Sunday, 1 July 2018

Go Ape: Temple Newsam Review

Go Ape has arrived in Leeds, well it arrived a few months ago but it nearly didn't arrive in Leeds at all. The site wasn't actually originally planned for Temple Newsam it was meant for Roundhay Park but we are glad we finally have a site in Leeds. For those who are reading this who have no idea what Go Ape is then let me just sum it up in a few words, sky high adventure!

We arrived bang on time for our time slot at Go Ape which was lucky as traffic had been a bit of a nightmare. When we reached The Cabin we were given safety sheets to read and hand to sign a few things. We had a few personal belongings with us which we kept in the cabin, we swapped our belongings for a wrist band with a number on. After we had signed in and got our wrist bands on we went round to the back of the cabin to get strapped into our harness. I was nominated to be the first person to get strapped in, the harness was pretty comfortable and held flabby bits firmly in place. The harness that I wore went over my shoulders and round my legs my sister's harness was slightly different and also had a whistled attached in case you needed help around the course. Everyone has to wear a harness which is fitted by an instructor to ensure that it is on correctly.

After getting fitted into the harness you are told about the trolley and the carabiner and taken to a practice area. The instructor then demonstrate's how to use them and give's a few ground rules on the do's and don'ts of the course. It was at this point I realised you don't have an instructor go round the course with you. We then got to take it in turn's to go on the practice course, up some stairs walk along a rope to the next tree then zipline down. Easy!

At Temple Newsam if you are doing level 3 like we did there are five courses to complete. We started at number 6, this was an easy course to start on. I took the lead on this followed by my 13 (Molly) and 15 (Trinity) year old sister then friend and fellow blogger Nicola. My 13 year old sister is not the best with heights and need a lot of encouragement to get round this first course but she did it and was super proud of herself as were we. On one of the part's of this course there is a section where you can go one of to ways, the difficult way or the extreme way. Molly and me went the via the difficult route where as Trinity and Nicola Go Ape and take the extreme route. To get back to the ground it's just a zipline a way.

All courses but one end via a zipline. The one that does not has what is called the plummet, the course for this is really short and simple. You climb a tower walk and in my case lose your footing across a bridge then get clipped in and jump. I didn't think Molly would do this as you are pretty high up and you are stood there looking over the edge of the platform and you have to make yourself jump, which is actually pretty difficult but what's even more difficult is landing it. I literally hit the floor like a sack of potatoes.

The most testing course is the one that starts you off by climbing a tower, watching and hearing people scream as they fall or get pushed off the ledge. They swing across into a net then have to climb the net to reach the platform. Molly opted out of doing this one whilst at the top but luckily there was a route that took her to the next stage other wise everyone has to get off as once your trolley and carabiner are on you can't get them off until the end. On the tarzan swing there is a Go Ape instructor who makes sure that you are clipped on correctly and then tells you what to do when you hit the net. If you don't feel like you can jump or slide yourself off the edge then they do offer the option of them pushing you, clearly the best job there. Trinity jumped off the edge no problem where as Nicola and myself chose to sit and shuffle off none of us required a shove though.

We ended our day on course 7 which I think is the best to end on. This course didn't require too much pulling yourself across up down and round which was great as my body was aching so much at this point and my hands were so sore, gloves are optional but I would recommend wearing some I know I will next time I go. So this course is super fun you zipline from tree to tree landing on a platform each time, at some points it looks like you won't make it across but if you don't there are so ropes so you can pull yourself across. Be careful of those ropes though as while I was flying across one got trapped under my arm and gave me a nice little rope burn, ouch! After flying from tree to tree you then reach the last zipline back down to the ground. Now at the training part you are told how to land at a zipline so you run forward if facing forward and drag your heels if facing sideways or backwards, during the whole course none of us managed a good landing we all sort of flopped into the wood chippings collecting plenty in our pants. However the final zipline I was the last to go down and I landed it, I bloody did it I landed that last zipline like a pro.

I really enjoyed this experience however there are a few things that would of made it better. There are a few rope bridges and whilst I was walking through these my harness would get caught and loosen a little meaning I then had to get an instructor to tighten it again for me. I think it would be better if they could either make the rope holes smaller's or make another elastic part on the harness so it didn't flap and get caught. We couldn't take out phone's with us, not because we weren't allowed but we just didn't have any pockets that would keep them safe while we went round. It would be great if they could add something onto the harness like a zip pocket so that people could take a phone round to take some pictures. I did mention these points while there as it isn't something you think about before you go you so if you do plan to go make sure you have zipppy pockets if you want to take a tree top selfie.

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