Tag Archives: Places to visit

It’s National Parks Week!

Go Ape Snappy Rainbow
The sun is out, the trees are green and summer is officially in the air! There’€™s no better time to get outside and get acquainted with good old Mother Nature,€“ a lady that we’€™re very good pals with!

After all, the Tribe here at Banana HQ spend a lot of our time hanging out in some of the most beautiful locations in the UK. And if you were looking for a good reason to come and check out some of the stunning natural surroundings we immerse ourselves in every day, you’€™ll be happy to hear that 24th-30th July is National Parks Week! If that’€™s not an excuse to celebrate the great outdoors, then we don’€™t know what is!

What is National Parks Week all about?

National Parks Week is the annual celebration of the 15 spectacular National Parks of the UK, with a variety of events taking place throughout the week. From the rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons to the wild ponies of Exmoor, from the heather-strewn wilds of the Yorkshire Dales to the glittering waters of the Lake District, the National Parks of this country are filled with unique treasures, just the place to seize adventure and embrace the summer months!

So where are they?
  • Broads
  • Brecon Beacons
  • Cairngorms
  • Dartmoor
  • Exmoor
  • Lake District
  • Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
  • New Forest
  • Northumberland
  • North York Moors
  • Peak District
  • Pembrokeshire Coast
  • South Downs
  • Yorkshire Dales
How to make the most of the parks.

There are endless ways for the imaginative explorer to make the most of these breath-taking landscapes. Whether you want to gather your friends for a camping trip, push yourself to the limit on an epic hike, enjoy leisurely bike rides with a certain special someone or take the kids out on a boat trip, the National Parks of Great Britain were made for outdoors activities! You’€™ll be spoiled for choice!

Of course, you could think outside the box a little and gain a whole new perspective on the National Parks by taking to the treetops and seizing the chance to try out one of our courses at Go Ape. Yes, we really have secured some of the choicest scenic spots in the UK with some of our courses situated right in the heart of the most beautiful National Parks!

You could tackle the ladders, tunnels and Tarzan swings on our adrenaline-pumping Dalby Forest course up on the North York Moors, or fly through the trees for over 400m on two of the UK’€™s longest zip wires at Go Ape Aberfoyle, in the Trossachs. You might even choose to unleash your inner ape at Go Ape Buxton, taking in the beautiful scenery of the Peak District.

What better way to celebrate National Parks Week than swinging through the forest with Go Ape? Just make sure you capture all your capers on camera and share with #goape as well as #nationalparksweek2017.

See you in the trees!

You have your badges but do you have your certificate?!

High Ropes for Kids
Are you one of almost half a million youngsters in the UK who’€™s a member of the Scout Association?

We’€™re huge fans of the SA, because it ties in nicely with what we do,€“ and what we believe in€“ here at Go Ape. Its aim is to provide €œfun, adventure and skills for life and give young people the opportunity to enjoy new adventures, experience outdoors and take part in a range of creative, community and international activities, interact with others, make new friends, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.€ Hear, hear!

The SA has a huge, positive impact on the lives of kids. In fact, a study from Edinburgh and Glasgow university researchers last year found that people who were in scouts or guides in childhood have better mental health in later life.

Among the 10,000 people studied, ex-members were 15% less likely to suffer anxiety or mood disorders at the age of 50. That’€™s the great outdoors and adventure working their magic!

Building those badges

Now we’€™re sure you have an impressive collection of badges, ranging from core badges to those you earn through certain activities. Perhaps you earned your Astronomer Activity Badge after making a model of the solar system; or maybe you planned, served and cleared away a two-course meal for at least two people, leading you to receive a Chef Activity Badge!

As you know, there are loads of badges to collect and impress your friends with, and that’€™s what makes scouting so exciting. It encourages you to keep on looking for adventures to embark on and activities to complete. It encourages you to live life adventurously, which as you know, is what we’€™re all about!

Get your certificate

So, your badge collection is pretty impressive and it’€™s growing all the time, but do you have a certificate? More specifically, a Go Ape certificate!?

Monkey around in the treetops at Go Ape and you’ll be awarded a special certificate with your name written across the front of it! It’™ll be something you can cherish forever and ever; a memento of your time spent with us!

Pin it to a noticeboard, stick it to your fridge, place it on your mantelpiece,“ that certificate is proof that you are full of adventurous spirit and that you conquered a sky-high obstacle course at Go Ape!

As you whoosh down that final zip wire and head back to the hut, your Go Ape certificate will be ready and waiting for you. Make sure you put it somewhere extra safe on the journey home so that it doesn’t crease and crinkle!

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.

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