student life

Go Ape: Students are going bananas for it

Sian Elvin, Go Ape Tree Top Adventure, Kettle Mag
Written by SianElvin

It’s a tough life being a student, isn’t it? There’s not exactly very much to do. Countless sports clubs and societies to join – from pole dancing to chess club – and that’s not even mentioning the social life at university. There’s always a cheap night out, or something going on at any time of day.

But no; students still manage to get bored, apparently. So instead they find new ways to enjoy themselves. And what’s the latest craze? An adventure course called ‘Go Ape’. I was offered the chance to go and check it out, so I thought I’d head along and discover what it was really about.

What’s Go Ape like?

I had the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I went to the Bedgebury branch in Kent, which is near Tunbridge Wells. It was Easter Monday and the sun had just started to peek through the trees – perfect for a day swinging about like a monkey.

I was served almost immediately and I have to say the staff were very pleasant. They clearly enjoyed their jobs and were confident in their knowledge, relaxed, and chatting along the way. For those of you who are safety-conscious, not to worry: you get a list of detailed instructions before you begin, and you are trained by a proper instructor, who shows you how to attach your harness properly to the equipment and constantly drums the golden rule into you: “Always stay attached!”

After our training, which took 20 minutes or so, the fun began. There were five different sites at our Go Ape branch, which appeared to slowly increase in intensity. The first site acted as a warm-up to get you used to the height – which was definitely needed as you are pretty high up in the trees! The view however, was absolutely stunning.

Spring is the best time to go to Go Ape in my opinion; you get the sunshine but it’s not too hot. If you get the chance in between swinging around, make sure you stop and admire the sights.

Lets Get Adventurous

There are all different kinds of apparatus, from wobbly bridges to tunnels, and from daredevil Tarzan swings to terrifying stirrup steps. The great thing about Go Ape is that it’s suitable for younger teenagers as well as adults, in case you fancy taking your younger siblings with you for a treat! 

If the Tarzan swing is just too scary, there’s an alternate route, and there are also different difficulty levels at some sites. It isn’t too easy for adults either; I was left tired at the end of the course, and the final swing excitingly made my stomach drop. Each site ended with a zip line, and they got longer and faster each time, building your confidence as you progress. 

By the end of the course we were pretending to be Superman! To finish you get a couple of goodies including a certificate and a cereal bar, which I thought was a nice touch. So if you fancy a fun, adrenaline-filled day with your friends, or need a new idea for a society event, I’d certainly recommend you give Go Ape a try. It makes for some great photos, too!

Get a 15 percent student discount on the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure here.