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What is the difference between gorge scrambling and canyoning?

 

This has to be the most frequently asked question we get, so let’s answer it right here and right now!

Gorge scrambling

Gorge scrambling, or ghyll scrambling, or occasionally ‘gorge walking’ usually involves ascending a mountain river (a ghyll). Sometimes you descend, but it’s less common. Gorge scrambling will see you climbing small waterfalls, scrambling up others, swimming through pools, playing silly games and taking on lots of water based challenges. There will probably be some jumps on your gorge scrambling trip, but they’ll not be big and scary – just good fun and very wet!

Gorge scrambling works well for families just as it does for groups of adults. It’s best for those who want a taster of ‘gorge based’ activities, knowing that all the obstacles can be missed out if you don’t fancy them.

Examples of amazing gorge scrambling in the Lake District venues are:

Stickle Ghyll, Langdale – great for ages 8+. An awesome intro to the activity.

Stoneycroft Ghyll, Keswick – ages 8+ again and one of the rare gorge scrambles that are done in descent.

Church Beck, Coniston – ages 12+. The best in the Lakes and justifiably popular, mainly for the epic water slide that provides the grand finale of the trip!

So what about canyoning?

Canyoning is like gorge scrambling, but on steroids. It’s for adults only due to the more serious nature of the activity. Usually canyoning is done in descent and will use various rope techniques (such as abseiling) to descend big flowing waterfalls. The jumps on a canyoning trip will be bigger so will require commitment, a ‘can do’ attitude and some courage!

Canyoning is great for that group that want to experience water + adrenaline! A heady mix!

Awesome venues for canyoning in the Lake District are:

Church Beck, Coniston – the upper section of the same venue used for gorge scrambling. Abseils, jumps and slides await.

Esk Gorge, Eskdale – a remote setting and jumps that even our instructors have to push themselves to do!

Extreme Canyoning – a full day in a big inescapable canyon. Big abseils, big waterfalls and big slides. We’re not telling you where it is – it’s a secret! (but a clue is about 15 mins from Keswick and about the same from Grasmere).

So what are you waiting for? Get your adventure booked now!

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EXCELLENT rating
Based on 163 reviews
It was very windy today. The team were great and had a plan B arranged for us which was brilliant (and safer!).
S K
S K
2024-04-06
Had a great experience Ghyll scrambling. Despite there being a rather large number of us (22 on a stag do) the guides were great throughout and clear experienced. Really enjoyed the experience and would book again.
Holly Maughan
Holly Maughan
2024-04-06
Really enjoyed the day, slight disruption with the weather but they gyll scrambling was excellent, guides were very helpful and kept everything entertaining
Scott Maughan
Scott Maughan
2024-04-06
Fantastic experience. Would wholeheartedly recommend. George is very encouraging and patient, a superb guide and teacher.
Cpt Randlelwa
Cpt Randlelwa
2024-04-04
What a brilliant experience !! We Loved every minute of it and can't recommend it enough. Thank you for the organisation and instruction throughout. Still buzzing :-)
Nick Duffield
Nick Duffield
2024-03-19
Had an excellent time canyoning with Si! Booked by my partner who is much more adventurous than me but we both had an amazing time. There was one jump I was too scared to do and Si made an adjustment allowing me to continue with the journey in a way I felt comfortable. If you're thinking about booking this but are scared to take the plunge, my advice is go for it!!
Megan Copley
Megan Copley
2023-10-30
We had brilliant fun doing the ghyll scrambling with Si this morning at Stickle Ghyll. We were really well kitted out so soon forgot about the damp, chilly morning and had a fantastic time with lots of laughs and challenges along the way. The kids are already planning for when they can do their next ghyll scrambling adventure!
Kate Towers
Kate Towers
2023-10-28
Really great experience with excellent leadership. Kids left wanting to come back again as soon as possible!
Sophie Hopkins
Sophie Hopkins
2023-10-19
My husband had an awesome afternoon Ghyll Scrambling in Coniston. Our son bought him a voucher for his birthday and I've never seen him grin so much when he came home wet and exhausted. I would highly recommend
Debbie Smith
Debbie Smith
2023-10-17
We had a wonderful morning Ghyll scrambling in Coniston led by Si. It was a great adventure with lots of laughs and Si was a great leader. Would definitely recommend and we'll definitely be back. Thank you!
Roast Designs
Roast Designs
2023-10-04

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