After a relaxing few days in Norfolk, largely spent eating too much, we decided to dust off the cobwebs with a family adrenaline fix at Go Ape in Thetford Forest in neighbouring Suffolk. Though my kids are too young to take part in the full Go Ape experience, for children taller than a metre there are now several Go Ape Tree Top Junior courses in the UK.
'It was so fun because it was so high up. I really liked the noughts and crosses bridge and the tunnel was really hard. I would really like to go there again, but Mummy says she’ll stay on the ground next time!' Tess, aged 6.
I imagined a very easy obstacle course a metre or so above the ground. How wrong I was! It looked staggeringly high, and while my husband and children got excited watching the group before us walk over rope ladders, tunnels and tightropes, I wondered how I could make my excuses and flee to the café. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to plan my escape route and before I knew it I was stepping into a harness and helping the kids fasten their helmets before we got into line, ready to go.
My six-year-old, who went in front, didn’t even flinch as she traversed her first wobbly ropebridge, her poor mother clinging on for dear life behind her. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch my four-year-old behind me, who, unable reach the ropes above her, did most of the course without holding on.
'It was so fun I want to go there again, I wasn’t scared at all – I loved the zipwire at the end. I got a certificate for being so brave.' Iris, aged 4.
By now it was clear they were having the time of their lives, and luckily the adrenaline kicked in for me too – I pulled myself together and felt a great sense of satisfaction finishing the course. That said, when we go back, which we definitely will, I will keep my feet firmly on the ground, letting my husband happily go up with the children. It was incredibly gratifying watching my daughters leave their comfort zone and get so much out of it, and a great experience to do as a family.
Read more about Go Ape Tree Top Junior adventures and latest offers.