Last week was certainly a birthday week. First it was The Urban Wanderer’s 1st birthday and then the 10th Birthday Celebrations at Go Ape Buxton. So a perfect time for getting up to some fun. Not that I need an excuse, as you know, but when you get snacks afterwards it doesn’t get much better. Oh wait, yes it does! There are woods to explore too.
It was rather coincidental that Go Ape’s 10th Birthday should land so close to my blog birthday (the day after, in fact!) and for them to send me an invite to celebrate with them too. Perfect timing, if you ask me.
Go Ape has been one of those activities that I have been meaning to try for absolutely ages. For years we have passed by them and I’ve had a hankering to go, but we have never made it. Not even for my real birthday. Although, I definitely think celebrating my blog birthday is going to become a “real thing” after the fun we’ve had this year. And who would say no to two birthdays every year? Not me!
Anyway, when I received an invitation to celebrate Go Ape’s 10th Birthday in Buxton, I was chuffed to pieces and excited to finally be able to have a go.
With great excitement, we prepared our breakfast, a flask (OK, two flasks and a travel mug!) and a picnic; chucked on our hiking gear, packed the car up with spare clothes and hit the road to the Peaks. Surprisingly the journey was really quick and we were there in good time to scoff down our breakfast before going to the balloon and bunting clad log cabin.
We were greeted by Liam who welcomed us and handed us the necessary paperwork and instructions to prepare us for the adventure. After a moment of taking in the information, signing away our lives (only kidding) and disclosing our ages (21 obviously!), we were on our way to putting on our harnesses.
It wasn’t long until we were all kitted up and ready to have a go on the training wires – ground level to make sure we knew what we were doing with our carabiners and other bits of kit.
Into the trees!
Having completed our training we were set loose to adventure on our own (well, with some support from the ground). We excitedly (yes, even
30-somethings 21 year olds get very excited about ladders, trees and swings! ) made our way to the first enclosure to start climbing the rope ladder.
And within such a short space of time our adventure had begun. Both Jit and I were eager to get onto to the obstacles and tracks to make our way around the course. One thing that I noticed was how it goes up in height and challenge as you go around the course. This is great as it gives you the chance to get into it. Not being afraid of heights we spent a lot of time looking down enjoying the drop and excitedly making our way to the higher ones.
Rope bridges and sky stepping-stones
One thing that became apparent really quickly is the variety of obstacles to get you between the trees. From rope bridges, Tarzan swings, to sky stepping stone and even stirrups. And it is a bit of a full body workout at times too. Each one challenging you to keep your balance and work out the best way across.
With the weather getting damper and more rainy, even under the canopy of the trees, we had the added extra of slightly slippery footings. Although, to be honest, we found this to be quite a fun addition to the experience even when we had to hood up.
There were only six of us in our group so we had plenty of time to get around with space between us. Because of this, I would highly recommend going during the week then the kids are at school! It makes for better pictures too.
In the trees there is a lovely peaceful quietness which was occasionally broken by giggles and squeals. It made for a very fun experience, especially with the stunning green views in the distance. I never really appreciated the other aspects of Go Ape before, the ambiance in the trees, the senses alert and interested and the views from such a great height. Even if you’re not particularly in it for the obstacles, you can always enjoy the other elements!
Slowly does it
To our surprise when we arrived, we found out that we would be up in the trees for a few hours. I never really thought about it before, but kind of assumed that it would be about 40 minutes or so. We were getting to it from 10am to around 12:15pm. I know we were dawdling a little with taking photos, but that is a good amount of time getting your adventure on. Well worth the money!
Back to the fun
Anyway, back to how much fun we were having!
I can’t really put my finger on what it was that made the experience so much fun. I think that both the company and setting played a part though, definitely. Luckily Belle was about to help us identify the more challenging routes too, which created much laughing as well as muscle stretching. Boy did I feel some muscles the next day!
As you can see by the photos (and if you were following the day over on Instagram) I had my grin well and truly set. I’m surprised I didn’t catch more flies in the process of swinging and sliding through the trees.
After our final decent on the long zip slide we were on our way back to the hut. To a welcoming spread of snacks, drinks and even a party bag and balloon.
Liam greeted us back at the hut with our certificates for joining the #GoApeTribe, our goodie bags, balloons and snacks. Smiles on our faces, we tucked into the food. But only after getting a photo of us fresh-faced and grinning from our adventures in the trees.
To be honest, as well as not realising that Go Ape had been around for so long, I didn’t really know much about the company itself. An added bonus to the day and the 10th birthday celebrations was that we got to chat with the team. And a very nice team they are too. We asked tons of questions and they were all really cool answering them and filling us in on the beginnings, the development and more. We even got to watch the video specially made for Tris and Becs, the owners. (check it out and find out more here)
Love at first sight
Everything the team said about the company made me fall in love with it! (you don’t need a social media marketer/engagement manager and content creator up North, do you?!) 😉 I don’t think it was just the excitement of having done the course that was causing it. No, it definitely wasn’t. To be honest, I think this bit is a post in itself – I could go on and on!
One thing was certain, the staff team were happy to be there. This came through in everything that they did and the way they spoke about Go Ape as a whole. Even the length of time they had all been there spoke volumes. I personally think that when teams are happy, then the customers get the best experience and I can vouch for that one at the Go Ape in Buxton. You know what? I’m going to do another post on this stuff! There’s too much to just leave it out – and it includes fun facts too. Everyone loves fun facts! Keep checking back for it.
The Birthday celebrations
Even Ernie (Liam’s dog!) joined us for the fun, although I suspect that he was just after the food!
Our joint birthday celebrations really did make my week. Not only did I get to try something I’ve been looking to do for a very long time, I got to chat with new friends, enjoy the adventures and even have a party too. I will definitely be back for another go and can’t wait to get back in the trees too. I seriously didn’t anticipate just how much I would love it!
Finally I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Go Ape and Go Ape Buxton for inviting us to join you for the celebrations! It was a fantastic day and we’re already looking forward to seeing you all again very soon.
Here’s to many more birthday celebrations at Go Ape Buxton – whether it is yours or mine, or my blogs! We’ll be there with
bells harnesses on!
Have you been to Go Ape Buxton? Can you recommend other ones? We’re now addicted and adding them to the camping list!
Let me know in the comments below…
Disclosure: Go Ape invited me and Jit to celebrate with them and paid for our entry onto the course. As always all photos, writing and views are my own and honest opinion.