Mountain Journeys

Gorge Scrambling Ambleside – Simply the Best Activity


Gorge Scrambling Ambleside - enjoying high water levels in Stickle Ghyll


Gorge Scrambling Ambleside

Yesterday was our 3rd Gorge Scramble of 2024 and it’s so nice to already be having fun in the water. And the fun level is increased hugely by us giving all our customers wonderfully warm 5mm wetsuits, these make all the difference.

Right back at the beginning of March was our first gorge trip of the season and even though it actually snowed on us, we remained warm and had an absolute blast. We climbed the big waterfalls, jumped into plunge pools, swam in crystal clear water and all came away invigorated and happy. For me it was a shock to the system after a 3 month stint in sunny Spain, but I loved every minute.



Happy smiley faces after jumping into the plunge pool - Gorge Scrambling Ambleside


And so to this weekend. Yesterday was 9 girls on a birthday weekend. All were very new to outdoor pursuits and a few had no idea what they were about to do! There was definitely a level of trepidation from some and the idea of getting even a bit wet also wasn’t appealing on this chilly March day.

It took all of about 10 minutes for everyone to be totally convinced they’d chosen the right activity and were having an absolute blast with good friends.

Even so, when I presented them with the plunge pool, my thoughts were that they wouldn’t jump in. How wrong I was, as everyone went for it and emerged with big smiles after. What an ace day.

So on to yesterday and it was back into the clear waters of Stickle Ghyll, this time with a couple from Portsmouth. Overnight rain meant there was a powerful flow in the gorge and what was easy yesterday was not so easy now. This only adds to the fun and excitement, so all good. To make the most of all the big water features and fast flowing water we skipped the plunge pool, but still had a swim, and made a bee-line for the huge waterfall higher up the gorge. In high water this was always going to be a tricky climb, but both were willing to give it a go and Callum got it done, top effort.

Here in the Lake District we are blessed with many wonderful gorges.Some are friendly and accessible, others less so. We have spent many years getting to know these magical places and will always present our customers with the best the Lake District has to offer.

So for a family friendly / introductory gorge, Stickle Ghyll will often be our recommendation. This venue is also excellent during the early season when other places are too cold.


Gorge Scrambling Ambleside - another fine plunge pool


A step up from this is Church Beck in Coniston. This offers a few more challenges and there is more deep water plus the flow can be stronger.

Anyone wanting an extreme abseil then look no further than Hell Gill in Langdale. This is more of a canyon trip and is for adults and older teens only.

For a bigger day out with massive jumps the whole time it has to be The Mighty Esk. The biggest and best wet adventure day in the Lake District. It takes more effort to reach and a decent level of fitness is required due to the longer approach walk and longer swims. But it’s so worth it.

And back to the family friendly spots, for anyone staying in the North Lakes, around Keswick. The delightful Stoneycroft Ghyll is the place to go. Lots of sliding down water-chutes, scrambles, and pools to play in. It’s a perfect introduction to the activity.

When is best:

March to October is fine, but best is early May through to end of September. The water and air is warmer and the sun is more likely to be shining. 

Thanks for reading, we hope this has been interesting and helpful




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