This time last year I was organising my cousin’s hen do in London where we first of all went to Go Ape for some treetop fun before retiring, of course, to establishments selling bubbles and cocktails. It was a really fun afternoon and something a bit different to do before we all got a bit merry and I thought then that I really had to bring Florence and Jimmy at some point.
Waiting for Jimmy to be over a meter tall (or 6 year’s old as is required for the Junior Treetop Adventure at Go Ape) needed some time but finally he reached this milestone and we booked to go to the Go Ape most local to us in Thetford Forest’s High Lodge. High Lodge is beautiful for a trip any time and we’ve been before just to walk and cycle in the woods and play on the extensive playground equipment, always looking longingly at the Go Ape trails as we picnic lunch. It costs about £12 to park there for the whole day (although you can buy annual parking for about £60 from the Forestry Commission) but it’s well worth it when you see how much there is to do – there’s even a fun Gruffalo Trail!
So, this visit we arrived bright and early ready for our treetop adventure and with two little nervous hands in mine I told them both that they would be fine, to stop worrying and just to enjoy it. I have to say when I saw how high up they were going to be and how small they looked I was a trifle panicked myself but not wanting to show them this I buoyed them up and off they went – of course they did exactly as I had told them they would and LOVED every second!
And then they were off. My husband did it with them, mainly to help Jimmy as we did worry that he would be scared and unable to do it on his own but remarkably he was absolutely fine and although slower than Florence, who whipped around, he was perfectly capable. Very definitely the smallest one there at only JUST a meter tall and I was super proud of him.
Half way through Florence, who had been chatting to someone in front of her, shouted down to me ‘Mummy, I’m doing it really fast because this lady told me we get an hour and can do it as many times as we can in the time limit and I want to do it again’!
While Florence used up her time to do the entire course twice, Jimmy and Daddy decided once was enough but… They continued to go round and round on the ending zip wire so their last 20 minutes were not wasted. I think it’s great that the course is big enough to be an achievement but small enough to mean they can do it more than once and also that they can get back to any point of the course they would like to re experience without doing the whole thing. It meant Jimmy enjoyed the zip wire 4 times in total and came away exhausted but really rather chuffed with himself!
The Go Ape Junior Treetop Adventure is a really great activity, well organised at High Lodge and with safety really taken care of. My main concern as the bystander was that they would fall or that taking the clip on and of the wire at each station (as happens with the grown up adventure) would be too tricky for them but the guys on the ground assured me (and showed me how) that they were perfectly safe and with the kids one they stay clipped on the whole time – relief!
Jonny said the course was definitely not an easy cop out just for kids and enjoyed it as much as they did! We will definitely be back, in fact I think we will be back in January when we go to Center Parcs which is just down the road. They have their own tree top adventure there but I am told it’s not as good as the one at Go Ape and more than double the price. So, sneaking out of the holiday complex for a short while will definitely be in order as I know the kids are itching to do it again soon!
Go Ape say: It’s a fun filled hour of canopy exploring, trail blazing and obstacles for all to enjoy. You’ll negotiate crossings and finish on a high (literally) with one awesome zip wire. We’ve aimed our adventure at Junior Tarzans that are 6 – 12 years old. But if your Mini Tarzan is under 6 (but over 1 metre) or over 12 years then they can still enjoy our Junior Adventure.
We loved it and we adore visiting High Lodge in general. There’s much to do there and so DO we did! We took a bike ride, had a look at the Gruffalo Trail, walked in the woods playing on amazing equipment as we went and had a picnic on the green. We noticed that some people were having BBQs which they had hired from the Forestry Commission so that’s definitely one to do soon too.
While we were in Thetford we took advantage of our location and decided to take a quick stop at the Ancient House Museum before we went home. We are members of the Norfolk Museums passes (which cost us £85 for the whole family for a year) and this is one of the ones we’d not been to yet. We had fun but I have to say I wouldn’t visit unless I was a member. It’s a bit too costly for a pay as you go visit as there isn’t much to do or see (although what there is is quite interesting – all about Thetford life) and we only really managed to get about an hour’s entertainment out of it – I’m not sure that could be done twice either. It was a little disappointing after LOVING all the other museums and I wasn’t impressed that they charged a pound to do the trail which was… At best… Limited… I think they need to pick their game up. However, IF you’re a member and IF you’re in Thetford then it’s got a few interesting pieces to look at, the staff are very friendly and there is free parking opposite. You win some you lose some! And actually we did have another little win before we left Thetford because we found Water World – a great swimming pool with a flume, rapids and a wave machine which was relatively inexpensive. There’s no fun pools in Norwich and this one is only a half an hour drive from us really so we will definitely be back!
We were invited as guests to Go Ape in Thetford’s High Lodge.