Ghyll Scrambling / Canyoning

Location: Throughout Lake District Time Taken: 2-3 hours (half day) 5-6 hours (full day) Price: From £35 (per person)
What’s involved? Either a half or a full day(s) of either ascending, descending (or both) a mountain stream. This is by far our most popular activity.
Who will it suit? No previous experience required for most of our locations. All that is needed is a realistic level of fitness as well as a realistic choice about what location will suit the needs of your entire group – in terms of levels of fitness, ability, fear, physicality and age. 

What on earth is “Ghyll Scrambling”? and is it different to “Canyoning”? This is a question we are often asked. The answer is as follows:

What is Ghyll Scrambling/Canyoning?

The Lake District is home to some of the most picturesque lakes in Britain……. and lots of rain. The rain falls on the fells, the water collects to form mountain streams, These streams run down the sides of the mountains and collect in the valleys to form the impressive lakes of Cumbria. Here in the Lake District we call a mountain stream a “ghyll”. The word ghyll is a Norsk word we inherited from the vikings that simply means “mountain stream”. The ghylls are a perfect place to find adventure. 

Loosely speaking there are two types of fun to be had in one of these mountain streams: you can either go up or come down them.

  1. Ghyll Scrambling (also known as gorge walking)  is ascending a stream – Climbing waterfalls and jumping into pools of water
  2. Canyoning is descending a stream – Abseiling, sliding and jumping down waterfalls into pools of water

So “Ghyll Scrambling” or “Canyoning” simply involves either ascending or descending a mountain stream. It includes climbing and abseiling waterfalls  and jumping or sliding into pools of water. It can be tailored to suit most ages and abilities and is by far our most popular activity and rightly so as it is unbelievable amounts of fun. 

Why choose us?

We are No.1 on TripAdvisor and have been since our 1st year of operating. We offer the very best ghyll scrambling and canyoning adventures and are one of the few companies that hold the UK Canyon Guide Qualifications. Our wetsuits get shipped in from a Spanish company called Seland. Seland are the market leaders in canyoning wetsuits. You will not find a thicker or warmer suit and you definitely won’t find another company with better or even comparable kit in the Lake District. Our suits are that good that we still run ghyll scrambles in the snow. We also take pictures and post them on Facebook free of charge the same day. Our sessions are action packed and full of fun and laughter. We love what we do and we are sure you will love this too.

  

Our locations:

We have locations throughout the whole of the Lake District. Whether you are partying in Keswick in the North of the National Park, Windermere in the South of the National Park or having a quieter one in Eskdale in the West of the park we have a location within a short drive of you. We also have a few “secret locations”. Our ghyll scrambles and canyons range from 2-3 hours to 5-6 hours to complete.

To help you decide which ghyll or canyon you would like to do we have created a dedicated page for each of the locations we run. Simply click the button links below to view each location…..

Half Day Ghyll Scrambling/Canyoning


Church Beck / Church Beck Canyon

This ghyll is located in Coniston. It involves either ascending (standard version) or descending the canyon (canyon version). There are plenty challenges along the way. The standard version involves climbing waterfalls a few jumps and a slide. The canyon version involves sliding, jumping and abseiling down waterfalls.

This is a very aquatic outing and all must be ok with full submersion in water. Standard version is better with smaller groups and the canyon is great for all group sizes. Can be ran with children from the age of 9 years (standard version) or persons over 14 years (canyon version).

Church Beck – View Page

Chuch Beck Canyon – View Page

Stickle Ghyll / Stickle Ghyll + Upper Falls

This ghyll is located in Langdale and has fantastic views. It involves ascending the gorge climbing waterfalls. There are also a few small jumps. If you want a few extra challenges you can pay the extra to climb the upper falls section. This location is the least aquatic of the ghyll scrambles in normal conditions.

Standard version suitable for most group sizes and abilities. Upper falls better for smaller groups of fit people. Can be ran with children from the age of 9 years (standard version) or persons over 14 years (upper falls version).

Stickle Ghyll – View Page

Stickle Ghyll + Upper Falls – View Page

Stoney Croft / Stoney Croft + Canyon

This ghyll is located near Keswick and has fantastic views across the Newlands Valley. It involves descending the gorge sliding into pools of water along the way including a jump or two. Competent parties can choose to pay the extra and take on the canyon section.

Standard version suitable for most abilities and great for big group sizes. Canyon version better for smaller groups. Can be ran with children from the age of 9 years (standard version) or persons over 14 years (canyon version).

Stoney Croft – View Page

Stoney Croft Canyon – View Page

Full Day Ghyll Scrambling/Canyoning

Esk Ghyll

This ghyll scramble is located in the remote Esk valley. It is an ascent of the mighty mountain gorge known as Esk Ghyll – “The BIG One”. It is the most aquatic outing we have, with the cliff jumping considered to be its main attraction. It not only has more jumping than any other ghyll scramble but the jumps are the biggest the Lake District has to offer. In-between the jumping you will be scrambling your way up the gorge, swimming through its deep emerald pools and climbing up its milky-white waterfalls.

This is for adults only and a decent level of fitness is required as it will take 5-6 hrs and involves a 45 minute walk-in/out. Adults only.

Good for both big and small groups. You must be confident jumping into deep pools of water.

Esk Ghyll – View Page

Devil’s Canyon

This takes place in a secret location. This is a “proper” canyoning experience using proper canyoning techniques. Before we enter this top secret canyon you will first be taught how to use the equipment and how to abseil. We will then enter the canyon, and working as a team we will descend it, doing battle with its truly colossal waterfalls and vertical drops. Its abseils and slides are the BIGGEST the Lake District has to offer. There is a huge zipline down a waterfall that is guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping.  Do you have what it takes to attempt ‘The COLOSSAL One’?

This is for fit and confident adults only and a decent level of fitness is required as it will take 5-6 hrs and involves a 45 minute walk-in/out. Adults only.

Devil’s Canyon – View Page

Its great to mix and match activities doing one in the morning and one in the afternoon or spread them over a few days. With ghyll scrambling you can have full weekends of the same activity as there are lots of venues to visit, each giving a new experience.


Who does it suit?

We understand that there is often a mix of abilities, ages and fitness levels within a group. All our locations can and should be carefully chosen and tailored to fit the needs of the entire group. We have ghylls and canyons that are more extreme or harder than others, as well as ones that are easier or where all of the obstacles/challenges can be avoided – just ask our advice and we will help you decide.

Please just be realistic when choosing the location to ensure it is suitable for the whole group in terms of activity length/fitness level/ability/fear factor/group size.

We aim to ensure that everyone from the bravest to the most timid feels they have adequately challenged themselves and that some serious fun has been had.  All under 18’s must be accompanied by their OWN parent or LEGAL guardian.

 

What’s provided:

  • All activity specialist equipment & guide(s)
  • A qualified guide rated No.1 on TripAdvisor (since year 1)
  • The highest quality equipment (we can’t be beaten on wetsuit thickness/warmth when ghyll scrambling)
  • Medical kit with a dry storage container for personal medication
  • A mass of experience and expertise

Note: We also have special winter kit for the colder days/months!

What’s NOT provided:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Personal footwear for use during the activities
  • Change of clothing/towel (for ghyll scrambling/canyoning)
  • Swimming costume/trunks/boxer shorts to wear under the wetsuit (for ghyll scrambling/canyoning)
  • Rash vest/base layer to wear under the wetsuit(for ghyll scrambling/canyoning)
  • Old shorts (no shorter than mid-thigh) or leggings to wear over the wetsuit to help protect it (for ghyll scrambling/canyoning)
  • Any personal medication

A full and thorough kit list will be provided for each location.

Typical timeslots

  • 9-12 (half day)
  • 12-3 (half day)
  • 9-3 (full day)

We try to time our sessions so we miss the other companies to ensure the best experience is had. The morning timeslot almost guarantees that we miss everyone else.

  

How long will the ghyll scrambling/canyoning last?

Half day locations will last no more than 3 hours from the point we meet to the point we say goodbye. Full day locations will last no longer than 6 hours. The exact time depends on group size, the confidence and ability as well as the fitness of the participants and also the water conditions.

What time of year?

The season runs year round but some of our locations are from March/April through to October/November depending of what type of Spring/Autumn we are having. Roughly speaking May and June tend to be the hottest and driest months.

Please be aware that the sessions go ahead even if it is cold, windy and/or raining. Please have this in mind if you book for the wetter months as there is more chance of poor weather and you need to be up for it.

So to reinforce the point further – please expect for the activities to go ahead even in poor weather and if you are not keen on this idea then don’t book. The only time we cancel this activity is if the conditions make the activity unsafe – and this decision is made by the instructor and is usually due to dangerously high water levels.

Meeting locations:

We meet you at the locations either in pub car parks or layby’s. We will give you meeting details and you will need to get to us in your cars or arrange transport. Most of our locations wouldn’t be feasible to reach on public transport.

Please leave enough time for driving as the roads can be busy in the summer months.

 


Pro’s: 

  • Really fun and exciting activity
  • Can suit most abilities
  • Can cater for most group sizes
  • Lots of locations to choose from
  • Best kit
  • No.1 on TripAdvisor
  • Year round activity
  • All weather activity
  • UK Canyon Guide qualifications

Cons:

  • Doesn’t suit everyone
  • Can have limited options depending on group size or time of year
  • You need to arrange transport
  • Maximum group size limits

 

Prices Terms & Conditions Book a Session

Please contact us for further details