wilderness Scotland offer "small group" adventure holidays in Scotland, including sea kayaking.

Zoe Newsam Guiding - Zoe offers trips in a variety of locations in Scotland.

Wales

Adventure Elements are based in North Wales and say they "offer a range of sea kayaking courses and expeditions for all ranges of abilities"

Cambrian Marine Centre, Aberaeron are a chandlery and say they "offer a full kayak service from sale to hire" - sea kayaks don't seem to be available, but they have a range of SOT's.

Coastal Spirit offer a variety of outdoor activities including sea kayaking trips, courses and assessment.

Cwm Pennant Mountain (and Kayaking) centre is run by Dave Evans, the BCU Sea Touring Committee Chairman.

Edge of Adventure offer a variety of adventures in North Wales, including sea-kayaking courses.

Isle of Anglesey Bike & Kayak Hire - based in Beaumaris - they have single and double SOT's for hire.

Mayberry Kayaking offers a range of paddling experiences in Pembrokeshire.

Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Centre, also offer a variety of kayaking courses.

Sea Kayaking Anglesey offer a range of expeditions, courses, BCU training and assessment from a base near the Menai Bridge.

Sea Kayaking UK (formally NDK) well respected sea kayak centre on Anglesey, who are also believed to hire kayaks.

Sea Kayaking Wales provide sea kayaking trips/courses on Anglesey, Llyn Peninsula, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. SKW specialises in sea kayak sailing.

Surf and Sea Kayaking Hire offer a "mobile service" in south and west Wales and will hire you a sit-on-top.

Twr Y Felin, the Outdoor centre at St. Davids, Pembrokeshire.

White Water Consultancy have started offering canoe and kayak hire service. They have a full range of boats from SOTS to 17 Open boats and all necessary equipment is supplied. Daily and weekly rates.

England (Including Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Scilly etc)

Aberfal Outdoor Pursuits, in Cornwall, offer guided SoT trips on the Helford River.

Active4seasons are based in North Northumberland and offer a range of outdoor activities, including sea kayaking.

Adventurous Experiences - based on the Isle of Man, they say they specialise in sea kayaking as well as other outdoor activity.

Art of Adventure are based in Devon and offer a variety of courses and expeditions in UK and Europe.

Brookbank - Perth / Warwickshire / Carlisle / Lancaster. They have boats for hire, but require about 14 days prior notice usually.

Bournemouth Canoes hire kayaks.

Jersey Sea Kayak Adventures offer paddling on Jersey.

Kate Duffus Paddling - Kate offers a range of trips and coaching in Scotland, Cumbria and elsewhere.

Kim Bull offers coaching and sea kayaking trips in Northumberland and the North East.

Kayak Scilly provide tuition, kayak hire and guided excursions on the Scilly Isles. Based out of Porth Thomas on St Marys.

Lakes Canoe & Kayak Hire.co.uk profess to do what it says on the tin - and offer instruction as well. Based in Keswick, so handy for Scotland.

Sea Kayaking Cornwall is an expedition centre specializing in sea kayak tuition and expedition training. Run by Jeff Allen and Simon Osbourne.

Woodmill Canoe Shop and Activities Centre - based in Swaythling, at the head of the tidal River Itchen, they hire sea kayaks and a variety of other craft.

Ireland & Overseas

Argentina - SDK Kayaks run trips in Argentina. (Click for a Word Doc in English).

Alaska - Alaska Rafters offer a variety of adventure experiences from sea-kayaking to glacier trekking.

Belize - Slickrock Adventures run a variety of adventure holidays.

Brazil - Paraty Explorer say that they offer "guided day and multi-day trips. All inclusive, lodge-based trips on Brazil's Green Coast south of Rio de Janeiro".

British Columbia / Vancouver Island - North Island Kayak who are based in Port Hardy and Telegraph Cove. Powell River Sea Kayak operate in and around Desolation Sound. All these operators do kayak hire. Coastal Spirits run tours in the Quadra Island / Campbell river areas which take in Johnston Straite and the Discovery Islands. Odyssey Kayaking operate out of Port Hardy. Spookily enough, the Tofino Kayak Company is based in - Tofino. Spirit of the West offer "sea kayaking tours and trips around Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Kayak with the Killer Whales in the Orca waters of Johnstone Strait, British Columbia". Numerous other links here. The Paddler's Inn offer accomodation and kayak hire in the Broughton Archipelago. West Coast Expeditions provide a range of options from their Spring Island base on Vancouver Island's west coast.

Canary Islands (Spain) - Ekalis offer a variety of activities, including kayaking.

Costa Brava - Kayaking Costa Brava offer trips and sea-kayak hire.

Crete, Greece - Enjoy-Crete offer day and multi day trips, courses and sea kayak rental.

Croatia - Lifejacket Adventures run kayaking trips amongst the Dalmatian Islands. Adriatic Kayak Tours offer guided trips and kayak hire on the Croatian coast. Malik Adventures offer a range of adventure holidays, including sea kayaking.

Finland - Natura Viva say they are "the leading kayak rental and course provider in Finland". They operate from a base in Eastern Helsinki.

Fuerteventura - the Canary Archipelago - Kayakfuerteventura offer multiday expeditions, kayaksurfing, kayakfishing
and kayak and snorkel excursions.

Greece has got to be a great location! "House of Sea Kayaking" might help you enjoy it! Sea Kayak Milos says it is "a Sea Kayaking paradise in the Aegean islands of Greece. A family run business, we offer genuine hospitality, quality equipment and an amazing place to paddle. We are open every day from March thru November". Greek Island Activities say "We provide sea kayaking activities, courses and expeditions, from beginners to advanced, situated on the island of Poros [35 miles south west of Pireaus] port of Athens. We will be happy to advise on any matter regarding sea kayaking in Greece". Sea Kayaking Kefalonia organize day and multi-day kayak trips as well as sea kayak courses in the crystal clear and warm mediterranean waters of the Ionian Sea.

Greenland - discussion, with details of where to hire sea kayaks.

Ireland - Seapaddling.com offer guided trips and courses in the Waterford area. Deep Blue Sea Kayaking operate in Wicklow. H2O are in the South West near Kinsale. Atlantic Sea Kayaking are in Skibereen, West Cork. Tollymore Mountain Centre, Newcastle, Co.Down, run sea-kayking courses.

Jersey/Scilly Isles Centres are listed under England above.

Lanzarote - Kayak del Mar "is a sea kayak base for kayak enthusiasts and families interested in active holidays, as well as for the elite competitor looking for a special training challenge in summer or a warm weather preparation base in winter."

Maine Island Kayak Co offer guided trips in Maine, USA.

New South Wales - Xterra Adventures describe themselves as "an exciting, multifunctional activity and adventure company located on the Central Coast of NSW"

Norway - Clearwater Paddling offer trips in Norway. See this discussion for some mapping resources.

Portugal - Portugal Kayak.com offer trips and expeditions - based in Averio.

San Francisco - discussion with some ideas.

Sweden - Canoe Hebrides also run trips to Sub Arctic Sweden sea kayaking in the Lulea Archipelego. Do The North is in Saint Anna on the east cost of Sweden. The concept is self-guided, fully serviced tours.

(Updated 26-Feb-2016 )