Alex and I started a tradition a little while back that for birthdays, instead of presents, we would organise experiences, whether that’s action, more chilled like theatre and luxury cinema or drinking. If you don’t really need anything, why not just make the most of the city and the things you might not choose to do on a standard weekend and have fun? That’s what birthdays are for right?
So this year, as well as a little trip to the cinema to see Star Trek (nothing too special, although a great film), I also planned a surprise trip to Go Ape in Trent Park followed by a reservation at Hawksmoor for some AWESOME STEAK! (More on this at a later date).
All Alex knew on his birthday was that it might be adventurous and a little outdoorsy, so to wear comfy trainers and clothes he didn’t mind getting dirty – After which I did remind him that I would be doing the washing anyways 😛
Go Ape in Trent Park is only a 10 minute walk from Cockfosters tube station, so super easy to get to from central London. Even when we got to Cockfosters, Alex was still clueless as to what the plan was, which I was obviously loving! We were soon there, and the look on Alex’s face said it all – he loved the surprise and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
We got signed in at the hut, had to sign some health and safety docs (as you are in control of your own safety!) and got strapped up in our harnesses ready to monkey about – quite literally. We were taken through hooking up, and the way to stay attached, which bits to use when, etc. and after a couple of demos and a practice course we were off.
Trent Park has five courses, which get higher and more scary as you make your way through. With tarzan swings, rope nets, crossings, zip wires and a double skateboard zip, it’s an action packed 2-3 hours of fun, that’s for sure. We took our phone ups to grab some photos and videos as we swung, climbed and zipped our way through the courses.
A quick selfie before heading up.
Alex demo-ing how to attach the ropes
The Tarzan swings were so fun. There’s two on this course – the second a little scarier, with you dropping first before swinging you into the net for landing!
This was our selfie before attempting the double skateboard zip together – racing obviously, as we’re both competitive. Alex screwed up and didn’t go at the same time as me. It was so funny!
We had this choice on one of the courses – obviously a silly question. Extreme it was!
Here’s Alex attempting the first Extreme crossing whilst I stood laughing so much:
Alex looking pleased he finally crossed the rings, wondering how I was going to handle it
Alex on the final zip wire. This was the highest and longest zip of them all. I have to say, I definitely didn’t land it this well:
Perhaps if you’re extremely scared of heights, it might not be the best idea, however we did meet one woman who was a little scared and was still making the most of it and having a whale of a time.
Alex loved his birthday surprise and I can honestly say I had tonnes of fun too. It’s such a great day out for people of any age! It was the school summer holidays when we went and yet it still wasn’t packed with children – so adults, don’t let that put you off. Go enjoy the sunshine and have a great time swinging and zipping through the trees.
I really want to go back. Go Ape have recently opened a site in Battersea Park, and although it doesn’t look quite as big, I’m sure it’ll be fun. Perhaps that’ll be my next trip.
Have you been before? What’s your favourite day out?