Considering I have a phobia of trees, Go Ape in Rivington has never been on my to-do list. I am all for outdoor activities, but I am terrified, of trees; the long cruciferous branches which threaten, in particular. With that in mind, consider my apprehension when we arrived at the rather picturesque Rivington, Bolton for our £30 tree top adventure.
Safety first, our guide helped us with our harnesses and reiterated the importance of staying attached at all times, and that it is a high risk activity. With such an inspiring speech, we began our adventure.
The course consists of fives 'sites', the first being talked through with our instructor below. After that you're on you own, but if you decide after the first site on that Go Ape isn't for you, they'll happily give you a full refund at reception.
It is a true 'tree top' adventure because (while attached), you walk a tightrope, literally swing from tree to tree, and try to gracefully get across to the other side without looking completely inept.
You're allocated three hours to complete all five sites, which sounds like a long time, but when you're up there times flies.
Overall, Go Ape in Rivington is pretty damn good, even if you're afraid of heights you'll get into it, and enjoy letting go. It is definitely the place to scream in laughter or fear - everyone is in the same boat, so don't think twice about how much your legs are shaking as you ascend the rope ladder.
Adventure and thrill seekers will get their kicks out of the course, but aside from climbing trees you literally swing above people who are in the forest. who are either on bikes, or walking their dogs.
The forest itself isn't merely for Go Apers, we spotted people on bikes, others walking their dogs and parents with their children. It's an understandable hotspot for the weekend because the views were spectacular. Once we'd completed the high-adrenaline course, we decided to take a detour and explored the forest and shore around the lake. It was really quite beautiful.
After surviving Go Ape, Rivington, I can safely say I'd do it again, but remember two things: gloves and a camera. Your hands do rub on the ropes at times, and you might get a splinter. The instructors also recommend keeping cameras and phones in a secure place on your persons, so you can capture the view from the tree tops.
I recommend this Go Ape in particular, for all groups, families (kids from 12 years and up) friends, or work mates who want a fun day out, and don't mind a bit of rough and tumble. There's nothing like being in a tree, above the world, and firmly 'in' nature. Whether my tree phobia has been cured, however, remains to be seen.