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Are You Brave Enough?

Are You Brave Enough? Celebrate Adventure

Are you always on the hunt for your next adrenaline fix?

We like to think we’re pretty adventurous here at Go Ape, and we’re always willing to try new things. But, the other day we laid our eyes upon some photos of people taking ‘adventure’ to a whole new level. Whether these people are fearless heroes or just complete bonkers…we still haven’t decided yet.

The below daredevil endeavours will make your heart stop, jaw drop and legs tremble. The big question is: are you brave enough?

1. Portaledge camping

Portaledge Camping

(Photo credit: Corey Rich/Getty Images)

Have you ever booked a hotel stay, specified a room with a view and ended up on the ground floor overlooking the staff car park? We know we have. But, with portaledge camping, a breathtaking view is guaranteed every time! However, we don’t recommend trying this if you’re prone to rolling around in bed at night.

2. Climbing redwoods

Climbing Redwoods

(Photo credit: Michael Nichols/National Geographic Stock)

Now here are two men after our own hearts! It seems they too understand how fun it is to be up in the trees. But, what they’re doing is slightly more extreme than what’s on offer at our Go Ape obstacle courses. Judging by the picture, it’s less a case of tree hugging, more a case of tree hanging-on-for-dear-life.

3. High-altitude biking

High-Altitude Biking

(Photo credit: Wizzed)

If tackling some gnarly downhill trails simply isn’t enough for you, then how about some high-altitude biking? These guys have certainly got some guts – we wonder if they pulled wheelies along any of the ledges…

4. Extreme Kayaking

Extreme Kayaking

(Photo credit: Desre Tate/Barcroft Media /Landov)

‘Don’t look down’ they tell us. But, when you’re perched on a peak of Victoria Falls with a paddle and kayak by your side, it’s probably best to peer over the edge a couple of times before taking the plunge (literally).

5. Extreme picnicking

Extreme Picnicking

(Photo credit: Buzzhunt)

For this group of friends, a trip to the local pub for a pint was simply not enough. Cheers to that!

6. Tight-roping…with a difference

Tight-roping

(Photo credit: Jared Alden/Getty Images)

…And we thought our tightropes were hardcore! Not only has she managed to walk halfway across a rope line suspended thousands of feet above the (incredibly rocky) ground, but now she’s showing she can do it on one foot. Now that’s just showing off!

7. The Kjeragbolten boulder, Norway

The Kjeragbolten Boulder

(Photo credit: Simon Taylor)

Yep. He’s quite literally stuck between a rock and a hard place. That ‘hard place’ being another gigantic rock. Many hikers have risked their lives for a picture on this infamous boulder, which is situated in the Norwegian mountains.

So, which ones would you be willing to take on? If you don’t think you’re quite as extreme as the adventurers above, but still want to get your adrenaline fix, why not book yourself a tree-top adventure at one of our Go Ape courses?

Happy birthday to…

Celebrate Adventure this Bank Holiday Weekend

Someone get the cake and candles…because it’s our birthday!

This Thursday (26th), Go Ape turns 13 years’ young and we plan to celebrate with lots of monkeying around in the trees. Who’s with us?!

Way back in 2001, Tris and Becs were holidaying in France when they spotted a family swinging through the trees, and they were all grinning from ear to ear. This got the couple thinking (and talking and planning), and a year later the first Go Ape was born.

Tree Top Adventure Go ApeWithin a year of opening our first Tree Top Adventure course in Thetford Forest, a whopping 15,500 people had come to hang with us in the trees. It confirmed that we were right: people really did want a taste of the ‘high life’!

In the following years, more and more Go Ape courses opened up. Our Aberfoyle course in Scotland, which opened in 2007, featured the longest zip line anywhere in the UK. By 2008, we had 17 courses and in June of that year, we welcomed our millionth customer through our forest doors. A record achievement by anyone’s standards!

We won our very first award back in 2002, when we were crowned ‘Rural Attraction of the Year’ by the NFU. Since then, we’ve scooped numerous awards for our courses, including ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year,’ ‘Best Tourism Experience,’ and ‘Commended Attraction.’ And, last year, our Rivington course was runner-up in Netmums’ Outdoor Play Awards.

Over the past five years, we’ve (quite literally) branched out, launching our Tree Top Junior courses for little Tarzans wanting to Go Ape. Ten of our locations now also offer our Forest Segway experience, meaning that people can explore their beautiful surroundings from up in the tree tops as well as from the ground.Go Ape Forest Segways

We can’t help but feel a little reflective as we approach our teenage years. Like any business we have had some downs as well as ups (and we’re not just talking about the zip wires), but we’ve kept on going. Go Ape is the success it is today thanks to our dedicated, loyal and hardworking tribe, plus our lovely customers that return, time and time again, to hang with us. It means we can keep doing what we do best: inspiring people to get out there and live life adventurously. Here’s to many more happy birthdays!

With the season in full swing, now’s a great time to book yourself a tree top adventure! Why not come and celebrate our birthday with us this spring?

(p.s. – banana cake is our favourite)

Dedicate Time To Exploration…

Celebrate Adventure and Explore

Children learn a lot through playing and exploring, whether it’s with their friends or on their own. But, who says exploration is just for kids?!

That’s right… adults, too, can explore and have some fun whilst doing it! As human beings we never stop learning; it doesn’t matter if we’re two, 22 or 52 years old. Playful exploration is all about trying new things, letting our hair down and enjoying ourselves – strictly no age restrictions apply!

Exploring doesn’t just mean packing your bags and travelling to a place you’ve never visited before.

Exploring simply means trying something new, whether that ‘something new’ is a hobby, sport, language or restaurant (the list goes on…).

In our opinion, exploring is less about discovering new places and more about discovering who you really are. By living life adventurously and constantly trying new things, you are exploring your potential, skills and limits. Exploring means stepping out of your so-called comfort zone and discovering what you’re truly capable of.

Only if you try new things will you be able to learn more about yourself – your likes and your dislikes. You’ll be able to learn what you’re good at, and what you’re not so good at. You may even unearth a hidden talent or two that may have otherwise gone unnoticed!

Exploring is all about getting up and doing something with our lives. When we get home from a long day at work, many of us are guilty of switching on the TV, laying horizontal on our sofas and not moving for a good few hours. Our eyes are fixed to the screen, until a rumbling in our stomachs pulls us to the kitchen. We’re so caught-up in work and other things that we forget to have fun.

Instead of sofa surfing, why not dedicate that time to playful exploration?

Of course, we all need to chill out from time to time but why not try, just a couple of times a week, to do something a little out of the ordinary?

You could don your finest apron and attempt cooking a meal you’ve never made before for your loved one. You could round-up your friends and organise an evening class, or finally sign-up to that yoga class down the road. You could even get in contact with your nearest and dearest to see who’s up for an afternoon in the trees at Go Ape!

Exploration Inspiration

Sometimes thinking of these things can be a little tricky, so grab a pen and some paper and list all the things you want to try out. Then, work your way through your list, ticking as you go.

We at Go Ape think that exploration makes for a richer life. As the saying goes, “if you never try you’ll never know.” If you never try new things, you’ll never know what you’re truly capable of. So go on, get out there and explore!

Q & A With A Member Of The Go Ape Team: Tony Mitchell

Reach New Heights At Go Ape

This month, we’re grilling Tony Mitchell – site manager at Go Ape Black Park, Buckinghamshire. Tony has been leading the tribe there since July 2014, but has been part of Go Ape’s fixtures and fittings since 2009 when he took a job at the Bedgebury site. Here, we find out about why he’s always in a good mood, and why he’s usually in close proximity to an A-list celeb or two…Tony Mitchell - Go Ape Black Park

What made you join the Go Ape family?

My whole life, I’ve always loved the great outdoors. I joined the army at the ripe age of 16 and it really gave me a taste for it; I’ve never had a “proper” office job. Before working for Go Ape I worked as a watersports instructor and a ski guide. I then went on to be deputy manager of a gym in Brighton – but even that was too “indoorsy” for me!

Did you experience Go Ape for yourself before taking the job?

Shortly before my interview for Go Ape, I thought to myself: “I better have a go at this so I know what I’m talking about in the interview!” and my partner and I paid a visit to the Bracknell site. Since then, though, I’ve been to 16 or 17 of the other Go Ape sites – I can’t get enough of it!

What do you like about working for Go Ape?

Go Ape Black Park is set in 530 acres of beautiful woodland, with an amazing centre-piece lake. Even if I wake up in a bad mood, I step one foot into the forest and I’m instantly in a good mood; even if it’s wet and windy, it’s impossible not to be happy when you’re surrounded by this scenery. I’m lucky because, even as a manager, I’m not stuck behind a desk all day. Although my role does require me to be at a desk sometimes, I’m still very active.

I’d have to say that the people – both staff and customers – are what I love most about my job, though. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing someone conquer their fears; starting the day shaking with nerves and coming back absolutely buzzing.

What makes your site unique?

Well, one of the reasons Black Park is unique is because of our best kept secret: we have forest bikes at our site. We’re the only Go Ape site to have a bike hire operation in place, and I like that!

We also offer the Segway experience here, but we’re the only site where you can Segway down to the Hogwarts’ railway station from Harry Potter!

Pinewood Studios is just a stone’s throw away from our site, with ‘Star Wars’ being filmed down there as I speak! There are also loads of movie scenes that are filmed right here at Black Park – from ‘James Bond’ to ‘Fast & Furious’. Quite often, we’ll hear a big boom coming from Pinewood Studios – it’s rather exciting for all of us! The stars are usually kept under wraps, but Damian Lewis (star of ‘Homeland’) did pay Go Ape a visit with his son, who had a go on the Tree Top Junior Adventure.

Finally, tell us a story that will put a smile on our faces…

There are a couple of particularly funny moments that spring to mind. One is when a customer dressed up in one of our gorilla suits, unbeknownst to her boyfriend. She then proceeded to get down on one knee and propose to him! He said yes, of course (after she had peeled off her gorilla mask!).

Another one that stands out took place on market day. Once a month, there’s a market that comes to the Go Ape car park, and part of it involves a ‘petting zoo’ – where animals such as ducks, rabbits, donkeys and sheep often make an appearance. One day, the rabbits somehow managed to escape, so we ended up scrambling around the car park chasing bunnies!

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