Category Archives: Top Tips

How To Cope With Fear

Zip Line at Go Ape

Fear: A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, pain, or harm.

Every single one of us is afraid of something, whether we like to admit it or not. You might have a common fear, like arachnophobia (a fear of spiders), claustrophobia (small spaces) or aerophobia (flying). Or, your fear might be a little more obscure, such as spectrophobia (a fear of mirrors), omphalophobia (belly buttons) or trypophobia (holes).

When you fear something, what might seem like a small issue to others is a mega deal to you. One fear we’re familiar of dealing with here at Go Ape is acrophobia, aka, the fear of heights. Not a day goes by without us welcoming a customer who’s a little uneasy of heading up into the trees. They visit us because they want to face their fears, and we’re there to support them, every step, jump, climb, swing and leap of the way!

Whatever your phobia, believe us when we say you can and will overcome it! Here’s a four step process to help you do just that:

Step 1. Analyse

The first step of facing your fear is acknowledging you have it. Often, we ignore or deny our fears – but, if you do that, it’ll never disappear! If you admit your fear, you’ll have better control of your emotions and will stand a better chance of overcoming it.

Name your fear – let it come to the surface. A good idea is to buy a ‘fear journal,’ where you write down your fear along with the following:

– Where does the fear originate?

– How long have you been affected by it?

– How does it make you feel?

– What are the triggers?

– Why do you want to overcome it?

Use your journal to record your thoughts and feelings as you start to face-up to your fear. Set yourself small goals and tick off as you go along. The journal will help you to track your progress and will give you the motivation to push hard and achieve your main goal, which is, to overcome your fear!

Step 2. Take control

Time to take control! Often, when we fear something we try to distance ourselves from it as much as we can. We stay fearful because we never expose ourselves to it. So, those small goals that you’re setting yourself need to involve you exposing yourself to the fear, a little bit at a time.

For example, if you’ve got a phobia of heights, you might want to set yourself the goal of travelling to the second floor of a building and peering out of the window. As you start to gain confidence and start taking control, set harder challenges and move up those floors!

The alternative to gradual exposure is direct confrontation and facing your fear head-on. Many people prefer to do it this way but be warned, there’s a chance you could fail so you need to be prepared for it. And if you do fail, don’t feel too disheartened or give up – just go back to introducing yourself to the fear gradually. Accept that you might suffer a few setbacks, but by all means do not let them stop you from overcoming your fear.

Step 3. Change your perception

Understand that fear isn’t always a bad thing. The emotions we feel when we are fearful are the same as those we feel when we’re excited! When you accomplish a small goal, or confront your fears, adrenaline will pump through your body and you’ll feel, well, great! Remember that feeling and soon enough, you’ll start associating fear with that happy, excited feeling.

Step 4. Accept it

As we’ve said, everyone has a fear. The sooner you start realising you’re not alone, the better. Don’t be too hard on yourself – we’re only human, after all! Change your perception of fear so you think of it as something that inspires confidence and courage! You can do it!

We’d love to help you tackle your fear of heights, book now and conquer the tree-tops with Go Ape.

The Cure for Acrophobia…the Go Ape Way!

Go Ape Zip Line

Heights aren’t everyone’s thing. Fact.

In fact, according to a YouGov survey, 23% of Brits say they’re ‘very’ afraid of heights and another 35% admit to being a ‘little’ afraid. That means well over half our population is acrophobic. So, if high buildings, roller coasters and (*cough cough*) tree-top obstacle courses make your legs tremble and beads of sweat form above your brows, take comfort in the fact you’re definitely not alone.

However, ignoring or hiding from your fear isn’t going to make it go away. The best way to fight fear is to face it! Forget self-help books or hypnotherapy sessions, exposure is the best medicine when it comes to conquering your phobia. And that’s where we come in…

Worms-Eye-View-of-a-Platform-Go-ApeOver the years we’ve helped thousands of people overcome their fear of heights. Even people whose first words upon gazing up into the trees are, “I’m not going up there!” We’re not saying that getting over your fear will be easy – our tree-top obstacles are challenging even for people who are cool with heights. But, the Go Ape tribe will be there for you every jump, swing and step of the way to give you as much help, support and encouragement as you need.

Here’s what some of recent customers who braved the tree-tops said about their experience:

“The Tarzan Swing was the best bit, even if it was quite scary. The instructor Nick was brilliant with us and gave us the confidence we needed.” – Leanne, Trent Park

Ah, the Tarzan Swing. It’s one of our most feared obstacles, solely for the reason you’ve got to hurl yourself off a platform that’s suspended 30 or so feet in the air. And there’s a lot of dangling involved before you have to clamber up the cargo net on the other side.

But, as Leanne said, the Tarzan Swing might be scary, but it’s also the best bit! One of the tribe will be waiting on the platform to help you out and put your mind at ease (don’t worry, they’re not allowed to push). After you’ve taken the leap of faith, all those nerves you felt previously will transform into excitement and adrenaline! We read a quote that sums it up nicely: nerves and fear are the fluttering of wings before you fly.

“…even though some members of our party had a major fear of heights the standard of the equipment and level of safety briefing made them feel totally safe and [they] said they would totally go back again. [They] totally enjoyed the experience.” ­– Kevin, Sherwood Pines

“The Tarzan Swing was scary but worth it and I loved the zip wires. So high up but you feel so safe!” – Jennifer, Sherwood Pines

What you’ve got to remember when you visit us is that, even though you’re in the tree tops, you’re extremely safe.

You wear a harness and are clipped-on to safety lines, so if you were to lose your footing on one of the obstacles all you’d do is dangle there (which can be scary, but is not dangerous!). When we fear something we think irrationally and confuse fear with danger. So long as you listen to the safety briefing and follow instructions, your Go Ape adventure will be completely danger-free!

“I was dreading doing Go Ape as I’m petrified of heights, so to my [surprise] as much as I was still slightly nervous during the experience, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I think I would go again!” – Kim, Leeds Castle

Did you know, the same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear?!

Those nerves in your stomach can be fearful nerves, or they can be excited nerves – and we prefer the latter! All that’s required from you is a change of perception. You should expect your heart to beat fast and your knees to tremble when you’re up in the trees, but see that as something positive! You’re excited and there’s adrenaline rushing through your body – embrace it!

“Go Ape is such a good idea to get people outdoors, challenge fears and use their strength. I always enjoy it!” ­Janet, Cannock Chase

Fighting your fear of heights by swinging through the trees is much more enjoyable than, say, taking an elevator to the top floor of a building and hastily peering out the window. Fun has always been at the forefront of everything we do at Go Ape and we want you to actually enjoy yourself as you conquer your fear of heights!

“Had a lot of fun, even helped my friend conquer her fear of heights!” – Holly, Woburn Safari Park

“Watching the kids go around the course is brilliant and them overcoming all fears and laughing with them when they were nervous…it’s fantastic.” ­­Leanne, Trent Park

“…My 8 year old son got up [there and] decided he was scared of heights! The staff were great and helped him overcome his fears and helped him around the course.” Alison, Dalby Forest

It doesn’t need to be you who has the fear of heights! Maybe it’s your mum, sister, partner or little one. You can help them overcome their fears and move from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can!’ They’ll thank you for it…in the end.

Before we wave an emotional farewell to what’s been a brilliant season here at Go Ape, we’re double-daring you to come hang out with us and conquer your fear (or your mate’s fear, or your dad’s fear, etc.) once and for all!

Book now and face your fears.

Don’t forget to use your 15% discount!

Go Ape Tree Top Adventure

“It was a very exciting adventure and for many in my group, it was the first […] we would definitely do it again!”

“I always tell my friends to go along. Will definitely be returning!”

“Can’t wait to come again with more friends.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed our experience. Would [definitely] do it again.”

“…will be back very soon.”

“The day was really fun and we can’t wait to do it again.”

…We call it the ‘Go Ape bug.’ It’s extremely contagious – but don’t worry, there aren’t any nasty side-effects. The only side-effect there is, is a burning desire to return to the forest and swing through the trees once more!

Once you’ve caught the Go Ape bug, it’s near-impossible to shake off. You will develop a yearning for adventure and will be constantly contemplating when you can get your next adrenaline fix.The Feeling of Adventure

Just take a look at some of the feedback above from our lovely customers. All of them loved their Go Ape adventure, and all of them are extremely eager to have another go. This month we’re double daring you to come back to Go Ape and do it like a pro. We want you to perfect your Go Ape style and master those tree-top obstacles – and we expect you to be fluent in gorilla by the time you whizz down that final zip wire!

If you head over to our #DareAdventure page, you’ll see that we’ve put together some handy tips and tricks for you to study before your adventure. The video series gives advice on everything from balancing on the Button Bridge to tackling the Twister, and swinging in style on our infamous Tarzan Swing.

Already visited us this year? Great! Don’t forget that you can get 15% off your next adventure by quoting your unique discount code, which can be found on the back of your Go Ape certificate or on your feedback email.

How about trying another forest adventure?

Perhaps last time you explored the forest from the tree-tops; this time, why not explore the forest on two wheels and whizz around aboard our all-terrain Segways? Of course, you might want to visit us just to have another crack at our award-winning Tree Top Adventure

This is your chance to show it, and us, who’s boss!

With 15% off your next Go Ape adventure, you’ve got the perfect excuse to come hang out with us again. You might even want to bring along a mate or family member who’s never Go Aped before and show them the (high) ropes!

Go on, book now, and see the season out in style.

Did you know that we’re also giving away a FREE pair of Go Ape tickets to one lucky winner every week until the 1st of November?! You can enter every week to try and win. If you fancy your chances, head over to the #DareAdventure And Win page and fill in your details. Good luck and see you soon!

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.

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