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Improver Sea Kayak - Summer Isles (5 Day)

Improver Level - 5 days and 7 hours | Prices from £850.00

Course Rating: 5.0 Rated 5.0 out of 5 based on 7 reviews

This course requires meeting at 16:00 on the evening of your course start date.

This range of courses is perfect for sea kayakers who have already had an introduction to the activity but feel they would benefit from consolidating that experience as well as developing the skills and confidence required for more challenging conditions. If only able to join us for that ‘once a year’ paddling week then these courses are ideal for you as we offer a choice of locations to allow you to explore new destinations whilst refreshing previous skills and developing new.

From our base overlooking the Summer Isles this is the perfect location to develop sea kayaking experience and gain confidence. The week is spent exploring an amazing variety of stunning locations and our coaches will be able to help improve your paddling skills and increase your knowledge on equipment, tidal route planning, navigation, seamanship, weather and emergency procedures.

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Dates & Prices

Cost (with accommodation): £850.00
Cost (with accommodation): £850.00

Is It For Me?

This course requires meeting at 16:00 on the Sunday evening of your course start date.

This course is geared for the sea kayaker who is keen to develop their ability and confidence in force 3 and 4 conditions, along with planning and paddling along slightly more committing coastlines. To get the most out of this course then you should have some experience in slightly rougher water with winds of Force 3/4, and have done 5 sea kayaking day trips in a variety of locations. Ideally you should also have some idea about tidal planning. Being able to roll is not essential on this course  – as long as you are happy being rescued if need be! So if you want a week where we explore slightly more remote coastlines, plan tidal paddling trips and look at developing your sea kayaking skills in slightly rougher conditions then this is the course for you.

Course Aims

This course will be dependant on the weather conditions; however it should provide the paddler with plenty of experience of paddling a variety of coastlines, including some small open crossing and headlands. In addition to this the week will focus on tidal planning, seamanship and weather forecasting, safety and rescue, as well as developing your personal paddling on slightly more exposed coastal waters.

Course Content

You will usually be in a group of no more than six with one instructor, often 2 instructors and a group of 10 people. Meeting your instructor on the first morning provides an opportunity to discuss people’s experience and aspirations, which along with the weather forecast will enable us to plan the week’s activity with you.

We meet on the Sunday afternoon 16.00 hrs at Glenmore Lodge. This allows us to sort out equipment, pack, have a bar meal at 17.00. After our meal we will drive to our accommodation and base for the week at Altandu, overlooking the Summer Isles. If it is easier for you to travel direct please arrive by 22.00 hrs when we aim to be there by. You will need to let us know if this is your plan and we can help out with any additional directions and any equipment you may need to borrow from us. The first day will often look at introducing some personal paddling skills and coaching, practicing some rescue procedures and of course going for a day paddle in amongst the Summer Isles.

For the rest of the week the days will be spent developing our tidal planning and weather forecast knowledge, developing personal paddling skills in rougher water and exploring as much of North West highlands fantastic coastline and islands as is possible. Day trips we may be able to do during the week could include some of the following: Tanera Mor and Tanera Beg, Isle Ristol, Horse Island, Priest Island, Rubha Coigach, Isle Martin and Point of Stoer. On the course we are able to supply all the maps, charts, pilots and other tidal planning resources you may need. If you have your own though, feel free to bring them along.

In addition to this you will benefit from your instructors wealth of knowledge of additional sea kayaking venues around the UK, and more than likely the rest of the world. Stories will be told and hopefully you will leave inspired and with knowledge to confidently take your paddling to other parts of the UK and beyond.

The Accommodation

The location of Port Beag chalets is truly breathtaking – they are set on the shore front looking over the bay to Old Dornie Harbour, and out to the Summer Isles and Minch. You would be hard pressed to find a better location.

All bedding and towels are supplied. Each chalet has a colour TV and video.

Breakfast and pack lunch material is supplied by Glenmore Lodge and you will be required to organise this amongst the cabin ‘team’. Evening meals are eaten in the local pub, which provide excellent three course meals each night making use of fresh local sea food and produce. This is all included in the course cost.

It takes about 1 hour 15 minutes from Inverness to Ullapool, and another 45 minutes from Ullapool to Altandhu. Taking the A835 north out of Ullapool, after 10 miles the turn off for Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles is well marked. Keep driving along the single track road for about half an hour, past Stac Pollaidh car park and past the turn off to Lochinver, until you reach a fork in the road. Take the right turn, marked for Altan Dubh (not left towards Achiltibuie). Five minutes after Achnahaird you will reach the crest of a hill, and from there you will see the Summer Isles, Altandhu, and the chalets by the seashore. The Macleod house is beside the second group of (4 berth) chalets.


If you wish to travel directly to the chalets please let us know in advance and aim to arrive by 22.00 hrs. If you need equipment taken over for you please fill in and return the attached form. 

What Will I Need?

Glenmore Lodge has a large and very comprehensive store of up to date clothing and equipment. You are welcome to use your own equipment and pick and choose odd items from the store. Your instructor will want to check that personal equipment is appropriate for the activity.

If you are thinking about buying equipment but are not too sure what to get we would advise you to come and try our equipment and then make your purchases after the course. We have a range of most equipment items you can try during the course and there is advice on hand from other students as well as the staff.

We have a range of some of the latest sea kayaks including this years models from P&H, Valley, North Shore & Tiderace. Our paddling clothing is from PeakUK which we tailor to your discipline. We use a range of paddles on the sea courses from Werner and Lendal.


ü  Buoyancy aids

ü  Helmets

ü  Spray decks

ü  Cags

ü  Wet suits

ü  Wet suit bootees

ü  Small dry bags

ü  Dry suits (only for out of season kayak courses)

ü  Paddling Trousers

ü  Pogies

ü  Paddling Neoprene Gloves/mitts

ü  Towlines

ü  Split Paddles

ü  Maps


Listed here are the essentials; this is not an exhaustive list.

ü  Informal clothing for leisure wear

ü  Insulating layers – at least two mid weights

ü  Fleece/insulated jacket

ü  Waterproof jacket

ü  Hat & gloves***

ü  Vacuum Flask & Water Bottle ***

ü  Box or bag for packed lunch.

ü  Blister kit/ small first aid kit

ü  Personal toiletries & medications (towels are provided)

ü  Sun cream – you just never know! ***

ü  Sunhat/Cap – good for sun or rain!

ü  Sun glasses & cord

ü  Insect Repellent – it may be midgey!***

ü  Spare towel

ü  An alarm clock

ü  Compass – Silva type 4 recommended ***

Items marked *** are available in our shop subject to availability.

Remember the price is all inclusive

We want our customers to easily know what their course will cost, up front and in the open.  Accommodation on the night before and the nights during your course, pick up from the train station (Friday and Sunday evenings only), breakfast, lunch, cake break and dinner are all included. All transportation on the course, centre facilities & any equipment you borrow are also part of the package

Course Documentation

Course Pre-Requisites

5 days sea paddling with some experience of force 3 or 4 conditions.

Course Rating: 5.0 Rated 5.0 out of 5 based on 7 reviews Read all reviews

Great location, plenty of opportunities to be taken out of my comfort zone.
Anne Hay Reviewed on 14/08/2016
Course Content
Food & Drink
A good 'week' - no doubt helped by excellent weather. I learned a lot (my main aim), and enjoyed myself and the camaraderie of the other group members.
Tom Leatherland Reviewed on 30/05/2016
Course Content
Food & Drink
Both instructors were fantastic, they supported the group to develop skills and improve competence, as well as experience a range of adventurous conditions in safety. People discussed personal objectives and these were met during the course.
Kevin Walker Reviewed on 13/07/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink
Overall the course was excellent and instructors superb. Just the right balance of enjoyment and testing our limits.
James Eccles Reviewed on 13/07/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink
Highly recommend this course for the infrequent but wanting to be challenged paddler - fantastic experience and great location. Instructors Tristan Benwell and Calum McNicol were brilliant, I felt really safe and supported especially when the sea and weather exceeded my expectations! Great trip thanks to Tristan, Calum and fellow paddlers.
Chris Newsome Reviewed on 13/07/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink
Another winner from the Lodge. The only reason for rating most things as 4star was that I needed to save something even better for the instructors. As ever they are the reason that, having now been on 5 Lodge courses, I keep coming back for more.
Sandy Macleod Reviewed on 12/07/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink
Alistair Dawson Reviewed on 30/05/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink

What’s included on your course

  • Instruction
  • Use of kit
  • Shuttle bus to Glenmore Lodge (departs Aviemore station 5:20pm on Friday and Sundays)
  • Packed lunch and afternoon tea each day
  • In-course transport

What’s included if you choose the residential option – As above PLUS

  • Bed in shared en-suite room – available from 3pm on day before your course starts *

(Single rooms may be available for a supplementary charge, please ask at reception when you arrive)

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner for each course day (except one day and back-to-back courses)
  • Use of the facilities at Glenmore Lodge
  • Linen is provided along with a towel, you may wish to bring an extra towel if you would like to use the facilities or are on a paddlesport course

Arriving at Glenmore Lodge

  • For more information on travel to the Lodge click here
  • Your first inclusive meal is breakfast (7:45 -8:30am) An evening meal is not provided on your arrival night, but bar meals are available in our Lochain bar 5pm to 9pm (5-7pm on Mondays and Tuesdays)
  • Packed lunches are collected at breakfast
  • On Mondays and Saturdays only there will be a 10 minute welcome talk at 8.15am, on other days you will meet your instructor at 9am. The daily programme of your course will be discussed with your instructor when you first meet, taking into account aspirations and prevailing weather conditions

On your last day

  • Check out time is 10am on the final day of your booking, we have changing areas, showers and left luggage facilities on site
  • All courses will finish by 5pm
  • On Fridays and Sundays we offer a drop off to Aviemore station, leaving Glenmore Lodge at 5pm, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance if you would like to book this service

*some exceptions – see detailed course notes

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check our FAQ’s here or contact us on [email protected] or 01479 861256

Can't find exactly what you are looking for?

Design your own course

We are happy to create it for you. You can hire one of our instructors or guides from as little as £280 a day, including any equipment. If you’re a group, all of our courses are available on a date that suits you or if you would prefer we can tailor a course to your requirements. Simply give us a call to discuss your requirements.

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