Go Ape in Aberfoyle
Wow, what an adventure! The girls have been keen for a while to give Go Ape a go. Our opportunity to fly down zip wires and leap off Tarzan swings came on a recent trip to Scotland. There are 28 Go Ape courses across the UK, and we were guests of Go Ape Treetop Adventures in Aberfoyle, which is zip wire heaven and home to two of Britain’s longest zip wires!
For Tree Top Adventures kids need to be at least 10 years old and over 1.4 meters (4.7 feet) to try, and under 16s need 1 adult supervisor for each “Baboon”. Other Go Apes accommodate younger children, so make sure you check the requirements on the web site.
We had a great time taking on a range of obstacles, walkways and crossings. But don’t just listen to me, here’s my girls’ take on the day …
The rain stopped and we drove the short trip to Go Ape in Queen Elizabeth Park in Aberfoyle. From the outside you can only see huge trees, but once you are inside the car park you can see the beginnings of ziplines. Personally, I love high ropes and I couldn’t wait to start the course, but my youngest sister wasn’t quite so excited and scared to go up into the trees.
When we got started, our instructor, MJ, helped us put on our harnesses and told us how to move between the obstacles using the red and blue carbiners and the pulley (the metal things that connect to the wire and pulls you along). The main message was STAY CONNECTED. Once we completed our mini training course, which focused on changing the carbiners and equipment, we had a final safety briefing and then we were ready to start the course!
We started with the longest zipline in Scotland, which looked very high but once we got on it was very enjoyable, particularly the views were very scenic – flying over gushing waterfalls and flowing rivers.
Once everyone got down from the initial zipline, we started on the first course. We had to climb up a rope ladder to a wooden landing in a tall tree, and then we started on the obstacles and crossings, including wobbly bridges, Tarzan swings (my FAVE – we swung really fast into a net, bounced off, and then climbed off via the net. There were also tunnels (it was funny watching dad doing this) and I think the hardest was the crossing where there were ring loops hanging from a rope (they were very swingy) and you had to put your feet into them. This was very hard because you have to put your big feet into small holes, whilst swinging from the last one. You actually didn’t have to do this one, as it was on the extreme route (my dad decided to take the easy route!)
After five courses, it was time for the highest, most scary looking zipline – the biggest in Scotland, being 150 feet high. I really enjoyed soaring through the forest and it was a great way to end the session.
Go Ape was an amazing experience because it was so fun. There were 6 courses (4 high ropes and 2 really long zip wires, including the longest zip wire in Scotland).
When we arrived we dumped our keys and money and signed in at reception. MJ, an instructor, took us over to the practice bit and our first long zip wire. I really liked how they had examples of the obstacles and you got to practice on the real thing. MJ was good and told us everything clearly. Then we went on a practice rope, that was actually off the ground, and we were off on our first zip line.
I was a little scared at first because it does look kinda scary, but I have been zip lining before and I remembered how fun it is. It was also helped by clear weather (our last couple of days had been really rainy).
Another instructor helped us to get down so we would know how to do it. Then we walked to the next course. They called us fun-sized baboons since we were under 18. Since we were so young, we had to have an adult between every two of us.
The first course went really slowly because of mummy and she didn’t really like it so she decided to watch us do the rest of the course. Luckily Pete was able to continue with us. The next few courses were a blast. One of my favourite things was the Tarzan swing. You jump off the edge, like a zip line, and bounce off a net. But I think my very favourite thing has to be the last zip line. It was so long and fast and the only bad thing was it was over so quickly!
At first I didn’t want to go and I was really scared and nervous. I didn’t see why my sisters were shouting and jumping with joy when they heard we were going to Go Ape.
First we put on our harnesses and went through a safety briefing and instructions on how to use the equipment. It wasn’t too complex and I soon got the hang of it.
It was really fun swinging through the trees like a baboon. Flying through the air on the ziplines was really special and had magnificent views.
We also did obstacle courses up in the trees on platforms and some of these were really fun but challenging. You had a zipline and there was also a Tarzan swing .
You did it all yourself which was really fun (my dad checked me before I went).
Lastly we did a GIGANTIC zipline to round it off – the biggest in Scotland!
It was so fun I want to do it for my birthday party! It was an amazing experience. I would definitely do it again.
IF YOU GO:
Go Ape! Aberfoyle David Marshall Lodge, Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, Aberfoyle, Stirling FK8 3SY Zip wire heaven in Loch Lomond/Trossachs! Set in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park near Stirling, two of the UK’s longest zip wires over 400m long and 150 feet above the ground. The Lodge Cafe has a great menu and features floor to ceiling views of the forest. Prices range from £30 for a gorilla (aged 18 and over) to £24 for a baboon (aged 10 to 17). To book a Go Ape adventure visit www.goape.co.uk or phone +44 0333 331 7264.
We were guests of Go Ape for the purpose of this review. All opinions and editorial are my own and my family’s.