Blogging gives us great opportunities, and our experience the other day was no exception. As it’s the school holidays here, it was great timing to be invited along to our local Go Ape centre to try out the brand new Go Ape Junior. So off we went, not really knowing what to expect, but ready to have a great time.
Tree Top Junior allows young adventurers to spend a fun-filled hour exploring the canopy with family and friends. Young Tarzans can make their way through looping obstacles including the spider’s web, log balance, jungle crossing, and finish on a high with an awesome zip-wire. Upon completion of the course, all participants are awarded their very own personalised certificate to take home. Children aged younger than six (who are over one metre tall) are welcome to participate but must be accompanied by an adult. The safety systems are designed so that participants stay attached the whole time.
Sounds amazing doesn’t it? I took quite a few pictures, well as many as was possible, so you can get a real feel for how the experience works. My girls are 7 and 9 and are enthusiastic about things like this, but not really too adventurous. I was intrigued to see how they coped.
Firstly, the safety briefing was thorough, and we signed forms, and all read the safety cards. Then we were put into our harnesses and given all the information we needed to get going. I probably thought we would have a guide with us, but we were attached to the wiring system in an agreed order and sent up into the trees.
You can’t go wrong. The safety system attaches you to the wire and you just follow it through. With 3 loops, of varying difficulties, you can continue on all 3 or just experience 1 and/or 2 followed by a great zip wire trip.
Loop 1 was straightforward, although I did have a few wobbles when we first stepped out onto the wires. Not wanting to show the girls, I buried the anxiety and encouraged them on. Miss R was struggling slightly but pushing through. The zip wire was a real treat. Scary when you first step off the platform, but exhilirating and immense fun.
We were raring to go onto Loop 2. This section is a bit more challenging and doesn’t include hand rails. About half way round I couldn’t persuade Miss R to continue so in the end a member of staff climbed up and helped her along. There is no way back or down, you do have to continue.
At this point, I’d like to say how amazing the staff were. Obviously they came up and helped us when we needed it, but I saw them monitoring everyone in the trees, urging the children forward, talking them through the crossings and generally offering an enthusiastic and professional hand. They gave the children oodles of confidence, making them feel safe, but encouraging their adventurous side. A fine balance.
Miss E went back on her own and completed both Loop 2 and 3 in the end, with another great zip wire ride, and felt so proud of herself.
A huge thanks to Go Ape Junior and their team. We had a wonderful time, and are planning to come back with Dad (who was very jealous when he saw the photos) in the Summer. And if you’re looking for something to do in the Easter holidays why not give it a go.
Go Ape Junior is now open in Sherwood Forest and costs £17 per person per hour. For more information and to book click on the Go Ape Website