Paul and I have always been rather adventurous as a couple, we used to regularly go rock climbing at a local climbing centre – enjoying nothing better than reaching the tops of the climbing walls and then abseiling down again. We enjoyed a holiday in the lakes hiking with our dog Barney, Paul used to mountain board before we had the kids, I’ve jumped from a plane at 13,000ft to raise money for charity and we loved a Go Ape adventure.
Our children also have our love of adventure, recently enjoying indoor skydiving for the first time, they also love climbing trees, rock climbing (they’ve both tried when attending KidZania and are desperate to try this again properly) and generally love all things adventurous and have little fear.
A few weekends ago now we took them off to have their very own Go Ape Adventure at Ally Pally. This is a recently opened Go Ape at Alexandra Palace, currently they only has a junior circuit but an adults one will open soon.
I tried to prepare the children for our adventure by showing them YouTube videos of children on the trail…this backfired on me as for all that morning Harry was determined he wouldn’t do it and it was too high and scary. Undeterred we went anyway and assured him if he really didn’t want to go up then he didn’t have to but we knew he would love it.
On arrival the lady on the desk checking us in was amazing with Harry, I told her he was a little worried and had changed his mind. She came out to talk with him, getting down to his level and explained that if he didn’t want to he didn’t have to but asked if he would like to have a go on the small practice area, that was it – his mind was changed and he couldn’t wait to harness up with Emmy and Paul. Although this was the junior trail because Harry was under 6 he needed an adult to go on with him.
Everyone has to go on the practice beams to make sure they know how to move their guide ropes around the course. Everyone is harnessed up and clipped onto the course, once attached to the course there is no need to remove the clip which keeps you safely on the equipment until you reach the far end of the course (so no fear of the children not attaching it properly and falling – this is not possible).
They all whizzed through the practice beams and were ready for the real course, there are two courses 1 and 2, 1 being the easier of the two.
Once on the course Harry was worried again, it’s high in the trees and to step on the beams you need to look down at your feet to see where to place them which of course means looking down at the ground. He wanted to get off almost immediately clinging to Paul or a tree tightly, Emmy on the other hand loved it instantly.
Things changed for Harry when there was a part of the course he could lift his feet up and Paul whizzed him along the course and Harry swung from his rope to the other side – after that there was just NO stopping him and he rejected Paul’s help and went solo across the course, running parts of it as he was having so much fun.
Just when neither child thought they could enjoy this anymore than they already had, the end of the course came and the zip line! The best part for both of them.
The course has a great mix of things to do, from small stepping logs/platforms to zig zagged harder ones which require greater care and more concentration.
Even Paul loved it, although as it is designed for children he had to bend down in places.
You book into a time slot, and when you start you have the time written on your wristband, you then have an hour to complete the course – this means depending on how quickly you do it (and how quick those before you are) you can go round at least 2 times if not more. We only managed twice as Emmy needed the toilet and there isn’t one on the site (you have to go round the corner to the public ones by the café), Harry would have happily carry on all day long as loved it just that much.
We are already planning another Go Ape adventure with friends at the Trent Park site and highly recommend it to all.
Go Ape Tree Top Junior trails are for children aged 6-12 years, but if you have a younger child they can still go on if they are over 1 metre tall but will need to accompanied by a full paying adult to help them. Over 12’s can also go on but would be better suited to the Tree Top Adventure trail which is suitable for ages 10 and over.
You can watch our video of the children’s Go Ape Tree Top Adventure to see just how much fun they had:
Please visit the website to find your nearest Go Ape Tree Top Adventure – goape.co.uk
Disclaimer: We received tickets in exchange for an honest review