This is a review of Go Ape Tree Top Junior Wyre Forest and Vimto Squeezy
Both my husband and I don’t like heights. This is a bit of a problem when all our boys are thrill seekers. You may recall that last year my husband stepped up and went up in the trees with the boys at Go Ape in Moors Valley Country Park. I stayed on the ground and took photos but they weren’t all that good from that angle. When Vimto Squeezy invited us to try their new concentrated drinks to accompany a day at Go Ape I decided to face my fear and go up too. The really good news is that there is now a Treetop Junior course at Kidderminster’s Wyre Forest (which is MUCH closer to us than Moors Valley Country Park). What I did not know is that it is also one of the highest! I looked up and was like – “that’s the adult one right?” In fact I was really wrong as when we later saw the adult one – omg it is high!
We were able to put our valuables in a special bag and got a numbered band, so that they wouldn’t fall out of our pockets. Feeling sick with nerves I was fitted into a safety harness. You could tell that they take safety really importantly there, and I was checked and double checked that it was on tight enough. I was warned before it was pulled so tight, and it was even explained to the children why this was so important. I tried to listen to the instructions and not think about the fact that a trolley was pretty much all that was going to keep me safe! We had read and talked about the instructions before the harnesses went on, but we were reminded again before our trolleys were attached to the line.
We were also told some extra instructions. Then up the stairs we went.
The first crossing was not too bad but it was firm, did not wobble and surrounded by netting.
Then we came to the second. Gone were any thoughts of getting decent pictures and selfies. I was so scared that I shall admit I cried. Two people are allowed on the crossing at once: I told my 6 year old to please wait so I could cross it on my own. Trembling. I felt awful that I could not assist him, if he needed help. Luckily he was absolutely fine and didn’t need my help.
Under 6s who are over 1m can go on with an adult – so my husband was looking after our 5 year old (who, of course, was also okay).
When we reached the first zip wire I was asked if I was ok. They told my son to give me a hug. I was like no please don’t touch me, as I was worried I may be knocked off the platform! They were really nice and let me get off and go down the stairs. There was no way I could just step off and go down the zip wire. Again all my kids just jumped off no problem. Al the staff were great and really supportive (with a special thanks to Sophie). As I couldn’t face the zip wire though it did mean that I had to go down the stairs after loop 2, as the only way out of loop 3 was down the zip.
There was a great variety of crossings on the course to really help improve the children’s balance, thinking skills and fear (probably a lot of other things too).
Some were more difficult than others, and some felt safer than others (although all were actually really safe).
I thought that the net would feel less frightening as there was less chance you could fall, but actually it didn’t feel as solid as the wood and I was nervous that it could snap at any point (again honestly there was absolutely no chance of this happening, and the appearance was not that way at all, just pure fear).
I did get discuss this fact with my 6 year old. My boys were running across it all, like monkeys!
Go Ape and Vimto Squeezy
After we all received our certificates we sat down and eat a much-needed picnic. It is important to keep hydrated, especially as it was a sunny day and we had been active. As much as I try to get the children to drink plain water the younger ones really don’t like it. We took with us the 3 bottles of Vimto Squeezy so that we could try all of the flavours, and some plain water (well we could hope).To me it tasted of Vimto – there was no other way of describing it. That was all 3 flavours – yes the cherry and strawberry had a hint of their own flavour but there was that unique Vimto taste (luckily I am a fan). Everyone drank them ok, but think the Original flavour was the most popular. The Vimto Squeezy bottles were really handy as didn’t take up a lot of room in our bag. I was worried about was them leaking – but there was no concerns there either. I did like the fact that there was no added sugar too.
Nature Misses You and The Gruffalo
The National Trust has a #naturemissesyou campaign this year – with the main aim to connect children with nature. So far this summer we have explored a cave, looked in rock pools, danced in the rain and rolled down a hill. It seemed fitting to go on the Gruffalo trail, exploring in the forest. We nearly missed out on completing it as my son fell badly in some stinging nettles. However, we found some dock leaves and convinced him to carry on. We had fun following the signs, finding dens, and acting out the cues from the Gruffalo. We found characters from one of our favourite books as we went around. We even got to tick off another of our #50things when prompted to make art from nature.
This year the Gruffalo turned 15 and you can find out more about what the Forestry Commission is doing to celebrate near you. We are also going to a special Sensory screening of The Gruffalo Live in Birmingham in a few weeks. It really was magically to see such a life-size statue of The Gruffalo(I’m just glad he was asleep and didn’t want to eat me!!!) and really help sparked passion to hear the story again. If you can’t make the dates why not make your own trail as per my favourite Gruffalo Hunt post.
Posts about making these Gruffalos can be found at:
Parking at Wyre Forest is only £3 all day and can be paid over the phone. This meant we did not have to hurry and took a nice long walk around exploring. In doing so we saw the adult Go Ape trail and omg that is much higher. The course seems much more difficult too. In fact my daring 11 year old actually said he wanted to wait until he was older before trying it!
We went to Go Ape courtesy of Vimto Squeezy in return for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.