Canyoning vs Coasteering

This is a question we often get asked by would-be adventurers.

If you are thinking of heading out on an adventurous activity, but can’t pick between canyoning and coasteering. This is our answer; hopefully it will help you make up your mind.

Don’t know what coasteering is or what canyoning is? Check out our respective articles to hear our full explanation!

Canyoning vs Coasteering | Which is better?

Canyoning and coasteering are similar in the sense that they are both combined rock and water activities that will give you an adrenaline-fuelled day out.  However, each activity is suited to different individuals and groups. Coasteering is a really inclusive adventure that is great if you have a mixed ability group of friends, whereas canyoning requires everyone to jump, slide or abseil, you cannot stop and walk around anything that is scary!

We have broken down canyoning and coasteering into areas that we get most questions about, and given you details about how these factors should influence your choice. Here it is, Canyoning vs Coasteering!

The Factors 

Group Size  – How many people?


We believe that canyoning is better with a slightly smaller group size, anything up to 14 people is ideal. This is because canyoning involves lots of abseiling down waterfalls and jumps into pools, which can only be performed one at a time. Therefore if you have a larger group, there is a little more waiting around for the others on these technical sections. In order to maintain focus on this amazing, exciting and technical adventurous activity, our advice would be to cap the group at around 14 people per session.


Coasteering is great for every sized group! Because we are not in the same enclosed environment as the canyon, we have the flexibility to cater for larger groups by everyone moving through sections at the same time. This therefore allows all group members to remain engaged and focused throughout the activity.

What is better coasteering or canyoning? | Listening to the safety brief | The Shell Bay coasteer | This people will know |

The Shell Bay coasteer

Group type – Stag, Hen, Students, Tourists? Who is this for?


We deliver canyoning for almost everyone! Stag and hen parties on a weekend away to Edinburgh, adult groups touring Scotland and students from around the world. The one thing all the people that we take on canyoning adventures have in common is a sense of adventure, and a desire to step out of their comfort zones. Because canyoning will certainly do that!


Coasteering really is for everyone who is looking to get a little wild on the Scottish coastline. If you a looking to jump off high cliffs and swim through large swell coasteering is for you. However, it is equally accessible for those people that aren’t as interested in jumping off sea cliffs, but are just looking to explore Scotland in a new and exciting way.

Canyoning v coasteering? These girls and guys chose canyoning!

Looking down into the Bruar Falls

Jumps, Jumps, Jumps


People always want to know about jumps! And for good reason, jumps are great. Canyons have jumps; Exciting, atmospheric and amazing jumps. But, canyons also have abseils and natural waterslides that surpass any man-made water park.

The point is this, most canyons have jumps, but canyoning isn’t all about jumping. If you and your friends are really interested in jumping, give us a call and we can take you to an absolute jump-fest of a venue. Just don’t disregard the other amazing features that canyoning adventures have to offer.


Now coasteering has a lot of jumps! Small jumps, tall jumps and jumps that are perfect for a silly salmon or a flying ninja kick. Jumps at our commercial coasteering venues range from 30cm to 10 meters and will not disappoint. It is important to remember that our experienced staff team will coach you as to the correct jumping technique and all jumps are optional, there is always the option to ease yourself into the water.

What is better canyoning or coasteering?

Jumping at Shell Bay | Coasteering

Swimming Ability – Do I need to be able to swim?


Swimming is desirable but by no means essential to canyoning. We often take non-swimmers. Let us know during the booking process and our guides will keep an extra close eye on you.


Equally, we often take non-swimmers coasteering. You will be kitted up in a wetsuit and personal floatation device, so are more buoyant that you can imagine.

Canyoning v Coasteering

Swimming at our favourite coasteering venue near Edinburgh

The Cold – Will I be cold?


Ultimately you are spending the day adventuring down a Scottish river gorge. However, we invest in good equipment that we look after; no rips in the bum or broken zips that let the water in for you. The majority of people finish the canyoning adventure saying that they were much warner than they expected to be and they didn’t think about being cold once.


The majority of groups cannot wait to get into the water once we reach the first beach, and don’t look back! Our wetsuits and wetsuit socks are designed to keep people warm in the Scottish sea.

Wildlife | what will we see?


We canyon at some cool places, some locations are even Sites of Special Scientific Interest for the flora and fauna. However, other than the occasional dipper (rare bird), you are unlikely to see anything more exciting in the canyon.


Coasteering is the activity for the wildlife. It is not uncommon to see seals, porpoises and dolphins playing around you or watching on curiously.

Enjoyment and Adrenaline


If you are looking for a real adventure, canyoning will not disappoint. You will spend the day adventuring down one of the most incredible environments that you can imagine, jumping into clear mountain pools, abseiling down waterfalls and sliding down natural water features. Canyoning is truly Scotland’s ultimate adventure.


Coasteering is an awesome day out adventuring at the seaside, jumping from cliffs, swimming choppy channels and exploring caves. It is the perfect outdoor activity for everyone with a sense of adventure.

Canyoning at the Dollar Fall in Edinburgh

Sliding in to the Dollar Canyon


Canyoning and coasteering are both great adventurous activities and which ever choice you make; you will be having an exciting day. As we have explained in this article, the choice between canyoning and coasteering really comes down to which activity would better suit your group. If you have any questions about which activity would be more suitable for yourself and your friends, give us a call.

Check out our canyoning and coasteering tours from Edinburgh.

Intrepidus Outdoors

Intrepidus Outdoors specialises in Outdoor Activites Edinburgh. We are a adventure tourism and outdoor education provider based in Edinburgh. We specialise in canyoning, coasteering, mountain biking and hill walking, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland and the North of England. The experiences that we provide take clients into some of the most exquisite, incredible and extreme environments the UK has to offer.

Mission Statment :

To deliver the highest quality adventurous experiences to entertain, thrill and inspire.

Outdoor Activities Edinburgh & Scotland

Our values reflect those of a business started by a small group of rock climbers and mountain bikers. The experiences that we have had adventuring, and our passion for the outdoors, has led us to choose a lifestyle dedicated to sharing our love for the outdoors with others. The approach that we take to the experiences that we provide, and the business that we run, is that of sustainability, and an unapologetic quest for quality.

For us at Intrepidus Outdoors, we recognise that our experiences kayaking in clean rivers, surfing on unpolluted beaches and climbing frozen waterfalls have contributed to who we are as people. Therefore, protecting the planet so that the next generation of adventurers can have their own experiences, is hugely important for us. We believe that for people, communities and businesses to make the choice to minimise their impact on our planet, they must first value the planet that we have. We feel that the best way for people to value our blue planet, is to have first hand quality experiences in nature. They can then see the beauty of a forest, feel the power of an ocean and learn to love what is outside our towns and cities, so that they then fight to protect them. We strive to through the products that we deliver make a small difference to peoples understanding of the impact that they have on our world.

Our experiences adventuring have made us who we are and Intrepidus Outdoors is a reflection of us. We provide real adventurous experience that we hope you will cherish.

Adventure Activities Edinburgh & Scotland

There are cities where stuff is happening all year round and where you will never get bored. Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of these cities. It’s an extraordinary place, full of history, festivals, impressive architecture and plenty of attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Not to mention that we are located on the door step of so many amazing adventures and outdoor experiences.

We would like to introduce you to this extraordinary city, giving you a full range of possibilities that can be found north of the wall! Edinburgh has a huge dose of beautiful history, world-famous festivals, fantastic attractions, adrenaline fuled expereinces and great food. Edinburgh is calling you and you simply cannot refuse its invitation.

There are a many outdoor and adventurous experiences to be had in Edinburgh. If you are a thrill seeker visiting Edinburgh and interested in a canyoning, coasteering or mountain biking adventure in Scotland, Get In Touch!

Outdoor Adventures Scotland

It’s no secret that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From the rural coastlines to vast mountain ranges, we have it all.

Whatever kind of experience you’re after you’re sure to find it here, so we’ve put together an adventurer’s guide to Scotland to help get you started. Our guide breaks down all the outdoor activities Edinburgh has to offer and many more adventures to keep you entertained on your holdiay.

To read more check out our adventures guide to Scotland [here]

Check out our Trip Advisor, Youtube channel, Visit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventure with Intrepidus outdoors and to see what we do!


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