Ever since I can remember Moo has been keen to try his hand at Go Ape. At Moors Valley you have to walk down under the tree top junior to the play trail. It always looks like such fun, lots of laughing, smiling and joyous screams as they whizz down the zip-line. When we visit Nottingham we stay with my Auntie, I'm always keen to fill the children's days up making bedtime easier. We always trundle around Sherwood Forest for the Robin Hood Festival, but have never made it to Sherwood Pines. I know it's very similar to Moors Valley as it's run by the Forestry Commission. Robin Hood spent a lot of time living and hiding in the trees and I thought the experience might be fun for the children to see the world from a different perspective.
Olive is too small not yet 1 metre tall and I figured M&M might need a hand so I booked myself on too. We arrived at Sherwood Pines and were pleasantly surprised by the tiny price for parking unlike the nearly £10 for Moors Valley! We were greeted by an enthusiastic team and given some instructions to read, about how many people could be on the walk ways and platforms at a time and some basic safety information. After being harnessed up we tried the practice track which is there to show you how the rope works. Each person is strapped into a harness and a rope with a wheel pulley attached this pulley is what whizzes up and down the ropes above your head as you wall along the bridges. M&M seemed pretty happy and we made our way up the steps for our first adventure. I decided the best way to do this as to be in the middle of M&M. Megan took off like a shot on the first bridge as Moo and I more tentatively walked along. Once we reached the platform we found a sobbing Megan gripping tightly to the tree, shaking and unable to move. I tried my best to comfort her (because I was actually shaking with fear myself!!!) but she just couldn't move. A couple of instructors stood under the platform shouting encouragement to her but she really was terrified. I felt so useless as I actually really just wanted to get down myself! A lovely instructor Casey shouted up to Megan that she was coming to help her. As quick as a flash she was up clipped next to Megan and helping her across the bridges like a pro.
I took a massive breath whilst smiling at Moo, trying to look like I was having the best time ever and walked along the next bridge. The bridges end in a zip wire which is slightly daunting jumping off the platform and I'm pretty sure the first time the instructor gave me a nudge of encouragement as suddenly I was zipping through the trees screaming! Once at the bottom I as greeted by a beaming Megan who surprisingly wanted to go again. However we made it again to the second platform when she started shaking and crying, uttering please help me I'm a scaredy cat! After a bit of coaxing and a stern word from Moo she was off again.
Once all three of us were back at the bottom Moo decided he wanted to go again and was happy to go by himself and that was it he was off. Megan also decided she wanted to go again on her own. Despite my better judgement off she went … and the little monkey had a whale of a time waving and laughing. I on the other hand had jelly legs for the rest of the day!!
I must admit none of of were brave enough to try without the guide ropes, but considering the sobbing mess Megan was I'm amazed she went up alone! I really did learn a thing or two from my super brave daughter she deserved her certificate at the end! The staff were excellent. All very good with the children, encouraging and praising them from the ground and on platforms. Big massive thank you to Casey who helped Megan, she was so proud on her last zip-wire too when Casey saw she had gone round the circuit alone. It's an amazing experience being up that high in the trees and for me the excellent staff made it even better.
After week treated ourselves to tea and cake in the café – I needed it! Daddy Moo was super jealous when he saw the pictures so I think a visit to Moors Valley is in order! You can book now at goape.co.uk or call 0845 643 9236
We were provided with 3 junior passes for 1 hour at Go Ape Sherwood Pines for the purpose of a review.