Saturday 19 October 2013

#CountryKids Go Ape at Whinlatter #WeLoveForests

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sometimes you have to fulfil those promises you hope your child will forget. In my case today it was the when you are 10 we will do Go Ape together. The fact I hate heights and am totally useless at rope ladders and scramble nets didn't get me out of this one!

Just glad my son is 3 years too young even if he is already tall enough at not quite 7:

Go Ape Whinlatter Height

Having signed mine and my daughter's lives away on the safety form we had our briefing and checked out how to use the course. At this point I thought we would manage to miss the extreme routes:

Go Ape Whinlatter sign

You really shouldn't look too closely at the course before you tackle it as it looks pretty daunting:

Go Ape Whinlatter

The first section combines a practice and a test of whether we have listened to the instructor. It lets you in gently:

Go Ape Whinlatter 1st go

Go Ape Whinlatter my turn

Go Ape Whinlatter safely over

Then it was time for our first little zip wire which we both managed before you get to the point of no return as once you pass through the next gate you are committed and can't get a refund! I have to say the subsequent sections are a lot higher than the first one:

Go Ape Whinlatter bridge

Go Ape Whinlatter bridge

Go Ape Whinlatter wire

Then we had an unavoidable extreme where we Tarzan swung into a cargo net. I have to say I wasn't too happy about clambering off the net and nearly came a cropper at this stage:

Go Ape Whinlatter cargo

Each section had a rope ladder to ascend and then a zip wire to descend. At all times we had to be clipped on by at least one safety line and sometimes even three! It did make it feel safe to launch yourself into space:

Unfortunately the photos I thought I had taken on my son's camera didn't save but luckily I had my iPhone safely zipped in a pocket and managed to get some high up shots:

Go Ape Whinlatter big cargo net

As you can see it was a long way down from here:

Go Ape Whinlatter don't look down

That was the worst part of the course for me as I have limited upper body strength and really struggled to cross it! I am pleased that I did manage to complete the course even if I did take the easier route when offered it...

We both came off tired and exhilarated and contemplating doing it again - think I need my head examining! Here are our videos with plenty of screams, whoops and tumbles:

I will wrap up my post with my 10 Tips for Go Ape:
  1. Check height restriction my daughter was a few centimetres over the 140 but she had a struggle on some parts to clip on and off
  2. Its physically hard work so I would recommend building up your upper body strength in the weeks before you take part it enabled me to cross the cargo net
  3. One group up with us had some friends go to the wrong Go Ape (Grizedale) so make sure when arranging a group you say which one!
  4. Dress appropriately - trousers that a) enable you to stretch b) that won't be ruined when you inevitably end up on your bottom in the bark chippings at end each zip wire
  5. Gloves were very useful to protect hands when on cargo nets etc
  6. Wear shoes or boots which don't have smooth soles as you need to balance on some very narrow pieces of wood and wires
  7. Unlike me check that your camera that you take up the top with you is actually working and is on a lanyard
  8. Bring along a friend to take photos and video from down below
  9. Listen carefully to the instructions and safety brief especially the one to always have one safety line attached at any time
  10. Just go for it and be amazed at what you can get yourself to do even when scared stiff!


  1. You deserve a medal!

  2. Looks amazing - and how brave - so high. Funny I was just talking about Go Ape with my husband.

  3. I'd love to give this a go. Sadly I'd be the only one in my immediate family who'd do it.

  4. well done! did you enjoy it? xxxx

  5. Coombe Mill (Fiona)27 October 2013 at 13:41

    What an exhilirating experience for you both - well done. No doubt to be repeated once your son is old enough. Thanks for linking up your scary photos and sharing with Country Kids.

  6. sabrina montagnoli27 October 2013 at 15:47

    Well done you! the things we do for our kids. I did one ages ago with my husband and some friends just to help get over some of that fear of heights and it was good fun in the end. It's the lurch in the stomach when you jump from a high point to a cargo net that got me!

  7. This course looks like so much fun. I would love to do that! Great pictures. Good for you for fulfilling your promise even though it was scary.

  8. Wow, how brave were you? Well done. I've never even done the junior version.

  9. when you come here we can do it ;-)


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