Saturday, 18 February 2017

Monkeying around at Go Ape Delamere

If you are looking for a fun outdoor activity to enjoy this half term, then why not head to your nearest Go Ape, and enjoy a tree top adventure that will have you climbing, zip wiring, scrambling and swinging through the trees!

We recently had the opportunity to visit Go Ape at Delamere, and my husband and daughter who both have a head for heights and a love of all things adventurous, couldn't wait to get started. Mr F will therefore write the remainder of this review based on his experience.

Our experience began on the Go Ape website a couple of weeks ago where we had a good look through all the information to find out exactly what was involved and make sure it was something my daughter would feel confident doing. I was surprised to read that the course takes about 2-3 hours to complete as for some reason I had it in my mind that this would only be a short activity and so it was pleasant to read just how much adventure time we would actually have in the treetops.

The website also featured a great short video that gave you a really good idea of what to expect with clear images of people taking part in the course. I think that this is a great idea, as it leaves no guesswork as to what you may be expected to do, and also allows you to make an informed decision as to whether this activity is something you would enjoy. The course is very high off the ground and not only involves high walk ways but also tarzan swings, and lengthy zip wires so it is definitely best to take a good look at it before participating especially if you have a fear of heights.

The website also features a "Know before you go" section which features the answers to some of the most popular questions that people ask including what you should wear, whether you can bring a camera, when you need to arrive, and also information on the safety systems and harnesses used which is great for customer reassurance.

I was also relieved to see that participants take part in a safety briefing prior to being allowed on the course. It is always great to see that customer safety is a priority and I liked the fact that you take part in a mini course as part of the safety briefing to ensure that you are able to use the equipment confidently and safely.

The website also clearly stated some restrictions for the Tree Top Adventure which were:
  • Minimum age of 10 years
  • Minimum height of 1.4m (4ft 7inches)
  • Maximum weight of 20.5 stone (130kg)
However, there is also a separate Tree Top Junior course suitable for all ages over 1m if you aren't tall enough to participate in the main Tree Top Adventure course.

There is a very easy to use booking system where you can select your required date and it will show you all the available time slots on that day. The booking system is a great idea as this ensures that there aren't too many customers on the course at one time, and this also means that you don't have to wait around too long at each obstacle whilst waiting for others to take part.

Once our booking had been made, we received a confirmation email with our chosen date and time, along with a reference number. We also received two further emails prior to attending to remind us about our booking and also provide some handy hints such as checking the route we would be taking to get there, making sure we arrived in plenty of time and a contact number in case you needed to amend any of your booking details. I also liked the fact that they inform you that there is no need to print off the booking confirmation to help save the trees!

When the day arrived for us to attend Go Ape, we set off with plenty of time and arrived around 40 minutes before our allocated start time of 2pm. Unfortunately we struggled to find a parking space initially which is due to the fact that Delamere Forest is such a popular place to visit and so I would definitely recommend leaving plenty of time to find a space before your slot like we did. If you are lucky enough to find a space straight away, then there is a cafe nearby where you could grab a drink, or simply take a leisurely stroll to the Go Ape hut to pass the time as this is located a short walk away from the car park. It is also important to note that the car park ticket machine is coins only so make sure you have plenty of change on you.

On arrival to the Go Ape hut we gave our names and were shown to the safety briefing area. We were shown how to put on our harnesses, which were then adjusted by the staff for us to make sure they were safe and fitted correctly. The safety briefing lasted around 20-25 minutes and we found it informative and reassuring. There was also the opportunity to ask any questions, so if there is something you are not sure of, make sure you ask it now as there won't be the opportunity once you are up in the trees. Once we were all set and ready to go we headed over to stage one.

We were really excited by this point as the course looked great and was visible from the beginning where we could see ladders and cargo nets. It was initially quite slow to get going as we were part of a group of 8 so it takes some time to get everyone started on the course but it didn't take long for everyone to be spread out and moving at their own pace. There was no pressure to speed up as there was the opportunity for people to pass if need be, and should you encounter any issues then there is a whistle attached to your harness that can be used for emergency assistance.

You are in control of your own safety device so it is important that you are confident in using this, and being responsible for any children that are with you. The course can look pretty daunting to begin with and there are five stages in total that each increase with difficulty as you progress. My daughter really enjoyed the scramble nets and seemed fearless as she made her way across the various parts of the course.

I thought that my daughter would get quite nervous having to climb the ladders and watching the ground appear further and further away, however she climbed these with ease and even boasted that she would be happy climbing three times that height.

We made our way through the course at a steady pace, and I noticed that part way through the course there was a water holder with paper cones so that you are able to grab a drink on your way round. I thought that this was a great idea as I hadn't realised beforehand how energetic the course would actually be, and so the chance to have a refreshment was very welcome indeed. We also saw staff walking around and monitoring the course, obviously keeping an eye out for any issues and ensuring that everyone was ok. The manager addressed us by our names part way through to ask if we were ok, which I feel is a positive as it means that they have taken notice of you as a customer as opposed to just a number and little things like this can help with the experience and make you feel valued as a guest.

We also saw various advertisements around the course, and one that stood out was the suggestion of corporate and workplace bookings, as I feel that Go Ape would be a great place for team building or simply a day of fun away from work. If you work as part of a team in work it is always great to have a day out together and get to know each other outside of work, as well as help to improve on working together and positive encouragement.

As we got nearer towards the end of the course, I was very proud of how well my daughter had done and how she had given it her all throughout the whole afternoon. The only time she showed a slight moment of fear was the long zip wire on the last stage which took a couple of minutes for her to gain the nerve to launch herself down. She was absolutely overjoyed to complete the course and also claims that the zip wire was her absolutely favourite part even if it was a little scary. I also enjoyed the zip wire, however as I neared towards the bottom I ended up turning round so that I was going backwards which made the landing very difficult and my boots ended up being filled with the forest bark.

On completion we made our way back towards the hut, where a staff member was waiting with our certificates. My daughter was pleased that she would have something to take into school to show her friends and it was also something she could add to her memory box.

We managed to complete the course in just over two hours, and had a fantastic afternoon out together. No sooner had we finished, my daughter was already asking whether we could visit some of the other courses that Go Ape have around the country, and I must admit I think I may have caught the Go Ape Bug too!

Booking online is recommended to ensure that you can choose your selected date and slot, and this is very easy to do using their quick book booking system. There are a total of 31 Go Ape locations across the UK, so if Go Ape Delamere is too far away for you, then please check their website to find your nearest adventure location.

In terms of pricing, the Go Ape Delamere costs are split into two prices depending on the age of the participant:

The Baboon rate is £25 which is for children age 10-15
The Gorilla rate is £33 which is for visitors aged 16+

We had a fantastic time and would definitely recommend it to others. I feel that the prices are reasonable based on the fact that this is a fun adventurous experience that you can enjoy with friends or family for a great half day out.

If you would like further information or would like to book a course, then please visit the Go Ape website here or click on the banner below: Go Ape


Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary admission to attend this attraction for the purpose of providing an honest and impartial review. All opinions and photos are my own. This post also contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission should you book an adventure with Go Ape. These small commissions help me to maintain this blog and are greatly appreciated.

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