To kick off the school holidays and as a treat for getting fabulous school reports we took the boys to Go Ape Delamere which is a high ropes course at Delamere Forest in Cheshire. I was really apprehensive about letting the boys do this as I struggle with letting them near heights, water, and basically anything else that can be seen as a potential risk. That and the fact that at 8 and 5 they are both still babies to me. But regardless of my concerns I knew this was something that both boys were desperate to do ever since they saw something similar when we visited Conkers but where to small to try it at the time. And as the eldest added it to our A-Z summer wish list, I knew it was not something either of them was going to forget about wanting to try in a hurry so my husband and I decided to book it.
We didn’t actually tell the boys that were going to be doing Go Ape Delamere till we got there they just thought we were going for a forest walk as usual and their faces were an absolute picture when we broke it to them. I managed to film their response and put it on instagram but in a way I wish I had captured it as a photo as it was totally priceless a mixture of pure shock, disbelief and excitement all rolled into one.
We booked for all 4 of us to do the course as a family activity despite our eldest not requiring an adult by the Go Ape rules, a combination of my love to join in and my fear of him going solo I think, so we all got kitted up and headed to our meeting point.
Both boys were only eligible for the junior course, which was more than fine with me, and as the tiddler is only 5 he had to be a meter to go on which lucky he was, just.
The junior course is separate from the adult course in an enclose are with room for spectators or designated photographers. There are also some picnic tables and over sized games to entertain any additional children that can’t join in which is a great idea.
Our safety brief was brief but covered everything we needed to know and before we knew it we were off and my heart was in my mouth and I was questioning my parenting choices.
There are two courses that run simultaneously, the first one feels very high and a bit tricky and my knees went a couple of times as well as my stomach, even though the big’un seemed to fly round with no hassle what so ever. The tiddler was just as courageous and didn’t look worried once, however there were some parts where he had to work really hard to stretch out his little arms in order to make it across. This course finished with a zip wire which in my opinion is the absolute best bit.
Course two at Go Ape Delamere makes course one seem easy. It is longer and in my opinion quite a bit harder and you have to stop and analyse the pathways and figure out how you will get from one platform to another. It was still manageable for both boys although the tiddler did need a bit of help reaching things a couple of times but they both managed it and enjoyed yet another zip line finish.
At the end of this zip line we thought we had finished but the great thing about Go Ape Delamere is that you get a full hour on the course so if you finish routes 1 and 2 in less than an hour and have time to spare you can go round again as many times as you physically can.
Having proved his ability and unwavering confidence we let the big’un fly off on his own and despite saying it was a bit harder he choose to do the second course a couple more times, where as we opted for route 1, which really did seem like a doddle having completed route 2 and made me laugh at how anxious I had been going round the first time compared to the last. The tiddler definitely got more confident the more times he went round too and couldn’t stop smiling.
We had the most fantastic afternoon, enjoying the fresh air, getting some exercise and building up our confidence to face our fears and the boys were talking about it for the rest of the day going over and over each little bit. Come to think of it they have talked about it all week non stop and are already asking if they can have their birthdays at Go Ape Delamere later in the year.
If you are looking for an outdoor family friendly activity this summer then I would suggest Go Apr Delamere if you live near Cheshire or finding your nearest Go Ape as they do have 22 kids course across England and I am sure they are all equally as much fun as his one.
Despite the heat I would recommend wearing full length pants in case you land on your bum at the end of the zip wire to prevent any cuts or grazes on the wood chips.
If you are looking for more places to go and things to see near Chester then how about watching a show at the Storyhouse, enjoying a meal at Marco Pierre Whites or indulging in an afternoon tea at The Townhouse?
(We were gifted the tickets to Go Ape Delamere in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own).