Monthly Archives: March 2015

We Spend How Much Time At Work?!

Family Free Time at Go Ape

Here are some (slightly scary) stats for you: the average Brit spends just over 2,000 hours at work every year. Over a lifetime, that equates to around 99,000 hours, which is a whole 11 and a half years of constant slog. Imagine that.

Plus, that’s before we even factor in things like overtime. Or all of those hours we spend behind the wheel in gridlock traffic on the commute into work; before having to do it all over again on the drive home. We spend most of our waking hours in the office, so it’s really important we make all those in-between hours count.

Free time is golden, sacred…call it what you will. It’s time spent exactly how we want to spend it, away from work and any other commitments. And, in our opinion, free time is best spent with others!

Yes, OK, so a little alone time every now and then is important. But, free time is precious, and if you’re spending every minute of it sat in front of the TV or surfing the web on your smartphone, you’re simply not making the most of it. The average person spends five years of their life browsing the Internet and a whole 11 years watching TV. That really doesn’t leave a lot of free time left, does it?

Compare the amount of time we spend watching TV and surfing the web to some other activities: we spend 115 days of our lives laughing and 658 hours being romantic with our partners. Well, in our opinion, that’s simply not enough!

We need to cut back on TV, step away from our screens and make those hours and minutes matter by spending them with the people we love.

In your next bit of free time, whether it’s this evening or this weekend, think of ways you can spend it together. If the weather is good, why not head out for a bike ride or an afternoon stroll? If you look out of the window and decide that it’s definitely an indoor day, then why not cook a meal together with your friends, or have a ‘crafternoon’ with your kids?

If you’re feeling a little tired and worn after a week at work, it’s very tempting to crawl into bed, pull the duvet over your head and switch off from the world. But, instead of doing that, round-up your friends for a relaxed night in and much overdue catch up. You’ll feel much better for it.

Quality time is free time spent with the ones we love.

Seeing as we spend most of our waking hours sat behind a desk, when we get some free time to spend with our friends and family, it’s important that we make every second count.

Celebrate Free Time

Are you looking for an activity the whole tribe can get involved in? Look no further than Go Ape. Our tree-top obstacle courses are the perfect place for you to spend some quality time with your friends and family. You’ll be tackling high ropes, tricky crossing and zip wires during your adventures: that’s free time well spent, if you ask us!

Have you entered our #CelebrateAdventure competition yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Simply tell us who you would like to celebrate adventurously with and you’ll be in with a chance to get your hairy mitts on £1,200 worth of kit from Mountain Warehouse.

5 Crazy UK Festivals You Need To Know About

Crazy UK Festivals

We’re all familiar with the mainstream music festivals, but summer brings an array of weird but wonderful celebrations that are definitely worth checking out. I’ve asked the Go Ape team for their favourites and we’ve narrowed it down to our favourite five!

So pack your sunglasses (and wellies!) and get on down to…

1. Geckgo, North Wales

A beautiful mix of extreme sports and live music, Geckgo allows you to try out skateboarding, rock climbing or, for the absolute adrenaline rush, skydiving-all whilst enjoying the beautiful North Wales landscape. If you would rather be an observer than a participant, there are martial arts demonstrations and competitions allowing you to experience the action from the beer tent.

Holi Festival of Colour2. Holi Festival of Colours, London

Inspired by the traditional Hindu Holi Spring Festival celebrating goodness over evil, the Festival Of Colours was born in Berlin in 2012 and now spreads it’s love across 4 European cities every summer.

The organisers encourage attendees to wear white to make the colours even more vibrant, then every hour the partygoers are given a countdown before shaking their bags of powder paint in the air, creating a sea of technicolor hues.

Dancing amongst dazzling clouds of rainbow coloured powder on a summer day is an uplifting experience, bringing people together no matter what their background.

3. Mudfest Airfield Anarchy, Nottinghamshire

Not for the faint hearted amongst you! This is a 2 day event which sees 5,000 participants taking on up to 100 obstacles across miles of unforgiving terrain depending on which package you go for.

Those taking part will need to climb scramble nets, tackle rope swings, wade through mud pits, tackle water obstacles, crawl through tunnel systems and clamber over hay bale towers but, hey, it’s all in the name of charity folks!

For the spectators amongst you there are some great bands lined up, and an Urban Attack sprint course to watch.

Wilderness Festival4. Wilderness, Oxfordshire

For those wanting a more chilled summer experience, with perhaps some new skill learning opportunities thrown in, Wilderness is for you.

There is definitely a feeling of ‘discovery’ at Wilderness, whether you have always fancied trying out tightrope walking, perfume making, ukulele strumming or learning how to Tango.

And if you want to get away from the hub of activity, you can check out the activities on offer such as fly-fishing, horse riding or archery. Take a break from it all with yoga and meditation classes and wellbeing sanctuaries. Food and drink-wise, there are long table banquets offering a feast of world-class cuisines. Plus you can wash it all down over at the Champagne Orangery or the ethnically aware Coffee Camper before you check out the Talks and Debates tent.

One not to miss! Check out the Explorer Camp with journalists, film makers and the crazy adventurers of the world sharing their stories and anecdotes.

Secret Garden Party5. Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire

With a different theme every year, no two Secret Garden Parties will ever be the same, and 2015 sees ‘Childish Things’ come into swing.

What makes this festival stand out from the others is the sheer imagination put into the various events taking place all around the site.

The main stage, aptly named ‘where the wild things are’ is a visual feast of entwined tree trunks and branches lit for dramatic effect. There is a lake, which you can sail a boat across to reach the other side of the festival, no doubt to embark on your next sensory adventure!

With a great emphasis on discovery and eccentricity you could come across hidden stages, a pig race, or a ninja-training ring. With 99% of festival-goers choosing outrageous fancy dress, there’s even more the reason to let go of your inhibitions and embrace the craziness!

Are You Brave Enough?

Are You Brave Enough? Celebrate Adventure

Are you always on the hunt for your next adrenaline fix?

We like to think we’re pretty adventurous here at Go Ape, and we’re always willing to try new things. But, the other day we laid our eyes upon some photos of people taking ‘adventure’ to a whole new level. Whether these people are fearless heroes or just complete bonkers…we still haven’t decided yet.

The below daredevil endeavours will make your heart stop, jaw drop and legs tremble. The big question is: are you brave enough?

1. Portaledge camping

Portaledge Camping

(Photo credit: Corey Rich/Getty Images)

Have you ever booked a hotel stay, specified a room with a view and ended up on the ground floor overlooking the staff car park? We know we have. But, with portaledge camping, a breathtaking view is guaranteed every time! However, we don’t recommend trying this if you’re prone to rolling around in bed at night.

2. Climbing redwoods

Climbing Redwoods

(Photo credit: Michael Nichols/National Geographic Stock)

Now here are two men after our own hearts! It seems they too understand how fun it is to be up in the trees. But, what they’re doing is slightly more extreme than what’s on offer at our Go Ape obstacle courses. Judging by the picture, it’s less a case of tree hugging, more a case of tree hanging-on-for-dear-life.

3. High-altitude biking

High-Altitude Biking

(Photo credit: Wizzed)

If tackling some gnarly downhill trails simply isn’t enough for you, then how about some high-altitude biking? These guys have certainly got some guts – we wonder if they pulled wheelies along any of the ledges…

4. Extreme Kayaking

Extreme Kayaking

(Photo credit: Desre Tate/Barcroft Media /Landov)

‘Don’t look down’ they tell us. But, when you’re perched on a peak of Victoria Falls with a paddle and kayak by your side, it’s probably best to peer over the edge a couple of times before taking the plunge (literally).

5. Extreme picnicking

Extreme Picnicking

(Photo credit: Buzzhunt)

For this group of friends, a trip to the local pub for a pint was simply not enough. Cheers to that!

6. Tight-roping…with a difference

Tight-roping

(Photo credit: Jared Alden/Getty Images)

…And we thought our tightropes were hardcore! Not only has she managed to walk halfway across a rope line suspended thousands of feet above the (incredibly rocky) ground, but now she’s showing she can do it on one foot. Now that’s just showing off!

7. The Kjeragbolten boulder, Norway

The Kjeragbolten Boulder

(Photo credit: Simon Taylor)

Yep. He’s quite literally stuck between a rock and a hard place. That ‘hard place’ being another gigantic rock. Many hikers have risked their lives for a picture on this infamous boulder, which is situated in the Norwegian mountains.

So, which ones would you be willing to take on? If you don’t think you’re quite as extreme as the adventurers above, but still want to get your adrenaline fix, why not book yourself a tree-top adventure at one of our Go Ape courses?

Happy birthday to…

Celebrate Adventure this Bank Holiday Weekend

Someone get the cake and candles…because it’s our birthday!

This Thursday (26th), Go Ape turns 13 years’ young and we plan to celebrate with lots of monkeying around in the trees. Who’s with us?!

Way back in 2001, Tris and Becs were holidaying in France when they spotted a family swinging through the trees, and they were all grinning from ear to ear. This got the couple thinking (and talking and planning), and a year later the first Go Ape was born.

Tree Top Adventure Go ApeWithin a year of opening our first Tree Top Adventure course in Thetford Forest, a whopping 15,500 people had come to hang with us in the trees. It confirmed that we were right: people really did want a taste of the ‘high life’!

In the following years, more and more Go Ape courses opened up. Our Aberfoyle course in Scotland, which opened in 2007, featured the longest zip line anywhere in the UK. By 2008, we had 17 courses and in June of that year, we welcomed our millionth customer through our forest doors. A record achievement by anyone’s standards!

We won our very first award back in 2002, when we were crowned ‘Rural Attraction of the Year’ by the NFU. Since then, we’ve scooped numerous awards for our courses, including ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year,’ ‘Best Tourism Experience,’ and ‘Commended Attraction.’ And, last year, our Rivington course was runner-up in Netmums’ Outdoor Play Awards.

Over the past five years, we’ve (quite literally) branched out, launching our Tree Top Junior courses for little Tarzans wanting to Go Ape. Ten of our locations now also offer our Forest Segway experience, meaning that people can explore their beautiful surroundings from up in the tree tops as well as from the ground.Go Ape Forest Segways

We can’t help but feel a little reflective as we approach our teenage years. Like any business we have had some downs as well as ups (and we’re not just talking about the zip wires), but we’ve kept on going. Go Ape is the success it is today thanks to our dedicated, loyal and hardworking tribe, plus our lovely customers that return, time and time again, to hang with us. It means we can keep doing what we do best: inspiring people to get out there and live life adventurously. Here’s to many more happy birthdays!

With the season in full swing, now’s a great time to book yourself a tree top adventure! Why not come and celebrate our birthday with us this spring?

(p.s. – banana cake is our favourite)

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