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A treetop adventure with Go Ape Glentress Forest
For quite a while I’ve been wanting to try a treetop adventure. It seems like the perfect activity to combine being outdoors, a bit of physical exercise and an adventure. Unfortunately you couldn’t bring a backpack on the course, so my camera had to stay in the car. But I did my best to caption some moments on my phone instead.
So together with a friend we drove to Glentress Forest to try out a Treetop Adventure with Go Ape!
Good to know
How much does it cost?
The Treetop Adventure that we did was £33 per person. It was the recommended course for children and adults over +12.
How far away is the course from Edinburgh?
It was about a 1h drive from central Edinburgh to the course. It is recommended to arrive early (15min -ish) to make sure you are in the right place. And to be able to go to the bathrooms if needed before it starts.
How much is parking?
The parking is located right next to the Go Ape hut and don’t forget to bring cash as the machine didn’t accept cards. I think it was around £3.50 for 3hours.
How strong will I need to be?
There certainly are physical elements in this course. I was a bit worried about this prior to the tour, but all elements went alright. It’s easy to forget that you are safely attached (important to always stay attached during the course!) but in the case of extreme segments there was options to do easier paths as well.
How long is the course?
We did it in about 2 hours but they say it’s about 2-3 hours for the Treetop Adventure. The time also depends on how many people you’ll have in your group as there can only be three people on each platform. So you might want to wait for each other between the obstacles.
Will it hurt?
What a dramatic response, ehe… But for me there was at least a little discomfort and pain in certain elements, especially when the carabinas dug in to my thigh during the ladder climbs due to how it was positioned. I also got slightly sore hands from climbing, but you’d kind of expect that from grabbing on to ladders, nets and cables. This may sound weird but the slight pain felt like part of the experience. It made it feel quite rough and when I managed to complete the different obstacles I actually felt an increase in my self-confidence and quite proud over myself for managing better than I expected.
What should I wear? Will I get dirty?
Wear comfortable clothes! You’ll be wearing a harness so perhaps consider wearing something without a belt as it might get uncomfortable. And maybe consider wearing something that doesn’t risk getting stuck in the course – leave the tassles at home ? ! AND remember a hair tie if you have long hair as they’ll ask you to wear your hair up.
You could get dirty – especially during the ziplines, as you might spin around on the way down which means it is trickier to land standing up – hence how I look further down in this blog post…
The Go Ape Treetop Adventure
When you get started you’ll gather at the back of the little reception hut. Across the road you’ll find the bathrooms should you need them. When everyone is in place you start off by learning the basics for how to attach or detach between different obstacles. You’ll learn very quickly and the golden rule is “never detach from both of the carabinas – always keep one one attached“. We did our adventure at the end of November so it was pretty chilly. I didn’t wear gloves which I didn’t mind too much as I would’ve felt as if I was slipping if I wore them. However my hands did get pretty cold, especially when touching the metal around the course. So it’s just a good thing to keep in mind!
When you go through the proper way to attach there is first a small version that you try it all on standing on the ground, as you can see above. And then when you walk up to the course you start off on an easier version, not too far off the ground so the instructor can see that everyone knows the basics.
This image below shows the most common way of attaching. You have two carabinas – so that one can be attached at all time. You’ll use them to secure to the blue thing, which is also attached to your harness. And that then acts like a railway that rolls along the cable above you in most obstacles and will catch you if you fall.
The Go Ape Tarzan Swings
There’s a few recurring sections during the course. Like the photo I just showed above, as well as wooden platforms to step on, zip wires and the thing I found most terrifying was the Tarzan Swings. The Tarwan Swings are basically when you attach to one larger attachment that will swing you from one platform to another. For me it was quite scary as you need to almost throw yourself off the platform in to the air and then just trust that the swing will carry you. There is then a net that will catch you that you’ll need to climb up to get to the next platform.
But it’s not just terrifying – it’s exhilarating and I got a proper adrenaline rush from it! one obstacles are also quite fun – I won’t spoil it but one involved a skateboard….
The WORST obstacle…
The obstacles that are attached in the way showcased on the image below are the WORST! I write that with a relief that I managed to get across because they’re so tricky. The ropes offer basically no stability. And I still have bruises in my armpits after clinging on for dear life to the wires where the ropes attach.
The Go Ape Ziplines
The highlight of the whole course was the longest zipline that took you across the little valley. We got some wonderful views of the sun starting to set over the hills.
With that said, the ziplines aren’t always as easy as you might think. Each little course finishes with a zipline and then you walk to the next. There’s about 5 individual courses if I remember correctly and I only managed to land my ziplines nicely on half of those… The tricky thing is that either you land with quite high speed. So if you don’t time the running correctly you might do a little role poly and almost face plant – yes, that might’ve happened to yours truly.
You might also spin around in the air when you are on the zipline. It’s not easy to control what direction you face and if you end up going backwards you basically land on your bum. Hence how dirty my leggings were after our adventure. The two larger ones will slow down at the end so on those you won’t need to worry about your landing as it’s very smooth and easier than the others! I’m not writing this to scare anyone – they’re all great fun as well!
Bruised, dirty & happy
Another reason to dress comfortably and in clothes that might not be your prettiest it that there’s a risk you’ll look like me when you are done.
What did my company think?
” I would probably recommend that you don’t dress like I did – don’t wear a belt and have comfortable clothes that you can wear underneath the harness. And maybe bring a thermos and a hot drink that you can drink after your adventure! “Livia
We had lots of fun and I would happily do it again! For me it was the perfect combination of being outdoors and physically active whilst having fun and feeling quite adventurous!
Next time I’ll make sure to wear even comfier clothes, and if it is equally as cold I’d probably try and bring some gloves with some sort of grip to keep myself a bit warmer. And a thermos of some sort of hot drink and some fika to enjoy afterwards.
Have you done a treetop adventure?
What did you think and would you recommend it?
Looking for more adventures?