Argyll’s peaceful Glen Orchy hides a less than peaceful secret. A gentle secret for most of the year until winter arrives. That’s when it changes to a wild and raging torrent. Known as the “best rafting river in the UK,” the West Highland’s River Orchy is, understandably, a mecca for whitewater rafting. And it’s full throttle whitewater rafting in every sense.
The river twists and descends and offers up a competitive challenge to anyone brave or skilled enough to throw down the gauntlet. It’s not for the faint hearted, but if you’re in need of an adrenalin rush – albeit a wet one – this is the place to head for.
Splash White Water Rafting based in Aberfeldy know this river very well. Their day trips cover around 10 miles and while they stress that the adventure is not really ideal for beginners, it’s well worth checking out. Their day trips run from March to October, and for £90 per person – plus deposit, which includes a light lunch and photographs, is great value. Call them for more details on 01887-829706 or visit http://rafting.co.uk.
Freespirits, near Pitlochry, is another local company who specialize in this wet ‘n’ wild sport. Their rafts are helmed by fully qualified guides, so your experience – or bravery – levels are not that important. They supply buoyancy aids, helmets and wetsuits. All you need to bring is a sense of fun and adventure, a towel, swimsuit and suitable footwear. Prices range from £85 per person – though it can vary – and, like Splash White Water Rafting, the 10 mile trip is weather dependent. For full details, call 01887-840400 or visit http://www.freespirits-online.co.uk.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, the Bridge of Orchy Hotel couldn’t be in a better place. A timeless place which, although remote, is surprisingly easy to reach. This four-star hotel offers warm hospitality and is close to the West Highland Way – one of Britain’s best known distance walking routes. If you relish a hotel with traditional surroundings and roaring log fires, not forgetting stunning Highland scenery, call 01838-400208 or visit http://www.bridgeoforchy.co.uk for booking and more information.
The River Orchy, from its source in the Black Mount Forest to its outflow in Loch Awe, offers rugged scenery, diverse wildlife, swirling rapids and plunging falls. It offers hill walkers Beinn Dorain – a grassy and prominent pyramid more than 3,000 feet high. It has salmon and trout for the keen fisherman. Most of all, the river serves up a challenge and a sense of adventure and achievement for those brave enough to take it on.