Go Ape is known across the country for it’s Tree Top adventures among other activities such as Forest Segway and last week Haldon Forest in Devon opened up it’s brand new Tree Top Junior adventure – perfect for children over 1m tall and is available to both children and adults alike. I knew my two would be delighted to try it out so as we were passing Haldon Hill for our holidays, we popped in to check it out.
The children had no idea we were stopping as we heading Exeter bound on the A38 so when we stopped off at Haldon Forest and they spotted the Go Ape signs their eyes lit up with excitement in anticpation of what lie ahead!
There is a large car park at Haldon Forest for all your foresting adventures and once parked up we followed the directions that lead us to the Go Ape reception. The staff were very welcoming and asked us to read the safety guidelines and sign in, and then we were directed over to the Tree Top Junior starting area. Again here we found the staff incredibly friendly, happy to help and encouraging as they gave the children their harnesses and showed them how to proceed along the structures between the trees.
Needless to say both children were incredibly excited and fearless as they made their way around the Go Ape Tree Top Junior courses and loved waving to me from up high. Every section of crossing is different with the wood structure that you step on laid out differently from straight planks to crosses, zig zags to netting walk throughs.
At the end of each round you get to zipwire down to the ground and it’s a great size with a fantastic landing pad at the end. The children were thrilled with the height it came down from and certainly helped end each round on an ultimate thrill. There are loops to follow through the trees and if you are fast paced you can repeat some again until your hour time limit is up. The hour around the course costs £18 per person and for what it entails it is good value and certainly left my children feeling overjoyed and incredibily upbeat at the end. The staff as I’ve mentioned beforehand are incredibly friendly and help the children at various points along with double checking their harnesses are tight. A nice finishing touch is a sticker and certificate to certify that they have completed the Tree Top Junior course and left them feeling delighted at their experience at Go Ape Haldon Forest!
Would we attend again? Most definitely yes as according to my kids the experience is “amazing, phenomenal and can we come again?”.
I think I can safely say if my kids behave we’ll be back for treat days out at Go Ape Haldon Forest – just 40 minutes up the road from home it’s a great place to visit to explore the outdoors with adventures at Go Ape along with walking trails, bike trails and much more!
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.
The Tamar Trails Centre is located on the border of Devon and Cornwall just a short drive from the town of Tavistock. The centre covers over 25km of trails with stunning scenery over which you can walk, bring you bike to cycle or even ride a horse along and enjoy at your leisure. There are also some chargeable activities such as tree surfing and archery which we were invited to try out and share our thoughts with you.
Not being particularly keen on swinging through trees myself, I seem to have produced a rather adventurous 8yr old daughter who loves nothing more than being outdoors or playing sports. Being in the house for more than a few hour invokes cabin fever so the Tamar Trails Centre is right up her street and I couldn’t wait to see what she thought. I also have a 5yr old son who doesn’t have the same outgoing nature and I was a little sceptical as to how well he’d fair, but knew this would be a great opportunity to expose him to something new and in the end, I needn’t have worried in the slightest. After an initial nervous five minutes he became fearless zipping down the high wire and didn’t want to go home at the end of our trip!
First up was archery, something my eldest has done before. Both children were totally engrossed in sitting the arrow across the bow and firing at the target. They only had a few goes but really enjoyed it. The archery is set amongst a clearing in the trees, hence the photos are a little dark but it was a sunny day and there was plenty of light to see what you are doing.
Then we moved onto the even more exciting stuff… Tree Surfing! The children were very eager to try this out and couldn’t wait to get their harnesses on. The staff assist and check the harness is secure before briefing the children on safety and what to do. The tree surfing course consists of wooden bridges of various designs high up between the trees and ends in a zip wire that brings you to the ground. The circuit doesn’t take too long to go around and once you’ve completed it, you can climb the stairs and start again. In fact you can complete this as many times as you like for an hour session and by the end my children were whizzing round, having heaps of fun, not wanting the excitement to stop.
8yr old Miss M had no hesitations and was straight up the stairs and venturing across the course. She loved it and had a huge grin every time she looked down at me. She was full of concentration and soaking up every minute of the fun.
The pictures above give you a perspective of how high up the course is and as you can see there are platforms at each tree where you step off one obstacle bridge before starting on another.
Mister B was really quite nervous crossing his first bridge, but as he moved around the course his confidence grew until he finished down the zip wire and ran straight back to the start again eager to do it again. The zip wire at the end was a highlight for both children. They just loved it and each time they zipped past me they tried to create different poses in the air!
There is an extra high zip wire available as an extra activity which my two did also experience. They had to climb small rung like steps built into the tree to a super high height, I could hardly see them amongst the tree canopy. They then came flying down through the trees and thought the experience was totally amazing and exhilirating, wanting to do it again but unfortunately their thrill seeking time was up and it was time to head to the Beech Tree Cafe for some refreshments.
I’m sure the pictures above of Beech Tree Cafe speak for themselves but the outside looks fresh, inviting, friendly and clean, somewhere I’d want to chill out in for a drink and snack after spending time on the outdoor activities. I tend to find that cafe’s on days out can be very hit and miss, especially when there’s no competition around, but I can safely say that the Beech Tree Cafe was a hit! With it’s relaxed interior, friendly charm and pretty bunting it was a joy to sit in and enjoy some refreshments.
The menu is on a blackboard on the wall beside the counter allowing you to easily view the options available which are simple but contain a good choice of interesting sandwiches, light bites and homemade cake. Being vegetarian I opted for a cheese and onion pasty which was served deliciously crisp and hot. The children went for cheese and ham fillings, one had a sandwich and the other a toastie. I have to say they were impressively filled and freshly made up while we waited. They were a decent size which the children needed after their mornings activities and they both devoured them immediately satisfying their hungry appetite.
The cafe is known for it’s particularly good coffee although not being a coffee drinker myself I chose a hot chocolate which was perfectly served and tasted just as it should, frothy, rich and chocolatey!
I hadn’t heard of the Tamar Trails Centre before visiting, but realistically it’s only a half an hour or so drive from where I live so a very viable option for a few hours out. For me it is a hidden gem in the Devon countryside with it’s great views, beautiful scenery, fun activities and friendly cafe. The facilities ares well maintained and clean making the centre an inviting place to be. If you are visiting the area and looking for something to do then this should definitely be on your list for fun and adventures in the great outdoors!
If you want to see the children tree surfing then check out this short video of them in action!
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received complimentary activities in order to write an honest review.