Explore Argyll Secret Coast
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Argyll's Secret Coast - a paddlers' paradise

Argyll's Secret Coast - a paddlers' paradise
Phil Keetley is a sea kayak guide and coach and runs Sea Kayak Argyll. He’s led expeditions in remote regions all over the world and reckons Argyll’s Secret Coast ranks as one of the top destinations in the UK to explore by kayak. Here he explains why.

The crystal clear and sheltered waters of Loch Fyne and the Kyles of Bute on Argyll’s Secret Coast provide a fascinating mix of wild rocky shores, stunning sandy beaches and old oak forests, all set against the dramatic backdrop of the hills of Cowal and mountains of Arran. It’s a stunning place to enjoy sea kayaking.

The remote and unspoilt area is also a haven for wildlife. While you’re out on the water you can get up close to dolphins, porpoises, Atlantic grey seals, common seals and even the elusive otter. Minke whales and basking sharks have been spotted and bird life is abundant, including the spectacular diving gannets. There have also been occasional osprey sightings.

On top of this, the area has a fascinating history that’s evident in the landscape. Exploring by sea kayak provides a very different vantage point and allows access to otherwise inaccessible locations. There are Viking burial sites on the Burnt Islands and ancient stone circles and castles dot the coast.

There are some wonderful spots for wild camping on west-facing beaches where you can light a small driftwood fire after a day’s kayaking and watch the sun set over the Kintyre Peninsula. The shoreline is also a forager’s paradise. With a little skill and patience, fish, mussels, oysters, clams, crab and langoustine can all be found. If wild camping is a little too hardy, or you just fancy a night in a comfy bed, the area has some fabulous shore-side hotels, B&Bs and pubs.

The Colintraive Hotel is a good place to start your kayaking trip. Alternatively, start at the north of Loch Fyne and paddle south, stopping at quality establishments such as the Kames Hotel along the way, and end your journey at Colintraive.

Sea kayaks are remarkable vessels designed for journeying. Modelled on designs built by Inuit hunters from Greenland, they’re capable of impressive voyages. While only five metres long, an expedition sea kayak can carry equipment, food and water (and a few additional luxuries) for ten days, allowing unparalleled freedom to explore. It’s the perfect way to discover Argyll’s Secret Coast.

Sea Kayak Argyll offers guided journeys through Argyll’s Secret Coast using top-quality equipment including a TIDERACE sea kayak fleet.

Visit: www.seakayakargyll.co.uk/index.php

Visit: www.seakayakargyll.co.uk
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