We were recently asked to go and visit Go Ape and report back on our findings. In case you haven’t heard of Go Ape it’s the most amazing tree top adventure and there are various sites around the UK, the closest one to us is Go Ape Leeds Castle so we set off for a 4.30 appointment and luckily for us it was a beautiful sunny day (good for photos).
You drive into the grounds of Leed’s Castle and the Go Ape reception is right by the car park and very easy to find. We made our way over and were asked to sign forms and acknowledge all of the safety procedures.
I was able to leave my sunglasses and purse in a bag at reception to pick up later and I was asked not to take photos on my smartphone whilst in the trees, again for safety reasons – if it drops on someone below it would really hurt.
So with my camera across my body and family in tow we made our way to the Junior Tree Tops starting point.
We were fitted out with harnesses and once again the Go Ape staff ran us through important safety procedures before allowing us to start the trail.
Dad and I decided to top and tail our party with the twins in the middle and dad led followed by Alice.
We arrive at our first departure point and stretching out in front of us are two ropes linked with planks of wood, a wire to hold onto as you walk and the wire where your harness travels at shoulder height (it’s for kids after all) dad and Alice shoot off, Alice better at it and more confident than poor dad who has to ask her to slow down. Then it’s me and Bessie.
Bessie looks at it and freaks out, completely refusing to take another step, ‘I’m frightened mummy.’ ‘I don’t want to do it.’
We hadn’t even started yet and I wanted her to try so taking the first steps across, I led the way one hand holding hers the other holding on to the wire for dear life.
It is a bit nerve wracking stepping out seeing the ground a long way off below you but I kept holding onto Bess and coaxing her across the rope bridge to the other side.
When she arrived I congratulated her and repeatedly told her how clever she was. she picked up and slowly slowly she gained confidence as we walked around.
I noticed other mum’s having similar problems at various stages of the course but all managed to help their children out and complete the course.
The course is made up of 3 loops, the first one is an easier course with wires to hold on to, specifically put there until you gain confidence.,for this reason you repeat the loop twice. In fact once Bessie had gained her confidence there was no stopping her.
The third loop is slightly more difficult with no wire to hold on to but we all managed.
The best part of course is at the end of each loop you get to zipwire down to the bottom. I was a bit scared first time round to let go and throw myself off the platform but I did and actually I loved it.
We loved it.
The girls unhooked at the end pleading to have another go. They couldn’t because we were the last customers of the day but they made us promise to take them back at some point.
We had a fantastic time and would thoroughly recommend the Go Ape experience. I think for first timers it’s best if the children are accompanied, I imagine next time we’ll be able to let the twins go alone, much to dad’s disappointment.
Costs £17.00 per child, same rate applies for accompanying adult.
there is also a more advanced Tree Top adventure for older kids.
All details here Go Ape
Disclosure: We were offered 1 adult and 2 children’s places for the purpose of this review