The Spey Decent
2nd – 6th September 2024
A 110km (68 mile) classic paddling journey. Known worldwide for Salmon Fishing and for Whisky production. The River Spey Descent is a trip that not only showcases Scotland’s’ culture and wildlife but offers a great mix of paddling with gentle sections and white-water rapids finishing in the North Sea on the Moray coast!
This is a canoe trip for those who have a passion for the outdoors, a love for paddling and want to experience the wilderness of Scotland on a River expedition that allows them to develop their skills and knowledge through journeying. Some personal paddling skills are essential for this trip however we ensure you have the opportunity for individualised coaching to develop your technical and tactical skills and understanding throughout the trip.
Guided by two qualified and very experienced canoe coaches; Liam Green & Emy McLeod. Both have vast experience in guiding trips across Scotland and are guaranteed to provide you with a fantastic canoe journey on one of the ultimate classic descents in the UK
Cost: £500 Per Person
Location – Strathspey / Central Highlands – Meeting Point – Kincraig / Aviemore
What does the cost of the expedition include?
A 5 day and 4 night canoe expedition with two highly qualified canoe coaches and paddle guides with a vast knowledge in canoeing, paddle equipment, navigation and wild camping. The guides will share their knowledge of the Scottish wildlife, history, the river and canoe skills as you journey from the upper reaches of the mighty Spey all the way out to the sea where the fresh water meets the ocean. This trip provides a perfect opportunity for you to develop your canoe skills on white water in a progressive manor. Challenge your technical and tactical abilities in managing your laden boat in grade up to grade 2 + rapids. By allowing 5 days to make the journey this creates a relaxed atmosphere to accommodate time for coaching, consolidating skills and time to stop and enjoy the journey and maybe a whisky or two as we make our way towards the coast.
Pre trip departure there will be a zoom / google meet where you will meet your two guides and the rest of the clients joining the trip. This pre trip meeting will give you an opportunity to voice any questions and discuss our trip together as a team and come feeling fully prepared for a real adventure!
Post trip you will be sent a link to download all trip photography that the guides will be taking throughout the expedition.
Equipment hire of items and kit can be arranged – Please refer to the below kit list.
Grading & Experience / is this trip for me?
This expedition journey would be great for those who have already completed a multi-day paddle expedition or have some skills in canoeing and looking to experience a trip that mixes wild camping with a River Journey. The trip can be paddled in solo or in tandem crafts; whichever you prefer. You should have personal paddling skills and experience in your canoe on gentle moving water with a desire to develop your skills and experience a journey to consolidate your learning. Aimed for individuals, couples and/or groups who want to get on a classic river journey, away from the crowds and incorporate river running & reading skills coaching. If you wish to speak to the guides about your experience and if this trip is for you before booking, please get in touch to discuss further.
Trip Difficulty: On the Spey Decent some previous experience in an open boat is required. You will be looking to paddle for around 5 – 6 hours a day, covering approximately 15km – 20km; this is all weather dependent; alternative distances and timings may have to be implemented if the weather deems the chosen route not achievable. Your guides have an extensive knowledge of the area and will be able to provide suitable alternatives to ensure the best time on the water throughout your journey.
We will arrange a shuttle service at the end to minimise driving depending on group numbers.
Kit List requirements
Below is a suggested kit list for the trip. Items are split in essential and recommended. If there are items of equipment that you do not have, these can be provided and rented at an additional cost; equipment marked with * are available for rental.
Canoe with airbags or floatation blocks & 5m Bow & Stern Line*Buoyancy Aid*
Paddle (plus spare) *
White Water Paddling Helmet*
Barrell / Dry Bags*
Swim line (20m floating line minimum)
Kneeling Mat & Bailer*
Paddle Clothing & Waterproofs
Tent, Inflatable Roll Mat & Season 3 Sleeping Bag
Camping Stove & Gas / Cooking Utensils + Plate / Bowl / Coffee Mug
Food: 5 Lunches, 4 B & 4 D + Snacks
Water Container (min 2L bottles) + flask (additional drinks optional)
Footwear (includes ankle support) / Walking boots
Spare Clothes – merino / technical base layers, thick socks
Warm Jacket for wearing around camp area
Head Torch plus spare batteries
Warm Hat & Gloves (plus spare gloves)
Lightweight towel & toiletries
Dry Trousers & Cag
Sail (solo or downwind sail rig)*
Personal First Aid Kit
Water Purification Tablets
Suncream, Sunglasses & Peaked cap (it can be sunny)
Portable Charging Device
Spare Bags for Wet Kit
Outdoor slippers or crocs for camp
Journey in a traditional way at a pace that allows you to take in the scenic Scottish landscape.
Experience paddling on white water up to grade 2+ on a journey that progresses in challenge over its length.
Develop your paddling skills and receive coaching from two expert canoe guides & qualified coaches.
Become a more independent paddler and gain new experience to help you feel ready to go on your own adventures.
Post trip – receive a link to download photos from your journey to have as memories from the 5-day expedition.
See calendar for course dates!