Friday, 30 March 2018

Double Date at Go-Ape! Aberfoyle, Scotland

With that beast of a winter coming to an end and the days getting a little longer Jess and I thought it was about time to surface from hibernation. Where better to shake of our winter laziness and start this years adventuring than at Go-Ape, Aberfoyle. We hailed a couple of friends to unleash our inner apes and go wild in the Spring sunshine (well, and the spring rain but we didn't let that stop us). If you're looking for quirky date ideas, then this is the place for you.

Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
We have never thought of doing something adventurous as a double date activity. Usually our double dates start in a restaurant, we can usually be found in some bar or other in the middle and they end in a kebab shop at 2AM. Not exactly very healthy and it gets a bit repetitive, no matter how many new kebab shops you try. Instead we invited our friends Graham and Kaitlin to join us in the trees for the day at Go Ape (where, on arrival, Kaitlin decided to tell us she was scared actually scared of heights, yelp). 


See us in action



While Go-Ape is great for kids you don't need to be a young whippersnapper to enjoy this place. In fact, all you need is some closed shoes (no crocs I'm afraid), t-shirt (no taps off either) and some clothes you don't mind getting a little dirty. Kids are full of energy, though, and I haven't climbed a tree since I was 10, I hear you say. Well have no fear because you can take plenty of rests throughout the adventure. And it's not all that taxing, even Jess was having so much fun than she forgot to moan about being exhausted. When it all gets a little too much, just let go and relax with the knowledge that you're safety harness will stop you from falling.

With 32 locations in the UK you're never too far from a Go-Ape, that is unless you're from the Scottish islands then it's just a great excuse to visit the mainland. In Scotland, you have three options with Aberfoyle being the closest to Glasgow, Crathes for Aberdeen and Peebles for south of Edinburgh. 

The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park in Aberfoyle is about an hours drive from Glasgow and is home to (Scotland's first) Go-Ape course which has been recently renovated to include some terrifyingly fun obstacles. With two of Britain's longest Zip-Lines (spanning 400ft at a height of 150ft) and multiple Tarzan swings you can fling yourself through the trees like an extra from the jungle book.

Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.comGo-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com

Before being set loose on the course the instructor will go through a quick safety demonstration explaining how the harness and kit works, it's well worth listening to this since the trees are pretty high and a fall from one would be quite the inconvenience. We were a bit nervous about the fact that you have to attach your own harness throughout the course but once it was thoroughly explained to us and we had a go on the practice course under the watchful eye of the instructor we realised it wasn't all that complicated. Always. Stay. Attached. 

Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com

Enough with safety, first up that 400ft Zip Line. You get to enjoy some pretty incredible views of the Trossachs whilst zipping across the trees, that is until you realise you're still going a bazillion miles an hour at the end point and then come to a graceful stop using your butt. Somehow Jess managed to master the zip line landing where she just elegantly jogged to a stop at the end point, the rest of us were less than impressed when we came in flat on our backs every time.

Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com

The course is spilt into 4 tree top courses full of obstacles (a couple of courses had 2 routes) and 2 zip lines at the start and finish. You can make the course as hard of difficult as you want by either holding on to the harness for dear life or trying to cross the obstacles no handed.

There are also handy forks in your path where you can choose easy or extreme depending on how athletic you're feeling.  Since we were a group of 4 the dual routes on the tree top courses stopped any bottle necking while you waited for someone to cross an obstacle. We never felt like we were standing around waiting, which can be the case with some activities like this.

Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com

The course is a perfect length. By the end of the last tree top course we were definitely ready for the zip line back to the main building to stuff our faces with some lunch but not so tired out that we thought we couldn't manage a walk to the squirrel watching hut in the forest (Jess and Kaitlin insisted). On the zip line back you get to experience those incredible views of the Trossachs one last time while you fly over a huge waterfall below.

Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com

All 4 of us unanimously agreed that our double date at Go Ape was brilliant. It was great to get out of the city, get some fresh air and be forced off our phones for the day. It's given us the adventuring bug and we're already planing our next double date with a difference, instead of planning our next pub crawl adventure in Finnieston.

Go Ape is definitely not just for kids. It's super fun for all ages. You will get a good work out and its perfect even on rainy days since the tree canopy acts as natures umbrella. There are also numerous hikes and walks around the area. Even if your beat from clambering through the trees I would still recommend the quick 10-minute walk to the Red Squirrel sanctuary where you can take a seat and watch a red squirrels zipping around eating nuts (safe in the knowledge that you're now just as good at climbing trees as they are, almost).


Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com



Details 

Adult (16+) Costs: £33
Child (10-15) Costs: £25
Min Age: 10yrs 
Min Height: 1.4m 
Max Weight: 130kg 
Under 16?: must be supervised by a participating adult
Car Park: £3 for all day 
Time on the course: Around 2.5 hours 


Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com
Go-Ape review, Aberfoyle, Scotland , Zipline, Rope Course, www.calmctravels.com

Thinking of heading this Easter? Well if you book now until the 15th of April you will get the chance to win some awesome prizes from a holiday for 4 to £100 gift vouchers for Bella Italia, for full details check out the offer here! 


*We were guests of Go-Ape for review purposes so our experience was complimentary. However, all opinions are entirely our own and this post is not sponsored.



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