A few weeks ago we were invited to GoApe to try their Tree Top Junior Course with the children. I’ve been to GoApe before but it was Dave and the children’s first time at GoApe and they were so excited! The sun was shining and it was such a nice way to spend an afternoon. Plus, it was at GoApe in Bracknell which is in the same place as one of the children’s favourite places – the Lookout Discovery Centre. There’s a great play area, cafe and the whole forest making it a great, full day out for the whole family.
With GoApe Tree Top Junior you arrive and read some safety information before having harnesses fitted and a proper safety briefing. The harnesses are different sizes to make sure they fit really well and they feel so secure. We were told rules about the course – how many people to have on any part at each time was the main rule and then we were attached to a practice course and off we went.
The main course is accessed by going up a set of stairs and at the bottom a member of staff connects you to either the left or right course. It’s nice that there are two separate courses and once attached you complete the whole course before you are released from the safety mechanism. This is great because your harness is constantly keeping you safe – on the adult course you have to constantly hook and unhook your safety ropes but on the junior course you know that your children are 100% safe at every point.
The Tree Top Junior course is made up of lots of different crossings with platforms at each end. So, you go across a crossing and then you have a moment of respite before the next crossing. The crossings vary massively but they are things like steps, nets and swinging steps. They get progressively harder as you go along.
It was great to see the children’s confidence build as they went round and anyone over the age of six can go round without an adult if they want to – however, I know LP wouldn’t have been happy going round by herself so it really does depend on the child, their ability and their confidence level.
Each of the course loops in Tree Top Junior finishes with a zip line which is a great finale. I found having our legs fully covered stopped the landing being too sore – although we did all end up with bark everywhere afterwards! And, there’s no doubt that the zip line was the children’s favourite part of our trip.
You have an hour to go around Tree Top Junior as many times as you want – although at busier times the restriction on how many people can be on a crossing/platform does make your progress lower and we found we were spending quite a lot of time waiting for other children to progress around the course. I think this was mostly down to their lack of confidence and parents leaving them to it after the first loop around.
We managed three loops of the course which was plenty for LP and Little Man. They left GoApe so happy and feeling like they had really accomplished something. Plus, they got a sticker and a certificate at the end too!
Here’s a little video we made of our visit:
Disclosure: We were invited to GoApe to try out the above activity but weren’t asked to write about it – but we loved it so much we thought we’d share it.