This weekend we got to try out Go Ape at Normanby Hall for the first time.
I haven’t been to a Go Ape in over 10 years and that was at a different location so I wasn’t sure how well I’d do now, but I was determined to give it ago!
I took along my mini reviewer again for this one and we opted for the more extreme of the two options “The Treetop Challenge” Which is definitely a course for the thrill seekers and you will certainly find something to challenge you along the way. I was quietly confident as I don’t have issues with heights but even some of the crossings, even I needed to take a deep breath.
We arrived at the gates of Normanby Hall and paid for our parking, which costs approx. £4 but this lasts all day and you can take a wander around the grounds too if you get time.
The Go Ape induction cabin is situated at the entrance to Normanby Park itself. Check in was an easy process as we had completed our disclaimers the previous night online. Behind the cabin is the woodchip training area, it’s here that you and the group for that session are asked to have a go and guess how you think you attach your pulley and clips to the zip and support wires at ground level. You are played a safety recording, instructed and shown the correct way before being taken to the next training platform in the trees. Everyone has a quick practice run on a short trial course off the ground to make sure they are confident with the process and know how to attach securely.
You feel constantly supported by the friendly Go Ape staff, and they are always close by (on the ground) and more than happy to help shout up pointers and assist if you look like you might be struggling to make a crossing. It also adds to the safety aspect of the experience because you never feel like you are completely on your own.
This course is designed to induce adrenaline, the obstacles in this tree-high thriller will undoubtedly push you outside of your comfort zone, standing over 7 meters high on a platform attached to a tree that’s swaying in the wind, staring ahead at the challenging crossing that awaits you is quite something.
Now, it’s not a quick challenge, it did take some fitness and endurance to get round the whole thing, hauling yourself up wobbly rope ladders and holding the weight of your body across the tight ropes and swing bridges. It’s going to take you two to three hours to navigate your way through the trees, tackling the Tarzan Swings, rope ladders and Goat Crossing before the fast and thrilling flight on the zip wires at the end of each course, bringing you back down to the ground before your next course of adventure.
Half way through the course it was raining quite heavily but thanks to the trees we were slightly sheltered. I suppose this made the course even more challenging with wet gloves and slippery wooden crossings. It did take a lot more concentration and careful footwork but getting wet and muddy added to the experience of the day, zipping down a wire into mud and wood chip and dusting yourself off after. We found it quite difficult to land on our feet and get grounding to run at the end of a zipwire, especially when you’re getting spun around mid flight and are coming down backwards, but none of the landings hurt at all.
The course definitely does get more difficult as you get higher and higher into the trees and crossing gaps get wider and wider. Some of the most difficult crossings were the ones that appeared easier at first glance, for example a series of wooden crosses suspended and swinging freely, you really have to find your own rhythm and tactics to navigate your way across. On the final course there is also a wooden tunnel suspended in the air, now crawling through a tunnel isn’t usually too taxing but it is a struggle to exit the tunnel as an adult believe me.
The Tarzan swing really takes some courage and isn’t for the faint hearted. You clip on and have to take a moment to remember “I’m attached, I’m not going to fall to the ground” because for a split second when you take that leap of faith from the edge and feel the drop, it’s heart pounding until that tension on your ropes kick in and you swing forward to grab the large cargo net to safety it’s a moment of uncertainty.
All in all, it was great value for money for the amount of time spent there and the obstacles themselves. There was no rush and you never felt pressured at any point. All of the staff were very supportive, talkative and attentive. You felt very welcome from start to finish and we can’t praise the staff enough. I would highly recommend wearing gloves, they were a life saver, although they do make it fiddly at times to handle your clips. I’d recommend this course to pre teens and above and if you are trying it for the first time and aren’t quite sure, maybe go for the treetop adventure course to ease yourself in before tackling the larger course on your next visit.
The minimum age for this course in particular is 10 years old and a minimum height of 1.4m.
Here’s a quote from our mini reviewer who completed the course confidently.
Fancy giving it ago? Why not try it this half term!
Treetop Challenge is priced at £32 (2-3 hours)
Treetop Adventure is priced at £20 (1 hour)
Save 15% With A Treetop Challenge Family Ticket- Use code Family15
Save on your next family adventure when you book Treetop Challenge at Go Ape Normanby Hall. All you need to do is enter FAMILY15 at checkout.
The key details
- 15% family discount for Treetop Challenge at Go Ape Normanby Hall
- Minimum of 3 people and maximum of 6 per booking
- One or more participants to be under 16
- One or more participants to be over 18 (max 2 adults)
- Enter the code at checkout for the discount to be applied
- Not to be used in conjunction with any other code or promotion