Last weekend, I had the pleasure to head down to the Scottish Borders to take part in the GoApe Tree Top Adventure in the Glentress Forest near Peebles. It’s situated about an hour south of Edinburgh so after an interview (I know, another!) I met up with some friends and we drove down. It’s early April so the weather was a bit chilly and very windy, but we had so much fun!
Full disclosure, I was invited by Go Ape to come along. I was so happy to accept their invitation though. Last year I did the course at Aberfoyle (in the Trossachs National Park) and it was so much fun, and this time around, it was even better. I think the course at Glentress was much higher – which makes for more thrilling experiences. It was also much less crowded than last year – perhaps because we went during the midst of summer holidays last time.
Go Ape just celebrated its 15th birthday and I was so happy to be involved! I love the fact that there are courses like that all across the country. It’s a fun way to explore a new region of the country, get outdoors on a little adventure and get a good work out out of it (and perhaps face your fears if you’re a little like me).
Like I said earlier, I loved the course at Peebles! We had a little bit of a hike to do at the beginning, but it was so worth it to be so high on the mountain and in the trees. The staff was lovely and just really helpful! I always felt really safe and they were around if we had any questions.
I’m a bit afraid of heights so it’s always a bit of a challenge for me to throw myself off big trees. Exhibit A: Me taking literally 5 minutes to throw myself off the tarzan swing…while having children behind me whisper about why I wasn’t taking the easy way. I have to say, I annoyed myself, but I had to face my fears!
What I do love the most about these tree top adventures are the zip wires. I LOVE ziplines! It’s worth writing in caps, I swear. They actually told me they have a zip wire only course in the Lake District and I think it may be time for me to head down there soon!
Glentress also has the highest zip wire in the country! I mean that’s scary, but amazing! They gave us such breath-taking views. One of my friend was a little scared so she didn’t get to enjoy the view as much, but I swear it’s so worth it! If you look over the horizon, it’s always amazing the view you get of the mountains. I had a similar moment at Aberfoyle, but it was a colourful sunset, so even more amazing!
The other cool thing with these Go Ape courses (or at least the two I’ve been at to date) is that after your amazing adventure, you can just kind of enjoy the forest. There are usually little cafés, or picnic areas, and other activities to take part in, if you’re really looking for a full day of adventure!
I took a few pictures with my cellphone – they came out quite blurry when I was on top of the trees…I can’t imagine why… But thankfully Go Ape also sent me some much better photos!
Here’s a little video that one of my friend took of me zip lining down to the ground – notice the graceful landing! 😉
5 tips for enjoying GoApe to the max
1. Prepare for any weather. >> I’ve been lucky that each time I’ve gone, it’s been relatively good weather, but I’m so happy that this time around I had brought literally two big shirts, a light running scarf and a windbreaker. I wore all of it and it was perfect.
2. Wear something comfy. >> I always wear leggings or running gear when I go. It makes the wear of the harness easier.
3. Bring gloves – especially if you’re going in colder weather. >> My hands were sore for a few hours after the course, but it was mostly the cold that hurt them, especially when handling the wires.
4. Bring a camera. >> So cameras are difficult to bring on these kind of adventures. What we ended up doing is having our phones tucked away in our pockets. I only snapped a few photos because I was afraid to drop it, but you can always take photos of your friends while you’re safe on the ground.
5. Listen to the instructions. >> Just do it. Be safe.
Have you ever been to Go Ape or other similar tree adventures?xx
**I was invited to enjoy the Go Ape Peebles course free of charge, but all opinions are my own.**