The Northern Isles

Orkney & Shetland Sea Kayaking

(1 customer review)
BY: Tom Smith & Chris Jex
ISBN: 978-1-906095-00-0
EDITION: first
FORMAT: 272 pp in full colour, 240x170mm, paperback / section sewn
AVAILABILITY: out of print but available as PDF


Out of stock

New edition being worked on, delivery date tba – to bridge the gap Pesda Press is making the old edition available as a downloadable PDF. Please consider making a donation to the RNLI or a charity of your choice.

A sea kayakers guide to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Their relative isolation, stunning scenery and Norse history make Orkney and Shetland a very special place. For the sea kayaker island archipelagos are particularly rewarding … none more so than these. Illustrated with superb colour photographs and useful maps throughout, this book is a practical guide to help you select and plan trips. It will provide inspiration for future voyages and a souvenir of journeys undertaken. As well as providing essential information on where to start and finish, distances, times and tidal information, the book does much to stimulate interest in the environment. It is full of facts and anecdotes about local history, geology, scenery, seabirds and sea mammals.

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Tom Smith

Tom was introduced to paddling by a relative on Loch Tummel in a home-made lath and canvas canoe. While doing youth work in Edinburgh he decided to join a course for instructors. During the course he found himself paddling out to the Bass Rock on a perfect summer evening. He has been a sea paddler ever since. After a move to Easter Ross, early trips were mostly on the west and north coasts. A further move to Shetland followed in 1976. Nearly thirty years of exploring the Shetland coastline led to the decision in 2004 to set up Sea Kayak Shetland, offering guided trips, coaching and equipment sales. Tom is a BCU Level 3 Coach and Local Coaching Organiser for Shetland. Off-season he likes to travel, to paddle and walk, and just be a tourist. In addition to Shetland and the west coast of Scotland he has kayaked in places as diverse as Norway, the Greek islands and Tasmania.

Chris Jex

A school trip to North Wales was the spark for Chris’ inexhaustible passion for climbing, walking and kayaking. Chris has worked in the outdoor industry for the past sixteen years, instructing, developing and managing outdoor activities in the Outer Hebrides, Skye, North Wales, France and Orkney. For the past seven years he has lived in Orkney, working as the Outdoor Education Advisor for Orkney Islands Council. He has paddled, dived, climbed, travelled and worked in remote and beautiful places within the UK, France, Italy, Morocco, Thailand, The Philippines, Sri Lanka and India. Chris has shared his love of the outdoors by coaching and instructing others in a wide range of outdoor activities. He is a Level 4 Sea and Inland Coach, a Level 3 Open Canoe Coach, an Open Water Scuba Instructor and holds the Mountain Instructor Award and a Paraglider Pilot rating.

1 review for The Northern Isles

  1. Mark Rainsley

    Used this guidebook for several months of paddling over two summers in Orkney and Shetland. It was extremely useful, recommended even if you don’t plan to go – it may well persuade you.

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