The city of Edinburgh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland and boasts a rich variety of dining, artistic, and cultural experiences. There are also a huge variety of outdoor experiences near Edinburgh.


One of the more unique experiences to be had is the exciting new adventure sport of canyoning. Canyoning is an outdoor activity that involves descending through a narrow gorge following a stream or river pathway. To descend the canyon, participants must use a variety of techniques which may include walking, swimming, climbing, jumping, and abseiling (rappelling) down waterfalls. Canyons can vary in their difficulty, from deep, slot like canyons with long abseils, to canyons with gentle gradients which offer a more playful journey down the river. There are canyoning adventures for beginners up to experienced canyoneers close to Edinburgh. The main canyoning locations near Edinburgh are Dollar Canyon and Alva Canyon. These gorges are located in the Ochil Hills, which are just a short drive from Edinburgh. Their positioning allows for sweeping views across the countryside and offers some of the best canyoning experiences in Scotland.


Dollar Glen, only a 50-minute drive from Edinburgh, is nestled in a lush, protected woodland which stretches up towards the picturesque ruins of Castle Campbell. This medieval castle, built in the 14th century, was visited by many important historical figures including Mary Queen of Scots in 1563. The castle was originally named Castle Gloom, derived from the Scottish Gaelic word glom, meaning "chasm", and referring to the narrow gorges to either side of the castle which were thought to act as a kind of mote. The larger of these gorges is now known as Dollar Canyon. Despite being referred to historically as a chasm, this is a beginner friendly canyoning trip, and there are many peaceful pools easily accessible along the canyon where locals and visiting outdoor enthusiasts come to cool off during summer.


The 2-hour Dollar Canyon trip starts with a series of fun slides, jumps and ziplines down small waterfalls into plunge pools. All the features are optional and easy to walk around in this top section. As participants venture further downstream the canyon walls start to narrow and rise until they reach the top of a series of impressive waterfalls, the largest measuring around 13 metres. The canyon then opens out again for an adventurous gorge walking section with some small jumps until you reach the deepest part of the canyon. Here the water flows down into a large slanting chasm, and the old remains of a walkway suspended on the canyon walls can be seen at the bottom. After an exhilarating descent into the slot, you scramble up the bank and make your way through a beautiful broadleaf forest back to the carpark.


Another canyon near Edinburgh, just ten minutes along the road from Dollar Glen, is Alva Canyon. Alva, or allmhagh in Gaelic meaning "rocky place", is a steeper, narrower gorge than Dollar and offers a more advanced canyoning experience. Alva Glen was historically used to funnel the towns water supply down from the large reservoir up in the Ochil Hills and the remnants of the original pipeline can be seen in the lower gorge. Further up the glen a break in the deep ravine reveals smugglers cave. Smugglers used to hide their goods in the cave to avoid tax. If you scramble down into it, you can see a hidden waterfall which spouts out of a narrow gap in the cave wall.


The 3-hour Alva Canyon trip starts a short walk above smugglers cave with a spectacular zipline down through a waterfall into the slot before popping out into the cave. After this point the canyon becomes deep and committing, and completely invisible to any passers-by on the path above. The pools are not deep so jumping is not possible and all waterfalls must be abseiled. Therefore, prior experience of abseiling is highly recommended before doing this canyon trip. The canyon builds up to a spectacular 30 metre corkscrew waterfall. This is the highlight of the trip and why it is one of the best canyons in Scotland. The water bounces side to side between carved out bowls in the rock and plunges you in and out of the water flow as you abseil down. This canyon is perfect for people who love exploring the outdoors and those seeking the thrill of adventure. However, all types of canyoning adventure provide an exciting new way to explore places of natural beauty that are usually hidden from the public eye. Here in Scotland, we are very fortunate to be able to access such unique outdoor experiences so close to Edinburgh and many of our other main cities. Canyoning is an experience that makes any trip memorable and should be on everyone’s holiday hit list while they are visiting Edinburgh.


Canyoning is a perfect mix of different outdoor activities. But although canyoning uses a mixture of skills it has its own specific way to do things. It involves rock climbing skills, as there is often abseiling and rappelling. Swimming is an important part as most canyons have water in them.

Canyoneering is an adventure activity. It combines rock and water activities into a sport full of adrenaline and natural beauty. When you go canyoning you will be trekking through river gorges. You will also explore around rock pools and behind waterfalls. You will find yourself abseiling down waterfalls as well as tackling cliff jumps into stunning water rock pools.


At The Canyoning Company we pride ourselves on achieving and maintaining the highest standard of Canyoning certification as we can.

Providing training and resources to a range of private sector and public sector organisations we also provide help with outdoors training, health and safety as well as knowing how to make your adventure a memory to remember.




ACHARN CANYON Acharn, Loch Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Discover / Family“It’s got it all! With an epic finish” Based along the shores of Loch Tay is Acharn Canyon. This is a really fun, non-committing gorge which will be sure to leave you with big smiles. Acharn Canyon has some fun technical jumps and one awesome natural…


ALVA CANYONAlva, Stirlingshire, ScotlandAdvanced“One of the best slot canyons in Scotland” Alva gorge is a fantastic, committing slot canyon situated close to Stirling. This trip is a real exploration of discovery. The canyon involves numerous rappels including a zip line into smugglers cave. The penultimate waterfall ‘corkscrew falls’ will leave you totally buzzing. This canyon…


BRUAR CANYON Bruar, Perthshire, ScotlandDiscover / Family“Scotland’s Classic” 15 mins from Pitlochry the famous Bruar Falls flows through the Atholl Estate. Bruar is a very special place for canyoning in Scotland. Its first descent was over 20 years ago, and was one of the first canyoning venues opened in Scotland. It has exquisite waterfalls and…


TUMMELL CANYON Loch Tummel, Perthshire, Scotland Advanced“Our Newest canyon, lots of awesome abseils” Hidden along the shores of Loch Tummel, Perthshire is Tummel Canyon. This is a really fun, true canyoning experience. We opened Tummel Canyon in April 2018, it is more technical canyon with 14 abseils, the biggest waterfall is 22m. If you want…


DOLLAR CANYON Dollar, Stirlingshire, ScotlandDiscover / Family“A stunning slot canyon, with everything to offer!” Dollar canyon is one of our most popular trips. It is great for beginners or intermediates and just 45 minutes from Edinburgh. Dollar canyon is very accessible and holds some awesome features; with jumps up to 5 meters, epic natural water…



We are here to help make your outdoor adventure experience an amazing memory to enjoy so, please get in touch for all the information you need.

Dunaird Coach House, St. Mary's Rd, Dunkeld, PH8 0BJ

9am - 6pm Mon - Fri | 830am - 7pm Sat - Sun

Dunaird Coach House, St. Mary's Road, Dunkeld, PH8 0BJ

Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm | Sat - Sun 830am - 7pm