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Canyoning, Gorge Walking and Coasteering in Scotland

Abseiling down sheer cliff edges with waterfalls tumbling overhead, leaping from rock ledges into natural pools, exploring shorelines without a boat; canyoning, gorge walking and coasteering in Scotland are three of the most exhilarating activities you can experience.

Swift-flowing rivers, natural springs and thunderous waterfalls spilling over rocky precipices and deep gorges slicing through Scotland's tranquil glens and forests provide a natural playground perfect for an adventure holiday. The same is true of Scotland's dramatic coastline where you can scramble over rocky shores, explore secret coves and jump straight into sea.

And they don't just cater to seasoned thrill seekers. Unlike more extreme outdoor sports, canyoning, gorge walking and coasteering are splendid family outdoor activities. After getting kitted out in specialist waterproof gear and safety equipment - supervised by an experienced and qualified instructor at all times - kids can also relish sliding down natural flumes, riding tidal swells and swimming into sea caves.


Canyoning in Scotland is an exhilarating outdoor activity where you can traverse canyons using a variety of techniques, such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and swimming. It's an adrenaline pumping activity to get involved in and is great fun for the whole family. Similar to gorge walking, the minimum age for people to participate is typically 8 years old.

Canyons in Scotland can be found in many regions and locations across the country and boast the ideal terrain for trying canyoning, whilst being surrounded by nature and extraordinary landscapes. From canyoning in Aberfoyle and Perth to Fort William, Pitlochry and more.

Watch our video below to find out more about what you can get involved in whilst canyoning in Scotland.

Gorge Walking

Like its name suggests, gorge walking typically involves walking up and down a river - sometimes gently floating downstream - with plenty of slides and splashing about in plunge pools along the way. In short, it's the perfect introduction to its more adventurous cousin: canyoning.

Gorge walking is a great family-friendly activity, with the minimum age typically being 8 years old. It's also the perfect activity to choose if you fancy an adrenaline-fuelled stag or hen do! Gorge walking is a fun outdoor activity that is great for groups and team building exercises too - help each other as you make your way along Scotland's rivers, with plunge pools, rock scrambling and obstacles to navigate.

Gorge walking


Coastering is best described as an excursion along the fringe of where sea and shoreline meet without using a boat, surfboard or any other type of craft. Breathe in the invigorating salty air and discover the freedom of wild swimming in the North Atlantic. Go with the flow and let yourself be carried by the waves into deep gullies. Clamber up onto rocky outcrops and coastal ledges, and make some heart-racing leaps from high cliff-tops into the surf below.

Coasteering shore


  • Where are the best places to go gorge walking, canyoning and coasteering in Scotland?

Scotland is home to some incredible rugged scenery and rushing rivers that make the perfect place to try out gorge walking. Here are some of the best places for canyoning in Scotland we think you'll love:

  • Is it dangerous to go canyoning, gorge walking or coasteering?

These activities are intense and probably require more nerve than anything. If you want to try any of these activities, there are many businesses across Scotland that have guides who are highly qualified and trained. It is important to follow their guidance and any safety measures they tell you, but above all, have fun! 

  • Is gorge walking a sport?

No. Gorge walking doesn't have a competitive side. Although it is classed as an extreme sport, it is most commonly an enjoyable outdoor acitivity, ideal for family holidays.

  • What do you need to bring with you for canyoning, gorge walking or coasteering in Scotland?

Businesses and providers will give you a wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmets, but it is advised to wear a swimsuit for underneath your wetsuit, and older trainers or footwear that have a good grip. You should also bring a change of warm, dry clothes for afterwards.

  • Is gorge walking the same as canyoning?

Although they are very similar, gorge walking and canyoning are separate activities. Gorge walking is typically making your way through and up a waterfall or gorge. Canyoning is the slight opposite where you typically start at the top of the waterfall or gorge and involves more heights and often ropes.