What is Canyoning? The Definitive Guide

In our latest blog post we are going to answer a question that new adrenaline junkies might be looking for the answer too – What is Canyoning?

This beginners guide to canyoning should give you all the information you need to understand “what is canyoning?”, and convince you to give Scotland’s ultimate adventure a go!

So let’s jump straight in…

What is Canyoning?

Canyoning is an adrenaline-filled and action-packed adventure that takes place in some of the most exquisite and beautiful locations that you can imagine. Adventurers will descend the exposed rock and crystal clear waterfalls of steep mountain gorges. Jumping from ledges into the glistening pools below, abseiling through vertical features that have taken thousands of years to form, and sliding down shoots where the pitch and rolls couldn’t be more perfect.  Canyoning is an experience that will take you up close and personal with a thrilling raw nature that most people will only photograph from an observation point or look down into from the tourist trails above.

You really understand what is canyoning when you slide down your first water feature!

Sliding into the Acharn Canyon

Who is canyoning for?

It would be disingenuous at best, and dangerous at worst, to suggest that canyoning is for everyone – it is not.  Canyoning is not an activity like zorbe football or miniature golf; it is a real adventurous experience where you face real risks. That being said, we are in no way elitist about participation. We have guided people of all shapes and sizes, young and old, navy divers and non-swimmers down canyons across Scotland (we have even guided a totally blind guy down the Dollar and he crushed it!). The one attribute that all these people have in common, in comparison to the muggles taking pictures from behind the handrail, is that they are willing to move out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves. Because sooner or later, the canyon will push you further than you have been before! If you have a reasonable level of fitness and have a sense of adventure, canyoning is the extreme sport for you!

Check out Gemma’s first time canyoning here: Gemma 

What does canyoning involve?

Canyoning is the process of descending a steep fresh water gorge. But what does that mean?

Well… we will get into the canyon, usually at the top, before it gets too steep and make our way down in the most efficient, effective and fun way that we can. This will involve scrambling and down climbing as well as jumping from waterfalls and cliffs into the deep pools below. The canyon jumps will range from 2 to 10 meters depending on which canyon you choose, and how confident you are feeling. We will also abseil the waterfalls and cliffs that are higher than this, or if the pools at the bottom aren’t deep enough to jump into. The final way we descend is by sliding down smooth water features that have formed into shoots, these formations rival any waterpark! What could be better?

All the skills and techniques required to descend a canyon safely are taught by our guides during the brief for each canyon, and are recapped throughout the day. 😉

Where can I go canyoning?

Pretty much everywhere, Scotland is our favourite though. If you are looking for the best canyoning experience in Scotland why not book an adventure filled day with Intrepidus Outdoors.

We hope you enjoyed reading our latest adventure filled blog post and now you know the answer to “What is Canyoning?” Also check out Scotlands top 10 canyons: here

What’s is canyoning? Abseiling, cliff jumping, water slides and adventuring

Abseiling in the Alva Canyon


We, at Intrepidus Outdoors, are an adventure tourism and outdoor education provider based in Edinburgh. We specialise in canyoningcoasteeringmountain biking and hill walking, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland

If you are looking for additional information about adventures from Edinburgh, we have published a number of blogs:

  • 10 reasons to stand up paddle board: here
  • The best breakfast spots in Edinburgh: here
  • The best hotels and hostels in Edinburgh: here
  • Stag Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Planning a Hen Party to Edinburgh: here
  • Top Tips for Backpacking in Scotland: here
  • Edinburgh Stag Party Ideas: here
  • Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Stag Party Outdoor Adventures Edinburgh Essentials: here

If you haven’t already seen the links from our website, check out the Intrepidus Outdoors Trip AdvisorYoutube channelVisit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their amazing outdoor adventures with us!

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!


2 Commercial Street
Floor 2


Phone: 0131 357 1990
Email: info@intrepidusoutdoors.co.uk

Opening hours

Mon - Fri
8:00 to 18:30
Sat & Sun
8.30 to 19.30