Last weekend Jamie and I headed up to Aberfoyle for a day swinging from the trees at Go Ape. The only way that I can describe Go Ape is that it is a tree-top adventure obstacle course that really gets every part of your body working and really pushes the boundaries of what you thought your limitations were. We had always wanted to go here but with life getting in the way it was just something another thing that we had forgotten to do this summer.
We were booked in for a 12pm slot so arrived early to get checked in and sign our disclaimers. Pyramid Products were also kind enough to send us a variety of products to help keep the midges at bay while hanging around the trees, so I sprayed myself with the Trek Sensitive Insect Repellent and Jamie covered himself in the Trek Midge & Tick Repellent. It was one of the typical Scottish days where it’s rainy but not cold, and the rain just sort of sits in the air for hours, so we were grateful for the protection!
After signing our lives away, which I must admit made me even more scared to what lay ahead for us in the dense and ever-lasting forest below, we met up with our group and our lovely guide (Siobhan I think!). Once secured into our harnesses we were given a very thorough briefing on how to navigate through the course as safely as possible, which was followed up by a test to see how well we were all listening!
Being the little shy gal that I am and standing at the edge of the group, I was quickly chosen as the group’s guinea pig on the first obstacle: the super long zip line that stretched across from the visitor centre down on to the course on the forest floor. I must admit I was terrified at first, but I have this innate little voice in my head that tells me if I don’t say yes to opportunities in life that scare me, then I will have regrets. So off I went, whizzing across the tree tops and straight into the forest to continue with my exhilarating adventure.
The main course itself starts off quite easy and gets more challenging as you go on, but your confidence grows with using the harness and equipment; so by the end you feel like a pro and wonder why you were ever scared to begin with. The obstacles are all 150m up off the ground and vary in length and difficulty, from zip lines and step bridges to tarzan swings and stirrups! There really is something for everyone. And if you get a little scared or have a question, there are guides dotted around the forest floor to help.
After around 2 to 3 hours of swinging from the trees, we were absolutely knackered and the majority of our body ached. But the pain was worth the sense of achievement we had from conquering the course. We were also itch-free so assumed the midge repellent had worked wonders for us! (The hand sanitiser also came in handy at the end of the day, we were quite dirty!).
We had an amazing time from start to finish and the staff were excellent and clearly loved their jobs. I’m already planning to book up again!
Try Something Adventurous
For some reason this year I’ve vowed to say yes to more opportunities that make me scared, and Go Ape was one of them. It’s not that I’ve had a massive boost of confidence but rather a fear of having regrets. I was scared for the first five minutes until I realised if a 12 year old could do it, then I could, too! Is there a better feeling than accomplishment?
Top Tips & Things to Note
- Arrive in plenty of time so you can sign your disclaimer and listen in on the safety talks
- If you want to take photos while on the course, wear clothes with a zipped pocket so you can put your camera or phone in it
- Wear clothes you are comfortable getting dirty
- Choose closed-toe, comfy shoes (preferably with grip)
- Wearing gloves helps (bring your own or buy at the front desk)
- Midge repellent also helps when in the forest for hours!
- For those that don’t want to take part, there are paths that the public can walk
- There are water dispensers dotted around the course but no loos!
Disclaimer*: Our trip to Go Ape and Pyramid Products were complimentary in return for an honest review, but as always, all views and opinions are my own.