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Discover paddle perfection on the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail

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Looking for a challenge to really sink your paddle into in the new year? If you’re already thinking about life beyond the tinsel and mince pies and fancy a bit of adventure when the days get longer, then Scotland’s newest kayak trail, the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail, might be right up your street.

The route takes in some of Argyll’s most scenic coastlines and provides both the beginner and the most experience kayaker with a thrilling and rewarding test. Why not be one of the first to tackle the full 150 km of the trail, or pick a section or two to try over a weekend?

Running from Ganavan Sands, near Oban, to Helensburgh, the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail is split into eight parts. It hugs the stunning Argyll coast down to the Sound of Jura before cutting through Mid Argyll via the Crinan Canal, otherwise dubbed ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’.

The route then leads to the south end of Loch Fyne, before skirting Inner Kintyre and around the Kyles of Bute. The final sections lead the paddler through part of the Firth of Clyde, taking in Rothesay Bay and Wemyss Bay.About Tony

We caught up with Tony Hammock, a west coast-based sea kayak enthusiast, qualified guide and owner of Seafreedom Kayak, who shared his favourite highlights from the new trail.

For Tony, the sections from Ganavan to Arduaine and Arduaine to the Crinan Canal offer some wonderful rewards.
En route, there’s some spectacular wildlife to look out for; grey seals, common seals, otters, herons, eider ducks, mergansers, geese and porpoises are all common. ‘Dolphins can sometime be seen between Crinan and Seil, and sometimes even in Oban bay,’ Tony reveals.

Along the way you’ll also find some remarkable geological sites, fascinating ruined castles and unparalleled scenery.

Planning and safety

When it comes to planning your trip, make sure you follow the safety guidelines and be sure to check out the descriptions of the sections you’ll be undertaking, and anticipate the hazards before you set off. Most sections of the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail are suitable for early intermediate paddlers when accompanied by a competent leader, or intermediate and advanced paddlers can be self-guided. No sections should be tackled by unaccompanied beginners, so if you’re starting out be sure to head out with a qualified guide.

Feeling inspired to get on the water? Discover more about kayaking and canoeing in Scotland, including tuition and great sites to paddle.


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