Stoney Croft Canyon

Location: Newlands Valley Time Taken: 2-3 hours (from meeting to leaving) Price: From £50 (per person)
What’s involved?
A descent of Stoney Croft including the “Canyon” section – This is a very aquatic outing that involves sliding down waterfalls into pools of water. There are a couple of small jumps and this version includes tackling the canyon. This involves wearing a harness and being lowered on ropes down waterfalls. 
Who will it suit?
No previous experience required. This is for adults and families with teenage children. All that is needed is a realistic level of fitness, no fear of being fully submerged in water and an adventurous nature. Once in the canyon section the obstacles become unavoidable. This really isn’t a good option for those who do not like water or getting their face wet.

The location:

Stoney Croft is located in the North of the park in the beautiful Newlands Valley. About 1.5 miles south of the little village of Braithwaite. It is a very popular location which means it can get very busy, the good news is that he “canyon” section is rarely busy – therefore when we get in here we will be alone to enjoy the best bit in peace.

Parking is free but limited at this location. We change in a lay-by so therefore there are no lockers, changing facilities or toilets. Changing takes place either at your cars or you can share a changing tent amongst you.

Whats involved?

It is a descent of the mountain gorge known as Stoney Croft and then descending into the canyon section to finish. Firstly there is a steep 20 minute walk up the mountain to the start point. From here we slide and jump our way down the mountain. Some of the group will have to carry a bag full of harnesses while we slide and jump down the normal section. We will then don harnesses and tackle the canyon section using ropes to descend the waterfalls. It is a great little ghyll scrambling/canyoning experience with plenty to keep you occupied from natural water slides to small jumps and then roped lowers down waterfalls. If you want something a bit less adventurous then choose the Standard Version.

 

The nature of the ghyll:

This stream is very narrow and quite shallow with some great slides into mainly waist deep pools of water. The ghyll can and will be ran in times of moderately higher water levels (group dependant), however the narrowness of the gorge means it can’t handle too much water as the slides would become too fast and violent.

There is a fine line between “exciting” and “dangerous” – however, we have built up a lot of experience in all conditions in this ghyll and we will make the right decision whether or not to run your session – A safer but very exciting ghyll to run in times of flooding is Stickle Ghyll + Upper Falls in Langdale (we tend to default to this ghyll when others are too dangerous to enter).

A negative thing about this ghyll is that it can run low in prolonged spells of warm dry weather that we tend to get during May/June – although everything can still be done it does slightly affect the quality of the slides and lowers.

Who does it suit?

This is fine for “first-timers”. The ghyll is for adults and families with teenage children. A realistic level of fitness is required for this as it is a physically demanding activity. All under 18’s must be accompanied by their OWN parent or LEGAL guardian.

Remember that once we enter the canyon all obstacles become UNAVOIDABLE so it is recommended that participants should be confident in water, not scared of getting their face wet and be happy being fully submerged as this is a very aquatic outing (all obstacles are wet ones).

All participants would benefit from being comfortable being in and around fast flowing water. The ability to swim is useful but not essential as the buoyancy aids will keep you afloat when necessary. If you still want to do a ghyll scramble but you don’t like water and want a less aquatic outing then choose Stickle Ghyll + Upper Falls in Langdale.

This version is not done by many companies and therefore is much quieter in the canyon. Its great fun and best enjoyed with smaller groups of up to around 6-8. The canyon will take a long time with a bigger group in excess of 12 people and you may just get bored and cold waiting your turn on the rope – if this is the case then choose the standard version instead.

What’s provided:

  • Full wetsuit (3-5mm)
  • Additional wetsuit jacket (3-4mm)
  • Buoyancy aid
  • Helmet
  • Canyoning harness and cowstails
  • All canyon equipment & guide
  • Medical kit with a dry storage container for personal medication

Note: We also have special winter kit for the colder days/months!

 

What to bring:

  • Old trainers/hiking boots you don’t mind getting wet (for use during the ghyll scramble) – no slip-on type shoes, plimsolls or crocs
  • Old socks for the ghyll scramble
  • Swimming costume/trunks/boxer shorts to wear under the wetsuit
  • Rash vest/base layer to wear under the wetsuit (NOT COTTON – its cold when wet)
  • Old shorts (no shorter than mid-thigh) or leggings to wear over the wetsuit to help protect it
  • Towel
  • Any personal medication

Please ensure you bring long enough shorts for over the wetsuit. Failure to do so will result in you not taking part in the activity.

Typical timeslots

  • 9-12
  • 12-3

We try to time our sessions so we miss the traffic in the water to ensure the best experience is had. The morning timeslot almost guarantees that we miss everyone else.

How long will it last?

The activity will last no more than 3 hours from the point we meet to the point we say goodbye. The exact time depends on group size, the confidence and ability as well as the fitness of the participants and also the water conditions.

What time of year?

The season runs roughly from March to October depending of what type of Spring/Autumn we are having. Roughly speaking May and June tend to be the hottest and driest months.

Please be aware that the sessions go ahead even if it is cold, windy and/or raining. Please have this in mind if you book for the wetter months as there is more chance of poor weather and you need to be up for it.

So to reinforce the point further – please expect for the ghyll scramble to go ahead even in poor weather and if you are not keen on this idea then don’t book. The only time we cancel this activity is if the conditions make the activity unsafe – and this decision is made by the instructor and is usually due to dangerously high water levels.

 
Meeting location:

The meeting point is in a layby in the Newlands Valley a short drive from the village of Braithwaite. A PDF that includes the meeting location, written directions, a grid reference, a map and photo’s of the journey will be sent at the time of booking.

There is very little telephone reception in the valley and the Lakeland roads are slow so please leave enough time for travelling as there are no refunds for people who turn up late. I try my best to wait for you, however, you may be joining others or I may have other groups to run after yours and the session might have to go ahead without you.

Pro’s: 

  • Lots of slides
  • You will see inside the depths of the canyon – a place most never venture
  • Great fun activity
  • Great with smaller groups
  • Very aquatic in normal conditions
  • Suitable for “first-timers” and mixed groups
  • Beautiful location
  • Can be ran in minor flood conditions (group dependant)
  • Jumps/slides can be avoided
  • Pub, accommodation nearby

 

Cons:

  • Little telephone reception
  • No public transport
  • No postcode for satnav
  • You need long shorts/legging
  • Not good for spectators
  • Not great for big groups
  • Canyon section has unavoidable obstacles
  • Not possible for people that want a less aquatic outing
  • No changing/toilet facilities
  • Steep 20 minute walk uphill
  • Long drive to another suitable location if it is flooded
  • Very busy location with limited parking
  • There can be a minimum booking number if no-one else has already booked as it is a 2.5 hour round trip from South Lakeland for our instructor.

 

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