Tag Archives: Places to visit

London’s calling, meet Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally)!

Go Ape Ally Pally Blog
Go Ape has landed at Alexandra Palace. This latest addition is our 31st UK site, and we think it’s going to be a corker (they do say your thirties are even happier than your twenties).

Our Tree Top Junior course is prepped and ready to go for the big launch on Saturday 18 March; the park’s centuries-old oaks will soon be ringing with the sound of chattering monkeys.

Ally Pally’s Tree Top Junior course brings that up to 19 across the UK – find out about the others here.

Ally Pally will also be the first site to feature our QuickJump Freefall activity, opening as part of our Tree Top Adventure course this summer.

And although we obviously consider ourselves Ally Pally’s star attraction, we’re really just the gem in an already impressively blinged-up crown.

Once you’ve finished swinging through the trees, you can while away the day in the onsite skate park, pitch and putt, Segway rally or year-round ice-rink. There’s also a boating lake and Farmers Market. And once you’re pooped out, you can stuff yourself silly in one of the cafés or grab a drink at the bar.

I know – we didn’t realise Ally Pally was such a hive of activity, either. Here are 4 other things you might not know about the iconic site:

  1. The Palace was opened in 1873 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday. However, it was destroyed by fire just 16 days later. Let’s hope our shiny new course has better luck!
  2. It played a pretty important role in both World Wars. In WW1 the Bijou Theatre was used as a hospital for Belgian refugees, and the grounds as an internment camp for captured enemy soldiers. In WW2, although television broadcasts had been suspended, the BBC transmitters at Alexandra Palace were used in secret to jam the radio signals of German pilots.
  3. Outside of the war years, the Palace and its grounds have had lots of other surprising functions, including as a venue for the 1908 London Olympics, in which the Alexandra Palace Rifle Society went on to win gold, silver and bronze medals for the UK. The grounds also used to feature a popular horse racecourse, colloquially known as the ‘Frying Pan’.
  4. The Park has a whopping 196 acres to explore. We’ll pack our sensible shoes.
  5. Nowadays they host events to suit all personalities and penchants. Upcoming gigs include a festival of railway modelling, tattoo show, and the Maccabees farewell concert. Imagine what that would look like combined?

Amazing. See you there?Go-Ape-Tree-Top-Adventure-Family-Gift-Ideas

The park is within a 40-minute walk of 7 tube and railway stations, or if you’re saving all your energy for the course, the W3 bus drops you off at the Palm Court entrance and the 184 stops at Alexandra Palace Station. Easy peasy.
So, here’s to our new friend Ally Pally – we’re a match made in heaven.

A new Tree Top Adventure at Go Ape Thetford

Tarzan Swing

If you’ve been to visit our Thetford Forest course recently, you may have noticed things were a bit different in the canopy this time around.

That’s because we’ve renovated our Tree Top Adventure and turned it into a brand new course for you! Thetford was our first ever site, a mother hen to all the sites that followed her, so it’s only right that after 14 years, the place got a makeover.

Changes up high
New Platforms at Go Ape Thetford

Not only have we put in all new obstacles and crossings, we’ve rethought the entire layout of the course, meaning you get to see parts of the forest you wouldn’t have seen last time.

With the new design comes a unique aspect for those adventurous monkeys out there – a dual course. That means you now have a choice of which route you take – moderate or extreme. Along these routes you’ll encounter brand new back-to-back black crossings (don’t worry these are optional) and a one-of-a-kind dual zip wire where you can race your pri-mates to the landing area. Sound challenging enough for you?

Changes closer to Earth

Go Ape Thetford Pixie CabinThere’s lots more that’s happened on the ground too. The party area has had a complete re-furb and is now an idyllic forest retreat.

You may even catch sight of a sprite or forest fairy in the aptly named “pixie palace”; a brand new cabin that seats up to 20 people, and boasts a fully furbished interior with pillows, electricity and heated floors.

 

We’ve also opened up another level of the events area (literally, it’s on another level) where you can hang out with your party –  it’s the open air tree house.

Be the king or queen of the jungle in an exclusive open-air platform in the trees, scattered with comfy beanbags and garden games to entertain your guests. The new events area is available to hire for parties and corporate events every day of the week.

Go Ape Thetford Forest FacilitiesWhat your day could look like

10am – Arrive at the Go Ape cabin and check in. You can use your exclusive events area to wait for your fellow pri-mates or set up games/meeting agendas for later on in the day

10:30am – Set off on your 2-3-hour Tree Top Adventure and enjoy yourselves

1:30pm – It’s time for lunch in the forest shelter. You can either bring your own picnic or book our mid-week caterers for a Go Ape forest feast

2:30pm – Make use of the whole events area with team-building games or just hang out in the treehouse platform and chill with your party

3:30pm – Head into the indoor shelter to host a meeting, complete a team-building personality test or play some games, the choice is up to you.

5pm – Leave the forest with great memories of your day

So why not swing by?

Swing by with your Tribe to check out the new and improved Go Ape at Thetford Forest. Prepare to face exhilarating new challenges, witness unseen forest views up in the trees and relax in style when you land back on the ground. We look forward to seeing you there.

Alternative Autumn Breaks

Go Ape Tree Top Adventure

Goodbye summer, hello autumn.

The kids are back at school, the nights are drawing in and days spent at the beach and having BBQs in the back garden are nothing more than a distant memory…

But, wait a minute! Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean we need to go into hibernation. Oh no. Autumn rocks – it’s actually our favourite season. It’s when our forests look most beautiful, with the leaves changing from green to warming reds, oranges and yellows. It’s when we get to wrap-up warm and go on crisp, autumn walks with family and friends. It’s when we get to cosy-up by the fire and over-indulge in cups of hot chocolate. And then you’ve got other things to look forward to, such as pumpkin carving for Halloween and watching fireworks on Bonfire Night.

What’s not to love?

Why not make the most of this glorious season and organise an alternative autumn break for you and your loved ones? Here are some ideas:

Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels

It’s an event that has health and safety officials up in arms each year. On November 5th, in a small village in the heart of Devon, (mildly deranged) villagers pick up huge, flaming tar barrels and run through crowds of gawping spectators (13 – 15,000 of them, to be precise). Men, women and children(!) all get involved in this annual tradition, which dates back to the 17th century. With a grand bonfire and plenty of stalls to grab a hot chocolate, this is a great, alternative way to spend Guy Fawkes Night.

Picture Perfect at Westonbirt Arboretum

During the October half term Westonbirt Arboretum is hosting a Picture Perfect event for families. Kids and their parents will set off on a walk through the arboretum, exploring the variety of colours, shapes and textures of the trees. There will be craft activities on offer, where little ones will be able to create their ‘perfect picture’ of autumn.

City of the Dead

Dubbed ‘Britain’s Best Ghost Walk,’ Edinburgh’s City of the Dead tours will leave you trembling in your boots. This Halloween, take a stroll around a haunted graveyard or explore the deep, dark depths of the city’s underground. Your guide will share stories of ghostly goings-on and gruesome tales of yesteryear. And if your little ones have nerves of steel, City of the Dead offer kids tours. Prepare to be afraid – very afraid…

Take a family trip to a pick-your-own farm

Did you know that there are hundreds of pick-your-own farms dotted across the UK? (Find one near you). October’s harvest brings late apples; and there’s something very humbling about heading out on a crisp autumn’s day, picking your fruit and bringing it home to make delicious treats such as chutneys, pies, or perhaps a hearty crumble to complement Tree Top Adventure Go Apea Sunday roast. What’s more, during the month of October many of these farms invite the public to come and pick their own pumpkins for carving!

Go Ape

If you’re planning a crisp autumn’s walk through the forest, why not stop by Go Ape to have a go on one of our award-winning Tree Top Adventure courses? With 28 locations across the UK, there’s bound to be a course near you.

3 Tree Top Hideaways You Need to Visit

Climb the treetops

Hands up, who had a treehouse when they were younger? 

I did, and I loved it, I even used to have sleepovers in it with my friends. There’s definitely something special about hiding out up above the ground, which led me to a search for the UK’s best grown-up treehouses you can stay in. Without further ado, here’s three of my favourites:

Bensfield Treehouse, East Sussex

First of all there’s a 24-metre rope bridge across a pond to reach Bensfield Treehouse, what could be better? At Go Ape we’re big fans of adding a little bit of adventure to everyday life, so absolutely had to feature this pad on the list.

Bensfield Treehouse

Treetops Treehouse, Devon

The design of Treetops Treehouse definitely has the WOW factor! Built around a massive 250-year-old oak tree, this quirky construction was built to impress. What’s more, the inside is just as magnificent, boasting a kingsize bed for adults and uber cool bunkbeds for the kids, a luxurious copper bath, log fire, and a terrace overlooking a fishing lake.

Enough said.

Treetops Treehouse

The Treehouse Lavender Hill, Somerset

We have a special place in our hearts for the Treehouse Lavender Hill thanks to their dedication to conservation. For every booking, the Treehouse plants a native hardwood tree to help reduce their carbon footprint. Keep up the awesome work guys.

Oh, and did we mention it’s an award-winning, 5-star boutique accommodation?

The Treehouse Lavender Hill

Maybe it’s time to upgrade our forest cabins to treehouses!

 

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