Balancing is not exactly my forte. I’m liable to stumble or fall over so much as a crack in the footpath. So when some friends and I decided to visit Go Ape in Peebles this summer I was a little worried. How was I going to manage to balancing far above the forest floor, crossing obstacles and essentially acting out a version of ninja warrior?!
Well, I found out that my worries were baseless, and Go Ape is actually a great activity for anyone who is vertically challenged, or even afraid of heights.
(VIDEO AT THE END!)
So what is Go Ape?
Live life adventurously is the motto at Go Ape. It’s all about putting yourself out of your comfort zone between the forest floor and the tree tops. Basically, you climb ladders to platforms wrapped around trees and then cross obstacles to reach other platforms. To end each set of obstacles you fly down a zipwire back to the ground. Oh, and during all this, you’re attached by different cables to wires so that you can’t fall far, if you fall at all!
There are three Go Ape locations across Scotland, and 31 across the whole of the UK. The awesome thing about Go Ape is that the locations are in some of the most beautiful parks and forests across the country.
I tried out Go Ape Peebles, but Scotland has two other beautiful locations. The first is Aberfoyle near Glasgow. They’ve built a whole new course this year with options to take a moderate or extreme route, plus back to back crossings instead of coming down between each one. Go Ape Aberfoyle is located in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and you get to zipline 46 metres on two of Britain’s longest zip wires!
Crathes is the most northerly Go Ape location in the UK, located in Aberdeenshire in the grounds of a 16th century castle which means there’s plenty to do for a whole day out.
Part of the awesomeness of Go Ape is that you start out with an instructor and then after that you’re left mostly to your own devices. But don’t worry, by the time you start the real Go Ape course how to do it will be ingrained in you. Instructors were regularly strolling about, and there to help on the longest zip wires.
What’s different about Go Ape, Peebles?
Go Ape Peebles is about an hours drive south of Edinburgh, in Glentress forest. There’s mountain biking and beautiful walks, and Go Ape is an added bonus. The zipwires here are especially epic, with one being the highest zipwire at 48 metres high and 300 metres long, taking you soaring across the reservoirs above the trees with amazing views around.
There’s also an awesome zipline where you start out on a skateboard. Just sayin…
Read More: Discovering Edinburgh Through 101 Objects
How hard is Go Ape?
If you’re worried about heights or falling then Go Ape can be scary, but in a way, it’s probably one of the best things you can do to face your fear. The number one rule of Go Ape (does everything else think fight club when they read that?) is always stay connected, which means that you don’t need to worry about falling. Even if you did (which none of us did the whole time!) then you’d go about half a metre before you were stopped by the cables and then you’d just need to step or pull yourself onto the platform or obstacle again.
It’s not particularly hard, although it can be a bit nerve racking! One member of our group was really concerned that she wouldn’t be able to do it, but our guide was really great and helped her to find the confidence to make it the ENTIRE way through – including the highest zipwire in Go Ape!
The great thing about the way the Go Ape Peebles course is set up is that you can allow other groups to skip ahead if you want to take your time. We took around 3 and a half hours to do the course, and allowed a couple of groups of two go ahead since there were 6 of us.
Read More: The Stories of Glen Coe, Scotland
Stuff to know before you do Go Ape Peebles
- Wear comfy clothes and shoes with grip. The harnesses aren’t exactly the most comfortable or flattering!
- The longest zipwire is 325 metres
- The highest platform is 48 metres
- The longest obstacle crossing is 13.5 metres
- The total length of the Go Ape Peebles course is 933 metres
- The second to last zipline is 48 metres high and 300 metres long
- Don’t worry, it’ll be fun!
Would I recommend Go Ape?
Yes! It’s £33 for 16+ and £25 for 10-15 years old, but we spent a considerable amount of time on the course and we had a great time doing it! The staff were fantastic, right from showing us how to go through the course to being there when we needed them on the longest and highest ziplines. So yes, get out there and give it a go!
Go Ape invited me to try out their Peebles course, but as always, all opinions are my own! And I’d certainly do it again!