Includes: River running, canyoneering, water, land, ghyll scrambling Outdoors, Adventure, Nature and the great outdoors, Water

Activity time:
Full day


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A really wet adventure

Climb, swim, abseil and scramble through caves and fast flowing water, and make a splash as you leap into the depths!


Canyoning usually takes place in a steep-sided river gorge and can involve sliding or swimming down rapids, jumping into river pools, floating down fast-flowing chutes and on waves, and walking behind waterfalls or jumping off them.

To take girls canyoning, you will need to find a reputable local provider with a qualified instructor, and contact HQ for support.

Gorge walking is similar to canyoning, but involves shallower gorge sides and water. Plus, girls aged nine can give it a go.

Planning checklist

Safety notes

The provider must be licenced by the Adventurous Activities Licencing Authority.

You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements: Adventuremark or LotC Quality Badge for Adventure.

AALA and the above endorsements are not applicable in Northern Ireland, where you should ask your local Outdoor Activities Adviser to recommend an approved provider.

Monitor current and predicted weather conditions as water levels in rivers and streams can rise rapidly following rainfall on the top of the hills.

See safety regulations for more water safety information.

The provider you are using must be licenced with the Adventure Activities Licencing Authority, which ensures that the instructor qualifications are appropriate for the area. Please ensure you obtain a copy of these qualifications before booking.

To do canyoning, girls must be able to:

  • swim 50 metres
  • keep afloat for five minutes in the clothes normally worn for the activity.

Girls may fulfil these rules wearing a buoyancy aid or life jacket when either is required for the activity.

Include all: if a girl has a medical condition that will affect her ability to swim, ensure that you inform the instructor and make provision to allow her to participate safely.

The Leader must:

  • make sure that safety rules and alarm signals have been explained to the girls, and the need for instructions to be obeyed immediately
  • make sure the required buoyancy aids/life jackets are used
  • follow water safety guidelines and ensure that the responsible adult helpers are familiar with them.

Water should be inspected for signs of visible pollution, for example rubbish, blue green algae or chemicals.

Make sure girls and parents are aware of the dangers and symptoms of Weil's disease and what action to take if infection is suspected. On the day of the activity participants should be advised to cover cuts and grazes with waterproof plasters to help prevent infection.

See our guidance on water activities.

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed
One instructor to eight participants (this ratio applies to adults taking part as well as younger members).


  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities