Who hasn’t imagined being able to race through the trees like a squirrel or a monkey? Like flying or exploring the ocean, exploring the forest canopy is so exciting precisely because we can’t do it alone – and if you fancy staying closer to firm ground than a skydive will allow, it’s well worth checking out a treetop adventure course to unleash your inner orangutan.
Also known as high ropes courses, treetop treks and so on, treetop adventure courses can be found all over the country, and they’re a fantastic day out whether you’re eight or eighty (arthritis permitting). Whether you’re planning a family holiday, a stag or hen do or a teambuilding weekend away with your colleagues, heading into the trees is a great way to bond and have fun while getting a bit of a workout. We’ve scoured the country to find the very best treetop adventures, so on your next trip or holiday you can leave your Alamo car at the foot of a tree and go exploring.
Rock Blok, Rutland Water
This outdoor adventure centre is beautifully located on the edge of the Rutland Water nature reserve, a protected wetland area that is home to everything from water voles to rare butterflies. You might even get a glimpse of a visiting osprey or Arctic tern while you’re among the treetops! Incredible views across the countryside are a given, although you’ll need to watch where you’re going on this challenging mid-air assault course. Ages 8 and up.
The Ultimate High, Devon
Voted the UK’s #1 outdoor activity for kids by the Guardian, the climbing course at Bideford’s Ultimate Adventure Centre has something for everyone. The Ultimate High includes a 200m high ropes course with 28 challenges to overcome, a low ropes area for younger adventurers and the fiendish Jacob’s Ladder – a giant ladder where the rungs keep getting farther apart. If that’s not enough, there’s also a climbing wall – and when you’ve finished testing your nerve, you can return to earth via a daring 80m zipwire. The ‘Awesome 4some’ package lets you try all four activities plus the zipwire descent, so you can make the most of your day and max out that adrenaline rush. Ages 5 and up.
Go Ape, North London
Go Ape is definitely the king of the swingers when it comes to treetop adventurers, and the newly refurbished course at Trent Park is ideal for frustrated city-dwellers or those planning a trip to London. Just a short drive from the city itself, the Go Ape course is cunningly built into the picturesque woodland reserve with gloriously green views on all sides – hardly the sort of thing you expect so close to the Big Smoke! Zip wires, daring leaps and the Tarzan Swing all await you, not just here but in 28 Go Ape locations nationwide – look out for your nearest centre. Ages 10 and up.
A treetop adventure is the ideal way to vary your next trip or holiday – and if you’re not staying near a convenient forest, simply pick up an Alamo car for the day and head for the jungle! No banana skins on the seats, please.