Situated in Itchen Valley, Go Ape Southampton is one of their highest adventures in the south designed for kids and they loved it last year, but Isaac is my fearless one and has been keen to try the Tree Top Challenge adult course ever since and this summer he is finally tall enough to take part.
I booked Isaac and Kian onto the Tree Top Challenge course, whilst Eliza, Sebby did the Tree Top Adventure course with Dad.
Being an outside activity, it is fairly easy to social distance once in the trees, but they do have some added precautions.
COVID19 restrictions on the ground:
They positively encourage social distancing with signage, a queuing system and ground markers. Older customers are guided how to fit there own harnesses, with a check done by an instructor wearing a face shield. There is also a handwash/sanitiser stations set up at the cabin.
COVID19 restrictions in the trees:
Groups are being managed so it’s one household or bubble per stockade and platform on the course. This worked well on the adult course, but some of the younger visitors wanted to race around, so needed closer supervision from their accompanying adults. The staff were also great at reminding them from below.
Tree Top Challenge Course at Go Ape Southampton
The main difference between the Tree Top Challenge Course and the Tree Top Adventure course is the difficulty. The minimum height of participants is 140cm, due to the reach required on some of the obstacles.
Isaac was just tall enough and although he loved every minute, he had to push himself to complete some of the challenges.
The highest platform on the Tree Top Challenge course is a staggering 12m above the ground and the longest zipwire is 200m long!
The other major difference, is that you have to self belay. This means that you have to physically clip yourself on and off each obstacle, but full training is given before you start.
Tree Top Adventure Course at Go Ape Southampton
The Tree Top Adventure course is designed for younger adventurous, although don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security, the highest platform is still 7.6m above the ground.
The first part of the course involves a few aerial challenges including walking through a hanging net, zig zags, the flying carpet and a fun 104.9m zip line at the end, all on a continuous belay, so no clipping yourself on and off each challenge.
Once you have come down the zip line, you can choose to do the first course again, or challenge yourself to the slightly harder second course.
The kids were over the moon to be greeted by their certificates at the end of the course.
The Tree Top Adventure takes an hour, whilst the Tree Top Challenge course is 2-3 hours, which is worth bearing in mind if you are booking both courses.
Luckily there is plenty to do at Itchen Valley, with a two large adventure parks and a play trail, which Sebby and Eliza really enjoyed, as they could see Kian and Isaac up in the trees.
The Tree Top Adventure costs £19 per person and is suitable for children over 1m in height, with children aged under 6 supervised by an adult on the course. The Tree Top Challenge course costs £26 per person, with a minimum age of 10 years and height 140cm. Under 15’s must be accompanied by an adult.
I found discount vouchers at www.hampshireattractions.co.uk/ which are valid for both Southampton and Moors Valley sites.
Disclaimer: We were invited to review the Tree Top Challenge Course. All thoughts and opinions are our own