Whilst paddling on beautiful sunny days over the warm summer months, we are often asked the question, ” What do you do over winter?” The answer is, of course, we go kayaking. The word ‘Kayak’ itself originated from the Greenlandic word ‘Qajaq’, and in the northern regions of the world, the native people have been kayaking in the Arctic seas for over 4000 years. As our kayaks are closed cockpit (the top of the boat wraps over our legs) and we use spray decks to keep the water and wind out, they are surprisingly warm even during the coldest parts of winter. Luckily for us in Scotland, our winters are not quite up to Greenland arctic standard (although sometimes they do feel as bad) and so as long as the wind is behaving itself, we can go paddling.
Some of the most beautiful times of the year to paddle are the colder months when the air is crisp and clear, the midge is long gone, the summer rush of tourists has left and the mountains and sometimes shorelines are covered in beautiful white snow. It makes for a fantastic, peaceful and private experience. We do however have to change the way we paddle, taking our time, wearing appropriate warm layers, hats and gloves, making sure we have hot drinks and snacks to keep the body temperature up, stopping for lunch and using our kit to light a fire to warm us up. Sometimes we’ve even had to break the ice in order to get to the water, but it remains one of our favourite times of year to get on the water. We have had some fantastic winter days on the Lochs of Perthshire, in temperatures as low as -5C and even -10C.
Outdoor Explore is busy filling our Autumn and Winter programme for the next few months. These will include some of Perthshire’s Loch gems, which are too busy and hectic over the summer, but during winter can be a private experience for our small group of paddling clients. Below are a few of the gems we will be revisiting for our autumn/winter programme of Friday and Saturday full-day experiences:
Loch Tummel is a stunning location to spend the day. Paddling around the shoreline in Autumn as the leaves turn all shades of yellow, red and orange. In winter the snow on the hills and the clear air gives it a real magical feel.
Loch Faskally in Autumn is unbelievable at times when the autumn colours fill the tree-lined shores as you twist your way through one of our favourite sheltered lochs.
Loch Laggan is a remote part of the world, surrounded by mountains and some amazing architecture of Ardverikie House, famous as the film location for Monarch of Glen.
Loch Katrine, the birthplace of the legendary Rob Roy MacGregor and the fictional setting of Sir Walter Scott’s poem ‘The lady of the lake’. Set in the heart of the Trossachs.
Loch Lomond is large, and open, but peppered with islands to explore, and wildlife and set with the stunning backdrop of Ben Lomond and the Trossachs mountains and vast woodlands. Twist through the islands and find a spot for lunch, before breaking out and taking in those 360-degree views from the water.
Loch Venachar, with its iron age crannog for an island, is surrounded by beautiful hills and forests.
Loch Rannoch is wild and scenic in heart of the Scottish mainland, on a clear day you can see the snow-capped mountains of Glencoe across Rannoch Moor.
So why not have a look at some of our scheduled trips on our website to book a fantastic Autumn or winter kayak experience? You may feel you want a private experience for yourself and close friends, in which case send us an email to email@example.com with details of what you’re after and we can always advise you on the best locations and give you a fantastic private experience on one of Scotland’s big open sky lochs.