PK Podcast 027: Colin Skeath On What It Takes To Canoe Around Britain

PK Podcast 027: Colin Skeath On What It Takes To Canoe Around Britain


On 30th April 2017, Colin Skeath and his nephew Davis Gould-Duff set off from Loch Sunart on the West Coast of Scotland in an open canoe, aiming to circumnavigate Britain.

Colin and Davis had already had many adventures together since Colin introduced Davis to the great outdoors when he was no more than a toddler. Their most notable joint climbing venture was an epic nine-day ascent of Muir Wall on El Capitan in 2010.

Climbing and mountaineering has taken Colin all over the UK, as well as to Europe, Africa and America. Colin has had three trips to Yosemite National Park where he has climbed multi-day “big walls” including The Nose and Muir Wall on the valley’s spectacular El Capitan.

Colin’s passion for the vertical started to give way to canoeing in 2010 when he bought a 17 foot canoe and learned the basics of paddling on Loch Sunart, and by 2012 climbing was a thing of the past for Colin.

Following many adventures by canoe around the West Coast of Scotland, in June 2015 Colin and his wife Katrina made an adventurous circumnavigation of Anglesey in North Wales by open canoe. This involved paddling through dangerous tide races and through the turbulent Menai Straits in the dark.

In 2015, in preparation for their planned Canoe Around Britain, Colin and Davis made the first circumnavigation of the Isle of Skye by open canoe. Their efficient use of paddle sailing was evident as the pair completed the adventure in five days.

A year later they completed a 174 mile canoe trip across the highlands of Scotland. They paddled the River Spey, the coast from Spey Bay to Inverness and the Caledonian Canal in just three days.

And so we come to the big trip in 2017 – the ambitious plan to canoe around Britain in over 2,000 miles of coastal waters…

The route (clockwise) that Colin and Davis took to circumnavigate Britain by open canoe. Image courtesy of Colin Skeath.

I’m delighted to have Colin join me for this podcast to discuss this epic adventure, where the idea came from, the mindset required of them and what they learned from the experience.

Our conversation forms Episode 27 of the Paul Kirtley Podcast…

How To Listen To This Podcast

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Colin Skeath and Davis Gould-Duff
Colin and Davis during their Canoe Around Britain circumnavigation. Photo courtesy of Colin Skeath.
Canoe around Britain Lands End
Approaching Lands End. Photo courtesy of Colin Skeath.


The transcript is coming soon…. the typing pool are working flat out.

Links Mentioned In This Podcast

Canoe Around Britain Facebook Page

Connect with Colin Skeath

Colin Skeath on Facebook

The moment Colin and Davis completed their epic journey is captured in the video below….

Thanks For Listening!

Thanks for joining me on this podcast. If you have any comments about this episode, please leave them in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page. Thanks!

And Finally…

Finally don’t forget to leave an honest review & rating on iTunes or on Stitcher.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of this podcast and I read each and every one of them.

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog

Fun In The Swellies: Fighting The Tide In The Menai Strait

PK Podcast 014: Mark Kalch On Epic Source To Sea River Descents

PK Podcast 026: Kevin Callan On The Joys Of Winter Camping


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Paul Kirtley is an award-winning professional bushcraft instructor, qualified canoe leader and mountain leader. He is passionate about nature and wilderness travel. In addition to writing this blog Paul owns and runs Frontier Bushcraft, a wilderness bushcraft school, offering bushcraft courses and wilderness expeditions.

11 thoughts on “PK Podcast 027: Colin Skeath On What It Takes To Canoe Around Britain

  1. Paul,
    I enjoyed this podcast alot as I have a number of books in my library of similar type adventures. Lots of great info. Very honest account. Humorous at times. Informative and revealing. I love this type of adventure. Eight and 9 hours in a canoe every day is so physically demanding. Their focus level had to be on high at all times considering the risk factors. Thanks Paul


  2. Paul,
    Really enjoyed this PC. Colin and Davis adventures are so inspiring to continue to get out there and do…

  3. Imagine my delight in not only having my questions answered but also getting so much I side thought on this epic journey. Thanks to both of you for putting this together chaps it was a real treat!

    1. Hi Matt,

      It was a pleasure to facilitate Matt. Thanks for your question and I’m glad you enjoyed listening to the answer as well as the rest of the podcast. 🙂

      Warm regards,


  4. Hi Paul! As always a great podcast-this chapter is among the best! I love sea adventures…..the rugged individual stretching the boundaries of outdoor experience. Great detail….kudos to Colin and Davis! The world awaits! This maritmime podcast ranks with the Aleutian adventure in your early podcasts Paul. Never turn your back on the sea!

  5. Great work Paul,
    I met Colin and Davis on their trip down the East coast and what an interesting couple of blokes! Great to hear what Colin was saying after the trip as they were not even half way round when I met them. He is coming down to do a talk in March so looking forward to seeing him again.

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