Learn bushcraft

At Wildway Bushcraft, we firmly believe that that bushcraft is about more than just survival. Our wilderness living and bushcraft courses held in beautiful woodland on the Dorset/Hampshire border teach much more than how to build a shelter.

Our passionate and knowledgable instructors help you to develop a deep understanding of the woods, to respect nature and to know how best to use it to your advantage. We work with you to develop your skills so that living in the woods is not a matter of simply surviving, but thriving.  After all, a true student of bushcraft is never uneasy in the woods, why would they be? It is their natural environment.

Read on to learn more about a few of the bushcraft courses that we offer at Wildway Bushcraft

Sharpen your bushcraft axe

 

Foundation in Bushcraft Skills and Wilderness Living Course Level 2
– Weekend Bushcraft Course. (IOL Accredited Course).

This IOL Accredited Course covers all the basics of bushcraft and wilderness living. It is a great course for those who are just starting their bushcraft journey. Those who might be a little further along and just benefit from refining their skills will also take a lot from this course.

Shelter autumn

 

Foundation in Bushcraft Skills and Wilderness Living Level 2
– Assessment. (IOL Accredited Course)

Having completed your Level 2 course you have a chance to take your assessment. If you are successful in this assessment then you will be awarded the Foundation in Bushcraft Skills and Wilderness Living Course – Level 2. This course will be fully certified by Wildway Bushcraft. It is accredited with IOL. This will prove you have undertaken a professional and high standard course and assessment within the area of Bushcraft and Wilderness Living.

 

Intermediate Course

Our intermediate bushcraft course is aimed at those who want to take their skills to the next level. Running over a week, this course enables you to experience true wilderness living. Our highly skilled instructors will work with you on advanced bushcraft techniques and expand on your knowledge of traditional skills. 

friction fire lighting from Wildway bushcraft

 

Women Only One Day Course

This elementary bushcraft course enables women to learn, practice and perfect traditional bushcraft skills in a single-sex environment. Whilst this course is taught by male instructors we are mindful to ensure that participants get the benefit of a women-only learning environment. 

 

More amazing courses 

That is just a handful of the courses on offer. Click here to see our full range of courses. From Stag Dos to Family Bushcraft Courses or incredible canoeing expeditions – we have something for everyone at Wildway Bushcraft.

 

 

DISCOVER OUR FULL RANGE OF COURSES

canoe bushcraft

At Wildway Bushcraft we offer a fantastic range of wilderness living and bushcraft courses. From one-day friction fire lighting courses, through to weekend bushcraft courses and even week-long, wilderness living experiences. Wherever you are on your bushcraft journey, Wildway Bushcraft have something to offer you, we even have family bushcraft courses!

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Bushcraft courses for children

Bushcraft vouchers

With the festive period coming up fast, we offer a range of bushcraft vouchers – perfect Christmas gifts for the bushcraft enthusiast in your life.

Our bushcraft vouchers are available in amounts from £75 to £185, although if you would like to discuss a voucher for a larger amount, please feel free to get in touch using our contact form or email us on john@wildwaybushcraft.co.uk

Treat someone to a Wildway Bushcraft voucher

What can my voucher be used for?

 

bushcraft voucher


Our bushcraft vouchers can be redeemed against any of our courses, provided that they are redeemed within a 12 month period. So whether you want to perfect your fire lighting skills, brush up on your tree identification, or even go on a canoeing trip along the river Spey then our
bushcraft vouchers are for you.

 

How old do I have to be to join one of your courses?

 

Canoeing preparation

 

Our bushcraft and wilderness living courses are open to anyone from the age of 18 and over. Those under 18 are welcome on most of our courses, provided that they are accompanied by an adult,  although a few have specific age limits. If you would like to know more or have any further questions please email us on john@wildwaybushcraft.co.uk .

 

Treat someone to a Wildway Bushcraft voucher

The phrase ‘bushcraft knife’ is one that is occurring more and more frequently, but what does it actually mean? In this latest blog, we look at why there is no such thing as a bushcraft knife, how to choose a tool best suited to the job at hand and a look at knife law in the UK.

With that in mind, if you are not already familiar with the ins and outs, read our blog on knife law in the UK here

Read on to learn more about bushcraft, knives and what you should be looking out for.

 

What is a bushcraft knife?

Knives are tools. As far as we are at Wildway Bushcraft are concerned, knives are designed to do certain jobs, provided that they do these jobs then they are good by us. There is no need to fetishize knives; ones that are kept locked up and perfectly clean are for show, not for practical use. We like our knives to be practical, not an object of art. 

choosing your first bushcraft knife


It is really a matter of skill 

Despite the huge amounts of discussion surrounding ‘bushcraft’ knives online, it is really a matter of skill. The highly trained, skilled woodsman who is equally at home in the woods as he is in his living room, can be more useful with a penknife than an amateur with a rambo-esque machete. Keep this in mind when first using your bushcraft knife. Before you get to make the first cut, there is a huge amount of skill involved. You need to be able to identify the best material to use, how to use it and for what ends.

Learn knife skills, friction fire lighting , shelter building and more on our
weekend bushcraft course.

Choosing your first bushcraft knife

Sharpen your bushcraft knife


On all of our courses, our pupils use a
Morakniv Heavy Duty Companion. These quality knives cost about £15 and can be obtained through places such as The Bushcraft Store. These knives have a 3.2 mm wide carbon steel blade and will withstand tough use. Remember though to always use it safely, particularly around children. Our blog on knife safety and children can be read here.  If you are interested, Wildway Bushcraft use Bear Blades, learn more about Bear Blades here.

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Carbon steel and stainless steel bushcraft knives 

Some knives, such as the Mora Heavy Duty Companion are made from what is known as carbon steel, while others are made from stainless steel.  While the pros and cons of each vary from knife to knife, generally speaking, stainless steel knives are easier to sharpen and much better at resisting rust and corrosion than carbon steel knives. On the other hand, carbon steel knives hold their edge a lot better, meaning that they stay sharper for longer, they also get much sharper.  While they need a bit more TLC to keep them in good condition, this is a good thing as it teaches care and responsibility – two things that are important for any serious bushcraft practitioner. 

Learn knife skills, friction fire lighting , shelter building and more on our
weekend bushcraft course.


Learning how to use it effectively and responsibly

Bushcraft knife Bear Blades


If you are over 18, the minimum legal age at which you can buy a knife in the UK, then it is worth learning how to use it effectively and responsibly. So, before you dash off and spend your cash, learn the knife skills that you will need for basic (and more advanced) bushcraft skills on our
Weekend Bushcraft Course, if you can’t spare the time then we highly recommend our One Day Bushcraft Course as an alternative.

 

Learning to look after your knife 

The following blogs will help you to look after your knife, keeping it sharp, clean and ready for action.

 

Learn knife skills, friction fire lighting , shelter building and more on our
weekend bushcraft course.

Being able to use a bow drill to create fire is a cornerstone of bushcraft. This method of making fire by friction has been used by humans since prehistoric times since the 4th or 5th millennium BC. The mechanical element of the bow drill gives an advantage over other methods of friction fire lighting, such as the fire plough. 

In this latest blog, we will help you to construct your own bow drill from scratch. Read on to learn more. 

 

Making your own bow drill

bow drill being used in the woods

 

Like most things in bushcraft, constructing your own bow drill begins with a deep understanding of the natural world. Being able to identify the trees and understand how and when the different woods from each can be used is a cornerstone of bushcraft.

 

Understanding the component parts 

A bow drill is composed of the following parts:

  • The drill
    The drill is the piece of the bow drill that comes into contact with the hearth and bearing block. It is rotated by the bow itself and more specifically the cord attached to the bow.
  • The hearth
    The hearth is the piece of wood that the drill rotates into, it is a rectangular block in which the drill sits and where the embers are produced.

  • The bearing block
    The bearing block is the piece of the bow drill in which the drill sits. It should be carved so that it fits into the palm of your hand. 
  • The bow
    The bow is the part of this friction fire lighting device which gives the bow drill its name. The cordage or string that you will be using will be attached to this bow, like on a hunting bow. Unlike a hunting bow, the bow on a bow drill should be slightly curved with as little spring in it as possible. The bow gives the bow drill its mechanical advantage.

                   The image below shows the component parts in more detail. 

https://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/one-day-friction-fire-lighting-course/

The different parts of the bow drill.

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Choosing wood

Discover our weekend bushcraft course

 

Bushcraft is about living in harmony with nature, not overcoming it. It is about so much more than just survival. Being able to identify and choose woods for a bow drill is a key part of bushcraft, as is choosing wood for your shelter, spoon or anything else that you need to make while living in the woods.

What follows is a list of woods that are suitable for making a bow drill. This list is not exhaustive and is limited to UK woods. The best way to find out what woods work for you is to experiment. Try a mixture of woods to find out what works for you.

  • Elder (Sambucus nigra)
  • Willow(s) (Salices)
  • Hazel (Corylus avellana)
  • Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
  • Field Maple (Acer campestre)
  • Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Learn more about these trees in our blog Choosing Wood for a Bow Drill.

Choosing wood for a bow drill in the UK

                           Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course

Carving your bow drill

A bow drill works, as with all friction fire lighting techniques, by rubbing two combustible materials against each other until the material is taken beyond its auto-ignition temperature.  In order to do this, it is important to carve the component parts of the drill correctly.

 

The drill 

The drill should be around 20 cm in length. It should be around 2-3cm thick and as straight as possible. One part of the drill will be in contact with the hearth and the other in contact with the bearing block. The end of the drill that is in contact with the hearth needs to be carved into a blunt point, while the end in contact with the bearing block needs to be carved into a sharp point.  The bluntness of the hearth end increases the amount of friction being generated. The sharp point reduces the amount of friction being generated in contact with the bearing block. 

 

The hearth 

The hearth should be about 40mm wide, 5 mm thick and around 30 cm long. Once the bow drill has been made, the hearth should be broken in by rubbing the drill into the hearth until a charred depression has been created. Once this has been satisfactorily achieved you need to cut the notch. This should be a straight ‘V’ extending from the depression to the outside of the hearth. Underneath the notch, place a piece of bark to catch the coal and the embers.

 

The bow 

The bow, as mentioned, should not be springy. It can be made of any wood that you like and should be about the length from your fingertips to your sternum. The cordage can either be made of any string that you have at hand, or you can make the cordage yourself – you can learn about making cordage on our intermediate bushcraft course.

 

The bearing block

The bearing block works best if carved in hardwood. It should be big enough to fit comfortably in your hand. Carve a small depression into it for the pointy end of the drill. There needs to be as little friction as possible between the drill and the bearing block. Waxy leaves such as holly can be rubbed into the bearing block in order to reduce friction.

 

                           Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course

Fire lighting in damp conditions

Introduction to Friction Fire Lighting: Bow Drills and Hand Drills

 

The history of friction fire lighting is bound up with the history of human civilization. The ability to light a fire when needed provides security, warmth, the ability to cook food and many other tenements of human civilization. The ability to light a fire by friction is a cornerstone of bushcraft and a key part of our weekend bushcraft course .  This blog provides an overview of friction fire lighting and an introduction to getting started.

 

friction fire lighting with W

A short history of friction fire lighting 

The ability of humans to make and control fire was a huge turning point in human history. There is evidence that humans were able to control fire from about 1.7 million years ago. This control of fire would have most likely been around wildfires.

Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course.

Making fire

The ability to make fire, as opposed to controlling naturally occurring fires, was thought to have occurred about 700,000 years ago. It allowed humans to change their locations, provided security, warmth and lead to massive changes in diet.  The ways in which people made fire was through friction, using devices such as the hand drill or fire plough.

 

Impact on human evolution

The impact of fire on human evolution is enormous. It allowed people to migrate to cooler climates as they were now more able to survive the cold winters. The ability to make fire also provided protection from animals and, it is argued, helped humans to clear out caves prior to living in them. The ability to fire also played a key part in tools and weapon making, as well as ceremonial occurrences and art.

 

An introduction to friction fire lighting

Friction fire lighting is a large and complex topic. The ability to make fire by friction is not something that can be learned quickly or even mastered. Rather it is a lifetime of learning and honing skills. Like anything in bushcraft, the ability to make fire by friction begins with understanding materials.

Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course.

Understanding materials

 

Bushcraft in Dorset using a bow drill

 

Being able to identify trees, plants, fungi, animals, etc is the cornerstone of bushcraft. Without the ability to identify the best material for the task in hand, you are unlikely to be successful. 

Suitable woods for the bow drill/hand drill

The following are the most suitable woods for the bow drill and hand drill. For the sake of simplicity and relevance, we are only focusing on European woods.  Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list!

Woods for bow drill

  • Elder
  • Field Maple 
  • Willow
  • Hazel 
  • Oak 
  • Popular 
  • Yew
  • Sycamore
  • Ivy

Woods for hand drill

  • Elder 
  • Juniper 
  • Pussy Willow 
  • Sycamore

Learn more about choosing woods for the bow drill and hand drill in our blog:
Choosing Wood For a Bow Drill

 

Bow Drill

The bow drill is perhaps the best-known friction fire lighting tool. It is thought to date back as far as the 4th or 5th millennium. They were used by cultures around the world including Native Americans, Eskimos, and Aborigines in Alaska and Canada

The bow drill has one massive advantage over other friction fire lighting methods – it’s mechanical nature; that is, the drill is turned by a cord, not by the user’s hands.

Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course.

 

Making your bow drill

A bow drill works in the same manner as all other friction fire lighting methods. That is two combustible materials being rubbed together until the material is taken beyond its auto-ignition temperature which creates an ember. This ember is then used to ignite tinder.

Component parts of the bow drill

The image below shows the component parts of the bow drill – the bearing block, bow, drill and hearth. We will then look at each of these parts in detail.

https://www.wildwaybushcraft.co.uk/product/one-day-friction-fire-lighting-course/

The different parts of the bow drill.

The Bow

The bow for your bow drill can be made of any wood that you have to hand. As the name suggests it needs to be slightly curved and should be the length from about your fingertips to your sternum.

The Drill 

The drill should be around 20cm in length and between 2 -3cm.  The wood for the drill should be made of one of the woods identified earlier in the blog. The end of the drill in contact with the hearth should be carved into a blunt point, while the end that is in contact with the bearing block should be carved into a sharper point.

The Hearth

The hearth of a bow drill should be made of one of the woods identified previously. It does not need to be made of the same material as the drill. It helps to play around and find the combination of woods that works the best for you. Ivy and Hazel are two types of wood that we particularly enjoy using. The hearth needs to be carved into a rectangle about 4cm wide and 5mm thick. Narrow a depression into the hearth in the centre of the blog then, using the bow, wear down this depression into a smooth bore then cut a V shape extending towards and over the edge of the hearth.

The Bearing Block 

The bearing block can be made of any wood that you have to hand. It should fit comfortably in your palm. You will need to carve a notch into the bearing block for the sharper end of the drill to sit in.

Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course.

bow drill being used in the woods

Hand drill

The hand drill works on the same principles as the bow drill, although it lacks the mechanical advantage. The drill is composed of a drill and a hearth. It works as the drill is spun between your hands and is spun with downward pressure being applied. As the smoke begins to appear, increase the speed until you have produced a small ember.

fire lighting Dorset

The Drill

The drill for the hand drill is largely a matter of personal preference, experience and what type of wood you are using. It should be made of one of the woods identified previously and be between 40 and 75 cm long with a diameter of 9mm to 13mm. It needs to be as straight as possible to work effectively.

 

The hearth

The hearth should be made in a similar fashion to the bow drill but slightly shorter. Once again, it should be made of the same wood as those mentioned previously in the blog.

Friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course

On our weekend bushcraft course we introduce you to the art of the bow drill. If you have never used a bow drill before, we will talk you through how to carve each of the component parts and how to correctly use it. If you are familiar with the bow drill then we can help you to troubleshoot any issues that you are having and give you tips on how to perfect your bow drill technique.

Learn the art of friction fire lighting on our weekend bushcraft course.

 

Wildway Bushcraft Owner John blowing an ember into fire

At Wildway we believe that bushcraft is about more than just survival. It is not about overcoming the elements or battling with nature, it is about living in harmony with it. For both children and adults, bushcraft can provide important learnings beyond just the skills needed to light fires or build shelters. We believe that whether an adult or a child, a bushcraft beginner or an old hand, there is something to be learned from living in the woods, in harmony with nature.

Read on to learn more

To find out more about the amazing range of courses that we offer, click the button below.

 

Respect for nature

beautiful woodland

 

Bushcraft teaches practitioners of all ages a deep respect for nature. By learning the names of the flora and fauna around us, their uses and their limitations bushcraft practitioners are more connected with the woods than many other people. Trees stop simply being ‘trees’ and instead become useful sources of sustenance, or firewood, or wood for bow drills. The skilled bushcraft person will also understand how the tree fits in the ecosystem around it and therefore only use its resources in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

To find out more about the amazing range of courses that we offer, click the button below.

 

Connection with nature

Mushrooms in autumn in the UK woods bushcraft courses in the UK

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According to recent reports, seven out of 10 people admit they’re losing touch with nature. And more than a third of parents admit they could not teach their own children about British wildlife.  If people aren’t connected with something then you can’t expect them to care about it. Bushcraft teaches children to develop a connection with nature and look after the planet.

To find out more about the amazing range of courses that we offer, click the button below.

Patience and importance of proper technique

Sharpen your bushcraft axe


Nothing in bushcraft can be rushed. It is not about acting without thinking, it is about patience and proper technique. Without patience and proper technique, selecting the right woods, making the right cuts, etc. whatever technique you are trying to perfect is likely to fail. The skilled bushcraft practitioner will approach each task in a calm manner, confident of their skills and ability.

To find out more about the amazing range of courses that we offer, click the button below.

 

Stillness and quiet

Get away from it all on a bushcraft course

 

Being comfortable in the woods is key to bushcraft. Once comfortable in the woods, the skilled bushcraft practitioner will find stillness, peace of mind and quiet. Something that is so difficult to find in the modern world with its 24/7, always-on culture.  The ability to sit outside and find quiet in the woods is not just a ‘nice to have’, studies suggest that it is also beneficial for your health. It is even thought that regular time outside can reduce stress, improve academic performance and improve mental wellbeing

To find out more about the amazing range of courses that we offer, click the button below.

Discover the amazing history of the Spey valley, the beautiful part of Scotland where our annual river Spey canoeing expedition takes place.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT OUR AMAZING RIVER SPEY CANOEING EXPEDITION HERE

Canoe  the spey


One of the longest rivers in Scotland

The river Spey, at 107 miles (172 km long) is the ninth longest river in the UK and the third longest in Scotland is well known for its salmon fishing and role in whisky production.  It starts at Loch Spey in the Scottish Highlands and then flows through Newton More, crossing Loch Insh – where our canoeing expedition starts – before finishing at Spey Bay.

Throughout the five days of our trip, we will be starting in Loch Insh and traveling through to Spey Bay. Each night we will be camping on the river bank, sleeping under the stars next to a crackling fire. There will also be a chance to partake in bushcraft activities each evening.  

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT OUR AMAZING RIVER SPEY CANOEING EXPEDITION HERE

 

Salmon fishing to shipbuilding

Atlantic Salmon on the river Spey

The river Spey has traditionally supported many different industries, from salmon fishing to ship building.  At one point in the river’s history, timber from Aviemore and Aberlour was rafted down the river where it was used to make ships.

In addition to its famous salmon fishing, the river Spey is also famous for its distilleries, the area produces more whisky than any other region.  In fact, two of the world’s best selling whiskys, Glenlivet and Glenfiddich come from the Speyside region. 

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT OUR AMAZING RIVER SPEY CANOEING EXPEDITION HERE

 

Wildlife haven


The river Spey is a wildlife haven, on our canoeing expedition you might be lucky enough to see bottlenose dolphins, Ospreys, Salmon and if you are very lucky a grey seal or a Eurasian otter. The Eurasian otter was persecuted almost to extinction in England, while Scotland has long been a haven for these amazing creatures. Otters are known for being territorial and only come together in the mating season. After cubs are born they stay with their mother until they are 13 months old by which point they will have learned the skills that they need to survive in the wild.  

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT OUR AMAZING RIVER SPEY CANOEING EXPEDITION HERE

Discover our amazing river Spey expedition 

canoeing trips with Wildway Bushcraft

Our fantastic river Spey canoeing expedition runs from 8th to 14th of July 2019. It is open to everyone over the age of 15, those under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. The trip will be a once in a lifetime chance to travel through Scotland by canoe. Each night, you will camp out on the river bank, next to the sound of the running water and the crackling fire. Click the link below to discover more about our amazing canoeing expedition. 

 

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT OUR AMAZING RIVER SPEY CANOEING EXPEDITION HERE

This year, from July 8th-14th, we will be running our canoeing expedition along the river Spey. Running over five days and traveling from Loch Insh in the Scottish Highlands to Spey Bay, this trip is truly a once in a lifetime experience. You can reserve your space on this trip for only £100. Contact us on john@wildwaybushcraft to learn more. 

Here are five reasons why you should join our river Spey trip 

 

  1. Truly get away, away from it allCanoe under the spey
    Our river Spey trip is a chance to really get away from it all. On this trip, you will be transported from daily life through to the remote highlands, swap the city for the wilds of the highlands. Spend days canoeing gently through the highlands and the nights sleeping out under the stars, on the river bank.
  2. A chance to see some fantastic wildlifeOsprey canoe the river spey
    Our river Spey trip is a chance to see some of the UK’s most spectacular wildlife. From the rare Osprey through to Atlantic Salmon and Bottlenose Dolphins our river Spey trip is a chance to see some of Scotland’s most spectacular wildlife. You can find out more about the wildlife you might see on this trip in our blog here
  3. Sleep next to the fire, under the starsCanoeing along the river Spey
    Each night on this trip you will sleep under the stars, next to the river bank. Out here in the wilds of Scotland, on the beautiful river bank, next to the sound of the river and the heat of the fire this will probably be the best night’s sleep that you will ever get. Just remember to open your eyes and look up at the beautiful stars.
  4. Brush up on your bushcraftLearn friction fire lighting on our course
    Each night there will be a chance to brush up on your bushcraft skills with a land-based bushcraft session. These sessions are totally optional though, so it is up to you to choose if you take part.
  5. Experience Scotland in a different wayWhat better way can there be to explore the mighty Spey river and Scotland than by canoe? As we travel from Loch Insh to Spey Bay you will be able to observe this incredible landscape from a unique viewpoint. Sit back in your canoe and take it all in. Get a rush of excitement as we canoe through small patches of faster water, then laugh and marvel about the trip as you and your fellow adventurers bask in the glow of the fire.

 

 

Watch the video below to see what awaits you on this year’s river Spey trip

Reserve your space on our Spey expedition

Reserve your space on our river Spey expedition for just £100. Contact us today and start the adventure of a lifetime. http://bit.ly/Stars_Canoe_Wildlife

Posted by Wildway Bushcraft on Monday, 15 April 2019


Click here to learn more about our river Spey expedition and start your adventure.

Ever dreamed of really, really getting away from it all? There’s a chance to do just that with our expedition along the river Spey.  This trip runs for five days and travels from Loch Insh to Spey Bay in the Scottish highlands. Each night, you will camp out, under the stars, on the river bank, next to the warm glow of the fire.

Read on to learn more about this amazing trip.

Canoe the river Spey


From Loch Insh to Spey Bay

This amazing trip begins in the beautiful Loch Insh.  This stunning Highland loch, seven miles south of Aviemore.  From here the river Spey flows another 60 miles (97km) to the Moray Firth at Spey Bay. We travel this route over five days, the paddling is largely relaxed and our expert guides will be on hand to help you through any sections of fast water. Most of all though, this is a fantastic opportunity to travel some of Scotland’s most beautiful countryside.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE  

Join our river Spey trip


Camp out under the stars 

Each night on the trip you will camp out along the riverside. Sleep under the stars, next to the crackle of the fire and the rush of the river. What better way to truly get away from it all? After a night sleeping under the stars you will wake, not to the ring of an alarm clock or the bustle of the daily commute but to the sounds and sights of the remote Scottish Highlands. If you are looking to escape the city, to break from the grind of daily work life then there is nothing better than spending time in nature. 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE  

Canoe under the spey


Spot some spectacular wildlife 

As you paddle down the Spey, you are in with a chance of spotting some of the UK’s most incredible wildlife. If you are very lucky, then you might see an Osprey.  These beautiful black and white birds are incredible fish-hunters, plunging talon first into the cold waters. They winter in West Africa and can cover up to 5,000 miles in their migration. In addition to the beautiful Ospreys, the river Spey is home to Atlantic Salmon, Eurasian Otters, and Grey Seals. There is even the chance to spot Bottlenose Dolphins in Spey Bay. Find out more about the wildlife that you might spot on the river Spey in our blog here

 

You don’t need to be an experienced paddler 

While some paddling experience is desired, it is not essential. Our expert canoeists will give some basic paddling tuition before you begin your journey, giving you a chance to get to grips with the techniques and principals of canoeing.  All safety equipment will be provided, but feel free to bring your own buoyancy aid, should you have one.

 

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR RIVER SPEY TRIP
CLICK HERE 

 

 

Join wildway bushcraft on the river spey

On July 8th -14th we will be undertaking the trip of a lifetime, our canoeing expedition on the river Spey. Starting in Loch Insh and finishing in the magnificent Spey Bay this canoeing expedition takes in some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery.

Read on to learn more about the wildlife that you might see on the way, what the trip will involve, what experience you need, and what you can expect on this incredible trip.

Canoe the river Spey

 

Wildlife on the River Spey 

The river Spey is home to some of the most amazing wildlife that the UK has to offer. From Ospreys to Red Deer, Otters to Kingfishers, the river Spey has it all. 

Osprey canoe the river spey

 

While we can’t guarantee that you will observe some of Scotland’s most beautiful wild creatures, you might be lucky enough to see Atlantic Salmon. These remarkable fish are born in remote Highland tributaries and then make their way downstream. They spend up to four years searching for food in the cold waters around Greenland before returning home. Unlike their Pacific counterparts, Atlantic Salmon don’t die after breeding, meaning that one fish may migrate several times.

Atlantic Salmon on the river Spey

 

The magnificent Osprey can reach up to a meter and a half (150 cms) in wingspan and hunt by diving talon first towards the water and snatching their prey from the river’s icy surface. A truly spectacular bird the Osprey is on the RSPB’s Red List, holding an Amber status which means that the species is under threat in the UK.

Seals on the river Spey

 

Seals are frequently seen in Spey Bay. The Grey Seals, which are the UK’s largest carnivores are happy in both salt and brackish water and weigh up to a whopping 310 kgs. Seals are typically friendly and are known to pop up for a chat with passing canoeists. 

 

If you are really lucky, when we get to Spey bay you might see a Bottlenose Dolphin. These elusive creatures are attracted to the area by the large population of Atlantic Salmon. Friendly by nature, those living in and around Spey bay are known for showing off their acrobatic skills.

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What Experience Do I Need? 

While some canoeing experience would be an advantage it is not a requirement. Our expert paddlers will be on hand to provide tuition at the start of the trip and help you out as we travel along the beautiful river Spey.  The trip is open to everyone aged 15 years and over, but under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. You will need to be reasonably fit and all participants must be able to swim.

Canoeing on the Spey


What Does it Involve?

Our river Spey expedition is a truly unique and memorable event. Starting in Loch Insh we will canoe along the river Spey until, six days later, we reach Spey Bay. Each night we will be wild camping alongside the river, sleeping out under the stars and listening to the sounds of the flowing water. If you are looking for peace, escape and adventure then this is the trip for you.  Each night there will also be the chance to take part in some land-based bushcraft, though this part of the trip is purely voluntary and you are welcome just to relax by the river if you would prefer to do so.


Watch our video to learn more about this amazing trip 

 

River Spey

Do something amazing. Join us on our river Spey expedition. Canoe through some of Scotland's most beautiful scenery and sleep out under the stars. http://bit.ly/Canoeing_Spey

Posted by Wildway Bushcraft on Thursday, 4 April 2019

 

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