Sea Kayak Taster on the Sound of Sleat

If you have never tried out sea kayaking, there’s no better place than the Isle of Skye on the West Coast of Scotland. The south of the island is gentle and so close to the mainland that you get calm conditions, ideal for trying something new. No need to be a good swimmer or Ironman, we do our best to stay in the boat and out of the water.

Once you’re equipped with a wetsuit (just in case), nice cosy neoprene boots, a waterproof jacket and a buoyancy aid (similar to a life jacket), your guide will choose the right boat with you so that you have the best possible experience. Every kayak is different and there are lots of shapes and sizes to fit different people. All our kayaks are closed cockpit, so you wear a spray deck to keep the water out. Of course we will show you how you take it off should you have a mishap.

Ready to go, we launch from the beach in Armadale, practise a few strokes to get you going: forwards, backwards, turning and breaking, and off we go around the ferry terminal to head around Rubha Phoil. Here you get a glimpse of the local harbour seals basking on the skerries. We give them plenty of space as to not disturb them. the view unfolds and the magnificent mountain of Knoydart, Morar and Moidart lie before you. Splendid wilderness, beckoning for another adventure. By now you have mastered the control of your kayak and you’re learning how to use your feet to make your paddling more efficient and less tiring, you whizz past Ardvasar in no time and make for the coast again to look for otters, sea urchins and starfish. We hug the coast tightly to see as much as possible: little coves, bays, rocky gaps and the sandy sea bed. Around the next headland lies a tiny beach that lends itself to a perfect little break. You can find seaglass here and have a little rest in the hamock, while the kids, big and small, look for anemones in the rockpools. We then head on towards Camard and around to Tormore. New views unfold to the Isle of Rum and Ardnamurchan Point. We pass a beautiful rock arch and if we didn’t have a break at the hammock, we’ll have one at Tormore.

On the way back, the gentle southwesterly breeze supports us, and we learn how to steer the boat when the wind is coming from behind. If we’re lucky, we might even get to surf. Whizzing past Ardvasar again, we soon reach the calm around the skerries, enjoy the turquoise waters once more and then head into the bay, a little tired, but inspired to go kayaking again very soon.