Scotland is an intoxicating blend of stunning scenery and sophisticated cities. Its breathtaking landscapes harbor some of the largest areas of wilderness left in Western Europe, with spectacular sea stacks and rock formations, thundering waterfalls, and the jaw-dropping vistas of the northern Highlands. The rugged mountain terrain and convoluted coastline of the Highlands and islands offer unlimited opportunities for adventure.

The clash and conflict of Scotland’s colorful history can be seen in the many prehistoric remains. Mysterious standing stones, muscular towers, and richly symbolic Pictish stones make the distant past a constant presence. From desolate stone fortresses looming in the mist, to majestic towers above historic towns, to luxurious palaces, Scotland has a full range of castles that reflect its turbulent history and tense relations with its southern neighbor. Most castles have a story to tell of plots, intrigues, imprisonments, and treachery--some are even rumored to have ghosts stalking their halls.

Whisky plays a significant role in Scotland’s culture as well. Derived from the Gaelic uisge bagh, meaning ‘water of life,’ whisky has been distilled in Scotland for more than 500 years. More than 100 distilleries are still in operation, producing hundreds of varieties of single malt. Learning to distinguish the smoky, peaty whiskies of Islay from, the flowery, sherried malts of Speyside or delicate lowlands’ malts has become a popular past time.

Sparsely populated with large areas of wilderness, Scotland is an important sanctuary for animals of every kind. Mid-summer is the high season for bird watching, with opportunities to see the golden eagle, white tailed sea eagle, osprey, comcrake, capercaillie, crested tit, and Scottish crossbill. Red deer roam the uplands, pine martens and wildcats stalk the forests, and dolphins, whales, otters, and, orcas splash about in the northern waters.

The elaborate coastline and countless islands of Scotland’s western seaboard are widely recognized as some of the finest sea kayaking areas in the world. Paddling your own kayak allows you to explore remote islands, inlets, creeks, and beaches that are inaccessible on foot, and also provides an opportunity to get close to wildlife such as seals, otters, dolphins, and seabirds.

Our trip begins and ends in Kingussie, a small and historic town town located within the boundaries of Cairngorms National Park and the Scottish Highlands.  Located on the main train line between Edinburgh and Inverness, Kingussie is easy to get to from either location (see "Day 0" in the detailed itinerary below for more details). 

Embarking on our 8-day tour from the famous West Highlands, we enjoy the best short hike in Britain before sliding our kayaks into the surprisingly temperate and crystal clear waters of the Sound of Arisaig. This coastline of secluded bays, deep inlets and long white sandy beaches is a haven for wildlife including grey seals, otters, and even the harmless but very large basking shark. As we kayak through the countless tiny islands that punctuate the azure waters, we gaze out to the striking outline of the Isle of Skye.

Returning east, we travel back into the Cairngorms National Park, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2018. The largest national park in Scotland, the Cairngorms is known for its ancient forests, sweeping vistas, wildlife, and whisky! We enjoy some easy to moderate hikes (with a challenging climb or two for good measure) to appreciate the scenery and rich history of the region.  We also take the time to visit Dalwhinnie distillery on the southwest edge of the park as well as local pubs within its borders, tasting and learning along the way how the local tipple (drink) is created. The rich, evocative, and complex properties of the single malt whisky is said to be the true taste of Scotland.

Rest assured, to tipple is not the only way to enjoy the taste of Scotland.  The country is shaking off its once dismal culinary reputation as the land of deep-fried Mars Bars, and now boasts countless regional specialties, farmers markets, artisan cheese makers, smokeries, and microbreweries. Feast on fresh seafood mere hours after it was caught, beef and venison that was raised just a few miles away from our table, and vegetables that were grown in a local organic garden.

We trust that your Scotland adventure will be full of adventure, history, scenery, wildlife, and sensory delights.

Check out our "This is Why We Travel - Scotland" blog post for a personal window into this tour.  Written by Sea Kayak Adventures team member Andy Hayes after his September 2017 Scotland tour!

Itinerary

Collapse all days

Day 0

Notes on Itinerary: Paddling distances are not specified for Days 3-6 below, as paddling distance can vary widely depending on weather and water conditions, group size and dynamics, and other factors.  Some days we may cross open bays and cover 20 km (12 miles) or more.  On other days, we may explore several small islands and coves, and therefore cover much less total distance.  Depending on conditions, you can expect to be out on the water for 3-7 hours per day regardless of total distance traveled.

In general, we will do our best to adhere to the specific itinerary outlined below, however order of activities and occasionally the locations in which we kayak, hike, and tour may change due to reasons beyond our control (i.e. weather, road construction, unexpected site closures, etc.).  We will always do our best to replace any cancelled activities or visits with similar experiences.

Day "0" - Arrive in Scotland, explore on your own

Most guests will arrive in Scotland at least one day prior to our tour start day.  We highly encourage you to do so, in order to adjust to the time difference and simply enjoy what Scotland has to offer on your own schedule.  We recommend flying into the capital city of Edinburgh, a city of high culture and lofty ideals, art, literature, philosophy, and science. Seeing the Old Town silhouetted against a blue sky and the warm, welcoming glow from the window of a pub is sure to make you feel right at home.  Another option is Inverness.  Although international flights are fewer into Inverness (typically from London, Dublin, or Amsterdam), Inverness is significantly closer to our start location in Kingussie, has a rich history and Highlands culture of its own, with Inverness Castle and other sites to explore.  Whichever city you arrive in, our starting location at Kingussie station is a scenic and direct train ride away (2.5 - 3 hours from Edinburgh, 45 - 60 minutes from Inverness).  There are several morning train options from both Edinburgh and Inverness that will allow you to depart for Kingussie on the morning of Day 1 and arrive in plenty of time for the start of our tour.

You may also choose to arrive in Kingussie the day before your tour starts.  A pleasant and quaint town of just 1,400 residents, spend a day or two hiking, mountain biking, or just settling into the rhythm of the Highlands countryside before meeting your guides and fellow travelers on Day 1 at the Kingussie train station.

Day 1

Embark from Kingussie Station, Dalwhinnie Distillery, arrive in the Great Glen

You will meet your guide and other travelers at the Kingussie train station in the early afternoon.  Be sure to grab a bite to eat on the train or have lunch in Kingussie ahead of time, as lunch is not included today.  A full stomach is especially important, as our first stop is the Dalwhinnie Distillery, where you will enjoy a private tour followed by an opportunity to sample the local whisky. At 1073 feet, Dalwhinnie Distillery is the highest altitude distillery in Scotland. Here, we see the distillers at work, harnessing the snow fed waters of the Allt an t’Sluic (considered by many the purest water in Scotland) and producing a wonderfully full-bodied, smooth, and warming malt whisky. Dalwhinnie, in Gaelic, means ‘the meeting place.’ Situated high in the Grampian Mountains, near the geographical center of Scotland, Dalwhinnie has for centuries been the meeting place for cattle drovers before driving their cattle onwards to the markets in Crieff and Falkirk.

We continue on to check into the Letterfinlay Lodge Hotel, located just north of Invergloy on the banks of Loch Lochy and overlooking the Great Glen. Following dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant featuring fresh produce, seafood, and more, settle in and enjoy the spectacular scenery and cozy rooms at the Letterfinlay Lodge, an environment fitting your first night in the midst of Scottish grandeur.

ACCOMMODATION : Eden Coille
MEALS INCLUDED : Dinner

Day 2

Glen Nevis & Steall Falls, Fort William & Old Inverlochy Castle

After breakfast, we loosen up with a hike to the 100m high Steall Waterfall in Glen Nevis. This 3km hike was called ‘the best short hike in Britain’ by acclaimed writer and mountaineer W.H. Murray. After lunch in a traditional Scottish pub, we pass through the town of Fort William and visit Old Inverlochy Castle. Though now a ruin, this was one of the most important castles in Scottish history. It has been the backdrop for two major historical events: the first and second battles of Inverlochy. Today, the battlefields around the castle may look different, but the setting on the banks of the River Lochy is still reminiscent of fleeing clansmen sailing away down the river to the loch. We return to the Letterfinlay Lodge Hotel for another optional short hike (if time allows), dinner, and to give you your kayak equipment for tomorrow’s sea kayaking adventure.

Hiking Distance/Elevation: 2.5 – 4 miles, 500 – 700 ft. elevation gain; possibility for additional light afternoon hike

ACCOMMODATION : Eden Coille
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Kayak Loch Leven, visit Glen Coe

After breakfast, we begin our sea kayaking adventure in the fjord-like Loch Leven. Paddling the Loch Leven allows us to see the stunning landscape of Scotland from a completely new perspective. We paddle around the loch’s hauntingly beautiful islands (with the possibility of having our picnic lunch on one of the sacred burial islands) in search of guillemots, cormorants, and seals while learning about the history of the region. We then continue our paddle beneath the spectacular mountains of Glen Coe. Given the tranquil beauty of this valley today, it’s tough to imagine that it was the scene of a ruthless 17th century massacre when the local MacDonalds were murdered by soldiers of the Campbell clan. After kayaking, we drive into the glen, following one of Scotland’s most beautiful roads.  We will visit the fascinating Glen Coe Visitor Center, where you can learn about the terrible massacre of 1692 and take a walk through the surrounding grounds.  If time and group interest allows, we’ll visit a Glen Coe “climber’s bar” where locals and visiting hikers (and paddlers) gather to toast their day’s adventures.   We then continue on to dinner at a local gem in Fort William or back at Letterfinlay Lodge.  Either way, relax and enjoy dinner and drinks before settling in for a restful night of sleep.

ACCOMMODATION : Eden Coille
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Paddle the Sound of Arisaig

Today, we kayak in the world-renowned Sound of Arisaig. The clear blue waters are a haven for wildlife, and views of the offshore Isles of Skye, Eigg, and Rum are simply magnificent. Enjoy beautiful beaches, deserted islands, forest-clad lochs dotted with crumbling castles, and with luck, close encounters with wildlife such as seals, otters, and basking sharks.  If weather conditions cooperate, expect a full day on the water of this incredible paddling destination, with a picnic lunch break on one of its islands.  We land back on the shore in the afternoon, near the historic village of Arisaig.  After a hot coffee or real Scottish ale, we'll move on to our evening's accommodations.  We spend the next two nights at the Lochailort Inn, a traditional Scottish hotel dating from at least the 1870's (but extensively refurbished in 2017).  You will enjoy the Lochailort's location close to the hills and lochs of the western highlands, as well as its fresh cuisine, friendly and informal service, and overall relaxing ambience.  

ACCOMMODATION : Lochailort Inn
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Kayak in Loch Moidart, storm a castle, & explore Eilean Shona 

Combining sea kayaking with a splash of history today, we kayak in the hidden sea loch of Loch Moidart. A narrow channel makes it difficult to find when approaching from the open ocean and also ensures that it offers generally sheltered waters for kayaking. This area is noted for its variety of wildlife with a marvelous range of birds, flowers, and sea life. Eagles, buzzards, ospreys, and goosanders may be spotted, as well as otters and pine martens.  In the sea loch, we could see colonies of seals, ducks, oystercatchers, and cormorants.  We explore the wooded islands of the loch and pull our kayaks ashore on the sandy beach to marvel at the striking ruins of Tioram Castle. Commonly pronounced “cheerum”, the castle is the ancestral home of the Clan Ranald and is perched on a rocky island just off the shores of Loch Moidart.  Loading into our kayaks again, we make our way toward the open ocean, paddling along the shores of the relatively large island of Eilean Shona.  Stopping for lunch and enjoying the views in all directions, we have paddling options from here.  Depending on conditions, we may paddle the open ocean and circumnavigate Eilean Shona or retrace our route back past Tioram Castle.  Whichever option your guides choose, the scenery is rustic and romantic, with hills rising steeply from the loch shore. In the evening, we return to the Lochailort Inn for dinner, drinks, and relaxation.

ACCOMMODATION : Lochailort Inn
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Navigate the Arisaig Skerries, arrive in Newtonmore & Cairngorms National Park

Today, we paddle through the majestic Arisaig Skerries, a group of tiny islands and sandbanks which are home to seals, porpoises and lots of other wildlife. This is one of the best places to sea kayak in Scotland - if not the world – replete with white sandy beaches, sparkling aqua marine seas, blue skies, warm air, and serenity of peace and quiet.  In fact, the Arisaig Sound & Skerries are considered highlights of the world-renowned Scottish Sea Kayak Trail, Europe's first designated sea kayaking "trail".  Made famous by sea kayaking videographer Simon Willis, most of the kayaking you'll do throughout the week is on (or very near) the trail.  While we can't cover all ot it, know that you are experiencing some of the best sections, and the Arisaig Skerries is certainly one of them.

Coming off the water late afternoon, we pack up and transfer east (approximately 2 hours) to the quaint town of Newtonmore and Cairngorms National Park.  Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in the UK and is one of the country’s most special and cared for landscapes, featuring a wide variety of traditional and unique villages and communities, not to mention landscapes and outdoor activities. Tonight, we stay at the lovely Coig na Shee Guest House.  Located in the village of Newtonmore and the center of the Spey Valley, this friendly lodge built in 1903 and now owned by a welcoming and attentive couple offers fantastic breakfasts and dinners, and a great spot to wind down and relax on the final two nights of your tour.  Enjoy a short walk into town upon arrival, or simply put your feet up in your cozy room or one of the Coig na Shee's inviting sitting rooms.

ACCOMMODATION : Coig na Shee Guest House
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Hike the trails of the Cairngorms, Whisky tasting & dinner on the River Spey

Cairngorms National Park is home to five of Scotland’s six highest mountains and is also the heartland of Scotland’s whisky industry, with countless distilleries lining the banks of the famous River Spey. Today we’ll travel to the beautiful Rothiemurchus Estate, home to the oldest stands of ancient Caledonian Pine forest in Scotland. Taking advantage of a high level trail, we hike across the moors, enjoying wild mountain views, Highland air, and the possibility of wildlife sightings including a herd of reindeer that calls this area home.  For those with the energy to extend the hike a little, a shapely peak rises in front of us and affords wonderful vistas across the Cairngorms.  We'll have our lunch mid-hike, with multiple options for the route back to the trailhead, but all with exceptional terrain and scenery.

Back in the glen, we stop by one of the locals’ favorite pubs.  Set on the River Spey in Aviemore, the Old Bridge Inn is a great post-hike watering hole.  Under the direction of our guide, sample whiskies from across Scotland, allowing you to experience the variety of tastes from different regions. After a dram or two of whisky (and maybe a pint to follow), we'll continue with a fantastic dinner at the Old Bridge or another nearby restaurant, or possibly head back to the Coig na Shee Guest House for our evening meal.  In any case, enjoy some well-deserved relaxation and your last night with your new friends in Scotland.

Hiking Distance/Elevation: 6.5 – 10 miles, 850 – 1000 ft. elevation gain

ACCOMMODATION : Coig na Shee Guest House
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Uath Lochans hike, Highland Folk Museum, Departure

On our final morning, we enjoy Coig na Shee's breakfast delights, pack up, then take a tranquil hike around the Uath Lochans. This series of small lakes is well off the tourist trail but is a locals’ favorite, both for the lush, green scenery and the wildlife. After the hike, we make the short drive back to Kingussie where you can enjoy the informative and enjoyable Highland Folk Museum.  We will have lunch at the museum or at another café in the Kingussie area before dropping the group back at Kingussie station by mid-afternoon.  From there, you can catch your train back to Edinburgh or Inverness for your flight home, or continue your travels independently.

Note: if you prefer to depart Kingussie earlier and skip the museum and lunch, we can drop you off at the station shortly before noon.

Hiking Distance/Elevation: approximately 2.5 miles/550 ft.

MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD) 
Aug 31, 2019 to Sep 07, 2019 $3,990£0€0$0$0$3,990£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 29, 2020 to Sep 05, 2020 $4,150£0€0$0$0$4,150£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW

Supplementary Information

Note - All departures are small-group departures with a capacity of 8 guests. Depending on group size, we may be able to schedule an additional private departure at the same prices listed above - please inquire for more details!

Single Supplement: If you are a solo traveler and wich to have your own accommodations throughout the tour (or if we are unable to pair you up with another solo traveler), an additional single supplement of $550 USD is required (limited availability - please inquire at the time of booking).

Double Kayak Rental: double kayaks are not commonly used in Scotland.  As our operating partner must rent double kayaks (pending availability) from another outfitter, we charge an additional double kayak rental fee of $150 USD per person for the entire duration of the tour.  If you require a double kayak, please let us know at the time of your reservation.  We also ask that you have a paddling partner coming with you to Scotland and ask that you plan to paddle together throughout the tour, as our guides must paddle singles on this tour.  If you are a solo traveler and wish to paddle a double, we will certainly do our best to pair you up with another guest who prefers to paddle a double.  

ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.

Images & Videos

sea kayaks on tour in Scotland
national park in Scotland
sea kayaks on beach in Scotland
man whisky tasting in Scotland
LochLeven Scotland
Edinburgh Castle
whisky barrels in Scotland distillery
ft william Scotland
Glen Nevis Trail in Scotland
kayaking group in Scotland
Couple hiking in Scotland
kayaks in Scotland
People hiking in Scotland
whisky tasting in Scotland
lake in Scotland

FAQ & More

What does the trip include?

Authentic, local accommodations as noted in itinerary; all meals starting with dinner on Day 1 through lunch on Day 8; all ground transfers on tour starting and finishing at Kingussie train station in Kingussie, Scotland; services of two highly-qualified and experienced local kayaking/hiking guides; four days of guided sea kayaking including all kayaks and associated equipment (paddles, PFDs, buoyancy aids, paddling jackets, dry-bags, etc.); three days of easy to moderate guided hikes; a whisky distillery tour and private pub tasting, both including samples; tips for serving staff at meals. Trip Does Not Include: transportation within Scotland before and after the tour start and finish at Edinburgh airport, personal expenses, alcoholic beverages (with the exception of scheduled whisky tastings), gratuities for guides. 

Where am I going?

The Scottish Highlands are part of the United Kingdom. Our tour starts and finishes in the conventently located Highland town of Kingussie - a scenic and direct train ride from either Edinburgh or Inverness.  Edinburgh is reached by flights from many major hubs in the U.S. and most in Europe, while flights to Inverness are more limited but available (typically London, Dublin, or Amersterdam).  From Kingussie we paddle and explore the western coast of Scotland incluing Arisaig Sound and the Scottish Sea Kayaking Trail, hike in the stunning Cairngorns National Park, and enjoy the distilleries and pubs of the Highlands along the way.

Can I extend my stay in Scotland?

Of course, you are welcome to arrive early and/or extend your stay in Scotland, the UK, or continental Europe. In fact, we highly recommend it!  We can provide recommendations in terms of accommodations, transportation, etc., however we ask that you make your own arragements for any tour extensions, including pre and post-tour accommodations in Edinburgh, Inverness, or Kingussie, and ground transfers to and from our tour start and finish locations, respectively.

What’s the weather like in Scotland?

Few travelers choose to visit Scotland for hot, sunny weather, but it’s probably better than you expect! Normal summer daytime temperatures range from 16C - 21C (around 60F - 70F) but it can be warmer, with temperatures up to about 26C (80F) not unusual in the summer.  As the calendar moves into September, normal daytime temperatures historicaly drop slightly to 14C - 16C (55F -60F), but bright foliage comes with the cooler temperatures too.  With regards to precipitation, you can expect a mixture of sunshine and showers over the course of your trip. Rain is often short-lived and followed quickly by sun howeve,r and the ocean is surprising mild for this latitude, around 13C (55F), because of the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.

When is the best time to visit?

For this active itinerary, travel anytime from mid-May until mid-September offers mild weather, long days, as well as interesting wildlife and cultural experiences.

What kind of kayaks do you have?

The sea kayaks we use in Scotland are generally single kayaks with adjustable footrestes, backrests, spray skirts, multiple storate hatches, and retractable skegs (but no rudder). Double kayaks with a rudder are rarely used in Scotland but may be available on request for an additional charge.

What is the minimum age?

Because these are rudderless, single kayaks, we recommend that youth are at least 16 years old in order to join the paddling trip. However, as size and maturity is very individual, give us a call if you are curious about your child's suitability for the tour. Double kayaks are often available to rent for a surcharge, which may allow younger paddlers to enjoy the trip.

What fitness and previous experience is required?

This is an active itinerary so we do recommend that you arrive with a good level of cardiovascular fitness and upper extremity/core strength for paddling, with some recent experience of sea kayaking. Generally, we recommend that you will have enjoyed at least 5 days sea kayaking over the past 2 years. The distances covered both hiking and kayaking are not especially long, allowing time to appreciate the location and learn from our expert local guides.  However, conditions can vary and this tour is rated as moderate to challenging overall.

Where will I be staying?

Over the course of the trip, you’ll stay in three different locally-owned 3-star hotels and inns, each chosen based primarly on their exceptional guest service, beautiful locations, and comfortable accommodations.

Is there a single supplement fee for solo travelers?

A limited number of single occupancy rooms are available on this tour by request.  Our tour costs are based on double occupancy on any included hotel nights. Solo travelers who would like their own single hotel room can pay a single supplement (see "Dates & Rates" above for the single supplement price for this tour), or can be matched up with another solo traveler of the same gender if one is available and willing to share. If we are unable to pair you with another solo traveler, we must apply the single supplement charge to cover our hotel costs.  

How do I get into the City Center from the airport before or after my tour?

Airport transfers before and after your tour are not included in the trip cost. If you are making accommodations on your own before or after the trip, you will need to utilize local taxi services for the transfer to/from the airport. Alternatively, there is an excellent tram line that offers direct transfers between the city center and the Edinburgh Airport (35 minute transfer). Click here for more information on the Tram system between Edinburgh's airport and the city center.

Can you recommend any hotels in Edinburgh for before or after my tour?

We highly recommend arriving into Edinburgh a day early to adjust to the time zone and get a good nights rest prior to your tour. There are two hotels that we recommend that are easily accessible and right on the tram line from Edinburgh International Airport: the Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, and the Apex Haymarket Hotel. Of course, there are many more options to consider for lodging in Edinburgh, and we recommend checking out Trip Advisor or using your favorite  travel search engine for alternate hotel options.

What is the phone and internet availability like in Scotland?

The international dialing code for the UK is +44. Public telephone boxes are available across Scotland – it is not unusual to see one of these in the most remote Highland village. Most hotels and restaurants will also have a telephone for public use. Most telephone boxes now only accept credit cards, although some do still accept British coins. There will be a sign indicating which forms of payment are accepted. Alternatively, phone cards can be purchased from some newsagents. Be sure to read the card instructions carefully before use. Calls between major cities can be dialed directly on the public telephone by using the proper area code number. Calls to foreign countries can be dialed directly, dial: 00 + country code + area code + phone number. For example, to reach the United States, dial: 001 + area code + phone number. Nowadays you can enjoy all the goodness of the internet. If you sign up for a Skype account or similar you can call home for free. Scotland has excellent internet facilities and wi-fi is common throughout most hotels. Mobile phone reception is good in most major cities, towns and villages throughout Scotland, however, the more remote you venture, you will find that you may loose mobile reception altogether, especially in the highlands and islands.

Do I need an adaptor for my electronic devices in Scotland?

Electricity is available at 240V AC. Plugs are flat three-pin and a UK universal AC adaptor is required for guests visiting from outside the UK.

What type of currency will I need for my tour?

The monetary unit in the UK is the Pound Sterling (£). £1 is made up of 100 pence (p). Notes are in £100, £50, £20, £10 and £5 denominations, but £100 and £50 notes are fairly rare and may not be accepted in some shops, cafes and hotels. Coins are in £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p denominations. While this is the same throughout the UK, Scottish and Northern Irish Bank Notes differ in appearance from English bank notes, however, all are legal tender throughout Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Travellers’ cheques are not very convenient as not many places accept them apart from banks. The best way to get cash is at ATMs, which are widely available. You might have difficulty finding them in the remote Scottish Highlands, but you can always ask your guide for help. Most ATMs limit withdrawals to £300 British Pounds. Most towns and villages in Scotland have a branch of at least one of the major UK banks. Banks are generally open Monday to Friday, 9:00 - 4:00. Some branches may open later on Thursdays and some may be open on Saturdays. Banks are generally the best place to change money, followed by bureaux de change offices, although watch out for hefty commission charges. Glasgow and Edinburgh International airports both have bureaux de change but don’t worry about shopping around for the best exchange rate unless you're exchanging thousands of currency - it doesn’t make that much of a difference. Most hotels, shops and restaurants in Scotland accept credit cards though some places may charge for using them. Credit cards are less widely accepted in more remote rural areas and smaller establishments so ensure that you have some cash. The most common cards are MasterCard and Visa. Diners Club and American Express are less commonly accepted than the others.

What is the food like in Scotland?

Food in Scotland is delicious, and most of the hotels and restaurants pride themselves on using produce grown or sourced locally. Fresh and flavorsome produce like seafood and all kinds of meat (including beef, pork, chicken) will generally be part of the daily menus. Be sure to sample some of the wonderful Scottish beer and ale, also the whiskies that Scotland is famous for. Dietary requirements such as vegetarian and gluten-free will be catered for with advance notice although choice is normally less than for those without special requirements or who eat meat. Scotland is typically a meat eating nation. Scotland’s well known dish, Haggis, is often offered in both a meat eaters and vegetarian format.

I would like to arrive early. Can you recommend hotels in Kingussie?

Yes! Here are some great local options for lodging in Kingussie:

The Cross Hotel http://thecross.co.uk/
Tigh na Bruich B&B http://www.tigh-na-bruaich-kingussie.co.uk/
Greystones B&B http://www.greystonesbandb.com/
Glengarry B&B http://www.glengarrybandb.co.uk/

How does this trip support Responsible Travel?

ROW Sea Kayak Adventures' takes pride in the significant and beneficial economic impact this trip has to the region. We stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants, hire local guides, and buy all of our food locally. This itinerary is designed to minimize travel (and therefore fuel consumption) while still offering clients a fulfilling experience of the Scottish Highlands. We stay in three hotels, each of which is owned and managed by locals. The accommodations source much of their food locally, reducing food miles and reinvesting in the local economy.

We hire local guides who provide insight to life in Scotland through firsthand experience! Not only are they qualified hiking and and sea kayaking guides, they have been through a “Wilderness Guide Training” program that includes a module on “Leave No Trace” responsible travel ethics.

This trip supports two environmental charities in Scotland: The John Muir Trust and Trees for Life. We offer direct financial support to these charities and our local staff volunteers each year to help with various projects.

Why ROW Sea Kayak Adventures in Scotland?

ROW Sea Kayak Adventures has a long and personal connection to Scotland. In fact, owner Peter Grubb celebrated his 8th birthday there many years ago! The research for this trip was conducted recently and we are delighted to be partnering with one of Scotland’s finest outfitters to bring you this multifaceted adventure.

On our remarkable Scottish journeys, you get to experience the true spirit of Scotland from the Highlands to the coast. Exploring by foot and by kayak allows you to experience the country in two distinct, yet magnificent ways. This trip offers an excellent opportunity for guests to interact with locals, providing an authentic cultural element. Experiencing the rich culture of the region is equally as life-changing as gliding in your kayak through the surprisingly turquoise water. The beauty and serenity of the Scottish coast is truly breathtaking, and a perfect place to appreciate simply “being.”

Our guides provide insight to Scotland’s intriguing history, with plenty of stories, myths, and legends to share. We also provide top-quality kayaking gear so you enjoy your adventure to the fullest!

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