The Best Locations to Kayak in Inverness

You Cannae Beat a Kayak

Kayaking in Inverness is an outdoor activity that blends the tranquillity and calmness of the outdoors with great exercise and a wee dose of adventure to boot! What more could you ask from a staycation in Scotland or a tour around the Highlands?

The Highlands are home to not only some of the best beauty spots in Scotland but in our opinion – the whole world! What could be better than paddling along a glass-like loch, flanked by commanding mountains and gloriously green glens to get away from the stresses and strains of the modern age? Kayaking is the perfect panacea for the problems of the pandemic and whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie to the activity, the Highlands is the best place to experience life on the water.

Inverness and the surrounding area is a great area to get to grips with kayaking. You can get yourself a tour guide to discover the best places for paddling, or you can do your homework and get out there and get up close and personal with the Highlands. Here’s a wee head start on your homework as we present some of the best places to kayak in the Inverness area! 

Kayaking Loch Ness

Loch Ness is the purported home of the world-famous Loch Ness Monster. Not only does it have the Nessie as a resident, but it’s also surrounded by picturesque peaks and enigmatic castle ruins. It’s a magnet for holidaymakers year after year because it’s easily one of the most beautiful places in Scotland. The Loch is big and beautiful and depending on the weather it can be a calm, peaceful paddle, or a wee bit more challenging if the wind decides on making an appearance (as it so often does in Scotland). You can traverse the waters and explore down to the wee town of Drumnadrochit, the ruins of the old Jacobite fort – Urquhart Castle, or maybe discover Cherry Island – the only island in the Loch. Once there stood a castle on the island, but because of the construction of the nearby Caledonian Canal, the waters have swallowed most of the island, leaving its but a mound for Nessie to rest on.

Because the water can get choppy, book a kayaking tour or go as a group, and who knows, you might be one of the lucky few that gets to meet Nessie face to face!    

Caledonian Canal Kayaking

The Caledonian Canal stretches from Inverness all the way South to Fort William over 60 miles away, so there is loads of water to explore along the way! The canal is used to connect several Lochs, allowing boats, barges and beginner kayakers to travel from the outdoor pursuit capital of Britain – Fort William, and the Capital of the Highlands – Inverness. You can traverse the waters as you are passed by pleasure boats and working vessels alike, all whilst taking in some iconic landscapes along the way. Inverness to Dochgarroch is a lovely calm stretch of water to get your bearings as a beginner before you might want to level up to the more challenging journey as you travel further south. 

Loch Dochfour

Before Loch Ness and after the aforementioned Dochgarroch, you’ll find Loch Dochfour. This area is perfect for kayaking as Dochgarroch is home to some locks that make it easy peasy to slip into the water and get paddling! Dip into the water there and then paddle on to Loch Dochfour to enjoy the easy waters as it’s more sheltered than the waterways that lie beyond it. As usual, there are breath-taking views all around the loch and all the fine, fresh air to expand those all-important lungs! Another great spot for the beginner or maybe even for younger kayakers who want to learn the sport. 

Moray Firth Kayaking

If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging in the paddling patter stakes, why not try a wee jaunt on the Moray Firth. This stretch of water is North of Inverness and is an inlet of the North Sea, so conditions can be a little choppier than some of the other bodies of water on this list. Paddle to Munlochy Bay, up to the beach at Rosemarkie or maybe even to the famous Chanonry Point where you might be able to spot a dolphin or two (from a respectful distance, of course!). Kayaking on the Moray Firth moves you into sea-kayaking territory, not to be attempted by beginners and aits always better to kayak in groups – even just for the craic – never mind for the safety!

Kayak Aigas Gorge and the River Beauly

The Aigas Gorge is part of the serene River Beauly river system. This serene adventure will take you through a leafy paradise, speckled with stunning rock formations. Not only is the scenery nothing short of stunning, but you’ll also the opportunity to spot many a native animal, from birds of prey to all the creatures and critters that cut about in the lush foliage that surround the gorge. Take a tour to get to grip with the handsome spots of the area and make kayaking in the Highlands and Inverness a memory you’ll be talking about from now until the cows come kayaking too!

Discover more things to do in Inverness.

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