Ghyll / gorge scrambling

Gorge Scrambling is our most popular activity with groups that are new to the outdoors; it is fun, exhilarating and energising and will provide an experience that is completely different to your normal daily life! 

We cater for all levels of experience and ability from complete beginners who have never been in a gorge before, to those who are more experienced and want a more complex canyoning experience with bigger and more challenging obstacles to overcome.

The team walking up past a waterfall

Male participant diving into the water

Gorge scrambling is one of our most popular activities; it's fun, exciting, exhilarating and is a great activity for groups of all ages and abilities.

Gorge Scrambling (also know as ghyll scrambling, gorge walking or canyoning) is the ascent or descent of a mountain stream. Every gorge is unique in its challenges and will require you to tackle whatever obstacles you encounter along the way. Some gorges are dryer requiring you to walk, scramble and climb your way along the watercourse whilst others are extremely wet with waterfalls gushing down next to you and water splashing up at you as you slide, jump and swim through pools of water.

A team walking through water

The term 'ghyll', a Norsk word taken from the Vikings, simply means mountain stream. These streams tend to have sides that are not as steep allowing easy access and exits throughout the ghyll and this often involves utilising the riverbank as part of our journey. Gorges or canyons are at the opposite end of the scale and tend to have very steep sides often of solid rock and involve more swimming, sliding, with bigger waterfalls, jumps and deeper pools. Our team of experienced and qualified instructors will tailor your activity to meet the needs of your group, selecting the most appropriate venue and we are sure you’ll have an amazing adventure. 

Team posing for photos in outfits and helmets

Every gorge is unique; some have deep channels, varying volumes of water and deep pools whilst others are more open, require climbing and scrambling; some are a combination of all of these all rolled into one! Each gorge presents an adventure and provides a level of challenge that will take you out of your comfort zone. We cater for all levels of experience and ability from complete beginners who have never been in a gorge before, to those who are more experienced and want a more complex canyoning experience with bigger and more challenging obstacles to overcome.

You will be provided with all PPE required for this activity to ensure your comfort and safety. Our PPE is of the highest quality provided through our partner organisations and will include a wetsuit, windproof jacket, helmet and buoyancy aid.

Team member swimming between two rocks
  1. Building teamwork: participants are responsible for each other's safe passage along the gorge. You will work together to move through the waterways, giving encouragement to each other; especially when attempting jumps or with those that are less comfortable in the water
  2. Building confidence: by challenging yourself and overcoming obstacles and the elements through this energising activity, attempting jumps and working outside of your comfort zone
  3. Developing communication: by leading the group through the gorge, giving clear instructions on what is up ahead and how to stay safe
  4. Mood booster: this is our most popular activity with groups that are new to the outdoors; it is fun, exhilarating and energising and will provide an experience that is completely different to your normal daily life
  5. Self-reflection: opportunities to reflect on how you worked as part of the team, what input you had and how you contributed
Team member swimming down between two rocks

On arrival at your chosen meeting point you will meet with one of our professional and friendly instructors who will look after you throughout your activity session and be able to answer any questions you may have, putting you and your group at ease.

Safety is always our main priority and following an initial introduction with your instructor you will be provided with high quality personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep you comfortable and safe during the activity; this will include a wetsuit, windproof jacket, helmet and buoyancy aid.

Once changed your session will start with a safety briefing from your instructor; this will include final fitting and checks of PPE, how to manoeuvre when in the gorge and what to do in the event of an emergency. Gorge walking often requires a level of teamwork to overcome obstacles throughout the session, and as you journey along the gorge your instructor will demonstrate how you can support each other and encourage and challenge all participants to get involved.

Each gorge is unique in its challenges, and the only way to find out what these are is to explore them for yourself. When in the gorge our instructors will guide you and keep you safe as you scramble over rocks, slide down rapids and plunge into crystal clear pools.

Birds-eye shot as the team make their way down some rocks

We provide ghyll or gorge scrambling sessions at many outdoor locations across the UK; due to the geology of the mountainous terrain in the UK most of the popular gorges are located throughout the Lake District National Park.  

Some of our most popular venues in the Lake District include:

Church Beck: a popular trip for all the right reasons! Ascend this beautiful beck scrambling, climbing, swimming and stepping into pools of crystal clear water. With its varied features and easy access this location provides a great experience for both children and adults alike.

Esk Gorge: if it's big jumps you're looking for then this is the gorge for you! A big day out starting with a 50min walk up the spectacular Esk Valley. This gorge is noted in the top wild swimming spots in the UK and you can experience all the extras with our qualified instructors. Swimming and jumping is the order of the day.

Stickle Ghyll: ascend this popular ghyll by scrambling and climbing your way over boulders whilst following the water underneath the spectacular Langdale Pikes. A great trip to introduce you to the sport of ghyll scrambling.

Stoney Croft: a hidden gem in the Northern Lakes which often goes unnoticed by even the most avid outdoor enthusiast. Descend this narrow steep-sided ghyll via scrambling, sliding and wading your way through the crystal clear water as it flows down towards Derwentwater.

Gorge scrambling is one of our most popular activities; it's fun, exciting, exhilarating and is a great activity for groups of all ages and abilities.

Gorge Scrambling (also know as ghyll scrambling, gorge walking or canyoning) is the ascent or descent of a mountain stream. Every gorge is unique in its challenges and will require you to tackle whatever obstacles you encounter along the way. Some gorges are dryer requiring you to walk, scramble and climb your way along the watercourse whilst others are extremely wet with waterfalls gushing down next to you and water splashing up at you as you slide, jump and swim through pools of water.

Male participant diving into the water

The term 'ghyll', a Norsk word taken from the Vikings, simply means mountain stream. These streams tend to have sides that are not as steep allowing easy access and exits throughout the ghyll and this often involves utilising the riverbank as part of our journey. Gorges or canyons are at the opposite end of the scale and tend to have very steep sides often of solid rock and involve more swimming, sliding, with bigger waterfalls, jumps and deeper pools. Our team of experienced and qualified instructors will tailor your activity to meet the needs of your group, selecting the most appropriate venue and we are sure you’ll have an amazing adventure. 

A team walking through water

Every gorge is unique; some have deep channels, varying volumes of water and deep pools whilst others are more open, require climbing and scrambling; some are a combination of all of these all rolled into one! Each gorge presents an adventure and provides a level of challenge that will take you out of your comfort zone. We cater for all levels of experience and ability from complete beginners who have never been in a gorge before, to those who are more experienced and want a more complex canyoning experience with bigger and more challenging obstacles to overcome.

You will be provided with all PPE required for this activity to ensure your comfort and safety. Our PPE is of the highest quality provided through our partner organisations and will include a wetsuit, windproof jacket, helmet and buoyancy aid.

Team posing for photos in outfits and helmets
  1. Building teamwork: participants are responsible for each other's safe passage along the gorge. You will work together to move through the waterways, giving encouragement to each other; especially when attempting jumps or with those that are less comfortable in the water
  2. Building confidence: by challenging yourself and overcoming obstacles and the elements through this energising activity, attempting jumps and working outside of your comfort zone
  3. Developing communication: by leading the group through the gorge, giving clear instructions on what is up ahead and how to stay safe
  4. Mood booster: this is our most popular activity with groups that are new to the outdoors; it is fun, exhilarating and energising and will provide an experience that is completely different to your normal daily life
  5. Self-reflection: opportunities to reflect on how you worked as part of the team, what input you had and how you contributed
Team member swimming between two rocks

On arrival at your chosen meeting point you will meet with one of our professional and friendly instructors who will look after you throughout your activity session and be able to answer any questions you may have, putting you and your group at ease.

Safety is always our main priority and following an initial introduction with your instructor you will be provided with high quality personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep you comfortable and safe during the activity; this will include a wetsuit, windproof jacket, helmet and buoyancy aid.

Once changed your session will start with a safety briefing from your instructor; this will include final fitting and checks of PPE, how to manoeuvre when in the gorge and what to do in the event of an emergency. Gorge walking often requires a level of teamwork to overcome obstacles throughout the session, and as you journey along the gorge your instructor will demonstrate how you can support each other and encourage and challenge all participants to get involved.

Each gorge is unique in its challenges, and the only way to find out what these are is to explore them for yourself. When in the gorge our instructors will guide you and keep you safe as you scramble over rocks, slide down rapids and plunge into crystal clear pools.

Team member swimming down between two rocks

We provide ghyll or gorge scrambling sessions at many outdoor locations across the UK; due to the geology of the mountainous terrain in the UK most of the popular gorges are located throughout the Lake District National Park.  

Some of our most popular venues in the Lake District include:

Church Beck: a popular trip for all the right reasons! Ascend this beautiful beck scrambling, climbing, swimming and stepping into pools of crystal clear water. With its varied features and easy access this location provides a great experience for both children and adults alike.

Esk Gorge: if it's big jumps you're looking for then this is the gorge for you! A big day out starting with a 50min walk up the spectacular Esk Valley. This gorge is noted in the top wild swimming spots in the UK and you can experience all the extras with our qualified instructors. Swimming and jumping is the order of the day.

Stickle Ghyll: ascend this popular ghyll by scrambling and climbing your way over boulders whilst following the water underneath the spectacular Langdale Pikes. A great trip to introduce you to the sport of ghyll scrambling.

Stoney Croft: a hidden gem in the Northern Lakes which often goes unnoticed by even the most avid outdoor enthusiast. Descend this narrow steep-sided ghyll via scrambling, sliding and wading your way through the crystal clear water as it flows down towards Derwentwater.

Birds-eye shot as the team make their way down some rocks

Booking information

  1. What's available?

    • Half day activity session
    • Full day activity session
    • Incorporated into full programme
  1. Who can book?

    • Youth and community groups
    • Schools
    • Universities and colleges
    • Businesses

Interested in ghyll/gorge scrambling sessions?

Get in touch with our team using the link below to book or find out more.

Book now

Why choose Ghyll Carnegie Great outdoors

  • We are part of Leeds Beckett University with over 12 years' experience working with external clients and groups
  • We hold Public Liability Insurance of £25,000,000
  • We provide all specialist outdoor activity equipment, which is thoroughly checked, cleaned, serviced and maintained by our team. We hold trade accounts with the leading outdoor equipment manufacturers and replace our activity equipment in line with manufacturer and National Governing Body Guidelines
  • We tailor our activities to meet your personal aims and objectives, or to fit the requirements of the group; meeting curriculum requirements, corporate learning aims, identified skill sets or learning objectives 

All sessions are run by our friendly instructors who:

  • Hold specialist qualifications issued by the National Governing Body for each of the activities
  • Have excellent working knowledge of the activity locations
  • Are DBS enhanced checked
  • Hold a specialist 16-hour Outdoor Emergency First Aid qualification which is renewed every three years and covers the care of casualties in remote settings, in line with Government HSE regulations
  • Hold professional indemnity insurance
  • Have extensive experience working with a variety of client groups in the outdoors
  • Have a sound understanding of the outdoor sector including relevant legislation
  • Maintain a high standard of customer care