Go Ape Aberfoyle
Getting into the fresh air is fantastic for our physical and mental health but do you ever find that walking can get a bit… boring? Well this weekend we found a better way to get out into wilderness. The guys at Go Ape Aberfoyle invited us down to their Tree Top Adventure course, packed with traverses, Tarzan swings and zip-lines, some of which are up to 150 ft in the air! It was so much fun! Now we are back we thought we would give you our Top Tips for Tree Top Adventures (try saying that 3 times) so you can enjoy this place as much as we did.
If you are a bit far from Aberfoyle then don’t worry, there are three Go Ape courses in Scotland:
- Go Ape Aberfoyle in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
- Go Ape Peebles in Glentress Forest
- Go Ape Crathes Castle Aberdeenshire
We asked our instructor Mark which one he thought was best and of course he said Go Ape Aberfoyle, due to its two 400 m+ zip-wires. He did later confess that Peebles had the highest zip-line in the country and Crathes Castle had a skateboard zip-wire so it’s still up for debate.
Tip 1 – Go early
Aberfoyle is about an hour’s drive from Glasgow so we had to get up pretty early to make it there for our 8:30 am start but I’m glad we did! It might be my imagination but it seems the best way to avoid those summer showers is to get up and make an early start. More importantly, getting there for opening means we got the course almost entirely to ourselves. This was great because we were in no rush, Mark our safety instructor even told us we could have another go on our favourite obstacles if we liked! By the time we were finished, the groups setting off were getting pretty big so if you do like a lie in, make sure and book in advance.
Tip 2 – No hands = more fun
When you look down and see a 150 ft drop the natural response is to cling to whatever is to hand and hold on for dear life. Although its pretty funny to see your friends wet themselves, once you relax and trust the harness, swinging between the treetops becomes much easier. One of my favourite obstacles was a balance beam set between the two platforms in the trees. Vivian, being a pretty solid slack-liner, made the no-hands crossing look pretty easy but I can tell you balancing gets harder when heights are involved.
Tip 3 – Wear water proofs
Although it’s summer, it’s also Scotland. The rain is never too far away so make sure and bring water proofs. Wear sensible shoes too; they must be flats, well attached and suitable for walking about woodland paths. In addition to clothes and footwear there are a few other Go Ape Course T and Cs to be aware of. The minimum age and height is 10 years, 1.4 m and the maximum weight is 130 kg, for more details you can check out Go Ape Aberfoyle.
Tip 4 – remember the midge spray
I’ve spent enough time in Scotland to develop a bit of a resistance to midgies but even after 24 years I still consider them the spawn of Satin. Vivian on the other hand has no such resistance, once she got bitten on the bum and ended up looking like Kim Kardashian. I wasn’t complaining but she said it was incredibly itchy. Fortunately for us Pyramid Travel Products sent us a sample pack which included 3 of their insect repellents, 1 antibacterial and 1 biodegradable soap. The insect repellent kept us bite free without stinking us out with DEET for which us and the queen of derrières were very pleased with.
If you would like to see how to zip-line, you can check out Vivian setting it up below!
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