Stoney Croft

Location: Newlands Valley Time Taken: 2-3 hours (from meeting to leaving) Price: From £40 (per person)
What’s involved?
A descent of Stoney Croft  – This is a very aquatic outing that involves sliding down waterfalls into pools of water. Just a great bit of fun this one.
Who will it suit?
No previous experience required. This is for adults and families with children of 10/11 years (140cm) and above. All that is needed is a realistic level of fitness, no fear of being fully submerged in water and an adventurous nature. All of the obstacles are avoidable, however, if you miss everything out then you are just basically going for a walk in a stream in a wetsuit. This really isn’t a good option for those who do not like water or getting their face wet.

The location:

Stoney Croft is located in the North of the park in the beautiful Newlands Valley. About 1.5 miles south of the little village of Braithwaite. It is a very popular location which means it can get very busy.

Parking is free but limited at this location. We change in a lay-by so therefore there are no lockers, changing facilities or toilets. Changing takes place behind a screen.

Whats involved?

It is a descent of the mountain gorge known as Stoney Croft. Firstly there is a steep 20 minute walk up the mountain to the start point. From here we slide and jump our way down the mountain. It is a great little ghyll scrambling/canyoning experience with plenty of natural water slides to keep you entertained. If you want something a bit more adventurous then choose the Canyon Version – it is more expensive but definitely worth the money.

 The nature of the ghyll:

This stream is very narrow and quite shallow with some great slides into mainly waist deep pools of water. The ghyll can and will be ran in times of moderately higher water levels (group dependant), however the narrowness of the gorge means it can’t handle too much water as the slides would become too fast and violent.

There is a fine line between “exciting” and “dangerous” – however, we have built up a lot of experience in all conditions in this ghyll and we will make the right decision whether or not to run your session – A safer but very exciting ghyll to run in times of flooding is Stickle Ghyll in Langdale (we tend to default to this ghyll when others are too dangerous to enter).

A negative thing about this ghyll is that it can run low in prolonged spells of warm dry weather that we tend to get during May/June – although everything can still be done it does slightly affect the quality of the slides.

Who does it suit?

This is fine for “first-timers”. The ghyll is for adults and families with children over 10/11 years of age (140cm). A realistic level of fitness is required for this as it is a physically demanding activity. All under 18’s must be accompanied by their OWN parent or LEGAL guardian.

Although all obstacles are avoidable it is recommended that participants should be confident in water, not scared of getting their face wet and be happy being fully submerged as this is a very aquatic outing (all obstacles are wet ones) and if you miss everything out then all you will be basically doing is going for a walk in a stream in a wetsuit.

All participants would benefit from being comfortable being in and around fast flowing water. The ability to swim is useful but not essential as the buoyancy aids will keep you afloat when necessary. If you still want to do a ghyll scramble but you don’t like water and want a less aquatic outing then choose Stickle Ghyll in Langdale.

This is the standard version used by all. Its great fun with both families and with big groups such as stag and hen parties. If you have a smaller group of up to around 6-8 and want a more adventurous outing then I would recommend the “Canyon” version. It costs more but is worth the extra money. The canyon will take a long time with a bigger group in excess of 12 people and you may just get bored and cold waiting your turn on the rope.

What’s provided:

  • Full wetsuit (3-5mm)
  • Additional wetsuit jacket (3-4mm)
  • Buoyancy aid
  • Helmet
  • All ghyll equipment & guide
  • Medical kit with a dry storage container for personal medication

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

What to bring:

  • Old trainers/hiking boots you don’t mind getting wet (for use during the ghyll scramble) – no slip-on type shoes, plimsolls or crocs
  • Old socks for the ghyll scramble
  • Swimming costume/trunks/boxer shorts to wear under the wetsuit
  • Rash vest/base layer to wear under the wetsuit (NOT COTTON – its cold when wet)
  • Old shorts (no shorter than mid-thigh) or leggings to wear over the wetsuit to help protect it
  • Towel
  • Any personal medication

Please ensure you bring long enough shorts for over the wetsuit. Failure to do so will result in you not taking part in the activity.

Typical timeslots

  • 9-12
  • 12-3

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

How long will it last?

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

That said this is the most “short-lived” of the 2-3 hour ghyll scrambles we offer due to the nature of just sliding your way down it without needing to stop and use ropes.

What time of year?

The season runs roughly from March to October 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 ghyll scramble 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 location:

The meeting point is in a layby in the Newlands Valley a short drive from the village of Braithwaite. A PDF that includes the meeting location, written directions, a grid reference, a map and photo’s of the journey will be sent at the time of booking.

There is very little telephone reception in the valley and the Lakeland roads are slow so please leave enough time for travelling as there are no refunds for people who turn up late. I try my best to wait for you, however, you may be joining others or I may have other groups to run after yours and the session might have to go ahead without you.

Pro’s: 

  • Lots of slides
  • Great fun activity
  • Great with big groups and stags and hens
  • Very aquatic in normal conditions
  • Suitable for “first-timers” and mixed groups
  • Beautiful location
  • Can be ran in minor flood conditions (group dependant)
  • Jumps/slides can be avoided
  • Pub, accommodation nearby

Cons:

  • Little telephone reception
  • No public transport
  • No postcode for satnav
  • You need long shorts/legging
  • Not good for spectators
  • Not possible for people that want a less aquatic outing
  • No changing/toilet facilities
  • Steep 20 minute walk uphill
  • Can feel a bit short-lived due to its nature
  • Long drive to another suitable location if it is flooded
  • Very busy location with limited parking
  • There can be a minimum booking number if no-one else has already booked as it is a 2.5 hour round trip from South Lakeland for our instructor.

 

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