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Scottish Highlands & Islands

If photographs could speak then those of the Scottish Highlands would beckon travelers to explore. Scotland Highland and Island Rambles meet at Glasgow Airport in Scotland and are offered on:

2013 Trip Dates
June 7-16

Trip Price

Requested Single Supplement: $450.00.
Private Bath: 8 nights
Canoe Rental: included in trip price


Scotland Highland and Island Rambles

11 day, moderate quick water Inn based
canoeing and hiking trip.  

If photographs could speak then those of the Scottish Highlands
would beckon travelers to explore.

The Scottish Highlands are as different to the rest of Scotland as they are from all of Britain. A rugged beauty of bold vistas and independent nature call us to the hills and rivers. To journey to the land of lochs and glens, castles and cottages, kings and clansmen, of kilts and bagpipes is a journey like no other.
Our venture takes us deep into the heart of Scotland where timeless and tranquil beauty awaits. We settle into a slower pace of life, taking time to discover and explore the splendid landscapes, open rugged coastline, hills of heather and dancing rivers.
We meet in Glasgow, quickly pass through customs and find ourselves traveling along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. The wooded islands and picturesque bays and clear waters are a wonderful beginning. We look forward to spending a couple days along Loch Tay. Here we will paddle the rivers Dochart and Lochay, have time to wander through the small village of Killin and enjoy a walk in the hills above the village.
After a few days along Loch Tay we travel west through Glen Coe and on to Fort William. Etive Mor rises out of the moorland and like a sentinel stands watch over Glen Coe. This area is well known for hill walks and climbing so our choices are numerous. The scenery throughout the glen is dramatic and no matter what we opt for we will find ourselves immersed in our surroundings.
We continue on the road to the Isles and over the sea to Skye. The Isle of Skye, is truly an amazing place, rich in history and folklore. Steep and rugged mountains along the coast make a dramatic backdrop during our travels. Throughout the Isle we will learn of clan struggles, the folklore of Bonnie Prince Charlie, crofting and clearances. There is much to do here. We will have time to visit Dunvegan castle, the seat of the clan MacLeod, or visit one of Scotland's wonderful distilleries and taste a wee dram of whisky. Our paddling choices include the river Snizort or one of the many sea lochs in the area. The Quiraing (coo-rang) is truly a remarkable and magnificent place, and we plan to spend a day here walking and discovering. The Quiraing is a maze of towering pinnacles and hidden meadows. Some of the meadows are said to be magical places where fairies frolic on moonlit nights.
We leave Skye and continue our journey to Kinloch Rannoch and Glen Lyon. Over 25 miles long Glen Lyon is reputed to be one of the most beautiful places in all of Scotland. Here we will find a wide range of walks to enjoy along with wonderful paddling on the river Lyon. The Lyon provides the perfect setting for a day of paddling. The river is a true delight and the countryside that unfolds in front of our eyes offers breathtaking beauty and true grandeur.
Our last couple evenings are spent in Fortingall where we walk along a quiet country lane past tidy thatched roofed cottages to the Fortingall Hotel. Reputed to be the birthplace of Pontius Pilate, this tiny hamlet is also home to an ancient Yew tree, druid stones and castles.
All too soon our journey is over and we are traveling back to Glasgow and saying our final good-byes. Our memories are still in the making as we pass silhouetted castle hugging cliff along rivers that wind through rolling green hills laid out like velvet carpet. Travel with us to this enchanting land that is just waiting to be shared. A serene and beautiful area, where every turn leads to further discoveries, wonderful vistas and an unhurried pace of life.

Scotland Highland Rambles
When and Where to go...and how to get there

Day 1
We meet at the Glasgow Airport at 10:00am at the International arrivals waiting area. Once through customs, and baggage in hand, we gather our canoe gear and head north along Loch Lomond. Paddling on Loch Lomond is the perfect introduction to Scotland. We will put our canoes in near Tarbet and enjoy paddling and exploring some of the islands in the southern part of the loch.
After an enjoyable paddle we will continue on to Killin and Loch Tay. We may choose to spend some time wandering through the village of Killin before reaching our final destination at Morenish Inn on the banks of Loch Tay.
We receive a warm welcome from our hosts and marvel at the well-tended gardens. The evening meal is a true delight with spectacular views of the Loch and surrounding hillsides from the dining room.
If you would like to arrive a day or two early we will be happy to assist you with lodging in the Glasgow area. If you are unable to meet at the scheduled meeting time you will be responsible for your own transfers.
Lodging -- Morenish Lodge, phone 011.441.567.820258

Day 2
After a traditional Scottish breakfast we are ready for a day of adventure. We will enjoy an easy walk near Ben Lawers before dropping into Glen Lochay and to the river Lochay. Our put-in is just below a set of falls amidst tall evergreen trees. We spend a bit of time getting warmed up, reviewing paddling skills and then we let the river do its magic. The Lochay dances and tumbles along the way providing a wonderful paddle and lovely scenery.
Our journey ends at the confluence of Loch Tay and the village of Killin. We will have time to wander through the local shops before choosing to paddle, walk or ride back to Morenish Lodge for one more evening.
Lodging -- Morenish Lodge, phone 011.441.567.820258

Day 3
After saying good-bye to our hosts we leave Morenish and continue our journey. Today our travels take us to Glencoe. This area is steeped in history and beauty. It was here that the massacre of the MacDonald clan took place, a location that many consider holds some of Scotland's most breathtaking scenery.
The visitor's center is well worth a stop and provides easy access to many of the walks in the area. We will leave our van behind and spend time in this glen on foot. We have some wonderful walking choices. An easy walk to Signal rock takes us up through the mountain pass to where the signal fire was lit to begin the raid on the MacDonald's. A bit more strenuous walk into the Hidden Valley is well worth the effort, we are rewarded with striking views of the towering mountains that surround a beautiful, quiet meadow.
We may choose to combine a hike in the Hidden Valley with a section of the Highland Way. The Highland Way is a long distance footpath from Glasgow to Fort William and while several sections are strenuous we have selected a short scenic part that everyone should find enjoyable.Lodging -- Forest Lodge Guest House phone 011 441 809 501219
Day 4
We have a wee drive today as we continue traveling west to the Isle of Skye. The steep and rugged mountains along the coast make for a dramatic backdrop during our travels. A short ferry ride across the Sound of Sleat delivers us to the Isle.
Our destination is Greshornish Lodge, and on the way we will probably wet our canoes in Loch Dunvegan, and explore Dunvegan Castle, or some trips make a detour to the Talisker Distillery. The Talisker distillery is worth a visit to learn about whisky making. The smoky aroma of this single malt whisky is unique and a wee dram should be tried at least once.
The keepers of the inn at Greshornish will warmly greet us, and afternoon tea is a nice touch after a full day of traveling. Having lived on Skye for over 30 years Jane is happy to answer questions and share the history of the Isle with us.
Lodging - Greshornish Lodge Hotel -- Phone 011441.470 582 326

Day 5
We focus on the Trotternish Peninsula today and discover all that it has to offer. An impressive drive up the coast brings us to Uig, a small fishing village and the ferry terminal that links the outer islands to the rest of the world.
The Quiraing (coo-rang), Gaelic for "pillard stronghold", is truly a remarkable and magnificent place. The moderate walk to the saddle begins by crossing the bogs along the base of the dark cliff and across a succession of tiny waterfalls and burns. The Quiraing is a maze of towering pinnacles with some rising as high as 120 feet. Once at the saddle one is rewarded with breathtaking scenery. For those not afraid of heights or steep hills continuing on up to the Table is truly unforgettable. The Table is an eerie and magical place, where fairies are said to frolic on moonlit nights.
Our day of discovery continues as we return from the hike and continue around the peninsula. A stop at the Skye Heritage Center gives us a greater understanding of island life and crofting. If there is time and interest we may visit the Duntulm Castle ruins and take a stroll along the shore.
After an invigorating day of discovery we return to Greshornish for one more evening. After tea and freshening up we look forward to a wonderful evening meal at Greshornish. An after dinner walk is a wonderful way to end our stay on this magical and mystical island.
Lodging - Greshornish Lodge Hotel -- Phone: 011441.470 582 326

Day 6
After our farewells and one last look out to sea we return to the mainland and continue our journey in the Highlands. We will have a bit of a drive today, but we will be rewarded with some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Scotland. Moorland, forests, lochs and rivers all converge in spectacular style. The area offers a peaceful haven, breathtaking views and wonderful paddling.
During our travels today we plan a short paddle on the river Oich and Loch Ness and a visit to Eilean Donan Castle. It is enchanting, and rich in history.
At day's end we will be guests at the Forest Lodge Guest House. Ian and Janet welcome us into their home. This is a small inn and more than likely we will be the only guests, so we can settle in and relax after a full day. A home cooked meal and Ian's friendly banter are the perfect way to end the day.
Lodging - Forest Lodge Guest House, phone 011.441.809.501219

Day 7
While our final destination today is the Dunalistar Hotel in Kinloch Rannoch we have many choices on how to fill our day. As we drive through Dalwhinnie we may enjoy a stop at the Dalwhinnie distillery where we can take an informative tour and sample a bit of the "water of life".
The river Garry offers a wonderful choice for a day of paddling. The river carves its way through the Highlands dancing and sparkling throughout its length. From the canoe the charm of the countryside reveals itself on its own terms. We float past lonesome country lanes, quiet meadows and hillsides bathed in sunlight. To view the landscape from this perspective is truly a world apart.
Our walking choices abound. We can enjoy an easy walk in the Killiecrankie reserve or opt for a hill walk that will lead us into Kinloch Rannoch. Nestled at the foot of Loch Rannoch this tiny village is steeped in history and folklore of the clans. The Dunalistar Hotel has been welcoming guests for many seasons and is a warm and welcome haven at the end of an active day.
Lodging - Dunalistar Hotel, phone 011.441.882.632323
Day 8
We will enjoy another evening at the Dunalistar Hotel so today is again filled with choices. Our paddling choices include exploring Loch Rannoch and the waters of Dunalistar. There are isolated islands, follies and ruins to explore. We can combined a paddle with a walk in the ancient Caledonia pines or up on the hills near Loch Ericht. Or perhaps some would like to take part of the day off to relax, catch up on postcards or just soak in the surroundings from a quiet spot by the loch.
The Kinloch Rannoch area is full of choices so rest assured our day will be filled. We will enjoy another evening at the hotel. We can relax in the guest living room or enjoy a drink in the pub before gathering for our evening meal.
Lodging - Dunalistar Hotel, phone 011.441.882.632323
Day 9
We leave Kinloch Rannoch by foot today. We walk through some of the last stand of ancient Caledonia forest as the path leads us up in to the hills and out onto the moorland. We follow the old Kirk road that leads us into Glen Lyon. Clansmen and highlanders to travel from one glen to the next have used this footpath for centuries. The scenery is wild and rugged and gives us a true sense of what makes Scotland so special.
Our footpath brings us into the tiny hamlet of Bridge of Balgie and the river Lyon. The river is a true delight and the countryside that unfolds in front of our eyes is beyond description and must truly be seen in person, to fully take it all in and appreciate its regal beauty.
This evening we will be guests at the Fortingal Hotel, in the quaint village of Fortingal where Pontius Pilate is said to have been born. The Yew tree in the churchyard is over 3,000 years old and the standing stones in a nearby field tie the present world to the ancient past.
A walk after dinner reveals a late summer sunset, with hillsides awash in the glow of twilight and fields of barley giving the image of rolling waves on the sea.
Lodging - Fortingal Hotel, phone 011.441.887.830367
Day 10
We continue with a day of options. We may choose to paddle a fastwater section of the River Lyon from Fortingal to Aberfeldy. The Lyon is intimate and lively as it leaves the narrow Glen Lyon behind and opens into the wide and fertile Tay valley.
Other walks include journeying over Drummond Hill to the quiet village of Kenmore. From Kenmore we can get the canoes wet for one last time and enjoy a day of paddling on the Tay. This lively river takes us past Taymouth castle and offers some exciting rapids before gently leading us to our take out in Aberfeldy.
After a day of paddling and walking through these ancient lands we return to Fortingal for our final evening.
Lodging - Fortingal Hotel, phone 011.441.887.830367

Day 11
Reluctant to leave this wonderful, mystical and magical place we linger as long as we can. Perhaps we will find one more river to paddle or walk to take before leaving the Lochs, Glens and Highlands behind.
As we journey back to our world we are reminded by legends and chronicles that episodes in Highland history ended with...And the Highlanders went back to their glens.
Our journey ends as it began with a 3:00pm return to the Glasgow Airport. If your travel plans differ from this time, you will be responsible for your own transfers.

Scotland Rambles Trip Notes Supplement

The Scotland Highland Ramble is rated 2-D, which is moderate to rigorous, according to our trip grading system. We will be paddling on up to class II rivers, and hiking in open fells and mountains, four to 12 miles per day, following footpaths and carrying only a daypack. The paddles and hikes will range from 4 to 7 hours in length, with stops for picnic lunches. Elevations will not be high, but the hiking terrain can be rugged, with optional steep climbs over uneven ground.
This trip is appropriate for anyone in good heath, leading an active outdoor lifestyle. Generally the more difficult sections are optional and often we have more strenuous extensions available for those who desire a longer day. Please feel free to call our office, and often you can discuss the trip with a guide who has lead this trip and be able to share thoughts with you.
Travel in a foreign country requires one to be flexible and patient. BATTENKILL CANOE LTD trips are designed for flexible, energetic people who have a healthy dose of curiosity and enthusiasm about our world, and who like to be active. The most important requirements are a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude!

Emergency Contact
For emergency contact during the trip please contact our office in Arlington at 802.362.2800. They will contact the guides in Scotland as quickly as possible, or you can call the inns directly. Scotland is 5 hours ahead of Eastern time.
General Information
If you have any questions or need special arrangements please call our office. Regular office hours are 9:00 am to 5:30 pm in season. We are open Saturday and Sunday for daily canoe rentals, but our office staff is limited on weekends. We are generally closed Saturday through Tuesday, November through April, but please leave a message with our answering service and we will return your call as soon as possible.
Trip prices include lodging; all meals (except when noted) guide services and accompanying support van wherever necessary. We may be compelled to increase or decrease trip prices due to matters beyond our control, such as currency exchange, airfare, taxes, or price increases.

Reservations & Deposits
Trips often fill months in advance, so we encourage you to make your reservations early to avoid disappointment. To reserve space on a trip send in our reservation form. Immediate confirmation is possible when you make your reservations by phone. We request a deposit of $500.00 to confirm your reservation for this trip. Your confirmation letter will outline the balance that is due 60 days prior to departure. We may be compelled to increase or decrease trip prices on trips due to matters beyond our control, such as currency exchange, airfare, taxes or price increases.

Confirmation & Insurance
On receipt of your deposit we will prepare a confirmation packet including a full itinerary, personal equipment list, meeting location with driving directions, and application for short-term trip cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend that you obtain this insurance, which reimburses you for nonrefundable costs and deposits, should you have to cancel your trip due to a personal emergency.
If a trip is full and you wish to be put on the Wait List, the deposit is required. Periodically we do have cancellations, and if an opening occurs you will be informed and transferred to the roster.

Final Payments
Your balance is due 60 dayts prior to the trip departure and may be paid by cash, check or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex or Discover). Please refer to your confirmation letter for the amount due.

Cancellation and Refunds
BattenKill Canoe Ltd. (BCL) must receive notification in writing. If you must cancel, but wish to reschedule for another trip, we will do our best to accommodate you. You will be responsible for a cancellation fee of 50% of the per person deposit OR a 100% credit valid for another trip if you cancel more than 60 days prior on all trips. There are no refunds or reschedules possible with less than 60 days notice, for leaving a tour early or arriving late.
Unfortunately, we are not able to make exceptions to this policy for any reason.
Although it is unlikely, if we must cancel a trip and are unable to provide another that is satisfactory to you, we will refund all monies paid which constitutes full settlement. BATTENKILL is not responsible for any expenses incurred in preparation for the trip, such as nonrefundable advance purchase airline tickets.

Guaranteed Dates & Small Trip Charge
Since you plan your vacation around our trip, it is our responsibility to run every trip scheduled if four or more persons are on the roster. A number of fixed costs make it more expensive to operate a trip with six members than one with 12. We budget our trips with a nearly full sign up, to enable us to price them at the lowest possible cost.
We will still run your trip if four or more guests are on the roster. However, we will be obliged to add a small trip surcharge if there is a low sign up of between four (4) and seven (7) participants. The small trip surcharge is ten (10) percent of the published price.
If you make your reservations 6 months prior to departure, you will qualify for our Earlybird Discount which guarantees your departure regardless of the number of people on the roster.

Accommodations & Meals
In an effort to capture the sprit of where we are traveling, the hotels, inns and B and B's that we use are usually family-run converted houses, villas, or inns, full of ambiance and colorful local history. That is part of why we are visiting. Sometimes the rooms in these lodges are not always of uniform or international size, however our leaders will always try their best of assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trips as a whole.
Our standard accommodation is two per room, generally with a private bath. Usually singles and triples are available. BCL provides three meals per day, beginning with dinner on the first evening and ending with lunch on the last day (except where noted).

Solo Travelers
If you're traveling alone and would like to assure yourself of a private room, there is a single supplement surcharge of $45.00 per evening. Singles willing to share will be matched with a roommate. If unavailable, a forced single supplement of 50 percent of the full supplement will be charged.

Bringing the Kids
We believe that sharing an adventure with your kids or grandkids is a life-enhancing experience. Children twelve years of age or older are welcomed on all trips. Special arrangements must be made for all children 7-12. Regular discount is 25% off the trip price for folks under 18 years old.

You must understand that river trips involve some risk and you have the responsibility to select a trip appropriate for your ability and interest. We will be happy to discuss our trips with you, as well as provide names of past participants who can describe their experience of the trip you are interested in. You will be asked to sign a Hold Harmless and Release of Liability form prior to your trip.
BATTENKILL CANOE reserves the right to substitute lodges and leaders and to alter the itinerary when deemed necessary or advisable. BCL shall not be liable, directly or indirectly for any delay, cancellation, mishap, inconvenience, expense, personal injury or death, or damage of property for any reason whatsoever, including acts of God. BATTENKILL reserves the right to decline to accept, retain, or ask to leave any person whose actions or deportment impede trip operation, or rights, welfare and enjoyment of other trip members. No refund is possible under these circumstances.
Payment of deposit and release of credit card number represents your acceptance of these terms and conditions. All disputes shall be settled by binding arbitration in Bennington County Vermont.

Public Transportation
Most trips originate in or near a town accessible by plane, train, or bus. We will assist in arranging transportation from the gateway airport to the trip meeting location and return.

Custom Trips
We are delighted to arrange private and custom trips. Any of our scheduled trips can be reserved for private groups. This is important for groups whose desires; dates or goals may not fit into one of our regular departures. Our published price and small trip surcharges apply on private trips.
A custom trip allows the flexibility to alter the itinerary, dates, and to introduce other activities into your outing. Don't let our current selection of adventures set the limits of your wanderlust. Please call our office to begin planning a custom trip.

Tips and Gratuities
Gratuities for the inn and food portion of your trip are paid by BCL. Gratuities for BATTENKILL guides are appreciated, but are left to your discretion. As a general guideline, a tip of approximately 10% of the trip price is generally average for attentive guiding. However if you are note satisfied with our guide service, please outline your feelings on your evaluation so that the office will be able to address your concerns with the guide staff.
Each year the guide staff of BATTENKILL CANOE pledge to pool a portion of their tips and donate them to an outreach program. Over the past several years these outreach programs have included a scholarship program for a high school student in the remote village of Yorkin in Talamanca, Costa Rica, supporting the Ninos in la Calle program (alternative education program for the street kids) in Somotillo Nicaragua, financial and educational support to the BattenKill Watershed Council and an annual donation to the Vermont ACLU.
If you would like to find out more about these projects or have suggestions for other projects your guides would be happy to visit with you. This is just one of the ways we are able to reach out to the greater community and practice socially responsible travel.

Airline Reservations
Our airline desk is able to assist you in making your airline reservations, and we are pleased to do so. We can book with all the major carriers and would be happy to assist you with your travel plans. Airport pickup and return is included from Glasgow, please refer to Day 1 and Day 11 of your itinerary for the meeting time. If your travel plans differ from this meeting time, then you are responsible for your own transfers.

  • What's Included
    · Services of BATTENKILL CANOE LTD for predeparture information and guide services to help you get the most out of your vacation.
    · All ground transportation within Scotland.
    · Lodging accommodations and all meals - except where noted.
    · Fully escorted, exclusive BATTENKILL CANOE tour of Scotland.
  • Not Included
    · Round trip transportation from hometown to Scotland.
    · Tips to drivers and guides.
    · Departure taxes and other government fees.
    · Items of personal nature such as laundry, phone calls and beverages.
    · Optional entrance fees to regional attractions (approx $75 limited use of credit cards)
    · Cost of delays including delays due to bad weather, canceled or delayed flights or delays on other modes of transport, sickness or other situations for which BATTENKILL CANOE or its agents cannot make provisions.

Travel Documents
A U.S. passport valid beyond your anticipated date of return to the US is essential. Holders of foreign passports must check with the Embassy of Great Britain for details. Our office may be able to assist you.
The currency unit is the Pound. Prices in Scotland are quoted in pounds and money may be exchanged after our arrival. As of September 2003 1 pound =$1.58. Please note that all prices and schedules were current at the time of printing but are subject to change at any time. We may be compelled to increase or decrease trip prices due to fluctuating exchange rates.

This list is intended to be skeletal, and we anticipate you will have your own ideas of what is "necessary." In general bring half the clothes you think you will need and twice the film.
Getting wet is always a possibility when participating in outdoor activities. Clothing has to keep you warm even when wet. Avoid cotton clothes for hiking and canoeing. The problem with cotton is that once it is wet it absorbs water and does not dry out quickly. Jeans, while fashionable and comfortable are unacceptable for outdoor wear.
The inns we have selected are informal, so "fancy clothes" are not necessary. Remember that the weather in Scotland can change very quickly, even minute by minute. For summer trips the evenings can still be cool and possibly damp. Fall trips plan on dressing in layers, and Fall clothing should lean toward polypro, wool and/or fleece and good rain gear is important any time of the year.

  • · Passport (carrying a photocopy of your passport is also a good idea--just in case).
    · Inns and B&B are casual so cotton or cotton mix clothing--for off river and evenings is appropriate.
    · Sturdy, comfortable waterproof hiking boots is probably the most important thing you can bring.
    · It does rain in Scotland, so good quality rain gear is necessary and should include a jacket and pants
    · Nylon pile, polypro or capilene undershirt and pants
    · Lightweight/medium weight long sleeve top.
    · Heavier weight fleece top or wool sweater
    · Wide brimmed hat.
    · Glasses/sunglasses with security strap.
    · Sunscreen, insect repellent
    · Lip balm, chapstick
    · Water bottle
    · Bandana
    · Camera and film
    · Day use backpack
    Additional Clothes for Paddling
    · Shorts
    · T-shirts or comfortable paddling tops
    · Canoe shoes that can get wet for paddling such as sandals, or booties.
    Optional Gear
    · Binoculars
    · Pocketknife
    · Swimsuit
    · Collapsible walking stick
    · Field guides, bird books, and travel books
    · Journal notebook, pen, good book

If you have any questions on what to bring or how to pack please give us a call at 1.800.421.5268

Contact Us
BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.
800.421.5268 or 802.362.2800 fax--802.362.0159

©2002 BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.. All rights reserved