DofE Gold Canoe Qualifying Expedition

DofE Gold Canoe Qualifying Expedition

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Open Canoeing in the Highlands of Scotland

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

Qualifying / Assessed Expedition

Why not join us for our Open Gold four-day Canoe Qualifying/Assessed Expedition up in the Highlands of Scotland. We will stay at loch side campsites and some of the wilder traveller’s rest areas.

The qualifying / assessed expedition will see you paddling across Scotland towards Inverness using the Great Glen Waterway.

The Great Glen takes in short sections of the Caledonian Canal to link Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness.  This expedition will see you paddling from the west coast to the east coast of Scotland navigating these magnificent waterways.

Over the course of this expedition, you may have to contend with big waves, mirror calm waters and some exhilarating sailing, such is the nature of the ever-changing Great Glen.

This qualifying/assessed expedition will enable any individual that does not have a ready-made group available to them to complete the qualifying/assessed expedition.  

Qualifying / Assessed Expedition:

Qualifying / Assessed ExpeditionAgesLocationPriceDate(s)
4 days16 plusGreat Glen£525.00 per personT.B.C

(Please Note: In order to book on our canoe-based assessment expedition you must have completed your expedition training and practice expeditions with Mountain Water Expeditions).

Qualifying / Assessed Expedition. This is the assessed element of the expedition section of the award. You will follow the route you have planned and will apply your training and experience to date. Our leaders will supervise you remotely and our accredited assessors will assess the teams and de-brief them at the end.

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. 


Qualifying / Assessed Expedition

Trip DatesCourse/ActivityLocationPriceDates TBC
TBCOpen Canoe Expedition – Qualifying / Assessed ExpeditionGreat Glen£525.00 per personMWE-CTA-ENQUIRE

Four days paddling from Neptune Staircase locks (Banavie) working your way over towards the East Coast of Scotland (Please note this trip is very wind and weather dependent – please email or see below for a more detailed itinerary).


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

Canoeing Standard

In order to book on our canoe-based assessment expedition you must have completed your training and practice expeditions with Mountain Water Expeditions.

Meeting Place

We will meet at Neptune Staircase locks (Banavie) on the first morning of the Gold expedition where there is ample car parking. 

The price of the assessment expedition includes:  all canoe /camping equipment (excluding sleeping bag and camping mat), coaching and guiding, 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 the expedition starting point and from the expedition 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.