Monthly Archives: April 2015

Tree Top Junior turns 1!

Tree_Top_Junior_turns_1_

Our Tree Top Junior adventures popped up all over the UK last year. Black Park Tree Top Junior turned one last week!

Mini Tarzans from all over Buckinghamshire enjoyed our adventure and a slice of birthday cake. For the last 365 days parents have been able to release their little monkeys onto a Go Ape course designed for them. No one loves adventure more than kids!

BIG thanks to the Black Park tribe for ensuring everyone had a great time and sharing their snaps with us.

We hope to see you soon.

Are You Going To Conquer The National Forest Way?

The National Forest Way

Well, we don’t know about you, but this weather has certainly got us in the mood for some outdoor adventure! If you’re a keen hiker, or simply appreciate a jolly jaunt in the countryside, then there’s a new walking trail we suggest you try: The National Forest Way.

Stretching from the National Forest Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire, The National Forest Way takes walkers through rolling rural landscapes, market towns and sleepy villages. You’ll cross canal towpaths, unearth hidden valleys and find yourself immersed in forests old and new. Sounds great, right?

The National Forest Way Walking RoutesThe National Forest Way was opened last May after five years of planning and preparation. The distance? A little over 75 miles. But, before you start envisioning blistered big toes and wailing kids, don’t worry, the route is split into 12 smaller trails, varying in length from 4-7 ½ miles.

According to the official website, the shortest route will take the average walker a couple of hours to complete, while the longest route will take the best part of a day. Fancy conquering the whole 75 miles? Well, you best make sure you’ve got four days to spare, plus some sturdy walking boots!

The National Forest is a huge environmental project which has seen the creation of new woodland across 200 square miles of parts of Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire, linking the ancient forests of Charnwood and Needwood. This region was once one of the least-wooded regions in the country; however, since 1995, the National Forest Company and its partners have been working to increase forest cover, and have planted more than 8 million trees. Not only does the new forest offer a beautiful spot for us all to enjoy, it also provides habitat for numerous species of wildlife.

Each individual walk is designed to showcase a different aspect of The National Forest. Through leaflets and signage, you’ll learn all about the area’s shifting landscape, from its industrial past to its modern-day transformation as a beautiful new forest.

All trails are close to local points of interest and public amenities, including toilets and places where you can stock-up on refreshments. If it’s a bright, sunny day, why not pack a lunch and take a pit-stop in one of the many picnic areas?

If you want to make a weekend of it, there are plenty of accommodation choices nearby, from cosy inns and guesthouses to log cabins, campsites and luxury hotels. Take your pick!

The National Forest Walking Festival is taking place from the 16-28 May, with a programme packed full of guided and themed walks for all ages and abilities. This is the perfect excuse to get the tribe together and make the most of this beautiful new trail set in the heart of The Midlands!

(PS: If you’re in the Derbyshire area, why not swing by and visit our Go Ape Buxton course? We’d love to see you!)

Supporting Adventure: Nikki Curwen’s Transatlantic Voyage

Nikki Curwen - Living Life Adventurously

Nikki CurwenSportswoman. Sailor. Adventurer.

However you describe Nikki Curwen, her resumé is pretty impressive, which is why we’re proud to announce that we are the lead sponsor for Nikki’s 2015 transatlantic voyage.

This year Nikki will take on challenge after challenge before competing – solo – in the gruelling Mini Transat expedition.

Covering over 4,000 miles, Nikki will race across the Atlantic taking on 84 competitors all vying for the prestigious first place.

What’s more…the Mini Transat is pure back-to-basics sailing. That means no communication and only a basic GPS and paper charts for navigation. If that’s not living life adventurously we don’t know what is!

Why are we getting involved?

It’s true, single-handedly crossing the Atlantic is a far stretch from the leafy hangouts we love exploring, but we take pride in supporting those that are committed to keeping the adventure in adventure.

Speaking about the upcoming expedition, Nikki told us;

“The Transat for me, although a competitive race, it is mostly about the adventure and the challenge. I love sailing and I’m always looking for the next thing to push me that bit further.

 

 

The boats are incredibly responsive, they almost feel alive. They’re so small you can really feel the power and witness it first hand.

 

 

When I was a little kid, maybe 7 years old – I made a bet with my older sister that we would sail across the Atlantic before we flew. I can honestly say I’ve kept my deal and this year will be my first time across the pond. In a tiny little 6.5m boat, by myself!!”

Nikki Curwen Sailing

“In order to enter the Transat you have to qualify by completing 1,000 miles of races as well as a 1000 mile non stop solo passage. The race is over subscribed and unfortunately not all can go.

 

 

Once you have completed your qualification miles you can join the entry list. Having had my boat a year now, I’ve already qualified and signed up with my entry confirmed for this September.”

What’s next for Nikki?

Having just completed the Lorient BSM this weekend, a 150 mile double handed race, Nikki’s lined up a further five races before taking on the Mini Transat in September this year. She’ll take on the Pornichet Select, the Mini En Mai, MAP, and Mini Fastnet – clocking up over 1,000 additional miles.

In the coming months we’ll be following Nikki’s journey as she takes on the unimaginable challenges of solo sailing. Next week, check out our exclusive Q&A as we find out what it takes to become an offshore sailor.

Hands or no hands?

Climb the treetops

When you tackle our tree-top obstacles, are you a ‘hands’ or ‘no hands’ kind of person?

Some people set themselves the challenge of seeing how far they can make it around the course hands-free, only to have a wobble attack on the second obstacle and decide to complete it with their hands firmly wrapped around the rope.

Then, there are people who start the course refusing to let go of anything (including the tree trunk at the first platform). But, as they start to get into it, that rope-burn-tight grip starts to slowly loosen. And don’t forget those little monkeys on our Tree Top Junior courses who yell, “look, no hands!” to impress their chums and scare their parents.

Below, we take a look at some of Go Ape’s classic obstacles and ask: hands or no hands?

Go Ape Bridge CrossingsBridges

When it comes to going hands-free on our tree-top bridges, it really does depend on which one you’re taking on. Some will offer you a reasonably still ride, while others sway like a ship in harsh seas as soon as you step onto it.

And you’ve got to have your wits about you: some bridges look tame when you’re perched on the platform, but when you take that first step, you’ll realise it’s anything but! The best thing to do? Let your buddy go first and see how they get on.

Tightrope

Arguably one of our toughest high wires, the tightrope is a true test of balance, coordination and concentration. Our tip for success is to look straight ahead of you – never down at the forest floor beneath you.

If you manage to complete the tightrope no-handed, then you’ve either been to circus school, or it’s simply because you’re a Go Ape pro!

Go Ape Tarzan SwingTarzan Swing

Our Tarzan Swing is both one of our most loved and most feared tree-top obstacles. What you’ve got to do is hurl yourself off of a platform, suspended 30 ft. in the air, into a giant cargo net (and we also expect you to give us your best Tarzan holler as you jump!).

We must admit that the majority of people hold on for dear life as they leap from the platform. But, as soon as they’ve made the jump, they throw their arms into the air as if to say, “yes! I did it!” Part excitement, part relief, we think.

Zip wire

You’ve made it to the final zip wire! Hurrah! And as you whizz down towards that soft pile of woodchip, it’s time to embrace the finale of your Go Ape adventure with open arms…which means strictly no hands!

If you’re planning a Go Ape trip soon, don’t forget to tell us which obstacles you and your friends braved hands-free! You can share your pictures or videos on our Twitter or Facebook pages – we want to see the evidence!

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