Towards the end of last year, Lola, Finn and I went to Go Ape, Moors Valley with my sister (that's her pictured with the kids!). If you've not heard of Go Ape, it's a tree top adventure for the whole family. You're basically working your way through a course in the trees - there's obstacles, zip lines and more. Go Ape Junior is for the under 10s and there's a bigger, more challenging course for the older kids and adults.
Go Ape, Moors Valley is situated about ten miles north of Bournemouth in Moors Valley Country Park. The park itself is stunning, and it's worth a visit whether or not you're doing Go Ape - there's fabulous trails and lots of play areas for the kids. We will be going back again soon!
We - my sister, Lola (7) and Finn (3) - did the junior trail and much fun was had. Lola LOVED it, she flew around the course, landing on her feet on the zip wire and was in hysterics when I landed on my arse. Finn on the other hand, who is a very careful child anyway, wasn't as keen. He loved the idea of it, but being high with "broken bridges" and platforms with no handrails made him nervous, so he only did the first half of the junior trail. The staff were brilliant with him, and they give him - and all of us - good advice and training. They were very sweet at the end with him too, and he got his certificate to his absolute delight. All ages are welcome on the junior trail but with a minimum height of 3ft 3" and a maximum weight of 20.5 stone. The Go Ape Tree Top Junior adventure can take up to 1 hour to complete (if you’re speedy it will take less time) and that includes your safety briefing - Lola made it round twice in her hour. Fearless child she is!
If you're there for the day, take a picnic and enough drinks. Although there's a cafe on site which is on the expensive side for what you get, very slow, and when we were there, messy, despite it not being that busy. There is a good enough selection, and the portions are on the large side. It's the only negative thing of our trip out - Go Ape was great fun and the country park is beautiful with lots to do.
There are other Go Ape venues throughout the UK, so if you're looking for something fun to do in beautiful surroundings, check it out. Top tip - wear something you don't mind getting mucky and obviously dress for the weather but I'd recommend gloves. And you may just end up with woodchip down your pants.... I am sure that's not just me!
Go Ape, Moors Valley, Moors Valley Country Park, Horton Road, Ashley Heath, Nr Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 2ET. Tree Top Adventure closes after 4th December until 11th February but Tree Top Junior remains open throughout winter. Check before you head off though, as sometimes they're only open weekends etc. Junior is £18 per person.