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Introduction to Open Canoeing (5 day)

Introduction Level - 5 days | Prices from £545.00

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

This course will provide the canoeist with experience of paddling grade 1 or 2 rivers, lochs and local waterways. In addition to this we will cover skills on safety and rescue, journeying and canoe specific skills, as well as of course developing your personal paddling skills for moving water and open lochs. Getting solid canoeing foundation skills from our top coaches will ensure a lifetime of canoe adventures, there is no better way to start.

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Dates & Prices

Cost (with accommodation): £670.00
Cost (no accommodation): £545.00
Cost (with accommodation): £670.00
Cost (no accommodation): £545.00
Cost (with accommodation): £670.00
Cost (no accommodation): £545.00

Is It For Me?

This course is aimed at anybody who is keen to develop the skills to canoe rivers and lochs. To get the most out of this course then you should be water confident, but there is no requirement to have been in a canoe before. As part of the learning process getting wet and capsizing is possible, so come prepared for a bit of getting a bit wet as well as having a lot of fun and learning. So if you want a week with plenty of opportunity to learn to paddle a canoe and develop skills to have confidence to journey on moving water and lochs, then this is the course for you.

Course Aims

This course will provide the canoeist with plenty of experience of paddling a variety of grade 1/2 rivers and lochs. In addition to this the week will focus on safety and rescue, journeying skills and canoe specific skills, as well as of course developing your personal paddling skills for moving water and open lochs. Getting solid canoeing foundation skills from our top coaches will ensure a lifetime of canoe adventures, there is no better way to start.

Course Content

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

Day one we will help you sorting out any boats or paddling gear you need to borrow from us. Then we will make use of our local loch or Grade 1 river section to start learning the essential skills and develop your confidence in the environment. For the rest of the week we will paddle the rivers and lochs that offer us the best water and conditions that are appropriate for the group. This will include plenty of rivers with Grade 1 and 2, as well as lochs in hopefully calm and windier conditions! The week could involve the following rivers: Spey, Ness, Tay and Avon, or the following lochs: Ness, Insh and Morlich

Whilst on these rivers and lochs we will be able to spend time coaching and developing your personal paddling, there may be an opportunity for video coaching as well. In addition to this we will be looking at developing your safe journeying skills to help you leave the course feeling confident to safely paddle in a similar environment with friends. As part of this safety and rescue is essential, there will be an opportunity to look at a variety of aspects of this during the week as well, as is needed.

In addition to this you will benefit from your instructor’s wealth of knowledge of additional canoe paddling 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 rest of the world.

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.

Our open boats are all new from Hou Canoes, Wenonah and Venture Canoes.

Our paddling clothing is from Peak and we have a wide range tailored to your discipline.

We use a range of paddles from Grey Owl, DownCreek, Endless River and Werner Paddles. There are specialist additional open boating items such as paddles, poles and sails.


  • Buoyancy aids
  • Helmets
  • Spray decks
  • Cags
  • Wet suits
  • Wet suit bootees
  • Small drybags
  • Dry suits (only for out of season kayak courses)
  • Paddling Trousers
  • Pogies
  • Paddling Neoprene Gloves/mitts
  • Towlines
  • Split Paddles


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

  • Informal clothing for leisure wear
  • Insulating layers – at least two mid weights
  • Fleece/insulated jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Hat & gloves***
  • Vacuum Flask & Water Bottle ***
  • Box or bag for packed lunch.
  • Blister kit/ small first aid kit
  • Personal toiletries & medications (towels are provided)
  • Sun cream – you just never know! ***
  • Sunhat and sun glasses & cord
  • Insect repellent – it may be midgey!***
  • Spare towel
  • An alarm clock
  • Waterproof notebook ***

Glenmore Lodge has a pool, gym & climbing wall, so don’t forget your swimming/gym/climbing kit!

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 Pre-Requisites

Water confidence.

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

An excellent course; very highly recommended. Good value for money.
Mike Forrester Reviewed on 02/10/2016
Course Content
Food & Drink
Excellent course-just what I was hoping for!
Lesley McIntyre Reviewed on 04/10/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink
Had an absolutely excellent week. The staff at the Lodge were very helpful, the food was plentiful and tasty. The course and instructor were great, the instruction started with a gentle introduction, but by the end of the week we were tackling challenging water ourselves, with tips and pointers where we needed them.
Gavin Wheeler Reviewed on 15/06/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink
If I could give this course more than 5 stars overall, I would do so. No faults whatsoever. Giles, the instructor, was patient, informative, laidback (and needed to be with the lack of my paddling skills!). All the instruction was top class and I left with a new sense of confidence and loads to practice. Couldn't recommended this course highly enough. It was spot on, and Giles, I will be back to haunt you on the intermediate course. Cheers to all the staff who were super helpful.
Jason Graham Reviewed on 31/05/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink
I can honestly say the open canoe course and everything that went along with it was outstanding. The entire experience at the Lodge was brilliant from time of arrival, assistance from staff, food and accommodation. The quality of the equipment was superb and the staff at stores were very helpful at all times and like everyone I encountered they could not do enough to ensure your needs were catered for and met. I do have to single out Giles who provided excellent instruction and tuition throughout the entire course. Awesome in a canoe and his relaxed and warm approach to his students really made the course memorable.

In summary an immensely positive experience and I will be back again in the near future for another course and would certainly recommend it to family and friends. I did feel that Glenmore Lodge provides a bigger experience that just the course itself and I like the general ethos and approach of the place. An awesome week!
Steven Stewart Reviewed on 31/05/2015
Course Content
Food & Drink

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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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