When we were approached to visit and review Go Apes new treetops course at Tilgate Park Crawley I don’t know who was more excited me or the boy?
I know as the time drew near I was a bit nervous as to whether I would end up letting the boy down by not being able to go up the trees with him. I needn’t have worried as it was AMAZING! (In the words of a 7-year-old)
Go Ape Tilgate Park, Crawley was very easy to find and get parked and we arrived in plenty of time for our booking slot of 11:45 they do tell you to arrive 15 minutes early. We were taking part in the Junior tree tops adventure, there is a larger course for adults and children over 10 and 1.40cm tall. The first thing you are asked to do is read some basic safety instructions and sign a disclaimer all fairly standard. We were then given wrist bands and sent off for our harness and safety briefing. You don’t have to walk far from the cabin, but we did have to wait as other families were finishing their adventure. Don’t worry though as you get a full hour from the time you finish the safety instructions, and this is plenty of time to get round more than once. We were both fitted with a harness, and I would advise you have comfy clothing, and possibly long sleeves as it was a little chilly out of the sun.
We were taught how to clip our Koala safety clips to the main wire of the course and in no time at all we were away. It took a few goes to work out how to get the safety clip over the track, but soon the boy was way ahead. First you climb on the left to a circuit that took us about 10 minutes to complete, with lots of bridges and ropes and a tricky v shaped net. I think I found sections more difficult as the safety line was above my head and it kept catching my ear! I would advise tying hair back well!
Then at the end of 5 or 6 bridges I wasn’t counting you come to a zip line. Not something I can say I fancied but its the only way down. I wouldn’t say I had a soft landing but I’m sure it was amusing for those other families watching.
Back round at the start you are asked to do the same course again but this time no holding onto the green side ropes, easier said than done. Again another perfect zip wire for the boy, and an amusing landing from me! Now you are sent up on the right side of the course, this is defiantly more tricky, it has no green handrails, and has some tricky rope parts. It is finished off with yes you guessed it another zip line! This time I managed to land ok, but was told by the boy it wasn’t great. Oh well, thank goodness that’s all over but no! We were still in time for another go. We worked out an average of 10 minutes for the short course and 20 minutes for the harder one, so you can fit in 2 of each. This works well as although it feels like it was really busy when you are up in the trees the kids are really spread out.
We were very lucky that the man who had booked us in was on the gate when we arrived back to ground level and let us have a 3rd go as he knew we were reviewing, but at this point I think most sane parents would have had enough. I did however manage on my 5th Zip line experience to perform a perfect running landing, for which I am very proud! On arrival back on the ground everyone is given a certificate even me, and a badge which is kind of cool.
And what did we think?
I can honestly say it was like nothing I have ever done before. I know it was the junior course, but I felt safe at all times and despite the height and one slip, I am still buzzing now! I would so love to do the adult course and think I might have to treat the boy to another go possibly at one of the other sites. I liked the site, but having been to look round the full size one I would say the Junior one is noisy as it is next to the playground and the road. It might have been nice to be tucked away a bit more in the forest, but I guess this is more convenient.
His video explains what he thought.
He loved it too, and was still talking about it at bedtime. He was tinged with a small amount of disappointment that he wasn’t old enough or tall enough to do the adult one, but this is something to look forward too.
Thank you to Go Ape for allowing us to come and have our very own treetop adventure, our entrance was given to us but the opinions remain ours and are unaltered.