Monthly Archives: March 2016

Tree Top Junior Southampton now open!

Tree Top Junior Southampton

With the Easter holidays just around the corner, what better time to test out a brand new Go Ape course designed for mini Tarzans!?

Our 16th Tree Top Junior Adventure has landed at Go Ape Southampton and is officially open for monkey business! You’ll find the course in Itchen Valley Country Park, nestled amidst 440 acres of beautiful woodland and meadows.

If you and your little ones have never swung with us before, here’s the low-down: our Tree Top Junior courses are designed for little monkeys aged between 6 and 12 years old. Clambering up into the tree tops, they’ll get to enjoy a fun-filled hour negotiating all types of obstacles, from wobbly bridges to shaky tightropes and scrambling nets. And to finish off their adventure, they get to whizz down an awesome zip wire and make a super soft landing in a pile of woodchip!

Every single one of our courses is completely unique and Tree Top Junior Southampton is no exception. Here are the stats:

– Number of crossings: 25

– Length of crossings: 225 metres

– Highest platform: 8 metres

– Length of zip wire: 80 metres

…And don’t worry parents, you can have fun too! Go Ape Southampton is also home to one of our award-winning Tree Top Adventure courses, which bagged the Silver Award in the ‘Beautiful South’ Small Visitor Attraction of the Year competition.

Go Ape is the perfect family day out as all ages can enjoy unleashing their inner Tarzans! Tree Top Juniors cost £18 while our Tree Top Adventure costs £26 for baboons aged 10-15 (over 1.4m) and £33 for gorillas aged 16 and up.

Phil and his hairy tribe can’t wait to welcome you to Go Ape and show you the high ropes. Book now and be one of the first to test out our brand new Tree Top Junior course!Go Ape Southampton Team

Happy birthday to us!

Highest Go Ape Obstacles

Where’s the banana cake and candles… it’s our birthday!

This Easter Saturday (26th), Go Ape turns 14 years’ young and we plan to celebrate with lots of monkeying around in the forest. Who’s with us?!

There have been one or two obstacles to overcome in building a business around the concept of swinging through trees. It’s been quite a journey – we thought you might like to read about our story..

Here’s our story one step at a time.

2001

Eureka moment – Tris and Becs discover Go Ape concept on holiday in France with six month old baby in tow. Spent a whole day talking to James Comte from Altus who has built all our Go Ape courses to date.  Back in the UK a multi-site deal is agreed with the Forestry Commission.

2002

Tree Top Adventure Go ApeMarch 26, a special day for us. The first Go Ape Tree Top Adventure opens in Thetford forest. Within a year, 15,500 gorillas and baboons have swung through the trees. Our cabin is five feet tall and all bookings are taken on a mobile phone.

2003

Crunch time with three further courses opening at Moors Valley, Grizedale and Sherwood and no money in the bank. A small loan keeps us afloat and we are amazed to win the NFU Rural Attraction of the Year for 2002.

2004

Go Ape opens at Swinley Forest, Bracknell – our first site with a different landowner, the Crown Estate.

2005

Moors Valley wins ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’ (South West Tourism). Grizedale wins ‘Best Tourism Experience’ (Cumbria Excellence Awards).

2006   

Record-breaking first-year customer numbers for Delamere and Forest of Dean – in September customer number 500,000 swings through the trees.

2007

Five more courses, including the first Scottish course with the longest zip line in the UK. Go Ape launches its own magazine, Tribe.

2008

Go Ape now has 17 courses and we celebrated our millionth customer in June. The Chief Gorilla (Tris) is a National Business Awards finalist in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category. Go Ape is listed in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.

2009

21 Go Ape Courses including the first franchise site at Woburn Safari Park and the first Go Ape course in Wales.Go Ape Forest Segways

2010

A further four adventures join the Go Ape family tree; Beecraigs, Pembrey, Coed-y-Brenin and Black Park Country Park. Go Ape branches out into other adventures with our Forest Segway adventure at Thetford Forest.

2011

Two new tree top adventures at Crathes Castle and Itchen Valley Country Park, and our segway adventure lands at Moors Valley Country Park and Swinley Forest, Bracknell. Tree Top Junior was launched in October at Moors Valley Country Park – our first adventure for the under 10’s.

2012

It’s our 10th birthday. Our first tree top adventure lands in the Capital. Sadly, we lost our Beecraigs adventure following extreme storms. A further five segway adventures joined the family, and Tree Top Junior landed in Thetford Forest.

2013

So another busy year. Our Forest Segways were let loose in Grizedale and the Forest of Dean. Our Tree Top Junior adventure landed at Leeds Castle, Alice Holt, Cannock Chase and Bedgebury Forest and we opened another Tree Top Adventure at Tilgate, near Crawley.

2014

We rolled out our Tree Top Junior adventures for Mini Tarzans across the country, including Black Park, Dalby Forest, Grizedale Forest, Sherwood Pines, Delamere Forest and Wyre Forest. We also launched our very first Zip Trek Adventure at Grizedale Forest. We sadly lost our Coed-y-Brenin adventure.

2015

We rolled out another Tree Top Junior for Mini Tarzans at the Forest of Dean. We also launched our very first Tree Top Adventure in central London at Battersea Park – it’s a first for any UK city!

 

It’s been a busy few years, now’s where is that cake?

Meet our Three Peaks Yacht Race team…

Ben Nevis - 3PYR

It takes a certain type of person to compete in the 3PYR – and we found five of them in the Go Ape tribe!

389 miles of sailing. 72 miles of running. 18 miles of cycling. The Three Peaks Yachts Race (3PYR) is one of the oldest, longest and toughest multi-sport endurance races in the world. Held once a year, it sees competitors battling the elements as they race up the UK’s coast, starting from Barmouth and finishing in Fort William.

Call them what you will (mad, crazy, bonkers), our fantastic five have been mega dedicated in the run up to the race and are (almost) ready to get out there, represent the Go Ape tribe and do us proud!

So without further ado, it’s time for some introductions…

Jerome Mayhew (Managing Director) Role: Sailor/skipper

Spending time in the open water is nothing new to Jerome, who grew up sailing dinghies. He moved on to bigger boats during his twenties, when he competed in offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). Jerome took a break from boating to have kids but now they’re older, he’s a helmsman once more and has bought Nimrod as a family boat.

Jerome Mayhew - Go Ape

The 3PYR has been on Jerome’s bucket list for a long time and will be his first offshore race for 20 years. He’s hoping sea-sickness doesn’t get the better of him…

Tris Mayhew (Chief Gorilla) Role: Sailor/ replacement runner

For Tris, Chief Gorilla, the 3PYR is the perfect race as it falls in line with Go Ape’s brand values: it encourages people to get out there, challenge themselves and live life adventurously! Nevertheless, Tris admits that he first turned down the offer of joining the team, and it took a good two weeks for Jerome to convince him to take part!

Tris Mayhew - Go Ape

In preparation for the race, Tris has been running 5 days (45 miles) a week since the start of the year, which has had the added benefit of trimming his waistline! He said that training has proved a real personal challenge and he’s found it tough juggling other commitments. Yet, he says that he’s enjoying ‘skilling up’ and is keen to master powerful spinnakers which scare him.

Tris tells us: “By the end of this at least I’ll know whether I like or loathe offshore sailing, so that I can either start planning to sail across the Pacific or strike it from my bucket list.”

Mike Rimmer (Site Manager at Crathes) Role: Runner

Hard work and dedication are two things Mike knows a lot about after a 31-year career working as an Aircraft Engineer for the Royal Air Force.

Mick Rimmer - Go Ape

Mike’s got an impressive running résumé, having competed in numerous marathon and ultra-running events such as Marathon des Sables (crossing the Sahara desert) and the Everest Marathon (the highest marathon in the world). He believes the 3PYR will be a great event to mark his 50th year!

Ed Smith (Construction Manager) Role: Runner

A keen runner and cyclist, Ed says that working for Go Ape has allowed him to test out some of the UK’s most beautiful trails. He never travels to a site without packing his bike and trainers in the van with him!

Ed Smith - Go Ape

Ed has recently started competing in triathlons and took part in his first half Ironman last September. He’s already competed in yacht racing with other member of the team, racing across the English Channel and around the Isle of Wight. He says that he’s eager to learn the ropes and help his team succeed. “It’s a true test of endurance and there’s no escaping the elements. Once it starts, there’s no resting ‘til Fort William!”

Paul Love-Williams (Head of Construction) Role: Sailing

Paul’s love for sailing was re-kindled back in 2012 when the Go Ape tribe went yacht racing in Port Solent to celebrate the company’s 10th birthday. Now, Paul is a regular offshore racer: he’s an active sailing member with Junior Offshore Group (JOG) and RORC, and has successfully completed two Rolex Fastnet races, one Rolex Sydney race and two RORC Caribbean 600 races. His favourite race to date is the Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race.

Paul Love-Williams - Go Ape

Paul’s a strong all-round sailor and will be keeping a close eye on navigation and tactics during the race. Commenting on the 3PYR he says: “It’s been on my list for a few years now. The sailing is very challenging and the unique mix of running, cycling and rowing should make it a superb race!”

The Go Ape team will be racing to raise money to help support the Outward Bound Trust. For every £200 raised, another young person from a disadvantaged background is able to experience the challenge of an Outward Bound course with potentially life changing results. To find out more about the trust, visit https://www.outwardbound.org.uk/.

If you want to donate to this fantastic cause and support our endurance racers, head to our Virgin Money Giving page.

International Day of Happiness: how will you be spending it?

Forest Segway At Go Ape

‘Friendly’ and ‘happy.’ These two words are used a lot by our customers when describing members of the Go Ape tribe.

It’s extremely rare to spot one of the tribe without a smile on their face, and that’s because we’ve got a lot of reasons to be happy! We get to work in the great outdoors surrounded by nature and wildlife. We get to meet new, friendly faces every single day and introduce them to our wonderful forest adventures. And seeing our customers smiling and hearing them laughing when they’re in the tree-tops makes us incredibly happy!

We believe that happiness is contagious – being positive inspires others to be positive, too. And there really is no better day to be happy than Sunday, 20th of March, aka, International Day of Happiness!

What’s it all about?

Co-ordinated by the charity Action for Happiness, International Day of Happiness is celebrated across the globe with the aim of promoting positive social action to help create a happier and more caring world.

The charity points to the fact we’re no happier now than we were 60 years ago, even though our economy has significantly improved. What this shows is that we’re not prioritising happiness, but we really need to!

Being happy has less to do with money and possessions and more to do with attitudes and relationships with other people. International Day of Happiness is a chance for you to do things that make you happy, but also things that make other people happy.

The pledge is simply this: “I will try to create more happiness in the world around me.” Here are some ways you can inspire happiness:

Give.

‘If you want to feel good, do good.’ Doing something for another person will make them – and you – feel great. It’s a selfless act that can help build bonds and lead to stronger connections. For example, you could offer to cook for your parents or babysit for a friend so they can enjoy a night out.

Compliment.

Everyone appreciates an honest compliment. Tell the people you love what you love about them and you’re bound to make them smile.

Support.

If you know someone who’s having a tough time, offer your support. Listen to them, give them advice, or take them out and cheer them up. Above all, let them know you’re there for them.

Make time.

Sometimes, our lives are so busy we find ourselves spending less and less time with the people who mean the most to us. If this is the case, make International Day of Happiness all about your friends and family.

Connect.

In an increasingly-connected world, we’re starting to lose the most valuable connection: the human connection. International Day of Happiness is a chance to re-connect with what’s important. Catch-up with a friend you haven’t seen in ages, talk to a neighbour you’ve never spoken to before, or pay a stranger a compliment.

Exercise.

The body and mind are closely intertwined (rhyme not intended), so if you feel good about yourself, you’re bound to have a more positive mind-set. Exercise is the ultimate pick-me-up and you needn’t run a marathon to feel the benefits. A walk to your mate’s house or a jog around your local park can boost your mood and make you feel happier.

Happiness at Go ApeBe aware.

We all need to take time out from our busy schedules to take a few breaths and appreciate what’s around us. Instead of scrolling Facebook on the sofa, step outside: see the trees blooming? Smell the fresh, spring flowers? Hear the children laughing? Don’t let these little magical moments pass you by.

If you’re searching for an apt International Day of Happiness activity, we’ve got an idea: Go Ape! Our adventures enable you to connect with nature and spend some quality time with the ones you love. Our Tree Top Adventure is also great for calorie-burning, but you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even realise it! What’s more, our Forest Segways are raring to go and ready for a new season of adventures.

Whatever you end up doing to mark International Day of Happiness, make sure you tell the world by sharing your adventures on Facebook and Twitter using #InternationalDayofHappiness.

 

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