Monthly Archives: May 2014

Family days out in Chester

Family days out in Chester

You’ve spent a few hours hanging out in the trees at Delamere Forest. It’s one of the most stunning places in the area, and Go Ape allows you to take in the picture-postcard scenery of Blakemere Lake from high up in the trees. Tiny Tarzans will also be in their element here at the Tree Top Junior Adventure – the perfect way for your little monkeys to enjoy the great outdoors. But after you’ve been to Go Ape, what’s there to do nearby? Well, luckily enough, the trendy city of Chester is just a stone’s throw away, offering plenty of opportunities for you to continue your monkey business, to create memories of those perfect family days out.

Where to go?

The Rows

One of the main reasons visitors are drawn to Chester is to experience the Rows – a series of two-levelled arcades that fan out in every direction from the Central Cross. This, along with Eastgate Clock, has become the most photographed sights in the UK after Big Ben, and it’s easy to see why. The architecture is a stunning mix of Victorian and Tudor, and they house a lovely range of independent shops and boutiques. A far cry from a modern shopping mall, this is the way to shop in style.

What to do?

Walk the Walls

The best way to get a feel for this bustling city and all its character is to walk the two-mile circuit along the walls surrounding the centre. The walls were built by the Romans around AD 70. While they were altered quite majorly in the centuries that followed, they have remained in the same position since 1200. Look down on the old city and overlook Chester Racecourse and the Welsh mountains beyond.

Where to eat?

Chez Jules

When a restaurant is constantly busy, you know it must be doing something right. Chez Jules is reliably good and has a welcoming and buzzing atmosphere. With red checked table cloths and antique-looking chairs, Chez Jules plays homage to a traditional French bistro. Look out for their special lunch and dinner deals as prices can be extremely reasonable – from as little as £8.50 for two courses at lunchtime. As a result, it was voted Top 10 Budget Eats by the Guardian.

And something for a rainy day?

Grosvenor Museum

Perfect for a damp-day look at Chester’s fascinating history. It’s not a huge museum, but it’s home to carefully-picked items that illustrate the city’s history and heritage. What’s more, there’s no charge to get in. There are plenty of collections to look at, but it’s the Roman stuff you’ve probably come here for.

A Day out in Edinburgh

A Day out in Edinburgh

 A Day out in Edinburgh

Planning on swinging in the trees at Go Ape’s highest zip wire, over a jaw-droppingly beautiful reservoir? If you are, you’ve made a great decision. But what do you plan on getting up to before or after your monkey business at Glentress Forest? With the charming town of Peebles just under two miles away, and the world famous city of Edinburgh less than an hour’s drive from the forest, there’s plenty to keep you and your tribe occupied all day long. To help you make your mind up for a great day out in Edinburgh, here’s a few options.

What to do?

Climb Arthur’s Seat

If you have enough energy after your Go Ape adventures, how about visiting Edinburgh’s famous dormant volcano, ‘Arthur’s Seat’? It’s an easily climbable two-hour walk but makes for an exhilarating and (literally) breath-taking experience. The views from the top of the summit (the tallest of Edinburgh’s seven hills) are outstanding; they look out over the sea and the city and are a chance for some cracking Kodak moments. Best of all, the cost of this excursion is zero.

Where to go?

Traquair House

Head five miles southeast of Peebles and you’ll come across the beautiful Traquair House. While not technically a castle, it’s built in the style of a fortified mansion, and is said to be the oldest continually-inhabited house in Scotland. With its fascinating history, it makes for an ideal day out for all the family. Retrace the footsteps of past kings, and look through the collections of old letters and relics. Kids will love the grounds, too, with its adventure playground and maze. If you have time, stop for a brew at the 1745 Cottage Restaurant.

Where to eat?

Bony’s Steakhouse & Grill

If your kids fancy a burger and homemade chips (know any children that don’t?) and you’re after one of the best steaks you’ve ever sampled, head to Bony’s Steakhouse & Grill, situated in Glentress. There’s a great kids menu available with a good selection of home-cooked grub to satisfy those rumbling tummies. The menu’s not restricted to meat, though; there’s a good selection of salads and fresh fish and seafood dishes, such as king prawns, mussels, scallops and mackerel. With a cosy but modern interior and stunning views over the hillsides, what’s not to love?

What to do when it’s sunny?

Go to Portobello Beach

If you fancy unwinding at the seaside before or after burning all that energy at Go Ape, how about relaxing on Edinburgh’s very own beach? Yes, just like Rio Di Janeiro and Barcelona, the Scottish city has a beach! While Edinburgh’s climate may not be identical to the aforementioned cities, there’s plenty to do, come rain or shine. From kite-surfing and blow-karting to picnics and book reading, there’s something for everyone.

And something for a rainy day?

National Museum of Scotland

After a £47-million refurbishment a few years ago, the National Museum of Scotland reopened with its revamped image: 16,000 new galleries and 8,000 objects. From Dolly the sheep to a 12-metre cast of a T-Rex skeleton, the museum makes a fascinating, fun and free way to spend a few hours of the day. The new displays are much more hands-on (which your kids will love) and cover a range of topics – from science and technology to world cultures and transport. Stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes are no longer kept behind glass, so you can really get up-close-and-personal.

Winner at Netmums Outdoor Play Awards

Netmums Outdoor Play Awards

Today at Banana HQ we received some fantastic news. Go Ape Rivington, which is based just outside Bolton, scooped the runners up prize for Netmums Outdoor Play Awards.

This is a fantastic win for us, as the winners are decided by mums, dads and carers who participate on the open forum -Netmums. In fact there are a staggering 1.7million mums, dads and child carers who are registered Netmums members and were eligible to cast their votes in the awards, to find the UK’s best loved outdoor attractions. Which makes this award even more special!

We caught up with our lovely site manager at Rivington, Sam Mason to get his take on the news: “We are delighted to receive this award – it’s wonderful to be recognised for what we do. There’s nothing like seeing families having fun up in the trees and now we hope to welcome even more budding apes after being recognised by Netmums as one of the regions best outdoor attractions.”

The fact that so many mums and dads love Go Ape is great news for children all over the country, and hopefully more will be able to follow in their fellow Tarzans footsteps and head up into the trees. With recent studies finding that modern kids spend only ten per cent of their time playing outdoors, four times less than their parents’ generation! We all think it’s time that children spent more time outdoors wherever that maybe.

Currently at Rivington we have the UK’s number one Tree Top Adventure. Which is suitable for those over the age of 10 years old and above 1.4m tall. However, for all those mini Tarzan’s out there, we have been working hard to build more Tree Top Junior’s. These courses are specifically designed from 6-12 year olds and over 1m tall. Although we do let kids on who are under 6, just as long as they reach the 1m mark. They are scattered all over the country so why not check it out to see if there is one near you!

Everyone at Go Ape and especially Go Ape Rivington would like to thank all you lovely mums, dads and child carers who voted for us in this fantastic award.

A Day Out In The Forest Of Dean for the family

a day out in the forest of dean

a day out in the forest of dean

So you fancy taking on the zip wires, rope ladders and Tarzan swings? Excellent decision. A Go Ape experience is like no other. And if you’re planning an exhilarating trip to Go Ape in the Forest of Dean, there’s certainly no shortage of things for you and your tribe to get up to before or after. With something for all ages, plan your day around your Go Ape adventure. From eating to exploring, there’s something to do whatever the weather.

What to do?

Go bike riding

Although you’ll have witnessed a lot of the beautiful forest from high up in the trees, if you want to see more from terra firma, how about hiring a bike? Pedalbikeaway Cycle Centre offers a wide range of hire bikes (mountain bikes/downhill bikes/leisure bikes), as well as a designated 10-mile family trail. Their café makes the perfect pit-stop if you’re in need of a brew, and they also offer a healthy smoothie menu for the little ‘uns.

Where to go?

Puzzlewood

While you’re in the woods, swing by Puzzlewood. It’s where some of Harry Potter and Dr Who and Merlin were filmed – and its magical enchantment of twisted roots, bridges and moss-covered rocks make it easy to understand why. Have a go at one of the mazes (indoor or outdoor), and you could even partake in a spot of pony riding, if you get the urge.

Where to eat?

The Cock Inn

A stone (or twig’s) throw from Go Ape and you’ll discover the fabulous Cock Inn in Blakeney – a pub that’s perfect for little monkeys and Tarzans alike. A 16th century coaching inn, the owners here will greet you with a warm welcome, hearty food and a huge beer garden (or log fire during the chilly months). From sandwiches to filling main meals, treat yourself after completing Go Ape – you deserve it.

And something for a rainy day?

Clearwell Caves

While Go Ape can be enjoyed come rain or shine, there are other things you can do before or after your monkey business if you want to escape the showers. Clearwell Caves is one of the main attractions in the area and, charging only £21 for a family pass, it won’t break the bank. The caves are completely natural and are some of the UK’s most complex and oldest mines (dating back 4,000 years).

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