Mountain Course & Activity Locations

Lakes Outdoor Experience cover locations across the UK, including North Wales, Scotland and The Lake District to mention but a few. We also offer guided scrambling and traverses on The Cuillin Ridge on The Isle of Skye.

Hell Gill

Hell Gill, Mallerstang, East Cumbria, North Yorkshire.

Hell Gill is on the Cumbria/North Yorkshire border between Wensleydale and Mallerstang which is the head of the Eden Valley. Indeed - Hell Gill is, in fact, the head of the River Eden, which rises on Mallerstang Common, descending south west and passing through the limestone canyon, before turning abruptly north to flow towards Kirkby Stephen and onwards to Carlisle and the Solway Firth.


We meet for our Hell Gill Canyoneering Sessions on the B6259 just south of Aisgill Moor Cottages where a track leads off over the railway. Here, we can park and get you into your canyoneering equipment before beginning the walk-in to the venue which takes about 20 minutes on foot. We enter the limestone canyon via a short downclimb and then we are in; and as we head on downstream, the canyon gets deeper and narrower.

hell-gill-descent.jpgCanyoneering is all about descent - making our way downstream, climbing down waterfalls, jumping down waterfalls in to pools and if necessary, being lowered down waterfalls on a rope.

Although it is not neccesary to be lowered down the waterfalls in Hell Gill, we do use a couple of handlines to help you descend safely whilst assisted by our instructors. After the first handline descent, we continue along the, by now, very narrow canyon, until we arrive at another waterfall that drops in to a deep dark pool.


hell-gill-jump.jpgThis is the Hell Gill jump and a group can be seen about to "take the plunge" in this photo. Although you cannot see the bottom of the pool due to the peaty colouration of the water, it is at least 8 - 9 feet deep. You leap out, though the narrow gap, land in the pool and swim to the far side where you climb down an easy waterfall with no deep pool at the bottom. You will be wearing bouyancy aids so even if you are not a good swimmer, you will be able to swim to the other side of the pool which is no more than about 8 feet in diameter in any case.


Below the jump, the canyon continues with the walls on either side getting ever higher. There are no technical difficulties, just lots of slippery rock to contend with, small pools that you cannot see the bottom of due to the peaty water and a few small climb downs, but nothing at all to worry about.

Eventually, you see the packhorse bridge spanning the canyon overhead and this signals that we are nearing the end of your Hell Gill Canyoneering Experience. Abruptly, the canyon sides lower and the canyon opens right out. We climb up the grassy bank to the left to make our exit.

We then walk the short distance back uphill to cross the packhorse bridge and then back to your vehicles. This walk back takes about 20 minutes.

hell-gill-canyon-exit.jpgFrequently asked questions.

  • What equipment is provided as part of a Canyoneering session? Answer - as part of your fee per person, you get a neoprene wetsuit, a pullover cagoule, a pair of walking boots and a helmet. Basically, so that you can get kitted up like the people in these photos! We also provide buoyancy aids for small children at this venue and we "can" provide some fleece tops if you do not have your own. Please note - we are unable to provide boots larger than adult size 12.

What do I need to bring?  Answer - under the wetsuit: guys - underpants, ladies - swimming costumes, a long sleeved fleece type top or baselayer, either two pairs of long shoe socks or a pair of thick walking socks to wear in the walking boots provided and a towel/change of dry clothing. Also - it is essential you bring a pair of shorts each to wear over the wetsuits we provide - thank you!

  • How long does a half day session last? Answer - up to four hours but most groups get down Hell Gill in much less time.
  • Are there any discounts on your price? Answer - yes. Our price per person for a minimum group size of two is £70.00 each, for three or more persons the price falls to £55.00 each. For six or more persons the price drops to £45.00 each. Bring thirteen or more persons and the price falls to our minimum price of £40.00 each. Children under 16 also receive a discount. Please contact us to enquire.
  • We've booked & paid, but the weather's too cold or wet for our session to run. What happens to our payment? Answer - If we are unable to run your session due to the conditions, then you can either reschedule to another time; or, receive a full refund of your payment.
  • I've never been Canyoneering before. I'm excited but scared at the same time. Will I be able to do it? Answer - don't worry, you'll be well looked after in expert hands and you don't have to do anything you don't want to!

To book your Hell Gill Canyoneering Session, contact us here, now!

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More About Us

Iain GallagherLakes Outdoor Experience is run by Iain Gallagher. Iain was born and brought up in The Lake District by parents who were very keen on the outdoors.

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