Thursday, 3 August 2017

Go Ape Junior at Tilgate Park, Crawley

At the weekend we were invited to try out Go Ape in Tilgate Park, Crawley. I completed the adult course there last year for my Dad's birthday and enjoyed it very much, so I thought that it was time for the children to have a turn. We've seen similar courses in several forest locations recently and so they knew what to expect, and as they've both really come on lately in confidence we thought that they would be able to manage and enjoy it.

Go Ape Junior is aimed at children aged 6 - 12, although younger children can take part as long as they are over 1 metre tall and accompanied around the course by an adult. We had decided that the children were old and confident enough to go around the course by themselves and it was the right decision - I think that if one of us had been up there with them there might have been a few more wobbles, but as it was they just had to get on with it!

Go Ape Junior at Tilgate Park review

We booked for the 11am session on a Saturday in the school holidays. After we had signed in and run through some written safety instructions with the children they were fitted with their harnesses. They were both very excited, although Mia in particular was a bit nervous which surprised me as she's usually the most confident of the two! 

Go Ape Junior at Tilgate Park, Crawley

They were shown how to attach their harness to the cable on a small practice area, and they had a go at moving around it. This was really good as it gave them the chance to get used to the process of moving along the cable, and they were then very excited to get started. You are given a full hour to spend on the course, and your time starts from when your safety briefing has finished. 

Go Ape Junior at Tilgate Park, Crawley

There are two courses at Tilgate. Course 1 is quite short and a lot easier. Course 2 is a fair bit longer and has more more tricky crossings to navigate. Both courses end with a zip wire. Harry breezed through both courses, but Mia found Course 2 a little more difficult. There were a couple of moments when she hesitated, I could see her lip trembling a little bit and I was wishing that I was up there with her. But then with encouragement from Harry and the other children, and us on the ground, she steeled herself up to it and finished without any problems. She had such a big smile on her face when she finished a crossing that she had found challenging!

Go Ape Junior at Tilgate Park, Crawley

The time that they started was written on their wristband and they could go around as many times as they liked within their hour. Harry managed Course 1 three times and Course 2 twice, Mia finished Course 1 four times and Course 2 once. They both found that they had plenty of time.

Go Ape Junior at Tilgate Park, Crawley

The zip wire was definitely the best bit of the course, even though neither of them really mastered the act of a smooth landing!

Go Ape Junior at Tilgate Park, Crawley

Both children had such a sense of achievement when they had finished the course, it was really good to see how they had challenged themselves, as well as having a lot of fun.

Go Ape Junior at Tilgate Park, Crawley

Here's a short video showing the course in action!


Our Junior Go Ape experience was complimentary in exchange for this review. At time of writing a child's adventure on Go Ape Junior at Tilgate costs £18.

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