Ghyll Scrambling in the Lake District

Activity Overview

Ghyll scrambling is a fantastic way of exploring some of the more hidden and magical corners of the region. A ‘ghyll’ is a Cumbrian term (derived from old Norse) for a ravine or mountain stream. Ghyll scrambling in the Lake District can be done in ascent or descent depending on the venue and is typically but not exclusively a wet activity. There are a handful of venues throughout the Lakes that are regularly used for ghyll scrambling and most can be done as a half-day activity (with the exception of Esk Gorge).

Essential Details

  • Suitable options for kids and adults
  • Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Wetsuits and safety equipment provided
  • Experienced and qualified guides/instructors
  • Half and full-day options available
  • Prices from £30 per person

Honister Ghyll Scramble

This fantastic and accessible ghyll scramble is suitable for young kids as well as adults. It is usually done in ascent and includes tunnels, waterfalls and plunge pools. In favourable conditions (when the water level is not too high), and if the group’s ability allows, it is possible to continue up through a steeper sided gorge and finish with a short roped climb.

Stoneycroft Ghyll Scramble

This ghyll scramble never disappoints! We run this activity in descent which involves jumping, sliding and diving into beautiful emerald coloured plunge-pools. For those who want a bit more (and aren’t too cold), there is a lower section called Stoneycroft gorge. In favourable conditions (when the water level is not too high), the gorge can be descended via a series of abseils or ‘lowers.’ This can be done in addition to the top section, or as an alternative.

Esk Gorge Ghyll Scramble

This gorge is not for the faint-hearted. It features bigger jumps and deeper water than typically found in other Lakeland ghylls. Due to its isolated position, this activity is run as a full day activity and is not suitable for children.

Sourmilk Ghyll Scramble: Borrowdale

Sourmilk Ghyll is recognised in many guidebooks to the Lake District. It is a fantastic scramble that is relatively technical, however, the difficulty is hugely variable depending on the line chosen and the volume of water. It can be tackled as wet or dry activity in both ascent and descent, and it can also be combined with a longer excursion onto the crags of Gillercombe above.

How much does it cost?

These activities are priced per person assuming a group of four or more. If your group is less than four, we charge a flat rate. Your booking will be treated as private unless you give us permission to open it up to the public as a scheduled activity. Please follow the links above for specific prices which include a fully qualified and insured instructor and all of the equipment that you will need.

How to book?

Use the enquiry form on this page (it’s below if you’re on a mobile and on the right if you’re on a desktop device) and we’ll get back to you with all of the details. We require a 30% deposit to secure bookings. If you would like any more information or have a specific question, please send us a message and we’ll be in touch.

*In extremely wet conditions any of the above activities may be cancelled for safety reasons in which case a full refund will be issued or an option to re-book.

What do I need to bring with me?

We will provide all of the safety equipment required, however, you will need to bring some of your own personal items including:

  • Swimwear (to wear underneath a wetsuit)
  • Footwear (this needs to be robust enough to protect your feet and will get wet)
  • Towel and a warm change of clothes
  • Food and a hot drink for after the activity

*Please note that it is not practical to take any personal items with you during the activity and jewellery should be removed.

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