Kayaking and canoeing

Kayaking and canoeing

Cut through the clear and calm waters of Loch Sunart and visit its serene sheltered bays, or take a bracing trip around Ardnamurchan Point on your kayak or canoe and explore the peninsula from a different point of view.

When you take a sea kayaking trip in the waters around this part of the world, it’s exhilarating. As soon as you leave the beach or jetty, you’ll feel a connection to nature that you just can’t get on land. The dramatic landscape and clean air has a wonderful way of making you feel exposed, but in the best way. It helps you to push the hustle and bustle of everyday life and any stresses or strains out of your mind and get back in touch with nature and your pioneering spirit.

Open water kayaking

As you cut through the water, heading out into open water, you’ll see the islands of Coll, Tiree and Skye on the horizon. These beautiful islands are within reach from the shores of Loch Sunart, but the trip will be hard work and the waters could be a little tricky at times, so don’t try this if you’re a beginner. But don’t be deterred if you’re new to canoeing, the islands of Carna, Oronsay and the small but perfectly formed Risga sit inside the shelter of Loch Sunart, making them ideal destinations to explore, for beginners and experienced kayakers alike, thanks to the unique waters on offer.

Canoeing on Loch Sunart

For a more sedate outing, or if the weather conditions aren’t right to reach Ardnamurchan Point safely, Loch Sunart is a lovely spot to take a canoe or kayak. Although numerous small lochs shape the peninsula, Loch Sunart is the largest and most spectacular of all. At around 31 kilometres long, it’s the longest sea loch in the highlands region. Loch Sunart’s size and location means that many local animals and birds choose to make its waters and the surrounding greenery there home. It’s actually part of two Marine Protect Areas thanks to the rare flame shell beds and its population of Common Skate. There are many other rare species that frequent the seas and shores of Loch Sunart, including Eurasian otters, porpoises, wildcats and even Golden eagles. These animals are hard to spot elsewhere, so keep your camera to hand as you kayak – just be careful not to capsize!

Expert guides and tours

As we’ve said, you don’t need to be a seasoned canoeist to take to the water as part of your visit, anyone can have a go. We can arrange guided sea kayak full day or half day trips for you, as well as any other paddle sports experiences you might prefer to try. All the necessary specialist equipment will be provided, so you don’t need to bring anything with you from home.

If you’d prefer to go it alone without a qualified guide as part of your group, we can also help you to plan your adventure if you’re unfamiliar with the area or less experienced on the water. The conditions can change rapidly here, so please make use of our local knowledge and experience of the shores to make sure your group stays safe and comfortable and your kayaking or canoeing experience is memorable for all the right reasons.

Plan your visit

Whether you’re coming to stay with us at the Sunart Adventures cottages, or just need a guide to help you make the most of your visit, taking to the waters of Loch Sunart and the Ardnamurchan peninsula on a sea kayaking adventure will be one of the best decisions you’ve made all year.

Find out more about Sunart Adventures self-catering cottages

Top tips for kayaking and canoeing

  1. Dress for the water, not the weather - even on a sunny day, wear a wetsuit.
  2. Always wear a buoyancy aid - even if you’re experienced on the water.
  3. Hold the paddle with both hands shoulder distance apart - make sure the concave part of the blade is facing you. 
  4. Practise capsizing - its important to be able to rescue yourself safely.
  5. Don’t kayak alone - it’s safer and more fun in a group.