DofE Gold Canoe Training & Practice Expeditions

DofE Gold Canoe Training & Practice Expeditions

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Open Canoeing in the Highlands of Scotland.

DofE Expedition Services for individuals or small groups (Open Expedition)

Why not join us for our Open Gold five-day Canoe Expedition Training and Practice Expedition up in the Highlands of Scotland. Over the five days we will use Loch Eil, and the Great Glen Waterway to develop your canoe and camp craft skills, then apply them to the Practice Expedition. We will stay at loch side campsites and some of the wilder traveller’s rest areas.

This expedition training and practice expedition will see you paddling on Loch Eil on the west coast of Scotland and then eastwards on the Great Glen Waterway from Neptune’s Staircase, near Fort William to Fort Augustus. You will paddle on canals and lochs with stunning views of Ben Nevis, and the Nevis Range.

These expeditions will enable any individual that does not have a ready-made group available to them to complete the Expedition training and practice requirements.  We will work with you to ensure you have everything you need to plan, train for and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition with an agreed aim.

Expedition Training & Practice Expedition

Expedition Training & Practice ExpeditionAgesLocationPriceDate(s)
5 days16+Great Glen£545.00 per personTuesday 30th July –
Saturday 3rd August 2024

Expedition Training. This is delivered at the above venue and covers all aspects of the Expedition Training Framework as laid down by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award including route planning, first aid, camp cooking, personal equipment, rucksack packing and tent building. 

Practice Expedition. This is an opportunity for the young people involved to practice all the skills learnt on their Expedition Training. The duration and the location of the practice depend upon the level of the award being undertaken. All practice expeditions will be led by a qualified expedition leader who will respond to the needs of individuals and the group as a whole to support them in developing their initial skills further, so we are secure they have the required skills and motivation to complete their qualifying expedition.

Route Planning.  Designed to plan and prepare young people for the qualifying expedition, this is a standard part of Gold level expedition training and practice package.

Methods of payment

It is possible to make DofE expedition payments in instalments, via BAC’s payment, cheque, or PayPal. Please email we will then provide details for you to make an initial non-refundable deposit of £250.00 per person with a final payment 12 weeks before the start of the residential experience. Or click on the PayPal Later button in the cart, on the online payment function.

Payments in full can be made online using the Stripe Credit Card Payment System, PayPal, or PayPal Later in the cart on the online payment function or by emailing and we will share our BAC’s payment details or for you to send us a cheque. 

Please call the number on the contacts page if you have any further questions regarding ways to pay. 

Trip DatesCourse/ActivityLocationPriceDates TBC
Tuesday 30th July 2024 to
Saturday 3rd August 2024
Open Canoe Expedition Training & Practice ExpeditionLoch Eil & Great Glen£545.00 per personMWE-CTA-ENQUIRE


This expedition will see you paddling on Loch Eil on the west coast of Scotland and then eastwards on the Great Glen Waterway from Neptune’s Staircase to Fort Augustus. You will paddle on canals and lochs with stunning views of Ben Nevis, and the Nevis Range.


Camping by the loch side – four nights.   There will be toilet and warm showering facilities available on most nights.

Canoeing Standard

This expedition package is suitable for those with little canoeing experience as well as experienced paddlers who prefer a guided trip. Please note that there will be some portaging round the locks on canal sections.

Meeting Place

We will meet at Linnhe Lochside Holiday Park which is about 1 mile up from the famous Neptune Staircase locks (Banavie) on the first morning of the Gold expedition where there is ample car parking. 

The price of the training and practice expeditions includes:  all canoe /camping equipment (excluding sleeping bag, camping mat and personal clothing), coaching and guiding and  Great Glen fees.

What we include

  • A single point of contact at Mountain Water Expeditions to provide you with consistent support throughout your residential experience.
  • Pre-residential information pack with lots of helpful advice, kit lists etc
  • Camping fees for the expeditions
  • Use of group kit (free of charge – see below)
  • Supervision from experienced and helpful instructors
  • Waterproof Rucksack (if needed)
  • Rucksack liners (if needed)
  • All relevant canoeing and safety equipment (but not personal wetsuits etc)
  • Expedition report to upload to your eDofE profile

Group Kit
We provide the following essential group kit free of charge:

  • Tent
  • Stove, pans and fuel
  • Expedition mapping
  • Group First Aid kit
  • Group safety phone

What we do not include

  • Transport to and from the expedition starting and end point
  • Personal kit and accident insurance
  • Food for the expeditions
  • Items of personal expedition kit that are not mentioned above for example sleeping bags, sleeping mats, waterproof clothing, wetsuit boots etc

Why choose Mountain Water Expeditions?

Who we are – The Team?

We are a teacher lead organisation who understand the current demands places upon school staff who want to get their young people out into the outdoors.

Our coaches / instructors are highly experienced outdoor professionals coming from a variety of backgrounds. This wealth of experience enables us to cater for individuals, groups and national companies when delivering our programmes and activities. 

Quality of Service

Customer service and attention to detail matter to us. Our experienced, friendly team are passionate about being outside and want you to gain as much as possible from your time with us. We do the planning for you so you have a safe and enjoyable trip. Your safety is our highest priority and Mountain Water Expeditions has a perfect safety record. We are happy to answer as many questions as you may have about your trip. 


Safety is at the forefront of everything we do. Mountain Water Expeditions has taken all necessary steps to ensure that our expedition programmes provide an appropriate challenge for participants without compromising on safety. 


The Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) is the body which regulates adventurous activities in the UK. It is a government body and part of the Health and Safety Executive. Mountain Water Expeditions is licensed by AALA to provide; 

Activity categories covered by the licence: 

  • Climbing
  • Watersports 
  • Trekking 

Specified Activities: 

  • Abseiling 
  • Hill Walking & Mountaineering  
  • Kayaking  
  • Canoeing 
  • Rock Climbing 

Our licence number is Reference Number is R2213, details of our licence can be confirmed by following the following weblink:

Mountain Water Expeditions

Reference No: R2213 Licence No: L119631Issue Date: 23 Sep 2023 Expiry Date: 22 Oct 2025 

Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) – Quality Badge

Mountain Water Expeditions has been awarded the LOtC Quality Badge by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. This badge provides for the first time a national award combining the essential elements of provision – learning and safety – into one easily recognisable and trusted accreditation scheme for all types of learning outside the classroom provider organisations. Our quality badge number is R2QB104621, details of our licence can be confirmed by calling the LOtC on 01479 811448.  

Adventure Mark – AAIAC

Mountain Water Expeditions has been accredited by Adventuremark which is a non- statutory safety accreditation scheme devised by the Adventure Activity Industry Advisory Committee for providers of adventurous activities. 

Adventuremark allows Mountain Water Expeditions to demonstrate to our customers and users that the relevant arrangements for managing the potential risks of adventure activities which have been inspected and found to meet the AAIAC provider accreditation standards which define “good practice” in the adventure activity industry. All providers who hold Adventuremark will have undergone an inspection to confirm compliance. 

DofE Approved (Expedition section for ALL three levels of the award & Gold Residential)

Mountain Water Expeditions is a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Approved Activity Provider. We work closely with DofE head office and DofE operating authorities across the country to ensure our programmes fulfil the DofE expedition requirements. 


We utilise the latest technology to ensure our groups have a safe and enjoyable expedition experience. We have a stock of Personal Locator Beacons which we issue to groups undertaking expeditions in remote areas. 


Our real strength is our fantastic team of instructors. They are all fully qualified and have the necessary experience to deliver the activities we have available. Each instructor holds the National Governing Body qualifications appropriate for the activity you employ us to deliver. 

First Aid

All of our instructors are qualified first aiders and have attended activity specific courses to enable them to deal efficiently with any situation that may arise. 

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks

As part of our child and adult protection policies all our instructors and office staff have Enhanced Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks. These are renewed every three years. 


We are fully insured to deliver training and expeditions through BAHIS. We hold a public liability policy which covers up to £10,000,000 and an employer’s liability policy.