We’d wanted to head to Go Ape for a while, so when we saw it in the grounds of Chessington World of Adventures as we made our way to the Explorer Glamping, we embarked one of the most spontaneous adventures we’ve had in a while – and it was fantastic!
What is Go Ape?
Go Ape sites are available around the UK and involve treetop adventures for families, kids and grown ups to enjoy.
You can find wobbly bridges, zip wires and narrow crossings all through the treetops, and there are different adventures available at different sites for different ages including the Treetop Adventure, the Treetop Adventure Plus and the Treetop Challenge.
Other sites also include nets, segways and zip-line experiences – click here to have a browse through the options!
What is at Go Ape Chessington?
You don’t need tickets for Chessington World of Adventures to go to the Go Ape Chessington courses. It is clearly signposted and available in the gorilla car park at Chessington World of Adventures.
The two challenges at this site are the Treetop Adventure, for those over 1.4m, and the Treetop Challenge for those over 1m tall and 4 years old, however if you are under 6 years old then the adult must be with you for the experience.
Car parking is free.
Booking & Arrival
We hadn’t pre-booked, but were staying in the Explorer Glamping, so walked over to the site from the glamping site in the afternoon after we had checked in.
It was around 4pm and we were greeted by a friendly lady at the reception hut who told us she had space on the next adventure.
It was Lily’s 6th birthday, so she was able to go on herself to the Treetop Adventure without an adult.
The Treetop Adventure was to last around an hour, however we were there for around two hours in total.
We booked her on, signed a form with her details, and walked through the woods to the starting point along with another family who had also booked in.
There were other people waiting by the main entrance for the Treetop Challenge (for those over 1.4m) – the zip wire looked incredible!
We met a Go Ape team member at the start who led us through some safety checks, put Lily into a harness and then used a little demo area to help the participants practice the ropes and clips they will need to use up the trees.
The Treetop Adventure
Once they had listened to some safety instructions and were all confident with the demo area, they were clipped on to the course and led up some steps. This clip remained on throughout the whole course and is only able to be removed at the start and end when you are on the ground.
All participants also have a second clip which they hook and unhook at different stages throughout the course, but the first rope always ensures they are clipped on to the rail.
There were three sections to the Treetop Adventure which seemed to get progressively more difficult as participants followed the course. You can come on/off between these three sections, but not while on them.
There were various obstacles to tackle through the course, including platforms, walls, noughts and crosses, wobbly bridges and more, completing with the final stage at the fantastic zip wire.
There were team members available to support at key points, such as at the zip wire, and then if you get stuck along the way, then they can guide you along from the ground or make their own way across the course backwards to rescue you (we witnessed this once!), however you’re mainly left to your own devices.
Lily is quite small for her age and struggled with the rope at times, to pull it around corners, but we were thankful to the young man who was behind her who helped when she got a little stuck with the rope.
I was watching from the ground, with my heart racing while she was up there – all the while, Lily was just in her element and having a fantastic adventure in the trees! She also loved me shouting up encouragement from the ground 🙂
There was a family with young children who seemed to get stuck and hold up the final section when their little ones got scared, meaning the team had to go up and help them finish the course. It meant Lily and a birthday party behind her were stuck on a platform, and it took nearly two hours to complete the route, so they were all very tired by the end of it, but they were all buzzing from the adventure they had just had too!
Would we do it again?
YES! We would very much do it again and would love to visit another site to take part in another challenge.
Lily was so excited that she had #SmashedIt and even more excited by receiving a certificate at the end of it – I also got her the medal as it was her birthday and she had totally blown away my expectations at having got round the course without getting afraid, even on elements I know would have been more challenging for her.
A huge thank you to the staff at Go Ape Chessington, and a particular shout out to the lady who signed us up, who also gave Lily’s toy monkey a little wristband too, and it made her giggle so much!
What to wear
Lily was wearing her trainers, shorts and t-shirt, and was comfortable in her harness. It is an all-weather activity and we were there mid-summer, so be prepared for all weather conditions, especially potential wind and rain.
Food, drink & toilets
Toilets, snacks, sweets and cold drinks are available by the main reception of the Go Ape Chessington, as well as Go Ape gifts such as t-shirts, medals and toys.
Go Ape Chessington Address and Postcode
Go Ape Chessington,
Find out more about Go Ape Chessington here
Click here to check out our Giraffe Feeding Experience at Chessington World of Adventures.
Click here for our review of the Explorer Glamping at Chessington World of Adventures
Click here to check out our top ideas for family staycations