Go Ape TreeTop adventure at the Black park in Slough is the perfect place for your cheeky monkeys (and you) to blow off steam and put those climbing skills to use which can sometimes drive you crazy at home. Set high amongst the towering tree tops, as you swing around, you’re sure to feel like an excited monkey. There may be a moment (or two) of “hmmm can I do this?” or “what was I thinking” but take it from the person who did it herself, it is a liberating experience.
There is a great mix of excitement and challenge whilst also feeling safe and well looked after. HIGHLY recommended!! The place is all covered by trees and is well shaded, so you can even do it in hot weather. Perfect for summer holidays.
The TreeTop Adventure course is designed for children aged 6 to 12 years old. However, under 6’s can do the course as long as they are at least 1 metre tall and have an adult with them. One adult can supervise two children if on the trees and supervise up to 8 children aged 6-15 years and from the ground or on the activity.
So is it suitable for a five year old? Every child is different and you, as the parent, will be the best person to judge if they are ready or not. Ay had been asking me about it every time he saw these tracks on our woodland walks. I know he has really been improving his climbing and the use of harness with clip n climb (which he used to be nervous with first two times), so I thought he was ready to do this stuff outdoors. We had done the nets adventure last year and he loved it, so I decided it was time to upgrade to the next venture, aka, Treetop adventure. It was only after promising Ay we will go that I realised under 6 years old need to be supervised by an adult up on the trees. There was no way my husband would agree to something like this, so I reluctantly agreed EVEN though I have never done anything like this before.. gulp gulp! I shouldn’t have worried though 🙂
You have to sign a waiver before you start. You are strapped into a climbing harness by the staff, which has two safety lines and then given a short course/ security briefing. You can watch the video HERE to give you an idea of what it looks like. At all times you have at least one safety line attached to the safety wire that runs around the course. The whole course runs off a ‘continuous belay’ safety system that basically means you get put on the course at the beginning and you are attached right until you walk off at the end of the zip line; it can not come off on its own. You then do a practise run on the ground before you actually climb up to start your course. The instructor also let Ay be suspended from the wire during the practise run to reassure him (and me) that when attached to the safety line, if we slipped off the steps or platform, we will just be hanging in the air and not fall down, which was reassuring.
So off we went! I thought Ay may find attaching the clips on and off the line as we manoeuvre around the tracks tricky but there was plenty of practise beforehand and he actually got a hang of it pretty quickly (lesson learnt- Never underestimate your kids!). The staff are around, and hands on for the zipwire bit, so you’re not totally left alone and they can rescue us if you do get stuck.
We started with track 1 and then made our way to 2 and then 3. It took us an hour to do this at our pace but each track probably takes 10-20 minutes depending on how confident you are. After each track, you come back down onto the forest floor and you walk back to the start where all tracks begin, so you can quit if you want, repeat the same track or move on to the next challenge. All tracks end with the zipwire. Now I have never been on a zipwire myself while Ay does it in every park, so he didnt even blink before going down; for me, the first jump was a bit scary I must admit and I did close my eyes. The other two times I actually enjoyed suspending in the air
Although the track is suitable for more than 1m, I personally think under 1-1.1m may struggle on it, just because of the physical aspect of holding on to the high wire or because the legs may not be long enough for some of the steps. Ay is 1.2m now and on two points, he was a bit unsure of himself (down below)
The first one was because he did not feel stable going from the “cross” step to the next “nought” step due to the distance between them. He managed it though with some encouragement from me from behind and as it was on track 1 when we were just figuring everything out, I think it would not have been an issue later on. The second is called Tarzan swing I think. He was nervous to climb on to the cargo net from the wooden platform but he found an easy way out for himself. He just zip lined himself down the wire on to the other end. I couldnt believe it if I am honest. I, on the other hand, not confident with zipwires at all, had to climb the net and work my way on it. That made me sweat I must say. It is on track 3, so you can avoid it if you want but part of the experience is to challenge yourself gradually, so see what works for you. The staff was so friendly and kept shouting nice words to Ay from underneath. He was so pleased with himself when he completed. We brought him a medal at the end (for 3£) and he takes it to bed with him each night 🙂
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What to wear:
Make sure your midsection is covered so that the harness does not rub against it. Tie back long hair so they don’t entangle in the equipment around the course. Wear something you don’t mind getting grubby, especially as you land in the bark at the end of the zip wires. Make sure you have the correct footwear which does not fall off or slip easily. Sandals, flip flops, slip-off or high heel shoes are not allowed. We didn’t but I think wearing gloves may also help.
“I have a fear of heights” . This was a fairly common comment on my FB/insta post. Go Ape can help you overcome your lifelong fear. I would recommend you book at quieter times when the staff can offer you more support, and you dont feel rushed by people waiting behind you. The saying “don’t look down” doesn’t work I think because you have to look at your feet to get them in the right place as you work your way through the obstacles, but because you are focusing and concentrating on how to navigate, after the first few hurdles, I think it soon gets out of your mind. They also recommend you let your instructor know so they are able to give you more attention.
GoApe The school trip adventure awaits! Book (5.99£): I saw this book on the cabin counter and loved it immediately. I believe the book has been created recently as part of Go Ape’s 20 years celebration of living life adventurously. “The School Trip tells the story of a class of bored primary-school students who long to get outside of the classroom and be “wild and free”. This sparks the idea to visit Go Ape for a day of teamwork, problem solving and re-connection to nature in the forest. Throughout their adventure some pupils struggle with nerves but their classmates and Go Ape instructors cheer them all the way to the zipwire. Then, when they’re all back on the ground, they can’t wait to do it all over again”. It is a really good read to children to prepare them for what to expect and that it is normal to feel that way. I could not find it on google search. I wished it was easily available but it was certainly available to buy on the counter.
We finished the day off by spending it around the Black Park and made a full day out of it. Read my previous review HERE.
If you feel your child is not ready for Treetop adventure yet, why not try the NETs adventure which was great fun and has no height restriction as such. Alternatively, if you want something more challenging, then go for the TreeTop adventure plus! Plenty of options to choose from.
Address: Black Park Country Park, Black Park Road, Wexham, SL3 6DS
FEE applies- 20£pp-See website for uptodate prices HERE
🚘 Paid times parking of Up to 2 hours: £3.80, Up to 4 hours: £4.60 and Over 4 hours: £5.60- please see website for updated. prices HERE
Toilets and baby facilities available
Cafe on site
Dogs not allowed at the adventure but welcome around black park
🦽 Read accessiblity information HERE
Other activities at GoApe Black Park include three new treetop courses to enjoy an adventure with the whole tribe, no matter their ages or capabilities;