Category Archives: Top Tips

5 Of The Best UK Wintry Forests

Go Ape in the Winter

Winter: a time when people crank up their thermostats, load up their log baskets and stock-up on the de-icer. Nights are long, days are short, and summertime seems like a lifetime away. And when the weekend arrives, it’s all too tempting to spend our days indoors, sulking by an open fire and waiting for spring to arrive.

But, instead of wishing winter away, why not embrace it? Yes, it can be a pain having to spend ten minutes every morning scraping ice off your car, but there are plenty of good bits about winter, too. And to really make the most of it, you need to stop being such a wintertime hermit and get yourself outdoors.

When it comes to outdoor activities, how about a wintry forest walk? This season transforms our forests into beautiful winter wonderlands – think snow-capped trees, icy lakes and glistening forest floors. So, dig out your wellies, wrap up warm and pack your bags with a large flask of tea. It’s time to embrace winter.

Here are a few of our favourite wintertime forests:

Grizedale Forest, the Lake District

Set right in the heart of the magnificent Lake District, Grizedale Forest is the perfect spot for walkers, mountain bikers and adventurers (you can find one of our courses here). This forest gets our vote for its truly breath-taking views, with the lakes and mountains looking extra-spectacular in the wintertime.

The forest trails are suitable for all ages and abilities, whether you want to walk the ancient tracks or prefer the more modern pathways. The forest is also home to many different sculptures; some are in clear sight, while others are hidden behind the trees.

Haldon Forest Park, Devon

Haldon Forest Park boasts 3,500 acres of woodland and is just a stone’s throw from the historic town of Exeter. The area has cycle and walking trails for all abilities and on a clear and crisp winter’s day, you can see all the way to Dartmoor.

The Mamhead Sensory Trail is ideal for a wintertime walk with the kids. The trail is flat and well-surfaced, and has ‘sensory markers’ along the way to help walkers appreciate their beautiful surroundings. The route takes you through a beech-lined avenue, to a high viewpoint near the Obelisk where you can see all of Exeter. If you’ve still got energy left after your walk, how about rounding things off with an afternoon in the trees at Haldon’s Go Ape course?

Ashdown Forest, East Sussex

Ashdown Forest has gained status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is the inspiration behind the famous Winnie the Pooh books, making it the perfect place to take the kids. In fact, the forest has a few ‘Pooh’ trails, taking you to many of the famous scenes written about in the books.

Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Kent

Bedgebury National Pinetum makes the perfect winter’s day out for several reasons. First, the National Pinetum is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of conifers, which look especially beautiful when covered in frost. Second, the infamous Gruffalo is hiding somewhere in Bedgebury, and up until February kids have the chance to try and find him on the Gruffalo’s Child Trail. And finally…well…Bedgebury is where you will find us!

Forest of Dean

Last but certainly not least, the Forest of Dean is one of our favourite locations for a spot of wintertime walking or cycling. We love it because there’s so much to explore and discover: from Iron Age forts to tranquil lakes and views over the River Wye, you name it; the Forest of Dean’s got it.

Where’s your favourite wintry spot? Share your photos with us using #LoveAdventure on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Instagram.

Or if you like the idea of a luxurious break in a Forest Holidays cabin, come tell us why you love adventure and be in with a chance to win!

5 Little Ways To Kick Start Your Year

Adventure Bloggers - Love Adventure

New year, new me” is a phrase we all hear a lot in January, and is something we all quietly remind ourselves every time we feel the urge to buy that half-price box of Celebrations. Many of our resolutions will be centred on the idea of becoming healthier, whether we want to give up smoking, join a gym or eat better.

When it comes to sticking to your resolutions, it’s the little things that can make all the difference. So, if you’ve made 2015 the year to start looking after, and loving yourself, here are five little ways to kick start your year:

1. Clear out your cupboards

It can be difficult to eat a healthy diet when temptation lurks. Now’s the time to have a good clear out – banish the binge food and sugary snacks from your cupboards and fridge. And don’t forget that secret stash hidden under your bed, too.

Once you’ve cleared some room, you can stock-up on some healthy and nutritious foods. Fill up the fruit bowl and store some wholesome veg in your fridge drawers. You may even want to purchase some healthy recipe books for some cooking inspiration.

(PS: Don’t deprive yourself entirely of delicious goodies, we all deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while).

2. Drink up

No, we’re not talking about those half empty bottles of wine left over from the festive period. We’re talking about water. Despite being a colourless, flavourless fluid, water is jam-packed with health benefits. Water fuels our bodies and minds, nourishes our hair and skin, keeps our energy levels high and even helps us to concentrate. So, drink up!

3. Get your 8 hours

It’s time to ditch your nocturnal night time habits and get your head down. Many studies suggest that 8 is the magic number when it comes to sleep. Snoozing for this long will ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed and raring to go. And, getting plenty of sleep also has long term benefits; some reports, for instance, suggest that you’ll live longer!

4. Get a hobby

From taking up a new sport to learning a new language, the New Year is the perfect time to find yourself a new hobby. Perhaps you’ve always liked the idea of joining a yoga class, or you may have always wanted to try your hand at rock climbing. Having a hobby can be extremely fulfilling, not to mention you’ll make some new friends along the way.

5. Embrace the great outdoors

Many people will shiver at the thought of stepping foot outdoors in this weather. But, so long as you wrap up warm, you’ll find that the outdoors can be truly magical in the wintertime. Whether you choose to go for an early morning run or take a stroll through an icy forest, embracing the great outdoors in the perfect way to start any day.

As our Chief Gorilla says;

A New Year is a great opportunity to get a grip of your life and focus on living it more adventurously.

So why not ditch the junk food, dig out your old bike and start loving adventure. Who knows, your next adventure could win you a luxurious break with Forest Holidays! How? Find out here.

New Year, New Beginnings

Wendover Woods

What’s it to be this year? Lose weight…save money…spend more time with loved ones? The start of a new year can be invigorating and terrifying in equal measures with 1st January marking a new era of personal wellbeing. Yet sadly, according to Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire most of us will have given up by February.

Luckily we have a solution for sticking to those New Year goals, and it all starts with loving yourself.

Change Your Habits

Want to lose weight? Swap the sofa for winter strolls.

Saving for something special? Forget the sales and head for the forest trails.

Missing family time? Switch off the screens and embrace the outdoors.

 

Think about how good it will feel with fresh air in your lungs and loved ones by your side. It’s true what they say, fail to plan, plan to fail. Put yourself first in 2015 and start planning your next adventure. Fancy a day out in the forest? Our 28 sites re-open in February, so why not book a unique day out exploring now.

Make a vow to yourself to make 2015 ‘your year’ and #LoveAdventure.

Family Gift Ideas For The Adventurous

Go-Ape-Tree-Top-Adventure-Family-Gift-Ideas

With only one month to go until Christmas Day, time is quickly running out to organise gifts for your nearest and dearest. Choosing the right gift can be even tricker when buying gifts the whole family will love. But, if you’re looking for gift ideas for families with a sense of adventure, here’s five awesome ways to make their Christmas special:

1. Create adventures that last a lifetime

A GoPro camera is an excellent gift for the whole family, whether they’re a tech-obsessed teen or technophobic grown up. The impressive line of cameras are perfect for capturing and sharing the experiences that bring joy to life. Small but tough, GoPro cameras are not just drop-proof but also water-proof, making them adventure-ready no matter what lies ahead.

2. Unleash their inner tarzan

Days out at Go Ape are about living life more adventurously, making our gift vouchers an awesome gift for the whole family. The classic and original Go Ape Tree Top Adventure is available at 28 stunning sites across the UK, with 10 of these locations also featuring our epic Forest Segways. Each site features award winning high ropes, awesome crossings, tunnels, bridges and an epic wind-in-your-face zip wire to finish. Or for Junior Tarzans (6-12 years old) there’s our spectacular Tree Top Junior Adventure!

3. Inspire adventure

For over 125 years National Geographic has been uncovering adventures and discoveries that have changed the world. The iconic magazine has continued to stun people of all ages with its breathtaking photography, thought-provoking new-stories and inspiring travel stories. Now available in both print and digitally, an annual subscription page could be just the thing for your family of adventurers.

4. Go on a great expedition

When exploring the forest from the tree tops just won’t do, there’s always the Battlebox Great British Adventure Kits. The ‘Bear Grylls Great Expedition Kit’ comes with everything they’ll need for an outdoors adventure, including walkie talkies, a 7-in-1 survival tool, camo binoculars and more, all packed in a tough canvas backpack.

5. Make it personal

Whether it’s a canvas print, photo book, calendar or phone case, keep the adventure alive with personalised gifts using photos from their 2014 escapades! Get inspired and add a personal touch to their Christmas, but be quick and make sure you order with plenty of time.

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