I don’t know how ‘Ape’ I went, when I visited the Aberfoyle location of this popular extreme activity company’s high rope courses last Friday, but swinging through trees on Tarzan ropes was probably pretty close to the real thing. The Aberfoyle course was the first to be built in Scotland, and you can find it in the beautiful Queen Elizabeth National Park. I turned up with a fellow writer in tow to check out it out.
The Go Ape! course is really easy to find, located at the popular David Marshall Lodge, and well signposted to get there, as well. We started by having a coffee in the Lodge coffee shop, waiting for our allocated time, before heading over to the wood-built office to sign in.
There were six adults in our group in total and after we’d got kitted out in our harnesses, one of the instructors, Greig, showed us the ropes…so to speak! The whole system is really straight forward. All the carabiners and pulleys are colour coded, there’s a practice area so you can have a go at clipping on before you head off on your own, and every obstacle you arrive at has a card with instructions, just in case you aren’t sure how to get across it. Although short, the briefing is comprehensive, and before you knew it, we were off.
I found myself flying through the air on one of the longest Zip wires in Britain, over 400ft long, and over 150ft in the air. It was a scream. Literally! I’d like to say I landed gracefully, but I ended up on my back, covered in bark, and looking like an ape in camouflage! Lovely.
There are six stages to this course, each culminating with a zip line, and each giving you the chance to tackle progressively harder challenges. The rope crossings became higher, the platforms became narrower, and as you headed off into the depths of the forest you wondered whether you’d make it across all 35 crossings. The whole course took us a just over an hour, and by the time I’d finished, I really had to admit that it was the most fun I’d had in ages.
Things We Liked:
- Each part of the course is marked with a level of difficulty, so if you want to miss a bit out, you could if you wanted to.
- Extreme sections are well-marked and offer an alternative easy route for primates who aren’t feeling too confident.
- You get a cool certificate at the end of it.
- The booking form (I loved this) comes with a countdown clock so you can keep track of how many days, hours and minutes you have to wait…
- The location: the scenery is superb, and it makes a change seeing it from this angle.
- The staff were all excellent. Helpful, patient and friendly. A pretty good combination when you’re crawling around above them in an ungainful fashion.
Candidtraveller had a great day out at Go Ape!