Gorge Walking / Ghyll Scrambling

Get ready for some action, this activity is now available to book online as either an ‘Open Session’ with mixed groups or with your own ‘Private Instructor’.

We have made a few changes to all our activities and the way we operate to keep our instructors and guests safe during these times.

Booking last minute ?

If you cannot see any available space on our bookings calendar, please contact us on 01423 755666. We should still be able to fit you in, online bookings close 7 days before due date

Gorge Walking / Ghyll Scrambling

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

What to Expect

Gorges, canyons, ghylls and ravines are all valleys with a stream or a river running through. They’re mostly found in mountainous regions, or areas where geographical features allow the formation – such as the limestone at How Stean Gorge, Yorkshire. Gorge Walking is the process of traversing the valley via foot which can be tricky due to the running water and steep rock formations on either side of gorges. However, when the challenge is embraced it is a great way of experiencing these natural wonders as you walk through the rivers and caves which sit at the bottom.

There is a small distinction between gorge walking and ghyll scrambling – gorge walking is where there is no bank either side of the water (so the only way is through the water) whereas ghyll scrambling has a small bank either side for easier exits. Read our blog post to find out more!

Personal Development

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

  • Strengthen communication skills – Listening and being receptive to instructions is very important when negotiating busy rivers and slippery slopes!
  • Learn to trust – 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 self-confidence – Gorge walking and abseiling is an effective way to develop self-belief and confidence to try new and scary things, overcome fears and build resilience.
  • Become reflective – Evaluating your own and others’ experience in order to spot strengths and weaknesses to build on for next time!



*This activity is also available as a residential or school day trip activity. Please see our educational package details here.



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Book Gorge Walking / Ghyll Scrambling

Book Now Open Sessions Mixed Groups

The Best Gorge Walking Venue in the UK

When gorge walking or ghyll scrambling at How Stean Gorge, we provide you with a purpose-made wetsuits which are the best on the market. You will also receive neoprene socks, gloves (in the colder months).

Those who want to watch can see the abseiling part of the gorge from our spacious indoor viewing area then wait in our cafe or follow on some of the footpaths.

We enter the gorge by abseiling 45 ft from the bridge over the gorge. Once at the bottom your guide will then show you the way – jump, slide, swim and climb your way as you ascend and descend the gorge.

During Gorge Walking & Ghyll Scrambling you can ascend and descend the area through the water itself. Compare this with canyoning, where you start at the top of the chosen venue and descend using abseiling and ropework techniques. If you’ve been Gorge Walking or Ghyll Scrambling with us before and are ready for a new challenge, try your hand at canyoning!

Gorge walking & ghyll scrambling is best enjoyed with family, friends or colleagues  group activity. Everyone is out of their comfort zone, and everyone helps each other along the way.

What’s special about How Stean Gorge?

How Stean is a steep ravine, where the steep sides drop directly into the water especially the upper reaches. Formed by limestone erosion over centuries, How Stean Gorge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This means the only way to follow the gorge is to proceed through the water. Even in dry spells we have water all year around, so the only way through is to swim. When you have finished we have eleven Hot showers available and our own Licenced Cafe on site.

Gorge Walking on Film – Caught On Camera

During each gorge walking session, the instructors film your group with headcams so you can experience your success (or the tricky bits!) again and again.

Gorge Walking FAQs

How much does it cost?
This 3 hour experience costs

£65 per person on our Open sessions

If you cannot see any available space on our bookings calendar, please contact us on 01423 755666. We often have additional instructors onsite and we will do our best to facilitate you


Our sessions start at 09.30 am and 1.30pm daily. Please arrive approximately 30 mins before your start time.

What’s included?

  • Briefing
  • All Safety Equipment including Wet Suit
  • Abseil Descent
  • Gorge Walking through the Gorge
  • Cave Exploring
  • Video Footage of Your Experience available to purchase
  • A Friendly, Highly-Qualified Gorge Walking Instructor
  • Amazing memories!

Remember everything is optional, if you don’t feel comfortable our instructors will support you. We want you to get the most out your experience and go home with a massive smile on your face.

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 can be tailored for those wanting something a bit more extreme.

Please read our Terms and Conditions Prior to Booking

Why choose How Stean Gorge?

  • You will be safely cared for by our professional experienced instructors who use How Stean Gorge for gorge walking / ghyll scrambling on a daily basis. The location and facilities are second to none.
  • No getting changed on the side of a road or carpark or walking miles to the venue. We have a well stock equipment store with changing rooms, hot showers and cafe just meters away from many of our activities.
  • How Stean Gorge is a spectacular limestone ravine carved out over thousands of years by waterflow and is the perfect location for outdoor activities like gorge walking. 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, An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – why choose anywhere else?

Can I take the whole family?

  • Of course! Anybody aged 7 or over can take part. It is suitable from 7 to 80+ years (our oldest participant is an impressive age of 81yrs who thoroughly enjoyed the experience!)
  • Those who do not take part can watch from the bridge and then while away the rest of the time exploring the gorge and caves tourist attraction or enjoying refreshments in our onsite cafe. Children will be well occupied in our play area right next to the cafe.

What is the minimum number of people I can book?

All groups, families and individuals are welcome for this abseiling & gorge walking session. No minimum number to book, just make sure you book in advance. This is a firm favourite with Stag and Hen Dos and corporate days.

Where do we meet?

At How Stean Gorge – you’ll meet the instructors in the reception area. The postcode for your satnav is HG3 5SY.

Please complete you 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 are able to 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 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

Make a booking

Book Gorge Walking / Ghyll Scrambling

Book Now Open Sessions Mixed Groups

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