Take the plunge with a 45ft abseil into an action-packed experience of gorge walking in the Yorkshire Dales. Join an open session with a mixed group for just £65 per person, or do it your way with a private instructor. Either way, get ready for some action!

What Is Gorge Walking?

Gorge walking involves traversing gorges, canyons, ghylls or ravines on foot, which can be tricky due to the running water and steep rock formations on either side of gorges. However, when you embrace the challenge, it is a great way of experiencing these natural wonders.

Learn more about gorge walking.A Group of visitors gorge walking up a stream at How Stean Gorge.

Gorge walking in the Yorkshire Dales with How Stean Gorge is an exhilarating experience. You enter the gorge by abseiling directly from the bridge above and then forge your way against the flow of water as you scramble over boulders, slide down waterspouts, sit under waterfalls and jump into deep plunge pools. You’ll be guided by our expert instructors, who’ll make sure you don’t get carried away downstream!

Is gorge walking different from ghyll scrambling and canyoning?

There is a small distinction between gorge walking and ghyll scrambling – gorge walking is where there is no bank on either side of the water (so the only way is through the water), whereas ghyll scrambling has a small bank on either side for easier exits.

We’ve written about the differences between gorge walking and canyoning before – check out that post on our blog!


Yorkshire Gorge Walking Experience

When gorge walking or ghyll scrambling with How Stean Gorge, we’ll provide you with the best purpose-made wetsuits on the market. You will also receive neoprene socks and gloves if you need them, particularly in the colder months.

We enter the gorge by abseiling 45ft from a bridge over the gorge. At the bottom, your guide will show you the way and you can start jumping, sliding, swimming and climbing your way up and down the gorge.

Those who want to watch can see the abseiling part of the gorge from our spacious indoor viewing area, then wait in the How Stean Café or follow along from some of the footpaths.

What’s included?

Our Yorkshire Dales gorge walking experience includes everything you need to have an amazing trip – all you need to bring is suitable clothing!

  • Briefing
  • A friendly, highly-qualified gorge walking instructor
  • All safety equipment (including a wet suit)
  • Abseil descent from a bridge over the gorge
  • Gorge walking
  • Exploring some local caves
  • Amazing memories!

If you’ve been gorge walking or ghyll scrambling with us before and are ready for a new challenge, try your hand at canyoning, where you start at the top of the chosen venue and descend using abseiling and ropework techniques.

Who can go gorge walking?

Gorge walking in the Yorkshire Dales is very popular with adventure stag and hen dos, as well as corporate days out, team-building trips and couples fancying some adventure. It is also available as a residential or school day trip activity – please see our educational packages for more details.

We class gorge walking and ghyll scrambling as a beginner activity – this means that anyone older than seven is more than welcome to take part! Whatever group you bring, all participants must have a basic fitness level; if you’ve done it before and feel confident, we can tailor your experience to be more challenging. There’s no minimum number needed to book, so long as you do so in advance of the activity date.

Anyone who prefers not to join in can spend some time in one of our scenic eateries, walk the local footpaths or enjoy a taste of the thrill from our glass-floored events room!


Why Choose How Stean Gorge?

  • Highly-qualified instructors

You will be safely cared for by our professional, experienced instructors who conduct gorge walking and ghyll scrambling experiences daily and are very familiar with the gorge itself.

  • Fantastic amenities and facilities

No getting changed on the side of a road or car park or walking miles to the venue for you! We have a well-stocked equipment store with changing rooms, plenty of hot showers with underfloor heating and a café onsite.

  • Incredible location

How Stean Gorge is a spectacular limestone ravine carved out over thousands of years by water flow and is the perfect location for outdoor activities like gorge walking. The only way to follow the gorge is to proceed through the water; even during dry spells, the only way through is to swim.

It is geographically unique, as it’s one of the only places in the UK where you can comfortably enjoy both rock sports and canoeing in a single day. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Nidderdale and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – why would you want to go anywhere else?



Personal Development

There are several personal development benefits to be gained from gorge walking, and it’s especially rewarding if you’re trying it as part of a school trip or team-building activity:

  • Improve your communication skills– listening and being receptive to instructions are very important when negotiating busy rivers and slippery slopes!
  • Rely on others– it takes an element of trust to edge along a narrow bank above gushing streams, but you can rest assured our instructors know what is and isn’t safe for you to do.
  • Build your confidence– gorge walking and abseiling are effective ways to develop self-belief and confidence to try new and scary things, overcome fears and build resilience.
  • Evaluate and learn– reflect on your own and others’ experiences to spot strengths and weaknesses that you can build on next time!


 Booking Last Minute?

If you can’t see any available space on our bookings calendar, please contact us on 01423 755666. Online bookings close seven days before the date of the activity, but we can often fit bookings in after that time if we have additional instructors onsite.

Please take a look at our terms and conditions before placing any booking, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team, who will be happy to help you out.




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The Best Gorge Walking Venue in the UK

Our sessions start at 09.30 am and 1.30pm daily. We ask that you aim to arrive around 30 minutes before your activity start time.

If you cannot see any available space on our bookings calendar, please contact us. We often have additional instructors onsite and we will do our best to facilitate you


Things to keep in mind:

  • Gorge walking and ghyll scrambling are best enjoyed with family, friends or colleagues as a group activity. Everyone is out of their comfort zone and helps each other along the way.
  • During each gorge walking session, the instructors film your group with head cameras so you can look back on the highs and lows (literally!) of your gorge walking experience.
  • Remember that everything is optional; if you don’t feel comfortable at any point, our instructors will support you. We want you to get the most out of your experience and go home with a smile.

Gorge Walking FAQs

  • How much does it cost?

This three-hour experience costs £65 per person on our mixed open sessions – please contact us for a quote if you’re interested in a private session.

  • How fit do I need to be?

You will need to have a basic fitness level to participate in this activity, as we class gorge walking as a beginner level activity, but it can be tailored for those looking for something a bit more extreme.

  • Can I take the whole family?

Of course; anybody aged seven or over can take part. Our oldest participant is an impressive 81 years old, and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Those who don’t wish to take part can watch from the bridge, spend some time exploring the gorge and caves tourist attraction or enjoy refreshments in our onsite cafe. Younger children will be well occupied in our play area next to the café.

  • What is the minimum number of people I can book?

There’s no minimum number needed, so long as you book in advance. All groups, families and individuals are welcome for our abseiling and gorge walking session.

  • Where do we meet?

The activity starts at How Stean Gorge, where you’ll meet the instructors in the reception area. The postcode for your satnav is HG3 5SY.

Please complete your consent form before arrival by clicking the ‘View Required Documents’ tab on your booking invoice; this will allow you to complete the forms online.

Completing before hand will mean we can get straight out on activities without delay.

If you are organising a group booking, you can send a consent form directly to all participants via email or by copying your unique link by clicking the ‘share’ tab. The group organiser can share this link on any social media platform, including Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber etc

For a young person under the age of 18 this this need to be completed by the parent or guardian.

What do I need to bring?

When gorge walking you will need a swimming costume or trunks/shorts to wear underneath the wetsuit. We recommend you wear trainers or boots but don’t forget to bring dry footwear for when you have finished. We supply all safety equipment. You are welcome to use our hot showers and changing area afterwards, so don’t forget a towel.

My husband and two of our children celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary Gorge walking. Was more than a fantastic day. Tony our leader was amazing and so helpful. I cannot recommend this place and activity enough. It was a perfect day. Thank you, we will definitely be back to do other activities with our other kids and family members. Mandi McQuillan

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