Fears are funny things aren’t they? I’m totally fine with flying – growing up I was the kid with her face pressed against the window for the entire flight, and to be honest, I’m still that kid.
However, when it comes to climbing through trees, it’s a little different. Now I’m not the most afraid person, because I wouldn’t be writing this review right now if I hadn’t completed the GoApe challenge – but let’s just say I was umming and ahhing about whether to accept this invitation.
I can be scared of some things and just know I won’t do them, but with some other experiences, what scares me more, is regret. When I don’t even try to do something and go home without doing it. This is one of those experiences. Just like when I was on a boat last year in Tenerife, we went out to see whales and dolphins in the wild and had the opportunity to jump off the back of the boat in a cove by some cliffs. There was a choice between steps down or a jump in – I very nearly gave the jump a miss, but again, I told myself how I would regret not doing it when I flew back to the UK… So I jumped, I screamed, I probably got laughed at, and yes Ian has some amazingly unflattering GoPro footage of me coming up out of the water gasping for air, but I DID IT! …and isn’t conquering a fear just the best feeling?
I have climbed through trees before, as I did it whilst on holiday at Centre Parcs. So, as I managed to do that before, I had a word with myself and accepted GoApe’s invitation – and I am so glad that I did.
We headed down to GoApe at Wendover Woods, but GoApe has a variety of locations across the UK if that isn’t your nearest. Wendover Woods is a gorgeous location and a place to enjoy an entire day if you wish. There’s an onsite café, plenty of parking and lots of woodland to explore.
When we arrived they handed us a safety declaration form to ensure we’re aware of how everything rolls, and then it was time for a little bit of training! The trainers there were brilliant, really clear in explaining how to use the clips and equipment you use whilst going round the course. You even have a little go at clipping and unclipping by the trees on the ground to ensure you know what you’re doing – there’s a few things to remember, but don’t worry, because as you go round each crossing has a sign on the tree to show you what to clip where. The more you do it as you go round, the more it just becomes second nature too.
They even have a mini training climbing section, where you get the chance to climb up, do a mini crossing and a fun little zip wire – all under the trainer’s close supervision, to ensure you’re all good to go.
Once your training is complete…it’s time to GoApe!
GoApe Wendover Woods is split up into 5 sections, each of them get a little trickier as you go along. So if you do a couple and wish to opt out of the rest, that’s totally cool. Some courses have two different directions for you to go in, so if you fancy a harder challenge, go for the “extreme” crossings.
Each course has a mixture of crossings, from wooden planks, swinging ropes, balancing wires, nets to swing across into and then climb up, and so many more. It’s such a great challenge! I’m not the fittest of people, so if I can do it, I’m sure most of you can too.
The best part about each course (I say best because I love them), is that each of them end with a fun zip wire!
There were bits on the course where I freaked out a little, and thought “ahh, can I really do this?” and there were bits where I opted to do the easier option…but that’s okay! It’s all about challenging yourself as you see fit. If you really freak out and want help, just shout to someone on the ground to get some help, or you can blow the whistle you have attached to your harness 5 times and someone will pop over to help you out.
I must say I’m pretty proud of how I just threw myself into it, considering how I was umming and ahhing about whether to even do it when it landed in my inbox. Ian was pretty proud of me too (which was lovely!), as he put it “you aced it!” …so give GoApe a go, you might just surprise yourself like I did!
Take a change of clothes, including shoes, as you will get a bit messy when you land in the woodchip area at the end of the zip wires.
Ladies, tie your hair back so it doesn’t get caught in anything or get in your way as you’re climbing round the courses.
Do read up on the FAQs and “need to know” info on their website, as this is super helpful.
I’m *so* glad I did it! It was so much fun, a good challenge and a real confidence booster once completed!
If you fancy giving GoApe Wendover Woods a try, you can find out more about it over on their website here: www.goape.co.uk/days-out/south-east/wendover
I think it could be so much fun for celebrations, like birthdays etc. – but also great if you simply want to try and challenge yourself to something new. I can’t wait to do it again!
*GoApe Wendover Woods provided us with this experience free of charge in exchange for a review, but my thoughts are mine as always. We absolutely loved every part of the experience and would recommend it to anyone!