Ghyll Scrambling

Ghyll Scrambling

Photo thanks to Andy at

In Cumbria and the wider north, the word Ghyll refers to a mountain stream and is believed to have originated from Old Norse. Ghyll Scrambling refers to both ascending up a mountain stream (often called gorge walking / scrambling) and down a mountain stream (often called canyoning).

Some routes are more extreme than others with some being suitable for most age groups and abilities. This activity is actually enhanced by rainfall, as the streams become heavier and faster flowing, which is why it’s such a popular activity in the Lake District, where rain is a way of life.

What Ghyll Scrambling Involves

Your guide will take you through one of the many ghylls that can be found throughout the Lake District, where along the way you may find a mixture of gentle streams and fast flowing water, waterfalls to climb or to jump from, boulders and rocks to navigate through, all of which will test your physical fitness. You will need to be prepared to get wet (although wetsuits are provided) and cold, but you will get a sense of achievement from this exhilarating activity.

What to Wear and Bring

Ghyll Scrambling

A group of happy ghyll scramblers


Most activity companies will provide you with a wetsuit, helmet, and buoyancy aids, but it is worth checking in advance what is provided and what isn’t. In addition, you will need to bring a swimming costume to wear under your wetsuit, and boots for your feet that are tightfitting, with good ankle support and grip, that you don’t mind getting wet.

You will need a towel, a change of clothes for when you have finished, and some companies suggest bringing old shorts to wear over your suit and base layer t-shirts to wear under.

Check what refreshments are available, but you might want to consider bringing something along, especially as you be burning off plenty of calories.

Where to Go Ghyll Scrambling in the Lake District

We do not recommend that you attempt Ghyll Scrambling without a qualified instructor, unless you have plenty of experience and all of the equipment that is required. There are plenty of companies offering a range of Ghyll Scrambling experiences throughout the Lake District.

Ghyll Scrambling in the Lake District

Ghyll Scrambling

This family-run company offers tailored packages, including family friendly sessions, extreme canyoning, and stag and hen groups. Free pictures of your session are also provided.


Adventure north west

Suitable for most fitness levels, Adventure North West ghyll scrambling sessions involve rock climbing up water falls, scrambling over rocks and taking part in water challenges along the way. Beginning and intermediate sessions are available and sessions take place in either Consiton, Tilberthwaite or the Langdales.


Lakeland Mountain Guides

The Lakeland Mountain Guides offer ghyll scrambling days out for individuals, families, and also corporate events. They provide all the technical gear needed for the day but you'll need to bring your shoes and undergear for wearing in the ghyll, plus a dry change for after. They also take photographs throughout the day so you can expect plenty of cool pics after the day!


Crags Adventures

Sessions are available in Langdale, Coniston, and near Keswick with packages available for those aged 7 and over. Crags Adventures are the only company offering Ghyll Scrambling at Yosemite Swing, featuring a significant drop.

  • Address: Station Precinct, Windermere, LA23 1AH
  • Tel: 01539552369
  • Website:

West Lakes Adventure

Ghyll Scrambling sessions at Esk Ghyll, arguably one of the best places for the activity with huge jumps and stunning scenery.


River Deep Mountain High

Half and full day sessions are available that not only include Ghyll Scrambling but rigged climbing and swimming in various locations in the southern Lake District.


Keswick Adventure Centre

Offering sessions at both Stoneycroft Ghyll and Honister Ghyll near Keswick with the option to do both in one day.


Lakeland Ascents

Sessions take place at Church Beck at Coniston, Stickle Ghyll at Langdale, and Stoneycroft Ghyll at Keswick. Lakeland Ascents is owned by a member of the Kendal Mountain Rescue Team, so you are guaranteed to be in safe hands.

  • Address: Registered Office C/O Saint & Co, The Old Police Station, Church Street, Ambleside, LA22 0BT
  • Tel: 07702942980
  • Website:

Keswick Extreme

Owned and operated by adventure-loving identical twins, Jason and Sean O'Rourke, Keswick Extreme provides a number of activities for both individuals and groups around the Keswick area. The company offers half day sessions that are ideal for those looking to get a taste of adventure..

  • Address: Nichol End Marine, Portinscale, Keswick, CA12 5TY
  • Tel: 08000016201
  • Website:

Mountain Journeys

Mountain Journeys cover most of Cumbria with their Ghyll Scrambling sessions and will tailor your session to meet your needs and abilities.



Adventure.Outside offers Ghyll Scrambling and Canyoning excursions with qualified experts that can teach you everything you need to know with different tours based on your fitness level. They also offer wetsuits as part of the cost of the session. 

  • Tel: 07404740941
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.