Go Ape scares me and thrills me all at the same time – anyone else?
Taking best friend Chelsea to Go Ape at Temple Newsam, just 40 minutes from Harrogate, we were both a bundle of excited nerves but we were ready to take on the Tree Top Challenge. It was a glorious day and at the start of the summer holidays which meant the car park was full to bursting! So my first top tip is to get there with enough time to find a parking space and nip to the loo as it’s about seven minutes’ walk from the Go Ape cabin.
Lockdown measures at Go Ape
As we were still in lockdown, but with restrictions lifted and outdoor adventures like Go Ape opening back up, it was good to see a lot of the measures in place to keep participants safe. We were also well communicated to in the lead up to our booking with regular emails and updates on what to expect and even filled in our health & safety forms online 24hours prior to our booking so there wasn’t any paperwork being passed back and forth during registration. During the day it became apparent that it was hard to keep socially distanced due to a number of people walking about the site. However, the instructors did keep to the 2m rule and wore visors when checking your harness. Plus at the start of every course, there was hand sanitiser for you to use.
In our group of 10 people, we went through the instructor’s safety briefing and kitting up which takes around half an hour (so you’ll thank me for my earlier tip about the toilet) before we had a go on a small teaser course and boy did the adrenaline kick in! I wanted more… get me on the big course.
My second tip is to wear comfortable clothing and, during this time, leave as much as you can in the car. They do have plastic boxes available for your car keys, which they will hold in the main cabin, unless you have a pocket.
Go Ape at Temple Newsam use a permanent belay which means you are constantly attached until you come back down to earth and slide off the wire. Along with the belay we also had a safety line that you are responsible for attaching, detaching, and reattaching when you come to a crossing point.
Family fun in Leeds
Yes, of course, it’s family-friendly. Go Ape has two courses at Temple Newsam one for kids and beginners and one for adults who love adventure. The adult course consists of six different courses. To complete all of them can take up to two to three hours! The courses range from manageable stepping stones that wobble high up in the air, to thrill-seeking zip lines and The Tarzan swing and The Plummet.
There is no obligation to do every course but once you start a course you will need to finish it as you are attached and committed to a one way system. Some of the course can be challenging but often the course offers an alternative, easier route for those who’s comfort zones have been pushed to their limits.
How much is Go Ape?
A pass to the Tree Top Challenge start at £25 which isn’t bad for a days activity. Or it’s from £22 if you opt for the Tree Top Adventure+ which takes around an hour to complete.
All in all I LOVED it! I’m petrified of heights, always have been but weirdly I know that if I push through it my fear becomes less and I really enjoyed this experience. Have you been to a Go Ape? Which one? Where should I go next?
Temple Newsam, Leeds
My last top tip would be that when you’re done, slip the harness off and head over to the Manor House, a truly impressive Tudor-Jacobean mansion described as one of the best stately homes in Britain – you could even take a picnic.