For many of you the final section you need to finish off the long process to achieve your Gold Award may be that additional residential section.

If that is the case, or you just want it out of the way, then why not join us for our five-day Gold DofE Residential up in the Highlands of Scotland. We will be travelling on Scotland in open canoes. Over the five days we will use the Great Glen Loch side campsites and some of the wilder traveller’s rest areas.

Mountain Water Expeditions Residential Canoeing

The Great Glen Coast to Coast canoe expedition 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 trip 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.

During this DofE Gold Residential, expert coaching will be provided to help develop your open canoe paddling skills.  Depending on wind conditions, we may also be able to sail the canoes. We aim to finish the expedition in Dochgarroch, which is just outside of Inverness, again dependent on weather conditions.

Five days paddling from Neptune Staircase locks (Banavie) to Inverness (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 
This expedition 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.

We will meet at Neptune Staircase locks (Banavie) on the first morning of the Gold Residential where there is ample car parking.  The price of the trip includes:  all canoe /camping equipment (excluding sleeping bag and camping mat), coaching and guiding, Great Glen fees, all expedition type food (apart from lunches).

Trip DatesCourse/ActivityLocationPricePayment OptionsEnquire Now
1st August to 5th August 2022Open Canoeing across the Great GlenFort William to Inverness£525
Pricing options
8th August to 12th August 2022 Open Canoeing across the Great GlenFort William to Inverness£525
Pricing options
15th August to 19th August 2022Open Canoeing across the Great GlenFort William to Inverness£525
Pricing options

How to pay

Choose to pay by PayPal or email for booking information and to pay by BACS or cheque.

Course places are not confirmed until deposit is paid. Please note deposits are non refundable.

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 residential
  • Use of group kit (free of charge – see below)
  • Supervision from experienced and helpful instructors
  • Waterproof Rucksack / Barrel (if needed)
  • Rucksack liners (if needed)
  • All relevant canoeing and safety equipment
  • All relevant food on the crossing (lunches not included)
  • Residential report to upload to your eDofE profile

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

  • Tents
  • Stoves, pans and fuel

What we do not include

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

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
  • Coasteering – (At specified venues. Summer conditions only)
  • Gorge Scrambling – (At specified venues. Summer conditions only)
  • Hill Walking & Mountaineering – (Including roped scrambling)
  • Improvised Rafting – (Sheltered Inland Waters. Summer conditions only)
  • Kayaking – (Including sea kayaking and kayak surfing)
  • Open Canoeing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sea Level Traversing – (At specified venues. Summer conditions only)

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: L22926 Issue Date: 22 Sep 2020 Expiry Date: 22 Sep 2023

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 R2Q104621, 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 protection policy 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.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provides limited personal accident insurance cover for participants see for more details.

We strongly recommend participants take additional insurance to cover cancellation and curtailment as we are not able to offer refunds for participants who are unable to attend or complete training or expeditions. Suitable travel insurance policies are widely available.

Mountain Water Expeditions is a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Approved Activity Provider (AAP) for the residential section of the gold award.

For further information or to book a place on this gold DofE residential please email