Category Archives: Go Ape Locations

Black Park Has It All!

Climb the treetops

Spanning 535 acres of wood and heathland, Black Park Country Park is the perfect place to while away a day or two.

Located in the heart of Wexham, Buckinghamshire, it’s one of the UK’s largest local country parks, complete with a glorious lake and over 10 miles of flat surfaced pathways, making it accessible for all ages and abilities.

When visiting Black Park for the first time, you might get that “I’ve been here before” feeling. That’s because Pinewood Film Studios, situated just down the road, has used the park as a setting for many films, from Goldfinger, Bugsy Malone and Robin Hood to Batman and the Harry Potter series.

Black Park really does have it all. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll be better off spending the weekend here. Here’s what’s on offer…

Lake

As we’ve already mentioned, a beautiful lake lies in the middle of Black Park. It’s the ideal spot to kick back, relax and enjoy a picnic surrounded by flora and fauna. If you’ve got an electric, sail or steam model boat, you’re welcome to set sail at the bottom of the lake.

Children’s play area

If you’ve got toddlers and younger kids to entertain, they’ll have heaps of fun over at the children’s woodland play area.

Café

Café San Remo is perched on the edge of the lake and serves-up a range of hot and cold meals, snacks and drinks. Sit outside on the picnic benches or move inside if it gets a little chilly.

Kiosk

If you’re after a quick bite, there’s a kiosk near the dog-free picnic area that’s open during the day (10am-5pm daily during school holidays and 10am – 5pm Thursday to Tuesday during term time). On the menu is jacket potatoes, paninis, rolls, sandwiches, cakes and snacks.

The Feeling of AdventureGo Ape – Tree Top Adventure

Yep, you guessed it! Nestled amidst Black Park’s woodland you’ll find one of our award-winning Tree Top Adventure courses! Clamber up rope ladders, tackle tricky crossings, leap off our Tarzan Swing and whizz down zip-wires – all in the name of fun!

Tree Top Junior

Now, it would be extremely cruel to let the adults have all the fun, wouldn’t it? If you’ve got any little monkeys in your family, what better way to spend the afternoon than by watching them swing through the trees?

Forest Segway

If heights really aren’t your thing, or you’re looking for another activity to add to your Tree Top Adventure, how about testing out Go Ape’s Forest Segway experience? After a quick safety briefing you’ll get a full hour of off-road fun, whizzing around Black Park’s forest floor on two wheels. You’ll enjoy yourself so much you won’t want to get off!

Forest Biking

Instead of walking, why not cruise around Black Park instead? If you’re in need of a few bikes, you can hire them through Go Ape Forest Biking. You don’t need to book online – just head over to our cabin and we’ll sort you out with what you need.

For a fantastic fun family day out visit Black Park Country Park.

Little-known tips and tricks for the ultimate zip trek

Zip Trekking Adventure

If you’ve been keeping up-to-date with everything Go Ape, you’ll know that last year we opened our first-ever Zip Trekking Adventure in Grizedale Forest.

If you fancy getting a bird’s eye view of the forest, soaring above trees and swooping through lush green valleys, this is the adventure for you. No other obstacles, just zip, after zip, after zip, after zip, after zip (there are 7 in total, covering a whopping 3km).

So, fancy a go? Of course you do. But, before venturing off to Grizedale and embarking on your sky-high adventure, check out these little-known tips and tricks for the ultimate zip trek:

One step for man…

…one giant LEAP for Go Ape-rs! Hands down the best way to kick-off your Zip Trekking Adventure is by stepping off the first platform. And while you’re at it, why not impress your mates by unleashing your biggest and best Tarzan holler!?

Having a ball

Instead of leaving your legs to dangle aimlessly, try tucking them up into your chest and forming a ball shape. You’re bound to pick up some speed doing this – just be sure to let go as you approach the end.

Open your eyes!

Don’t scrunch those eyes shut in fear – open them and appreciate your spectacular surroundings! As you soar through the sky the landscape beneath you will be constantly shifting; one second you’ll be descending down a valley, the next you’ll find yourself traversing the forest’s towering Douglas Firs. Oh, and there’s also another reason we recommend keeping your eyes open…

Brace for (barky) impact!

Now, don’t go enjoying yourself so much that you forget to brace for impact! As that big mound of cushiony woodchip comes up to greet you, start the running motion with your legs. Hopefully, this’ll mean you land on two feet, but there’s bound to be a couple of times you don’t. In fact, by the time the adventure is finished, most people find that they have amassed a significant amount of woodchip – in their hair, tucked in their socks, in their pockets and down their pants. You might want to have a serious shakedown before returning to your car.

GoPro

Recording a video of your adventure is a great way for you to re-live your experience and show off to your mates! We allow cameras in the tree-tops so long as they’re attached to your person. And speaking from experience, GoPro cams are the best way to capture your adventure – they can be mounted onto your helmet, leaving you hands-free so you can throw your arms into the air as you zip!

Been there, done that? If you’ve already been on a Zip Trekking Adventure and consider yourself a pro, why not share your own tips and tricks with us? If you’ve got some videos or snaps, you can share those with us too via our Facebook page.

Q&A with Grizedale Site Manager: Paul Brady

Go Ape Zip Trekking Adventure

Is it a bird? Is a plane? Nope – it’s just Grizedale Site Manager, Paul Brady, swinging through the trees!

Paul joined the Go Ape tribe back in March 2007, starting as an instructor and making his way up the (rope) ladder to become Construction Team Member, Deputy Manager and now Site Manager; a position he’s held for the past 7 years.

We recently caught up with Paul – and were rather surprised to learn that he once had a huge fear of heights…

What made you join the Go Ape family?

After leaving school I worked as a Chef for almost fifteen years – I started to grow disillusioned with my career choice and wanted a new challenge. My housemate at the time was the Manager for Grizedale and he convinced me to give instructing a go, even though he knew perfectly well I was scared of heights! I initially managed the Rivington site, before moving back up to Grizedale where it all began in April 2014.

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

Yes – I completed Go Ape once before I joined. Well, when I say ‘completed,’ I missed out on the Tarzan swing due to sheer fear! I loved the experience in a weird kind of way, despite being nervous all the way round. I felt a great sense of achievement when I finally got my feet back on solid ground.

What do you like about working for Go Ape?

The two main things I enjoy are the people I work with and the customers who visit us. Each day is different and the job is never dull! Our instructors are what make Go Ape so great and their enthusiasm and enjoyment of their jobs is great to be a part of. Our customers come to us for a great time and an exhilarating experience, which means they are here to enjoy themselves and are up for fun – that’s what makes our jobs so enjoyable!

What makes your site unique?

Grizedale is the first site to offer 4 full activities, with our Zip Trekking Adventure coming on board in July last year. With over 3km of zip lines zip-zagging their way through the forest, we’re proud to be the first site in the Go Ape family to offer this unique experience. Grizedale is also home to the highest platform and obstacle in Go Ape – at over 18m our site 5 zip platform really tests your nerves!

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

When I was managing the Rivington site, we had a film company visit us to film an episode of Don’t Tell The Bride. One of my female instructors stepped forward to be filmed as part of the programme, and she was really excited. When the day came, she arrived to work looking immaculate – uniform ironed, hair and make-up done, the works.

The day went really well, apart from the grotty weather, and we all waited eagerly for the episode to be aired and when the day came, we all watched with baited breath. The bride was filmed flying through the air on the zip line and swinging through the trees on our Tarzan swing and it all looked great. But, the only slight hiccup was that with all the editing of the film the only actual footage of my instructor was of her bright pink spotty wellies walking away through the mud! Some people said that was the best bit!

Fancy taking on the highest Go Ape platform? Or the UK’s best Zip Trekking Adventure? Book a trip to Go Ape at Grizedale Forest.

Why Cumbria is the Adventure Hub of the UK!

Zip Trekking in Cumbria

Dubbed the ‘adventure hub of the UK,’ the county of Cumbria is a real hot spot (perhaps the hottest spot) for thrill-seekers.

Why does it deserve this title? Well, first up, Cumbria is home to the glorious Lake District and Lake District National Park – both playgrounds for adrenaline junkies. In those areas you’ll find the magnificent Scafell Pike (England’s highest mountain), the awe-inspiring Wastwater (England’s deepest lake), and the wonderful Lake Windermere (England’s longest lake).

TCumbria Zip Trekkinghe district also encompasses the North Pennines (itself an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the Furness Peninsula, and part of the Yorkshire Dales. It’s less a case of ‘what can you do?’ in Cumbria; more a case of ‘what can’t you do?!’ You’ll be seriously hard-pressed to find an activity that isn’t on offer in the area.

And before you ask, yes, there is a Go Ape (and it’s the only Go Ape site with four different adventures)! You’ll find us nestled amidst the Douglas Firs in the Lake District’s Grizedale Forest. As well as our award-winning Tree Top Adventure course, you’ll also find our first-ever Zip Trekking Adventure at Grizedale – an adventure well worth checking out.

Anyway, back to Cumbria. There are many interesting facts about the area you might not know about. Here are some of them:

– Seathwaite, a small hamlet in the Lake District, is the wettest place in Britain. It receives approximately 140 inches of rain every year.

– Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is purported to have bought £1.5 million of slate extracted from the Lake District. Why? To build himself a new swimming pool!

– Every year, people from across the globe make their way to The Bridge Inn in Stanton Bridge to take part in the World’s Biggest Liar Competition. Competitors have just 5 minutes to tell their most extravagant yet convincing lie. The competition is held in honour of Will Ritson (1808-1890), a pub landlord who was renowned for telling porkies.

– William Wordsworth, the famous poet, was born in Wordsworth House in Cockermouth in 1770.

– Many historians claim that the small town of Whitehaven in Cumbria provided the blueprint for the street grid system in New York City during the mid-18th century.

– In Whitehaven, there are more listed buildings per square mile than anywhere else in the UK (a whole 250 of them!).

– The World Gurning Championship is held annually during the Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria. Fancy watching a group of people pulling their ugliest faces? The next fair takes place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th of September.

– Water from Thirlmere reservoir, located in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria, is transported nearly 100 miles via an aqueduct to Manchester, where it provides water to more than 1 million homes.

– There are more microbreweries in Cumbria than anywhere else in the UK.

– The Herdwick is a breed of sheep native to the Lake District. Although their wool quality is somewhat lower than other breeds, Herdwicks are known for their good health and their ability to survive on the difficult terrain of the Lake District. Author Beatrix Potter used to keep and breed Herdwick sheep.

So there we are – some interesting facts about Cumbria! Do you now feel inspired to visit the area? Perhaps you could visit Grizedale Forest and impart some of your knowledge on one of our tribe? Test them, or impress them! See you soon!

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