It’s time to get afloat and experience the world class West Coast of Scotland. Lochaber's west Highland coastline is blessed with a great diversity of paddling areas, which will keep the excited beginner to seasoned sea kayaker happy and content - sandy beaches, sea cliffs, mystical isles, remote sea lochs and scenic mountain backdrops.
Sea kayaking is the way to get away from the crowds and offers the opportunity to see Lochaber’s wildlife up close – seals, porpoises, sea eagles, otters, oyster catchers and much more. Sea kayaking is a special kind of freedom, away from it all, and one that you can experience in Lochaber - the Outdoor Capital of the UK.
Some of Lochaber’s top sea kayaking areas are:
Arisaig – fantastic sandy beaches, rugged reefs, seals in abundance - quite simply a magical sea kayaking area.
Knoydart – The UK’s last wilderness? Loch Hourn and Loch Nevis offer the sea kayaker a remote journeying experience.
Loch Sunart – A majestic but yet sheltered fjord in the heart of the Ardnamurchan peninsula.
Small Isles – The Isles of Canna, Muck, Rum and Eigg, offer the committed sea kayaker a challenge to paddle out to them and explore around their varied coastlines. Look out for the basking sharks!
Loch Ailort – Sheltered waters at it’s north easterly end leads out to the rocky skerries of Smirisary and the sandy harbour at Samalaman Island.
Ardnamurchan Point – A trip under the cliffs of the most Westernly point of mainland UK or a paddle around rocky shores and bright white sandy beaches at Sanna.
Loch Linnhe – Offers a variety of sea kayaking opportunities. There is a tide race at the Corran Narrows, where the ferry crosses to Ardgour and Ardnamurchan, and at the North end of Lismore, there is a proper Highland Castle which you can paddle under - Castle Stalker.
Loch Leven – Stunning backdrop of Glencoe’s mighty mountains and the burial isles of the Macdonalds who were slaughtered in the famous Glencoe massacre after the Jacobite uprising. For kayakers wishing to use the tides to their favour, the tide flows quickly under the Ballachulish road bridge leading them out to Loch Linnhe.
Lochaber offers a wide selection of sea kayaking trips for kayakers of all abilities to undertake in all but the most extreme weather and tidal conditions. Sea kayakers getting afloat in Lochaber should be properly equipped, well trained and know what their limits are in terms of ability and experience. The sea does not do ‘forgiveness’ and is pretty cold all year round (8 – 12c)! Good modern kayaking clothing means there is no excuse to be cold, damp and miserable though. Local guiding is available for those wishing to experience it and coaching is also available for those wishing to learn how to sea kayak for themselves or to improve their skills / knowledge.
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The shipping forecasts and inshore waters forecast can be obtained from:
The times of high and low water for various locations in Lochaber can be obtained from: