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Insane races you need to know about

Insane Adventure Races

The Go Ape folk love a good ol’ challenge. Just ask one of the five members of our tribe currently preparing for the Three Peaks Yacht Race, aka one of the toughest and longest endurance races in the world.

Our job is to encourage others to challenge themselves in order to discover their potential. Our Tree Top Adventures aren’t easy – they’re challenging, especially for people who don’t like heights. But, by rising up to challenges we allow ourselves to live our lives more adventurously and we grow and develop as people. As the saying goes: “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes them meaningful.”

Adventure races

Growing tired of 5km park runs? Nailed numerous Tough Mudders and looking for something more, well, tough? We scoured the web and found some seriously insane adventure races guaranteed to push you to your very limits. The question is: Are you brave enough?

SDW100

Find marathons a doddle? How about running four of them back to back? The South Downs Way 100 is exactly that – a 100 mile race along the bridleways of the stunning South Downs. Competitors start just outside of Winchester and finish in Eastbourne, and have 30 hours to reach the finish line. A new course record was set in 2014 by Mark Perkins, who finished in an extremely impressive 14 hours, 3 minutes and 54 seconds.

Ring O’Fire

Picking up the pace some more, Ring O’Fire covers 135 miles of coastline around the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales. With the sea always in sight and the epic Snowdonia Mountain Range as a backdrop, runners cross everything from sandy beaches and tidal estuaries to dunes and farmers’ fields. The race is set over three consecutive days – but before you wipe that bead of sweat from your brow, that’s still a whopping 45 miles of ground to cover each day!

Bob Graham Round

Whilst notably shorter than other ultra-marathon events, the Bob Graham Round challenge is one of the highest of its kind. Set in the wondrous Lake District, the challenge comprises a 66 mile, 27,000 feet circuit of 42 of the highest peaks in the area, with runners having just 24 hours to complete it. It’s so tough, only one in three runners make it back…in time!

The Spine Race

Dubbed Britain’s most brutal race, the Spine Race is a 268 mile, non-stop winter challenge which sees competitors crossing the entire Pennine Way in just 7 days. The route encompasses the Peak District, Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park, finishing on the Scottish Borders.

Competitors can expect to battle all weather conditions, from deep snow and ice to strong winds and torrential downpours. As the days pass, they’ll also find themselves dealing with extreme tiredness, fatigue and sleep deprivation. You’ll ache in areas you didn’t know you could ache – this one’s not for the faint-hearted.

Have you competed in any extreme adventure races? If so, share them with us – you never know, you might convince one of us to sign-up!

For more on the teams training efforts in the build up to the Three Peaks Yacht Race click here.

An Introduction To Adventure

Adventure at Go Ape

Adventure can take many forms for different people – for some it’s taking to new heights on a Tree Top Adventure or whizzing across the forest floor on a Segway, for others it’s a quiet morning of horse-riding or discovering previously unknown culinary skills.

That’s why we’ve caught up with Virgin Experience Days to find out more about their adventurous packages. For those looking for an introduction to adventure, there’s a world of starter and taster experiences out there.

Here’s a bunch of our favourites so you can find something new to try this year and become even more adventurous (you’re on the Go Ape blog after all!). 

Introductory Indoor Skydiving

Far less terrifying than jumping out of a plane but just as exciting, this one’s perfect for those who want the feeling of flying/falling without getting too far from the ground. Exhilarating, uplifting (literally) and an awesome way to while away some time, hovering like a wizard in a powerful vertical wind tunnel.

Introductory Wine Course

It’s not all about the excitement when it comes to adventure, sometimes it’s just trying something new – like learning how to taste 14 different types of wine in a British vineyard. Become more adventurous with your wine choices on you next meal out, and walk about town as an all-knowing wine connoisseur. Introduction to Horse Riding - Virgin Experience Days

Introduction to Horse Riding for Two

There are few things that capture the spirit of adventure better than riding a horse (possibly with a cowboy hat on) out in the open air. Don’t know how to ride a horse? That’s not a problem – this course is for the newbies – and it starts with 30 minutes of getting to grips with the basics before heading out into the enchanting New Forest.

L’atelier des Chefs One Hour Cookery Class

You can choose your own one hour culinary adventure at L’atelier des Chefs from making the perfect pasta and crafting terrific Thai dishes to sautéing the perfect steak with mushrooms and baking delicious desserts. The best bit? At the end you’ll get to eat everything you’ve made with a glass of wine each!

Introductory Off-Road Driving - Virgin Experience DaysIntroductory Off-Road Driving

This is like horse-riding, but you’ll be trading the animals for horsepower as you belt around an off-road course made specially to put your freshly learned skills to the test. Picture yourself taking shortcuts through the fields the next time you’re coasting down the motorway, and dream of driving the way our ancestors (wish they) did.

Introduction to Mountain Boarding for Two

Imagine skateboarding, but on grass and dirt, and swap the town streets for some Surrey hills as you bomb down some slopes with a plank of wood strapped to your feet. It won’t take long before you’re running smoothly.

Ski or Snowboard Taster for Two

You can get to grips with snow sports all year round, without even needing to head for the Alps. You’ll have everything you need for an epic snow session minus the mountain views (it’s all indoors), with a pair of gloves to keep too as a reminder of your great day out – ski or board, it’ll be an adventure to remember. 

Spy Academy

A bit of an oddball, the spy academy gives you the chance to imagine being the spy you wish you were, with instruction in surveillance gadgets, pistol quick draw techniques, unarmed combat and a variety of things that shoot. Informative and fun, you’ll feel like James Bond or Black Widow by the time you’re done.

We should never stop exploring, and with these experiences from Virgin Experiences Days your next introduction to adventure is never far away.

How to make the most of Easter!

Things to do this Easter

The Easter holidays are officially in full swing! By now, your little ones have probably made a huge dent in their almost-toppling tower of eggs, and you’ve been experiencing the notorious chocolate cramps too following last weekend’s excessive indulging.

For most families, the school holidays pan out pretty much the same. For the first week, parents organise tonnes of activities to keep their little ones entertained, but by the second week they start running short of ideas. And that leaves parents desperately searching for things to do to avoid hearing that dreaded phrase: “I’m borrreeed!”

Boredom can make even the happiest of families go stir crazy, so we’ve put together a list of activity ideas to help you make the most of the entire Easter holidays:

Team up for an adventure

Fresh faces are always welcome after spending days in the same company! If you know parents who have also taken time off this Easter, why not team up with them and their little ones and head out on an adventure? You could organise a group hike or bike ride, or try something a little different, such as geocaching.

Host a sleepover

Provided you have a set of earplugs, how about letting your kids have a couple of their friends over for a sleepover? Sort out the snacks (no more chocolate), films and games and leave them to it! If it’s a nice evening, you might want to suggest a campout in the back garden, complete with (supervised) campfire and marshmallows for toasting.

Wild camp

Turn off those phones, tablets and iPods… you won’t need them where you’re going! Nature lovers or not, your kids are bound to enjoy pitching up in the wild to spend the night under the stars. The good news for you is that wild camping is totally free, you just need to pick a place which permits it, such as Dartmoor National Park.

See and feed lambs

Half-term at Go ApeAround 16 million lambs are born in the UK each year and springtime is lambing season. Many farms have their barn doors open to visitors so they can learn about the lambing process, pet and bottle-feed lambs, and maybe even witness a live birth! It’s a fantastic experience that’s not to be missed and there’s bound to be a farm near you.

Take a trip to a museum

A trip to the museum is the ideal rainy day activity and in most cases entry is free, making it a cheap day out. Whatever your kids are into – science, history, cars, films – there’s bound to be a museum for it. Exploring the different artefacts will be great fun for your little ones, and they’ll be learning a thing or two at the same time!

Go Ape

For outdoor fun whatever the weather (minus gale-force winds), it’s got to be Go Ape. Swinging through the trees with your tribe is a sure-fire way to beat boredom and make the most of the holidays! Book your next adventure now.

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

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