Stickle Ghyll

Time Taken:
2-3 hours (from meeting to leaving)
From £50 per person
What’s involved?
An ascent involving climbing waterfalls, challenges and a small jump.
Who is it for?
This is for adults and families with children of 9 years and above.
Ghyll Scrambling is ascending a stream. Please also check out our  CANYONING locations which involve descending a stream. 

The location:

Stickle Ghyll is located in the South of the Lake District National Park. The stream runs down the side of the mountain known as the Langdale Pikes. The source of the stream is Stickle Tarn. This tarn (mountain lake)  sits in the hanging valley at the base of the popular climbing crag called Pavey Arc.  The start point of the ghyll scramble is accessed via a massive 1 minute walk from the Sticklebarn Pub Car Park (National Trust Car Park). This location has pay and display parking, public toilets and changing takes place at cars.

Whats involved?

It is a great little ghyll scrambling experience that involves ascending the ghyll known as Stickle Ghyll. There are a variety of challenges you will encounter along the way such as – falling and jumping into pools of water and climbing waterfalls. It is a strenuous outing due to the steep terrain.

Water safety info:

This ghyll scramble is the most changeable one that we do. In prolonged periods of dry weather (usually May to mid June) it can be a much drier outing (apart from the deeper pools) as the stream can run low during these times (it is not impossible in really hot weather to leave the wetsuit behind and don shorts). In normal levels (the majority of the year) it is just great wet fun. In periods of heavy prolonged rain it can be extremely aquatic and very full-on.

The months we experience higher water levels are usually mid July to September. It is VERY rare for an adult group to be cancelled due to high water levels as this location can be ran in most water levels. Flood water makes our tamest ghyll one of the most exciting which makes it a safe bet in times of prolonged rain. Groups with children will be cancelled if the flooding is too high. When the water level is high the stream can be very fierce – however, we have built up a lot of experience and clocked up years of experience in all conditions in this ghyll and we will make the right decision of whether or not to run your session.

It takes place on a steep mountainside and it does require a decent level of fitness to climb the waterfalls and tackle the steep terrain.

Who does it suit?

This is fine for “first-timers” – no previous experience is necessary. The ghyll is for adults and families with children of 9 years and over.

Although all obstacles are avoidable it is recommended that participants should be confident in water and/or OK with heights. You must be able to walk unaided over slippy and rocky terrain without being crippled by the fear of falling over to best enjoy the experience. It can still be enjoyed if you wish to keep your head above the water OR if you wish to miss out the climbs, however, if you wish to BOTH miss the climbs and the water parts then there is no point booking as you will just be taking a walk in a stream. The ability to swim is useful but not essential as the wetsuits will keep you afloat when necessary.

The ghyll can be physically demanding as it takes place on a steep mountainside and you need a realistic level of fitness and be a realistic weight to be able to pull yourself up the waterfalls you will be climbing.

All under 18’s must be accompanied by their OWN parent or LEGAL guardian.

This is used by all outdoor companies and it can get busy, however, most companies get out just as it starts to get fun so we can usually get away from the other groups as we head further up the mountain.

What’s provided:

  • Canyoning wetsuit (10mm) – a clean and dry 2-piece wetsuit that has been specifically designed for canyoning. It’s 10mm thick, warm and has an optional hood
  • Wetsuit Socks (3mm) – Clean and dry and 3mm. Any thicker and you wouldn’t get your shoes over the top.
  • Buoyancy aidConditions dependant.
  • Helmet
  • Canyoning harness & cowstails
  • All canyoning equipment & guide
  • Medical kit with a dry storage container for personal medication
  • Photo’s – taken by the instructor and shared at the end of the session. All photo’s on this page were taken during a session on our phone camera.
Note: We also have special winter kit for the winter months!

What to bring:

  • Old trainers no wellies, sandals, crocs or slip-on type shoes
  • Swimming costume/ trunks/ underwear
  • Rash vest/ base layer/ gym t-shirt –(not cotton – its cold when wet)

Typical timeslots 

  • Morning
  • Afternoon

We try to time our sessions so we experience the ghyll at its quietest times during the day. This ghyll see’s a lot of traffic – especially in the busy months. The morning slot is almost guaranteed to ensure 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?

We run this all year with adults – even through the winter. With children we start the season around March and end it around October. Please be aware that the sessions go ahead even if it is cold, windy, raining and even snowing to a point. Please have this in mind if you book for the colder 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 The Sticklebarn Pub Car Park (National Trust), Great Langdale, LA22 9JU . This is the BIG national trust car park with the shed in it . The parking is pay and display unless you are a member of the trust. Changing will take place at your cars. You are looking for a silver logo’d van parked up. Please leave enough time for travelling as there is no refunds for people who turn up late.


  • Suitable for “first-timers”
  • Suitable in normal conditions for those who don’t wish to get fully submerged
  • Great for spectators
  • Can be ran in flood conditions (group dependant)
  • Good waterfall climbs
  • Jump/climbs can be avoided
  • Two pubs at the start/end point
  • Bus transport links
  • Easy to find
  • Public toilets


  • Pay and display parking
  • Can run dry in prolonged sunny weather
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