With our £84.02 for the year, we booked adventures with Go Ape in the Forest of Dean.
We added the Tree Top adventure and the Segway riding. Whilst £84.02 wasn’t enough to cover the whole cost of both, it did pay for all of the Tree Top Adventure and some of the Segway riding.
Getting there pretty much bang on time, despite traffic diversions due to road closures and having to rush back home for forgotten items, we stopped for a “nature” break. And wouldn’t you know it, right outside the loo was a shiny penny ! An omen of good things.
We checked in for Segway Riding, read the multitude of cards of safety cards for the Segway riding, including the fantastic “risk of fatal injury” statements, the signed our waivers. After a little wait, we headed into the “training” area where we awaited our chariots.
Segways they say are easy to ride, I found it quite challenging to begin with as I was overcompensating too much and leaning too far backwards and forwards quickly. This is why I’ve never been good at skateboarding. Tiff on the other hand was relaxing into it and becoming a stable genius.
After a short briefing and training ride, we headed out along one of the forest paths. Off we went at blistering pace. Ok, so maybe 7 miles an hour isn’t blistering, but when you’re weirdly standing up and just leaning to give you momentum and direction, it seems fairly fast.
A few minutes of riding later, we stopped and that’s where the beasts were unleashed. Unbridled power was released as the Segways were turned up to 10 miles an hour. Hardcore mode 😉
As before, we headed along more forest trails, riding rather bumpily along, allowing your knees to be the suspension and on one hill, my Segway lost power as I came to a halt. Only it hadn’t. I was just a gimp and apparently not leaning forward enough, thus making it stop.
Carrying on, we reached the halfway point and it was time for photos. This is us in all our blurry Segway Glory….
Now that we were a little more relaxed (meaning me) on the Segways it was full speed trailing back to the cabin, across various trails, small obstacles and even a 10 foot ramp into the air over a pond*
* that bit isn’t true.
Arriving back, we both enjoyed ourselves immensely – thanks Road Gold !
After a break for a picnic lunch (which was lush by the way, and yes if you must know, we had cheese and egg mini rolls – with Tiff taking the Branston pickle add-on option and I, HP sauce) we headed over to the Tree Top adventure.
Again, signing the risk of death forms, we entered our briefing and for those not ever having participated in any sort of harness/climbing activity it sounded a bit daunting. The staff were great however and following a few training obstacles/scenarios, we headed over to Stage 1.
Stage 1 consisted of a rope ladder to the first platform where you crossed a mismatch slat bridge, then onto a rope swing into a cargo net. Tiff went first.
Let’s be honest, to begin with, the whole scenario is very daunting, making sure you are following the safety guidelines and putting the correct connection together and in the right order. But after a few goes at that, it all becomes rather second nature. What isn’t second nature is seeing yourself high above the ground, staring into the abyss and wondering how on Earth you allowed yourself to do this, for fun !
But I exaggerate, it was challenging but exhilerating.
After a long delay on Stage 1 owing to the party in front of us being slow, we were ready for our first zip-wire experience.
By Stage 2 we were more used to being up high and started to relax and thus enjoy the challenge more. Here’s an example of getting up to the first platform of a stage.
At the end of stage 2 we were asked if we wished to bypass Stage 3 and head straight on over to Stage 4 as there was still a delay with the slower ones in front of us. We had the option of the easier or more difficult route and we chose the difficult route. There were some that were extremely challenging. Especially one where you had a small upturned logs facing vertically and those were your stepping stones. Imagine a piece around 15cm squared, that was your one foot step. I have no photos of these crossings as to be honest, I was more interested in concentrating on not falling rather than being the photographer. Stage 4 ended with another quality zip wire.
I ended all of my zip wire experiences backwards, with an ass full of bark chippings.
Stage 5, I didn’t feel was as tough as Stage 4 but it had some great bits in it. This cheeky little tunnel was fun, but hard on the knees.
Here’s Tiff on a mini-zip wire in the middle of Stage 5.
The last obstacle on Stage 5 was the 180 metre long zipe wire.
Here’s a video of me coming down.
Following on from this we headed back to Stage 3 and awaited our turn to tackle what it had in store for us.
The first one, this tasty little rope and board bridge – tame compared to a lot of the others as the boards were stiff and easy to traverse.
Next up though, were the beasts as once again we chose the hard route. The hard one for me were horse stirrups suspended on ropes. Moving from one then grabbing the next rope and putting your other foot in. I found this the hardest physically to do as I had rather wide and bobbly shoes on, which while gave great grip for all obstacles, on these they were a hindrance as it was very hard to remove them from the stirrups when it came time to reach for the next one. That was hard. Tiff however did it like a pro, she’s used to stirrups.
Then came this…..a relatively easy crossing but still shows you how high we were.
As with all stages, they end with a zip wire and so here’s Tiff showing how to land like a pro. Let’s face it, she was great at Go Ape.
As we finished, we were asked if we’d like to do Stage 5 again seeing as we were moved out of order earlier on. We jumped at the chance and headed on up.
We went through the tunnel backwards and as I went first this time, I could take a nice video of the middle rope jump swing thingy. Here’s Tiff…..
And the for the final time, we zip-wired down…..
A fantastic day and we both recommend Go Ape to everyone.
Road Gold may seem silly to some but it has given us lots of fun across the year and then a nice whack of joy and challenge at the end.
Oh and to top the day off, I find a 2p in Tesco car park and a 5p on our way back from a meal in the evening.