Canoe Across Scotland 

11 - 18 September 2023
or arrange your own trip


Travel from sea to sea under your own power 

There are few places in the world where it is possible to travel right across the Country by Canoe.
Arguably no other is quite so beautiful.

No need to be a paddling hero 

While being an epic trip through stunning scenery and taking 6 days, it is a technically easy trip that anyone can do. 

Paddle through the heart of Scotland 

We don’t just visit Loch Ness we paddle the entirety of it - the most famous landmark of Scotland (thanks Nessie). 

Comfort and wonder 

A variety of travelling accommodation along the way keeps things interesting. Hostels, campsites and wilderness camping. We will ensure you are warm and comfortable with our great tents and sleep systems.

Self-sufficiency - wonderful simplicity 

Like all great adventures,  living and travelling simply allows you to relax into the journey and enjoy  the moment.

Great food 

Sometimes it is freshly cooked on a stove, or over an open fire and sometimes it is a cheeky chippy to celebrate a good day, but we love good food, so our trips are always well catered. 

Great Glen 2020 - Ambulant Crew

Great Glen 2022 - with chair users

padlding into the sunsetTransferring on the lake Two ladies on the canal in a canoe Wood fired kettle on the shoreNess ferry moored upCanoe Sailng with full sails Rafted Canoes on loch Ness Canoes on the shoreYellow Camping tent

Canoeing - the original adventure boat

An expeditionary adventure by paddle 

The open canoe:  a shape and style developed over centuries that is used to traverse so many terrains, carries everything required for a journey and can take advantage of the wind when it is in your favour.

To cross from one side of the country to the other, we take advantage of the canal system to join up the 3  Lochs which form the base of the Great Glen. An almost complete cleft through the width of Scotland. Using our wheelies we skirt the lock gates which allow big boats to ascend the staircases of water.

Our itinerary is 6 days. This gives us the flexibility to deal with poor weather without having to skip sections. Every day has a new destination in the plan but some camps could be skipped or we could spend two nights in one place.

This is part of the Anyone Can advantage, we make sure we have time to maximise the potential of the trip. If we happen to finish early we will do something extra, perhaps run a river section, explore a local village, or even have a rest! 

There is a lot of paddling but it is all flat. In total the journey is 100km/60 miles.

Happy man and his tent

Adventure Living 

Relax after a great day in beautiful surroundings

Like the vagabonds we pretend to be for a week, we utilise a variety of accommodation options;  sleeping on beds, on mown grass and under trees (in a tent of course!).

It is  one of the lovely things about this trip - meeting other fellow travellers, with the same form of chosen transport and sharing the love of being outdoors but also finding a quiet spot where we can just hear the lake and crackling of a campfire.

We have great tents, sleeping mats and sleeping bags - we pride ourselves on having excellent, comfortable equipment - the kind of kit that makes you glad to be outside.

The Great Glen is well served with clean flushing and composting toilets. Even at our preferred wild camping spots there are purpose built toilets.

In between, we have our collapsible porta loo and privacy tent.

There are showers at the indoor accommodation sites, some of the lock gates have toilet blocks and so do the commercial campsites. 

smoke rises from the wood kettle

Fantastic Food 

Fuel for fun 

Lovely simple food is prepared by the instructors, with all meals provided.

This is a shared adventure experience so we expect that everyone will want to get involved in the whole experience including pitching tents, finding drinking water and cooking.

The stoves are always available to you to make a brew, cup of soup or popcorn if you feel the need.

Breakfast is generally something hot to warm you up - sometimes a simple bowl of porridge and sometimes a treat breakfast of a bacon sarnie or similar (vegan options available!).

Lunch is normally wraps with fillings, sandwiches or oatcakes and pate, with dried fruit and snacks.

Dinners vary - sometimes they are freshly prepared curries and dahl or pasta dishes and sometimes we eat together at a real table and chairs - with someone else looking after the washing up. We always have a pudding too!  Every meal within a trip is included - you may wish to buy an extra pud or pint of beer (you will have earned it - go on!). 



A super adventure for all impairments

How we do it 

At the heart of this trip is ‘Freedom” our drop-fronted powerboat, who helps us solve the greatest barriers to accessing this trip. She provides a robust safety platform for rescues, a fast route to guarantee we make it to the accessible camp spots, and can even a mobile accessible toilet if needed.  Freedom also saves us from having to carry our boats around the portages.                   

On  top of this we have been pioneering over the last 3 years:
- Accessible tipi tents with tiered transfer stools inside to aid transfers down to the ground sleeping level or to our raised camp beds
.- A portable super stable toilet with handrails anchored into the ground.
- Canoe outriggers to reduce capsize risks. 

Will the trip be perfectly smooth and accessible?
No way! This is the peak adventure in an undeveloped environment. 
But will we have a blast making it work?
Yes, we will!

If there are no chair users on the trip we may not bring Freedom and adjust the itinerary to suit an ambulant group. 

Showing the inner salloon with a gally down one side and seating round a table all in wood
Stern of the boat showing access gate in back
Cockpit of boat showing u shaped seating and large central wheel
Cockpit of boat showing u shaped seating and large central wheel
Cockpit of boat showing u shaped seating and large central wheel
Cockpit of boat showing u shaped seating and large central wheel
Cockpit of boat showing u shaped seating and large central wheel
Cockpit of boat showing u shaped seating and large central wheel
Cockpit of boat showing u shaped seating and large central wheel
Cockpit of boat showing u shaped seating and large central wheel

Making Camping Inclusive 

How we adapt camp to your needs 

We can't list everything here but below is a summary of our top enablement tools.

Loos during the day 

Those who can't just pop to a bush rest assured we have a collapsible, portable rails and privacy tent. The departure point has a standard accessible toilet. 

Loos in the evening 

Most of the time there is an accessible loo at the camping spots - sometimes its easier to use the portable. 

Tipi tents

We have big lightweight tipi tents they allow chair users to wheel inside and have loads of head room and manoeuvring space to get positioned right 

Raised beds or floor sleeping 

We can sleep on a raised bed facilitating easy transfers or floor sleeping. For floor sleeping, we have tiered transfer stools to aid the changing of heights. Inflatable mats and an extra large inflatable mat for people with back problems. 

Raised cooking and fires

We have raised fires and tables for the stoves to enable people to reach and take part in the cooking and fire lighting. The fires are special wood gas stoves that direct most heat upwards protecting low-sensation legs and wheelchairs. 

The stoves also help prevent accidents as its hard to actually touch the really hot stuff

Important Great Glen Info

Dates and Costs 

  • 6 days adventure and 7 nights accommodation

  • Pickup: Fort William Train Station 7pm 11th September 2023

  • Drop off:  Fort William Train Station 10am 18th September 2023

  • £1088 per person 

    £4034 own family or friends trip (based on 4) 

    Accomodation is in bunks and tents

What is included?

  • Indoor accommodation in a shared room, camping in a single or double tent

  • All meals from first Canoeing day's Breakfast to the departure days breakfast 

  • All technical equipment

  • British qualified Canoeing Instructors

  • Transport from and to the train stations

  • Bring only a small bag as we are travelling by Canoe - we provide everything for outdoor living
    (and it is good quality)

What do we actually do

  • Brush up your Canoe skills on the first day 

  • Paddle the heart of Scotland 

  • Paddle two to a canoe, go solo, portage, make rafts and sail - nearly every way of making expedition canoes travel

  • Go for a pint 

  • Camp in amazing places

  • Watch sunsets, with a brew/dram

  • Cook on a campfire, cook on a stove, cook in a communal kitchen, dine out

  • Have a laugh as a friendly welcoming group of like-minded people

Great Glen Accessibility Statement



  • AR_M%20 %20Can%20Travel%2010m

    Suitable for people able to navigate short stretches of rough ground unaided and longer walks with assistance

    AR_V%20 %20See%20Objects%20Clearly%20at%202m
  • We are well staffed for this trip, a lot of help is available for support both on and off travel time

    Edges on canal side are unfenced and often a significant drop



    Come with an adventure buddy



    Arrange an Anyone Can volunteer guide



AR_C%20 %20Self%20Manages%20Day%20to%20Day
  • Suitable for those able to self manage without dedicated support or with a dedicated carer (who could drive between sites)

  • We will help with meals, reminding about medications etc 

  • Participants should be capable of understanding and acting appropriately around fires, unfenced canals and at the water's edge without constant supervision 



    Come with an adventure buddy



  • AR_M%20 %20Can%20Sit%20Unsupported%20on%20a%20Bench%203

    Regular transfers are required on most days. Normally these are between a good quality, level, floating platform and canoe - to get around lock gates

  • AR_M%20 %20Can%20Bum%20Shuffle%201

    This trip is possible for an adventurous wheelchair user who can self transfer and bum shuffle

    Some facilities on the journey are not adapted,  or are situated across difficult access bridges (top of loch gates) but….

    We have a portable toilet and privacy tent with portable handrails

    Our chosen accomodation has accessible rooms (book early to avoid disappointment) 

    We have supportive seating for the canoes

    We have a drop fronted powerboat to support the team. We can slide people directly from the water, transfer to canoe to powerboat directly and transport personal chairs for comfort .

    There is relatively little land based travelling required, where there is typiclally paths are well made and level. 

    Camp spots are close to the water. 



  • AR_A%20 %20Can%20Hear%20Instructions%20or%20Lip%20Read

    Suitable for people with most auditory impairments that do not require signing to communicate 

  • A BSL assistant instructor is occasionally available

  • We have radios and Tloop transmission units to aid hearing when seperated in differing boats 



    Come with an adventure buddy



    Arrange an Anyone Can volunteer guide

From London by rail 

If you are coming from london hop on the Caladonian Sleeper after work and snuggle up. You will wake up in Glasgow in the morning - with only 1 stop on the Glasgow underground or a short taxi ride you can then get on the Fort William Train to arrive about midday. 

TOP TIP: look at buying a Glasgow return ticket separately which are often much cheaper and then buy singles to Fort William and from Inverness.


Travel up during the day and stay overnight in Glasgow and explore the city, and get the Fort William train the next day.

Other places by rail

Any rail route that arrives in Glasgow is easy.  Glasgow is the Northern terminal of the West Coast main line and Edinburgh (50mins from Glasgow) is similarly the head of the East Coast mainline. This means that most of the UK is in easy reach of a train going the right way. 

By Air 

Fly into Inverness (Belfast, Bristol, London, Birmingham, Manchester) and a regular bus runs the length of the Great Glen between Inverness and Fort William.

Not quite right , Need different dates, want controll of the itenery or want to save money by filling your own boat?

We love commisions, requests for alternate dates and requests to make specific adaptions - infact we would not exist without them.

So please if you like what you read but its not quite there or you want something different: do get in touch we look forward to hearing from you. 

Send us a message


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Excellent accessibility icons designed by Emma Briggs Design

Emma Briggs Design

European Start up Funded 

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development  

Europe investing in rural areas

Anyone Can: Connecting Transport Hubs to Lake Shores - Accessible Canoeing

Purchase of an accessible powered support and rescue vessel, and a mobile fleet of canoes with trailer

It is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 

Supported by the Cumbria Fells and Dales Local Action Group 

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