Spending more time as a family away from the house is one of the things that has recently shot up to the top of my to-do list. And I’ve been really keen on us spending more time outdoors and in nature whenever possible. So last week I booked my children onto a tree top adventure at Go Ape in Battersea Park.
We specifically looked for a Go Ape site that could offer the Tree Top Junior Adventure, which is suitable for children of all ages, as long as they are at least 1 metre tall. Two of my children met criteria of height. And just to give you an idea, my youngest is only 3cm away from the 1m mark, but aged (nearly) 3, he was definitely too young for it! The more ‘advanced’ (and a lot higher) Tree Top Adventure course is suitable for adults and children who are at least 10 years old or 1.40m tall. None of my children are at that stage yet, so that’s one we’ll be definitely keep in mind for the future. But for now, the Junior Adventure is just what we need!
What is it?
Tree Top Junior offers a course full of canopy exploring, trail blazing, and various obstacles. A few trips back and forth on the zip wire obviously make it an experience that anyone will love! Unless, I suppose, you’re afraid of heights! But even then, the Go Ape staff pride themselves for being able to help their customers conquer their fears. So maybe you could give it a go after all?
As the little one couldn’t go on, and the course takes about an hour to complete, I didn’t go either. But at least I got to enjoy the opportunity to take some photos and videos from the ground (see below).
Is it safe?
If you’re taking your children, one of the first concerns you’ll have is whether the course is safe. And I can reassure that it totally is. The harness keeps you attached to your own individual trolley at all times. You get a safety briefing before you go on and a short little practice on the ground to get you going. When you’re ready to start, an instructor attaches your trolley onto the course, and that is it. You don’t come off it until someone unhooks you at the very end. When your feet are back on the ground!
The Husband did go on the course to help our 5-year-old, but after a while our 8-year-old went off by himself. While we knew he was perfectly safe in the hands of the very experienced and helpful Go Ape instructors, had he finished earlier than his dad, he would have been on the ground unsupervised. Thankfully, I was around, but if you’re going make sure you have enough adults in your party to accommodate scenarios like this.
What do you need?
All you really need are ‘sensible shoes’, so trainers are a winner. No sandals, crocs or open-toe shoes allowed. You can buy gloves on site (at about £3.50 a pair, if I remember correctly), but my children didn’t complain about not having them. And by that I mean that their hands didn’t get hurt or sore! Other than that, remember that you’re wearing a harness, so make sure you choose something loose, comfortable, and weather-appropriate for the day.
If you can, try and travel light. You have to empty your pockets (and can’t carry a back pack) when you’re on the course. Lockers are available on the ground, but they aren’t huge, so try not to take too much with you.
Is there anything else to do for myself or my younger children if we aren’t climbing?
I cannot speak for other Go Ape sites, but I’m so glad we picked Battersea Park! Not only it’s only half an hour away from home, but on a Saturday we also got free parking just outside the park. And the place is SO beautiful! The playground is huge and quite literally amazing! It’s full of zip wires and climbing frames of all kinds. You just can’t go wrong with all the choice available for children of all ages. In fact, before we went I was worried about how I’d entertain the little one. But in the end, I actually struggled to keep him in one place, so I could watch his big brothers climbing on top of the trees!
After all the climbing, we had a nice lunch (and mandatory coffee for the grown-up’s and ice cream for the littlies) and played a game of mini golf. It really is a great place for a nice, family day out, so if you’re in the area make sure to check it out! And if you’re not, it’s definitely a trip to plan when you get the chance!
Have you been to Go Ape? Can you recommend any other locations? Would you consider it as a family activity? Or even just with your partner or friends?