If ever there were a quintessentially Nottinghamshire-esque activity, Go Ape at Sherwood Pines has got to be it. Gallivanting through the trees at Sherwood Forest like a certain outlaw hero you may have heard of? You can’t get much more Nottinghamshire than this.

For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting, Sherwood Pines is an utterly gorgeous setting. There’s something innately soothing about spending time in the woodland, surrounded by towering pines, the sound of distant birdsong and the leaves rustling softly in the breeze – punctuated, of course, by the occasional wild shriek from the forest canopy.

The foolhardiest members of the Visit Nottinghamshire tribe had booked ourselves onto the Tree Top Challenge – the most difficult of the high ropes adventure courses at Go Ape. For a gentler adventure, you can try the Tree Top Adventure, and little ones are sure to love monkeying around on the Tree Top Junior or the brand-new Nets Kingdom. Those who prefer to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground can even go on a Forest Segway.

The Go Ape experience begins the moment you step into your harness and are given a safety briefing on how to use the various clips, carabiners and straps. The staff reiterate the Golden Rule – always stay attached – so many times we half-expect to start hearing it in our dreams. We practice our newly learnt skills on the mini courses a couple of feet above the forest floor.

Once you’ve got the practice courses under your belt, you can go bananas on the real course. Climbing up the wobbly rope ladder to the first platform (the highest of which is a whopping nine metres from the forest floor) is a little daunting. We try not to look down and remind ourselves that it’s impossible to fall as long as you’re clipped on. It doesn’t take long for us to realise that it’s just a giant playground for adults and get fully stuck into the experience.

A couple of hours of exhilarating energy-busting antics ensues. The course has you balancing on bridges, throwing yourself from tree to tree with Tarzan swings and wobbling across walkways, overcoming obstacles and clambering up cargo nets. Each crossing is more fiendishly difficult than the last - especially if you choose to branch out onto the trickier routes - and we spent increasing amounts of time hanging around on the platforms, figuring out an optimal crossing strategy. It’s helpful to follow more confident members of the group, taking a leaf out of their book on the best way to approach each new challenge, and the staff on the ground are never far away, shouting up helpful advice or simply words of encouragement.

Each of the courses ends with a triumphant zip wire back to the ground, which sees you launching yourself from the platform and enjoying an exhilarating glide through the air before skidding and spinning to a rather ungraceful halt in the mud and wood chippings. Best not to wear your Sunday best for this one, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

It may be quite some time since we’ve evolved from our primate ancestors, but the adrenaline rush gained from swinging through the trees turns out to be strangely addictive; maybe we haven’t moved on as much as we like to think. We head home with an incredible sense of pride in our achievements, armed with a shiny new certificate, distinctly aching arms and the knowledge that we’ll definitely be back for more soon.

This blog was written by Sophie Milne, Communications Executive at Visit Nottinghamshire

Related

Go Ape at Sherwood Pines
Adventure Park / Playground
Go Ape at Sherwood Pines

Enjoy 10% off at Sherwood Go Ape and Live Life Adventurously.

Sherwood Pines Forest Park
Forest
Sherwood Pines Forest Park

Sherwood Pines is the largest forest open to the public in the East Midlands with over 3,300 acres to discover. Admission is FREE although there is a car parking charge of £2 for 1 hour, £4 for 2 hours or £6 for the full day.

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