Monthly Archives: July 2015

Sssh! 5 stunning secret places you need to stay

Canopy & Stars Secret Locations

This summer we want you to be inspired and make 2015 your year of adventure.

To help, we put together, an inspirational adventure portal full of ideas from people across the UK. What’s more, there’s amazing prizes up for grabs, including a family glamping break from Canopy & Stars.

As the experts in quirky accommodation, we asked Canopy & Stars to reveal five secret places you simply have to visit, here’s what they told us…

“Here at Canopy & Stars we pride ourselves on going off the beaten track to find quirky and unique outdoor hideaways. Sometimes it can lead to standing in a field, scratching our heads and wondering exactly how we got lost, but we usually find ourselves uncovering hidden gems to add to our collection of special spaces. Amongst the treehouses, wagons, cabins and even iron age roundhouses, there’s one thing in common… a chance to escape and a chance for an adventure. Here’s five of our most secret spots.

1. Wild hilltop hideaway – Wanderoo, Brecon Beacons, Wales

At the top of a steep hill, within the Brecon Beacons and directly on the side of Fan Frynach, this converted horsebox is parked in a seriously stunning spot. There are miles of outstanding hiking trails all around, but if you want to stay rooted after finding this gem then fear not, Owner Kathryn provides an enticing breakfast hamper and can even deliver dinner.

Canopy & Stars Wanderoo

2. An adventurous all-inclusive weekender – 7th Rise, Cornwall

The only way to access this isolated adventureland is to park up on the side of the road and wend your way down through fields to the ancient Cornish oak woodland where you’ll find a traditional Cornish cottage, a quirky patchwork treehouse, an old-school hunting lodge and an extended greenhouse. There’s space for up to 16 to sleep making this the perfect location for group adventures; enjoy wild cookery, bushcraft, canoeing, and river swimming! There’s even an digital detox, 7th Rise ask you to hand in phones, watches and iPads when you arrive to ensure it stays a truly secret spot!

Canopy & Stars 7th Rise

3. Sheep and solitude on the Isle of Skye – The Black Shed, Isle of Skye

This might be called a shed, but is most definitely not your common or bottom-of-the-garden variety. It sits on the side of a remote hill, and outside, free-range chickens and Hebridean sheep strut their stuff under a vast sky with Loch Dunvegan shimmering below and Macleod’s Table rising to the south. Visit in winter and have the island to yourself; you might even see the Northern Lights!

Canopy & Stars Black Shed

4. See wilderness in widescreen – Cabane de Salagnac Two, Limousin, France

On arrival at the Cabanes de Salagnac, you’ll be led through the woods to your modern and minimalist treehouse. Build campfires in the meadow and picnic by the stream, before returning to admire the spectacular panoramic views from the large glass windows. If you don’t want to go out for food, there’s always the option of ordering a picnic basket of regional specialities, including a personalised selection of charcuterie, local cheeses, terrines, dessert and a choice of local wine.

Canopy & Stars Salagnac

5. Tassels, trinkets and tons of charm at this tin tabernacle – Angels, Monmouthshire

Although Hay-on-Wye is well known as the UK’s mecca for bibliophiles (that’s book lovers to you and us), it’s also home to this secret hideaway spot. In addition to this picturesque tin tabernacle you’ll find a hobbit-like roundhouse, a wooden cabin with an outdoor bath and a wagon with breath-taking mountain views. A place of peace and beauty, where you can unwind and relax, enjoy long lunches in the sun and starlit suppers on the big deck. Canopy & Stars Angels

Shhh. You can find Canopy & Stars full collection of special outdoor hideaways on their website – keep it secret though, we can’t have too many people finding out!


Why Cumbria is the Adventure Hub of the UK!

Zip Trekking in Cumbria

Dubbed the ‘adventure hub of the UK,’ the county of Cumbria is a real hot spot (perhaps the hottest spot) for thrill-seekers.

Why does it deserve this title? Well, first up, Cumbria is home to the glorious Lake District and Lake District National Park – both playgrounds for adrenaline junkies. In those areas you’ll find the magnificent Scafell Pike (England’s highest mountain), the awe-inspiring Wastwater (England’s deepest lake), and the wonderful Lake Windermere (England’s longest lake).

TCumbria Zip Trekkinghe district also encompasses the North Pennines (itself an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the Furness Peninsula, and part of the Yorkshire Dales. It’s less a case of ‘what can you do?’ in Cumbria; more a case of ‘what can’t you do?!’ You’ll be seriously hard-pressed to find an activity that isn’t on offer in the area.

And before you ask, yes, there is a Go Ape (and it’s the only Go Ape site with four different adventures)! You’ll find us nestled amidst the Douglas Firs in the Lake District’s Grizedale Forest. As well as our award-winning Tree Top Adventure course, you’ll also find our first-ever Zip Trekking Adventure at Grizedale – an adventure well worth checking out.

Anyway, back to Cumbria. There are many interesting facts about the area you might not know about. Here are some of them:

– Seathwaite, a small hamlet in the Lake District, is the wettest place in Britain. It receives approximately 140 inches of rain every year.

– Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is purported to have bought £1.5 million of slate extracted from the Lake District. Why? To build himself a new swimming pool!

– Every year, people from across the globe make their way to The Bridge Inn in Stanton Bridge to take part in the World’s Biggest Liar Competition. Competitors have just 5 minutes to tell their most extravagant yet convincing lie. The competition is held in honour of Will Ritson (1808-1890), a pub landlord who was renowned for telling porkies.

– William Wordsworth, the famous poet, was born in Wordsworth House in Cockermouth in 1770.

– Many historians claim that the small town of Whitehaven in Cumbria provided the blueprint for the street grid system in New York City during the mid-18th century.

– In Whitehaven, there are more listed buildings per square mile than anywhere else in the UK (a whole 250 of them!).

– The World Gurning Championship is held annually during the Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria. Fancy watching a group of people pulling their ugliest faces? The next fair takes place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th of September.

– Water from Thirlmere reservoir, located in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria, is transported nearly 100 miles via an aqueduct to Manchester, where it provides water to more than 1 million homes.

– There are more microbreweries in Cumbria than anywhere else in the UK.

– The Herdwick is a breed of sheep native to the Lake District. Although their wool quality is somewhat lower than other breeds, Herdwicks are known for their good health and their ability to survive on the difficult terrain of the Lake District. Author Beatrix Potter used to keep and breed Herdwick sheep.

So there we are – some interesting facts about Cumbria! Do you now feel inspired to visit the area? Perhaps you could visit Grizedale Forest and impart some of your knowledge on one of our tribe? Test them, or impress them! See you soon!

Must have accessories for an Outdoor Wedding


So you’re thinking of being adventurous and steering clear of a traditional wedding venue? There is nothing better than the great outdoors so why not have your wedding outside as well? There are plenty of adventurous places where you can share those special memories with family and friends and we have created a list of must have accessories for any outdoor wedding venue. 

Fire Pit

FireEven if you start the day off in the blistering summer sun it does tend to get a bit chilly in the evening. Bag yourself a fire pit to keep the guests warm and maybe get some marshmallows for them to toast as well. 

Hay Bale Seating

So you have your log burner to keep everyone warm and toasty but you need to find some seating to let guests enjoy the dancing flames. Grab some hay bales and blankets and circle them around the log burner – not to close, as you probably don’t fancy a visit from the Fire Brigade!

Pine Cone Cake Topper

Maybe you have a forest nearby where you can go foraging for some lovely foliage for the big day. A great way to top your cake is with a ‘his and hers’ pine cone cake topper! Something unique that fits perfectly with the outdoor theme. 

Rustic Décor

OutdoorEvery girl likes a little bit of décor at her wedding, so why not try something like these beautiful tree stumps adorned with foliage, tea lights and flowers? They really will add that little bit of extra sparkle and complement the rest of the rustic theme.

Fairy Lights

If your venue has some beautiful trees make use of them and hang string of fairy lights from the trees. When the light starts to fade turn them on for an enchanted glowing effect. Not to garish but adds a touch of sparkle to any big day.


Are you planning your dream outdoor wedding?

Here’s something we lashed together on Pinterest for some outdoor wedding inspiration. Take a look: 

Follow Go Ape UK’s board Outdoor Weddings on Pinterest.

Q & A with the Bride and Groom


Our first Tree Top Wedding

We wanted to find out a little bit more about the couple from Southampton, Martyn Milner and Colette Gregory, who took their romance to new heights! On the 30th June 2015 they headed to the tree tops of Go Ape Aberfoyle to exchange their vows – and become man and wife 40 feet off the ground! They exchanged rings and will now share a life of adventure together…

Here’s a few questions that we posed:

1. Why did you choose Go Ape as your wedding venue?

We both love the outdoors and adventure so having a wedding that incorporated these themes was key. Go Ape had what we were looking for and were very supportive of our idea to break away from tradition. 

2Wed2. What has been the overall reaction to your wedding?

There have been a couple that just don’t get it, but everyone else has reacted with amazement and support for us. 

3. Are there some guests that don’t want to Go Ape?

Yes, but they are happy to watch from the ground and look after the chimps. 

4. Were your hen and stag do’s adventurous?

For the hen party, the girls went out for a meal and dancing after. For the stag party, the boys went to Thorpe park in the day then out for a few drinks in the evening.

5. What are you doing after?

We’re having our honeymoon whilst we are in Scotland. We are staying at Forest Holidays for a week. 

6. Any advice for those planning a wedding…

Do it your way! Traditional is boring. Break the rules and put it out there. 

7. What did you wear?

A hand made bespoke dress has been made for the occasion and we’re not sure the suit hire company are completely aware where their suit is being worn!

This summer, we’re encouraging everyone to #ShareAdventure. Our new ‘adventure generator’ will provide you with inspiration for your next adventure:

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