If you’re looking for somewhere fun to go with the kids during the summer hols, then you might want to consider Go Ape at Grizedale, in the Lake District.
We’ve been aware of Go Ape for a fair few years – every time we’re in one of those places with local attraction leaflets, Flea picks up a Go Ape leaflet and looks at me with puppy eyes. But it’s always been a “no” because you have to be ten to take part in most Go Ape activities.
So you cannot imagine the joy and excitement in this house that greeted the news that Go Ape had opened a brand new Junior Tree Top Adventure in Grizedale, just an hour or so from where we live. Flea might have actually screamed a little upon hearing that kids aged 6 and up can take on this tree top challenge. Oh yes.
We were invited to go and try the new course when it opened last month, and so Flea and I headed off for Grizedale, accompanied by Flea’s best friend, Z.
The centre is in the heart of the Lakes, and the surrounding scenery is just gorgeous – there are plenty of walks, an awesome adventure playground and a cafe where you can get something to eat, or take on a picnic (although beware, the mobile signal here is very poor, and some days the cafe can’t accept debit cards, which means you’ll leave with two very hungry children).
Upon arriving, you check in at the Go Ape office and the kids get to read the rules, and are fitted with harnesses by the experts. If you’re me, this is the point at which you will unceremoniously be told that eight is old enough to do Go Ape by yourself, thank you very much, and your job is to stand on the ground, being a bit bored and sad because you LOVE tree top adventures. Sigh…
Once the kids are all roped up, off they go to the structure, where they’re clipped on to a wire that they remain attached to throughout the experience. The course involves all sorts of climbing, balancing and jumping obstacles, with two levels – the first is lower, and all on one level, then kids can (if they choose) progress to a second, higher level that’s more challenging.
Needless to say, my two little monkeys did both levels, many, many times. The children get an hour to go around the course but it was a quiet day and I suspect my two were so full of joy at the whole affair that the staff were extra generous and let them go round for almost two hours.
Our only negative point is also a positive – the staff are incredibly patient with nervous little ones who aren’t sure they want to go down the final zipwire on the course. This is of course lovely but does meant that some quite long queues can build up – meaning a bit of waiting around for older kids like Flea. Having said that, the kids who were coaxed to jump were so delighted with themselves afterwards, it’s hard to be churlish about it and it means even nervous kids can have a fab day out here.
Flea and Z had absolutely no qualms about leaping off the various platforms around the course and pronounced it the best fun EVER. At £17 a head, I think the pricing is fair, and I’m just really pleased that younger children can now join in with Go Ape adventures. Hurrah!
Here’s a little video of Flea on the zipwire. That child is fearless.