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ST KILDA - have a look at these awesome pictures from Angus Mackie's 2014 trip.

SUMMER ISLES - some pics in this discussion and a blog - both give great details. As does this blog, as does this blog.

LOCH EWE - pics in this discussion.

FIRTH OF CLYDE - Cambletown to Adrossan via Arran - discussion

LARGS to STORNOWAY - in March 2011, Bruce Jolliffe made a remarkable trip along the West Coast of Scotland. His blog has details and pictures.

ISLAY - wonderfully illustrated discussion / trip report on the forum.

CALEDONIAN CANAL - not a "sea trip" as such, but a lovely, long journey none the less! Contributed by Claire Cailes - Photos by Dan Millwood.

LOCH AWE - from Song of the Paddle, this discussion on their forum provides some insight into this lovely Scottish Loch. The 3rd largest freshwater loch in Scotland.

SHETLAND - from NWSK's blog, a nicely illustrated write up of the 2008 symposium.

ARISAIG to SKYE - Owen Merrick's story of his introduction to sea kayaking.

MINGULAY - photo's from Mark Rainsley's Whitsun 2006 trip.

LOCH ETIVE - Mark Rainsley's "Paddling Guide" to Loch Etive - illustrated.

COLL & STAFFA by Owen Merrick. A nice, laid back trip in Scottish West Coast waters. Illustrated.

LOCH TEACUIS - Mike Buckley's badly illustrated trip report of a horrible, wet weekend near Ardnamurchan.

ISLAY - illustrated trip report from the SCA 2005 Islay tour, by Jeremy Hastings.

HEBRIDEAN DIARY - Helen McKenna's illustrated diary of two weeks on North Uist.

SOLWAY COAST - Mike Buckley's illustrated report from the 2005 SCA Solway trip near Gatehouse of Fleet.

UIST SYMPOSIUM - Andrew Cleland's photo set from the 2005 Symposium.

LOCH NEVIS - illustrated trip report by Mike Buckley.

SMALL ISLES - illustrated report by Alistair Rose.

HEBRIDEAN CHALLENGE - a gruelling five day adventure race - Simon Willis' article includes some great images of the Shiants.

ST KILDA - illustrated trip reports from Andy Spink on his 2005 trip, and also the 2004 trip.

7th SCOTTISH SEA KAYAK SYMPOSIUM - illustrated report from the 2005 Symposium on Skye.

LUING & BELNAHUA from Oban, illustrated trip report by Helen McKenna.

SANDAIGS & LOCH HOURN - illustrated trip report by Helen McKenna.

NORTH CHANNEL - Portpatrick to Larne, solo. Illustrated trip report from Barry Shaw.

LOCH LEVEN, GLENCOE - illustrated trip report by Helen McKenna.

LOCH LOMOND and ROCKCLIFFE, SOLWAY COAST - illustrated short reports by Helen McKenna.

LOCH ETIVE - illustrated report of the SCA December 2004 trip, by Mike Buckley. Some pics from the 2005 trip are here.

LOCH HOURN - link to a nice site with a trip report on paddling an Open on Loch Hourn, by Ian Bolas. See also the report from Jim Wallace in this discussion.

ISLAY and LOCH INDAAL, ISLAY, both by Jeremy Hastings.

JURA - pics from BCC's and Tony Page's trips in 2004.

WEST COAST OF JURA - report of an Easter expedition to Jura, Corrievreckan and Scarba at Easter 2004, by Mike Buckley. (Illustrated)

ANOTHER CONVERT! Simon Willis has discovered the joys of sea-kayaking and tells his story. His site has more trip ideas and pics.

THE LONELY SEA AND THE SKYE - Mark & Heather Rainsley took themselves over the sea to Skye in June 2004 - this is Heather's take on the trip, with their photo album. See also the discussion about it.

AN INTRODUCTION TO SEA PADDLING - PART 2 - first experience of a weekend camping trip in the Sound of Arisaig, by Helen McKenna. (illustrated)

AN INTRODUCTION TO SEA PADDLING - trip report on paddling near Ayr, by Helen McKenna.


LISMORE - trip report by Mike Buckley & Tim Dawson - two stories of the same trip.

EILACH AN NAOIMH VIA THE CORRYVRECKAN - trip report by Tony Page. (illustrated)

CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF GIGHA - trip report by Douglas Wilcox. (illustrated)

LOCH FYNE - trip report by Jim Wallis.

SUMMER ISLES TRIP REPORT - by Jim Wallis. Notes from an Easter 2003 trip. (illustrated)

AROUND RAASAY - by Adrian Pullin. Classic Scottish sea kayaking. (illustrated)

210 DEGREES TO TOBERMORY - by Andy Evans. A circuit of Mull.

A WEEK OUT OF ULLAPOOL - by Paul Cromey.

MULL MAGIC - by Paul Cromey.


Scottish Canoe Association's website - the official Association for Scotland, affiliated to the BCU.

Bing Maps will help you find places mentioned.

Ministry of Defense contacts for some of the military exercise areas are to be found in this discussion and this one.

See Scottish Naval Exercise Areas Information for information about Naval Activity in Scottish coastal waters. The site is divided into 3 main sections dealing with the QHM Clyde (Gareloch and Loch Long), the Scottish Exercise Areas (SXAs) and activity at the Cape Wrath Firing Range. See also the Ministry of Defence webpages for contacts, also referenced on the SCA site here.

Scottish Outdoor Access Code - Statutory Access Rights and the Scottish Access Code came into effect 9 February 2005. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 grants some useful Rights & Responsibilities. Please exercise them appropriately.

Scottish Marine Wildlife Code has some thoughts and ideas on enjoying our natural wildlife.

Scottish National Heritage publishes useful information regarding protected species in Scotland - which includes seals, otters and dolphins etc. Includes links to maps showing designated seal haul-out areas which are best avoided.

Planning your first multi-day trip? Mark Rainsley's article "a Special Kind of Freedom" is essential reading.

Midges - if you're coming to Scotland, you may care to know more about our "national pest", the midge. Midges are without doubt the scourge of the Highlands! - The Midge Forecast could be worth looking at, as would this discussion on midge repellant and other strategies to keep the little darlings away (or not). This article by Simon Willis is worth reading too. I've found it helpful to take anti-histamine to stop the itching. You have been warned!

Ticks are another nasty creature - potentially very dangerous as they can carry Lymes disease, which you really don't want!

Undiscovered Scotland is an essential reference for anyone planning to visit.

Visit Scotland (the Scottish Tourist Board) confirms that Scotland has "the best sea kayaking in Europe". Their website page on watersports has a lot of background, some trip suggestions and good general advice, including a list of "operators". (Outfitters / guides to you and me).

Anyone planning to kayak from Scotland to Northern Ireland might find this information and annotated images, from local paddler and Postman John Ruston, extremely useful indeed.

Broken links? Please email me with details.

Kayak Trails / Route Plans / Guides to specif areas

Argyll Sea Kayak Trail - runs between Oban and Helensburgh.

Bute and surrounding area. Article by Roddy McDowell in OP and available on Simon Willis' site.

Loch Katrine - Mike Dales' guide to access and use of the Loch (PDF).

Scottish Canals - factsheets from Scottish Canals with a lot of useful info. Includes the Caledonian Canal route which, while not a "sea" trip in the true sense of the word, is a long way on what can be challenging waters.

Other sites with routes / trip reports

Sean Morley paddled round all the inhabited islands of UK in 2004 - a stunning trip, well documented here. by Simon Willis - Simon's blog, with links to his other websites, including some good trip reports on Scottish Routes.

Douglas Wilcox also has some superb photography and route ideas on The Scottish Sea Kayaking Photo Gallery and on He's also posted a list of his 2008 trips.

Many of the bloggers have excellent pictures and write-ups of their trips - check the Other Sites page.

NWSK's web site has some reports on Scottish trips.

Swaledale Outdoor Club has some excellent illustrated trip reports covering trips in a variety of locations.

Great trip photos from Bolton Canoe Club of Knoydart, Staffa, Hebrides, Jura, Treshnish, Mull and Summer Isles.

"Canoe Boys" - this discussion has lots of info and links to Simon Willis' superb Radio Scotland series about the Canoe Boy's journey on the West Coast.

Song of the Paddle, although dedicated to Open Canoes, provides a useful reference to places to paddle.

Local info

Local Centres & Kayak Hire

Weather & tides

"Easy Reference Sheet" - Scotland - Summary sheet with paddling speed calculators, wind speed chart, CG contact & MSI Broadcast Times, Marine VHF channels etc

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. Note that there is a Byelaw restricting camping on much of the East side of the loch.

Falls of Lora - an interesting diversion if you want to play on moving salt water - near Oban. See also this website with tide-times, info and pictures.

Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust.

St Kilda Trip - Slideshow - stunning pics from a supported trip to St Kilda by NESKY.

West Word - the Community Paper for the Mallaig area and the Small Isles gives an insight into this part of the West of Scotland.

Culture Hebrides - a portal to the Hebrides, "a unique spiritual, civilised culture, the true heartland of the Gaels and the Gaelic language"

Corryvreckan - has a lot of interesting info and includes a useful page with spring tide dates and the relevant pilot for the Corryvreckan. Douglas Wilcox has transited the Corry many times, and this article on his blog will also be helpful.

Photography - Aerial photographs of Scotland. See also the great photos in the Charles Tait photo gallery. The Geograph project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland - there are some useful coastal shots. Scotland 360 is run by Sngus Mackie, a sea kayaker, and has some fabulous images.

Isle of Colonsay website

Isle of Rona website has lots of detail about this unique island.

Isle of Mull website

Isle of Iona website

St Kilda website - also have a look at these awesome pictures from Angus Mackie's 2014 trip.

Isle of Jura website has a lot of information about the island, including several thousand images.

Isle of Rum website. Lots of information about Rum.

Orkneys' Official Tourism Website - a wealth of useful detail.

Shiants - superb website with a mass of current and historical info.

Lonely Isles - lovely site with details of abandoned or sparsely populated Scottish Islands.

The Scottish Islands Federation website includes a "virtual tour" of many of the 95 or so inhabited Scottish islands, and a list of island websites and links.

Bothies - the Mountain Bothies Association maintains a variety of bothies throught the UK. The UKBothies forum provides a mass of useful information.

Discussions from the Community Pages

Ailsa Craig - with pics

Arbroath - sea caves


Arisaig - with pics - see also this discussion and this discussion

Arran - see also this discussion.


Bute, Cumbrae & Largs

Caledonian Canal


Cape Wrath - includes details of who to contact before paddling in military exercise areas.

Colonsay - with a link to superb pics.

Corryvreckan - thoughts on crossing - includes a comprehensive post from Jim Wallace detailing suggested times etc.

Corryvreckan & Knoydart

Corryvreckan / Jura - nice pics from BCC's 2006 Easter trip.

Cuan Sound - with pics

East coast of Scotland - suggestions. MarkR's 2009 trip

Firth of Lorne

Garvellachs via Grey Dog and Corryvreckan - with pics

Gigha - this discussion has links to pics, more here.

Harris & Lewis - with pics.

Harris & North Uist - with superb pics

Harris to S.Uist - with yet more superb pics

Hebrides / North Uist - with superb pics

Iona - with pics. This discussion suggests there is an access issue on the NE end of the island, this comment is the follow-on.

Islay - has links to superb pics. Islay & Colonsay from Tayvallich. Fabulous pics in this discussion. See also this discussion for a superb summary of the circumnavigation.


Jura - (Sound of) - incs links to pics.

Jura / Corryvreckan - nice pics from BCC's 2006 Easter trip.

Jura, the Garvellachs and Scarba - Tayvallich to Clachan. With pics.

Knoydart - discussion here, and this discussion has great pics linked in the thread.

Kyles of Bute - with pics

Loch Long & Loch Goil - with pics

Loch Scavaig

Loch Sheil

MacCormaig Islands (Sound of Jura) - with pics

Mingulay - with pics


Mull - places to camp or stay on the island

Mull - with pics

Mull - with pics, including a rather splendid shot of a basking shark.

Mull - shortish trips - with pics

NE Scotland - with pics

NW Scotland - Eilean nan Ron

Orkney & Shetland - suggestions on where to go.

Pentland Firth - with pics.

River Clyde - with pics. See also Douglas Wilcox's blog of his trip as details for Clyde Estuary Control and Clyde Coastguard are noted - you need to contact both before paddling the river.


Scotland - (general) - Keith Robertson has been around a bit and has some excellents pics of Skye, Mull, Shetland, Orkneys etc.

Shetland - with pics.

Solway Coast - with pics. More SW Scotland info.

St Abbs Head - with pics. More here.

St Kilda & the Flannans. More here.


Skye - Glen Brittle to Coruisk - with pics.


Treshnish Isles.

Uists - suggestions. More here with good pics.

West Coast of Scotland

West Coast of Scotland - "best trips"

(Updated 20-Dec-2015 )