Is Canyoning in the Lake District Your Next Challenge?

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What you Need to Know about Canyoning in the Lake District 

Exhilarating and daring, canyoning is an activity that combines various outdoor sports to explore stunning natural landscapes. One destination that has become popular for such adventure activities is the unique terrain of the Lake District.

What do you need to know about canyoning?

Canyoning is an outdoor sport that involves navigating from a higher point of the canyon, a narrow valley formed by river erosion, and descending using various types of physical activity. If the descent is less challenging, this may involve straightforward movements such as walking, easy climbing, sliding, or jumping. It is important to understand and assess the difficulty of a route, regarding your own expertise, when trying canyoning.

For safety, be sure to have a qualified guide that can lead you through the process. Checking the weather is another important consideration, as it’s a sketchy activity in the rain. 

What are the different canyoning techniques?

For those with experience, different canyoning techniques can be used when undertaking more difficult terrain. Bridging, for example, is a technique that involves using your body, with your stomach facing down, to form a bridge between two canyon walls. Chimneying positions your back against one wall and your feet on the other side, shimmying with your hands for stability. While stemming is a vertical position where you are lodged and moving between the two sides.

Other activities may also be necessary such as technical cliff jumping and sliding while even swimming through the river itself. Abseiling – using rope fastened to the body to control descent – may be needed if the slope is particularly steep.

Why the Lake District?

As England’s largest National Park, the Lake District has breathtaking landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and rugged gorges. It is no wonder that it is a popular destination for outdoor activities, as such it would be an ideal place for canyoning. Since the Lake District is so vast, there are multiple canyoning routes available for beginners to experts.

For newcomers, Church Beck is a wonderful place to have a taste of canyoning with some abseiling, jumping, and sliding. The guides there can observe and determine your ability to see which exact route to take you down. While Esk Ghyll is a little more difficult, it is incredibly thrilling since it has many high and adrenaline-inducing jumps. Aside from this, it is relatively easy to navigate.

Fisherplace Ghyll, on the other hand, is quite technical requiring preparation, precaution, and experience to tackle since it entails a lot of abseiling through waterfalls. The price of each route depends on the difficulty, but on average it can range from £60 for the easier activities to £130 for the extreme.

However, the routes themselves and prices are handled differently depending on which tour company is chosen. It is worth undertaking research on which company has the best reviews, experienced guides, and is suited to your canyoning level.

How to prepare?

Canyoning is an activity that requires a lot of physical exertion, from climbing to swimming to abseiling, from half to a full day it can be quite exhausting. It is recommended therefore to have a certain level of fitness before participating. Swimming is a major aspect of this activity, so it might be worthwhile to sharpen those skills beforehand if you are inexperienced.

While indoor climbing centres can help you become accustomed to abseiling, which can seem an especially daunting aspect. Building core strength is needed to achieve those previously mentioned techniques between canyon walls, this might include strength training and cardio. Gorge walking or ghyll scrambling is another great way to prepare yourself and become comfortable with the outdoor terrain and slippery rocks.

What equipment do you need to go canyoning?

When embarking on your canyoning trip, it is essential to have durable footwear and perhaps you might wish to bring some snacks and water. Most companies will provide the other essential equipment including a wetsuit, harness, helmet, anchor bag and descender.

Ultimately, the gear needed depends on the level of difficulty, since challenging routes require further safety. Guides will also carry a first-aid kit if medical attention is required.


Exciting experiences are those that create a sense of thrill, adventure, or exhilaration and are subjective in nature. While some individuals may find entertainment through online casino gaming on websites like others may seek it through video games, travelling the world, or adventure sports. For thrill-seekers who enjoy outdoor sports, we recommend canyoning, and the Lake District offers an ideal location for it.

Photo credit: Lake District Activities by Lakeland Ascents

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