Monthly Archives: June 2015

Share more than just space

Cabin

10 adventures every good holiday should involve

Here at Canopy & Stars we believe adventure is in the eye of the beholder. It can be as simple as reading a good book next to a babbling brook or as extravagant as popping open a bottle of bubbly and watching the stars from a treetop hot tub. An adventure shared is an adventure doubled, so we’ve put together our top 10 amazing holiday experiences to share with friends, family, partners (and even a llama or two):

  1. Arrive in style

What better way to kick off an adventure than making a waterborne entrance? The Raft, in Chigborough is only reached by floating ferry platform or by rowing boat!

  1. Get to know your neighbours

CanopyanimalIt’s always important to know who you’re going to be sharing your holiday with. At Sergeant Troy in Kent you’ll find a couple of llamas to keep you company, either by the hut or alongside a woodland walk through the bluebells.

  1. Explore your surroundings with a spot of safari

At Knepp Wildland Safaris in West Sussex there are 3,500 acres of wild countryside where Longhorn cattle, Exmoor ponies and Tamworth pigs all roam free.

  1. Forage for your own dinner

Live like our hunter-gather ancestors and put together a meal sourced by your own fair hands. At The Arkette in Wiltshire help yourself in the well-tended walled garden before rustling up a masterpiece in the wood-fired pizza oven or over an open fire pit.

  1. Sud up in the treetops

CanopyyurtIf the thought of hunting for your own dinner has got you craving some creature comforts and the finer things in life, then a long soak in the copper bath tub at The Treehouse at Harptree Court with a treetop view is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of wash.

  1. Fire and mallows

It wouldn’t be an outdoor adventure without a roaring campfire and if you haven’t got a marshmallow on a stick then you’re probably doing it wrong. At Bramble in Northumberland, be careful to not let your ‘mallow burn to a crisp as you gaze up in awe at the stars. The wagon is settled on a gold tier dark sky reserve which means it’s one of the best spots in the UK for stargazing.

  1. Post campfire story-time

Following a couple of hours sharing stories and warmth by the campfire, head indoors to get the wood-burner going. At Hoppus Tipi in Dorset, you can glamp out all year round as Owner, Guy has found an ingenious way to install a cosy wood-burning stove.

  1. Canopygirl Sleep like a King or Queen

After a long day of excitement and new experiences, you deserve a bed befitting of an intrepid explorer. Stay at Upcott Roundhouse in Devon, and you could find yourself clambering into this palatial four poster bed made with the farm’s own wood.

  1. Make breakfast an experience

Get adventurous before you even brush your teeth. At Milandes Treehouse, wake up to a hamper full of locally produced breakfast goodies delivered via an ingenious pulley system!

  1. Take home more than a memory

Although it might soon be time to leave, at least you can take comfort in what you’ll be taking home with you. At Kingstone Brewery in Monmouthshire share the experience of learning to make bread, pasta or finding out how beer is brewed.

Whether you’re looking to share adventure with friends, family or someone special, our collection of 450 special spaces is full of experiences waiting to be uncovered. Take a look at our full collection of special spaces.

Your Essential Summer Adventure Kit

Adventure-Kit

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but summer is officially here – HURRAH!

We love summer not just because of the BBQs, sun tans and trips to the beach, but also because summer ’tis the season for outdoor adventure!

Sure, you can adventure in the great outdoors year-round, come rain, wind, hail, etc. But, let’s be honest: nothing beats a summertime adventure, does it? During summer, we are able to explore wearing nothing more than a pair of shorts and tee-shirt, we can take cooling dips in lake and rivers, and we can sit outside our tents all evening telling stories and singing songs (who’s got the guitar?).

It’s like the sun has some kind of magnetic force: when it’s out, it pulls us away from our beds and sofas and out into the great outdoors. The sun encourages us to do more with our weekends and our evenings, and we find ourselves being much more adventurous.

Father's Day SegwaySo, what’s your next summer adventure?

Perhaps you’re planning a hike with your partner, or maybe a combined surfing and camping trip with your best buds. One night this week, you might hit the trails on your mountain bike, or take a road trip to explore a place you’ve never visited before.
Whatever you end up doing, remember that you need to pack properly for your summer adventure.

The essentials include:

Sun Cream

If you’re outdoors enjoying the sunshine then you need to stay protected! Make sure you give yourself a good smothering of sun cream before you set off on your adventure, and then apply throughout the day, particularly if it’s really hot. There’s no fun in having to cut your trip short because you’re sunburnt and too sore to move.

Lip balm

Wait! Don’t forget about those lips. Make sure you pack a lip balm with a high SPF.

Sun glasses

Go Ape Tarzan SwingIf your adventure is likely to involve some high-octane action, those cheap sunnies you bought last year from eBay won’t suffice. You need specs specially adapted for adventure sport. Get a frame that is comfortable, lightweight and durable, and with grips in the nosepads and earsocks. It will mean they aren’t likely to fall off your face when you’re hurtling down a mountain bike trail.

Sunhat

Your hair won’t fully protect your head from the sun’s rays, so make sure you pack a sunhat, too.

First aid kit

All outdoor adventures carry an element of risk (but it’s worth it). Make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected by packing an essential first aid kit.

Rucksack

If it’s a really hot day, you don’t want to be bogged-down by a heavy rucksack. Pick a lightweight option with a simple design.

Camera

A camera is an essential piece of kit, whatever the season. Documenting your adventures through a lens means you can re-live them whenever you like, plus you can show off your skills to your mates when you return home. Go Pro cameras + adventure = a match made in heaven.

Here’s something we lashed together on Pinterest. Take a look: 

Follow Go Ape UK’s board Adventure Tips on Pinterest.

If you’re stuck for ideas for what adventure to take on next visit shareadventure.co.uk to get inspired (pssst, you can win prizes too!)

Why You Should Share Your Adventures

Share Adventure

“Happiness is only real when shared.” – Chris McCandless

Throughout the day at Banana HQ conversation often drifts away from our amazing forest adventures, and the most common topic of conversation? Yep, you guessed it – more adventure!

We Go Ape folk eat, sleep and breathe adventure, and it seems like we talk about it an awful lot, too. And why not? It’s exciting to learn what the tribe have been getting up to in their spare time. Big or small, short or long, tame or devilishly daring and death-defying, we believe that all adventures should be shared!

We’ll be the first ones to admit that we sometimes feel quite smug when talking to people about our adventures. Even more so when they respond with comments like “Whoa!”, “Cool!”, “You’re so brave!” or “I can’t believe you did that!” If you’ve done something new and exciting, conquered a fear or accomplished something you thought you could never accomplish, then why shouldn’t you shout from the rooftops about it?!

There’s also another good reason why you should share your adventures: because it inspires people! Adventure is one of the very few things in life we don’t mind being contagious. By sharing your exciting experiences with other people you will encourage them to get out there and start living life adventurously, too.

Every one of us knows that a life lived adventurously is a life better lived.

There are many different ways you can share your adventures. Some of these include:

WOM

WOM (aka word of mouth) is no doubt one of the best ways you can share your adventures with friends and family. This is your chance to tell people your unique story; perhaps you’ve got a few good snaps to show them, too?

Blog

Thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web, we’ve got access to thousands of awesome adventure blogs, many of which turn us greener with envy the more words we read. If you’re interested in sharing your adventures with the world, then blogging is a great way to do just that. It’s relatively simple to set up, so you’re bound to get the hang of it in no time at all.

Get social

The likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are useful tools for sharing all kind of things (not just photos of what you ate for dinner last night). These sites are effectively an online scrapbook and you can use them to upload pictures and write about your adventures to your friends, family and even the wider community.

#ShareAdventure

Yes, that’s right. If you have an adventure to share, then why not share it with Go Ape? This summer sees the launch of our #ShareAdventure campaign, designed to inspire our customers to go on adventures in the UK with friends and family.

Our aim is to create what is effectively an inspiration adventure portal (or as our Chief Gorilla likes to call it, an Inspirator). You can discover adventures from people all over the UK and get inspired for your next exciting adventure – plus there’s amazing prizes up for grabs too from our friends at Cotswold Outdoors, Enid Blyton, Forest Holidays, Forestry Commission, Salomon, Canopy & Stars, Sunnto AND of course, Go Ape.

Alternatively, if you’ve got an adventure to share, get involved! In 250 words, we want you to inspire others to get out there and discover adventure in the UK. The choice is yours on what story to share; whether it’s the story of your very first adventure, your most impressive adventure or your most favourite adventure. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to the share your adventure page now!

What The Summer Solstice Means For You

Summer Solstice

This Sunday (21 June) is the summer solstice, AKA, the longest day of the year.

To get a little technical, it’s when the tilt of the earth in the northern hemisphere (where we are) is most inclined towards the sun. In other words, it’s when the sun is the furthest away from the equator.

But don’t be fooled: “longest day of the year” doesn’t mean we get a couple of hours more added on to the standard 24-hour day, it simply means we get to enjoy more sunlight! The longest day of the year is when the sun stays out for the longest duration of time. From then on, days get shorter and nights get longer (but let’s not dwell on that point).

So, how will you be making the most of the longest day of the year?

If the weather’s kind, you might choose to kick back in the garden with some mates and a BBQ, or go on a bike ride or take a walk with your family. Perhaps this is the year you join a 20,000-strong crowd at Stonehenge to watch the sun set and celebrate all night through until it rises again the next morning. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you get outdoors and make the most of it!

Of course, Sunday is also an important day for another reason…

It’s Father’s Day! It’s time to show your dads just how much you love them, and to say a huge “thank you” to them for all they do for you. What this means is that if you’re planning on celebrating summer solstice in the middle of a stone circle for the night, make sure your dad gets an invite, too!

Father's Day SegwayOK, so maybe you don’t want to deal with the traffic or the crowds on Sunday (or the all-nighter) and are looking for a more peaceful alternative. Well, what could be more peaceful than traveling to the heart of the forest with Dad in tow to spend a couple of hours in the tree tops? If your dad’s never been to Go Ape before, this is a great opportunity to show him the ropes – literally. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to visit us but haven’t got round to booking-up. Well, now you’ve got a great excuse!

Tackling one of our tree-top obstacle courses is guaranteed to give your dad a Father’s Day he’ll never forget (for all the right reasons, of course). Or, if you really can’t envisage your dad enjoying himself when he’s harnessed up, 30 feet above ground and facing a Tarzan swing, not to worry – you could both hop on board our Segways and explore the forest that way.

If you want to give your dad a tree-mendous treat for Father’s Day this Sunday, we recommend booking nice and early to avoid disappointment. Remember, after your adventure, we’d love to see photographic evidence of you and your dad monkeying around in the trees! See you soon!

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