Gemma and Jacob have always been thrill seekers, searching out the biggest and fastest rides at theme parks and always looking for the next challenge. So when Go Ape got in touch to see if we would like to try out the Treetop Adventure at Haldon I knew they’d definitely be up for it!
Children need to be a minimum of 1.4m for this experience, and Jacob is JUST the right height, measuring 1.4m exactly on the day we went. Obviously children need to be accompanied by an adult if they are under 16, and one adult can supervise up to 2 children. I do not have a head for heights at all, so Kevin went along with Gemma and Jacob while I kept my feet firmly on the ground!
On arrival, everyone was fitted with a harness and shown how to use the equipment safely. Following this, there is a low level course where you can practice with the equipment and the tree platforms and ropes before you tackle the higher courses. This is where I started to feel a little nervous. Because Jacob was only just big enough, he sometimes struggled to reach the hooks in order to unhook and reattach safety lines. I shouldn’t really have worried, as each harness has 2 safety lines, which are moved one at a time, meaning you are always attached by at least one line. But I still felt a bit concerned about him struggling several metres above the ground.
There are 4 levels on the Treetop Adventure, getting progressively harder and higher. The kids were totally fearless, climbing up the ladders, attaching themselves safely and efficiently and tackling every single obstacle. There is such a great variety of things to try, and some areas had 2 options – an easy route and a hard route, so you can see how you feel at the time. Each of the 4 zones ends with a zipwire back down to ground level, with the longest being 230m. The kids absolutely loved these!
The last zone is the highest, and has some of the hardest obstacles, from the log balance to the stepping stones. During the trial session on the low course, the children were shown how to do this with no hands, simply relying on their safety harness, but they weren’t quite brave enough to do this at 14 metres above the ground, and I can’t say I blame them!
I can’t honestly believe they completed it – it’s definitely not something I could have done. Not only did they complete it, they absolutely loved every second of it. The whole experience from start to finish was so well organised and completely customer focused. The staff were friendly, professional and nothing was too much trouble. The kids were cheered on and encouraged, and they took time out to chat to me too, and advise me of the best places to stand for photos and great views. Safety was a top priority from the off, and I was relieved to see how they were happy to talk through things over and over until the children were happy and confident.
Priced at £25 for a Baboon (10-15 years) and £33 for a Gorilla (16+), it’s not the cheapest activity, but you can appreciate why it costs what it does – a lot of work and upkeep goes into this course and the safety training. It’s definitely something we would consider doing again, for a birthday or special occasion.