Gosh, I’m a lucky bunny to live so close to Alexandra Palace. I’ve spent summer days there, eating picnics and sipping prosecco whilst watching the City of London below, and evenings in it’s famous glass-roof venue watching some of my favourite artists strut their stuff on stage. There’s cafes and pedalos to keep kiddies amused, and recently Go Ape* has joined the area, bringing something for all ages to enjoy.
Well, I say ‘enjoy’. For the first half an hour, I was solidly convincing myself I wasn’t going to plunge to my death, but things got better the longer we spent there. Let’s start at the beginning…
Go Ape’s Treetop Adventure is three levels of high-rope courses that you navigate on your own. We were provided with ever-so flattering harnesses which were comfortable enough for us, but definitely not for those who had arrived unprepared in jeans! An instructor talked us through how to attach our guides on the ropes and reassured me that I would be attached to the course for the duration, so 100% would not be falling off (or at least, wouldn’t fall all the way to the ground!).
The first level felt as though I was tightrope walking at the top of the Burj Khalifa. I don’t really mind heights and have done zip wires and the like plenty of times before, but they’re all sat down and over pretty quickly. This time I had to concentrate and balance myself across rope walkways and wobbling log steps whilst trying not to look down. I found singing a string of swear words to myself helped, much to the bemusement of people behind me.
The best bits of the course are the ways to get off it: a huge long zip wire that I rolled onto like a sack of spuds, and the Tarzan Swing. The latter literally involves jumping off a ledge and hoping your harness beats gravity by catching you and swinging you into a giant rope net. I had a very encouraging Orthodox Jewish family standing beneath me when I did it, who cheered me on despite the fact I screamed a very unsavoury word at the top of my lungs as I jumped.
I made it through two levels but wimped out at the top one. My thighs were burning from the most exercise they’d had in a good few months and the adrenaline had got me all shaky, which didn’t help with the increasingly windy afternoon weather either! I collected my certificate to prove I had done the course and felt pretty damn proud. Even if the 11-year old ahead of me went on to complete the next level…
*We were guests of Go Ape but all words and opinions are my own