Both my daughters have been lucky enough to have been to birthday parties at Go Ape recently.
What is Go Ape? I hear you ask.
Well, Go Ape is an outdoor adventure company which runs Tree Top Adventures, Forest Segways, Tree Top Junior Adventures and Zip Trekking Adventures. There are 30 (and counting) locations throughout the UK.
Our girls have both been to the Tree Top Junior adventure at Tilgate Park in Crawley so we decided to give Alice Holt Forest in Farnham a try.
Alice Holt is a royal forest in Hampshire, four miles south of Farnham in Surrey. It is part of the South Downs National Park and boasts an epic backdrop and is just a stone's throw away from where they filmed the opening battle from Gladiator and, more recently, scenes from Skyfall, Captain America and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
We chose to do the Tree Top Junior course which is suitable for anybody over one metre tall. - so aged four and over, Fin is literally 104 cm so only just tall enough.
On arrival you will be given a form to fill in and sign and also a sheet telling you the safety rules. Once you have memorised the rules, you are good to go.
Each person who is taking part gets fitted with a harness and a "trolley" attached to a rope. A member of staff tells you how they work and assures you that you will be safe. Then each person has a go on a low-down course to practice.
There are two tracks on the junior course, the highest platforms are six metres tall, the longest crossing in 12 metres and the zip wire is 34.5 metres. You get an hour to go around the two courses as many times as you like.
At £18 per person, this is not the cheapest day out, but for the amazing experience it is totally worth it. One adult (over 18) will have to go up with children under 6.
Being so small, I was unsure whether Fin was going to do it. It's not for the faint hearted. Some if the gaps in between the steps are pretty big for little legs. Lee went up behind him and kept helping him and encouraging him and he did amazingly well.
They say you should do something that scares you every day, I think he was pretty scared at first, but he ended up going round three times. The girls managed eight times each.
As you can see each crossing is different, there are swinging ones, rope bridges, logs and steps to go across. You are completely safe attached to the rope and trolley.
The course ends with a zip wire which the kids loved.
They all got a certificate and a sticker after the session was over. The staff were great, all really helpful and friendly. You are free to explore the forest afterwards for as long as you like.
You can see the larger Tree Top Adventure course, which is epic! This is for over 10's, minimum height of 140cm. The highest platforms are 14 metres, and the zip line is 126 metres. I think Keira is totally ready for this course. It made me dizzy just looking at it!
Further into the woods are things to play on like wooden tunnels, a giant wooden owl and an adventure playground.
We really had a fantastic day! I wish they had things like this when I was little. There are 30 locations in England, Scotland and Wales including a brand new one at Chessington World of Adventures.