Near to every Forest Holiday location there is Go Ape, a world of tree top and forest adventures. Here we turn the spotlight on this amazing company, one of our holiday partners, to find out what fires them up.
A leap into the unknown
Back in 2001, Go Ape founders Tristram and Rebecca Mayhew were on holiday in the Auvergne in France with their six-month old baby. On a walk, they came across a French family swinging through the trees with abandon. From the looks on their faces, it was clear that the kids and their parents were having the time of their lives.
Already thinking about stepping off the corporate ladder, Tristram and Rebecca saw, in that family tableau, an opportunity to start a business moulded by their own values. They seized the moment, quit their London jobs and leapt into the Go Ape adventure. They opened their first Go Ape at Thetford Forest in Norfolk (close to our newest Forest Holidays location, Thorpe Forest) in 2002.
Fast forward 13 years and Go Ape has now helped millions of thrillseekers connect with their inner Tarzan and bring adventure into their lives.
A sense of freedom, a shared adventure
But what of those values, and why do they chime with Forest Holidays guests?
It’s the perfect foil for the freedom we offer at Forest Holidays. A high octane, high-up view of the forest at Go Ape is matched by a more relaxed, laid back freedom back in your cabin. Swing through the trees with your tribe, run along wooden bridges and whoop and holler to your heart’s content. Then soothe your aches and pains in a luxurious hot tub and still your mind with the sounds and sights of the forest around you. Go Ape and Forest Holidays are the Yin and Yang of your forest experience.
"Times have changed and the freedom we all experienced as children, for many reasons, has been eroded. Go Ape is about bringing people together – family, friends, colleagues – for a shared adventure in the freedom of the forest.”
“We want you to challenge, excite and surprise yourself. To be motivated to swap I can’t for I can. We want to take you on an adventure.” - Co-founder Rachel
Strong roots, reaching for the skies
Go Ape, like Forest Holidays is a young company with a strong sense of customer and social responsibility. Like Forest Holidays, they have worked alongside the Forestry Commission to identify suitable sites for their tree top adventures, and they now have 28 sites across the country. While many are on Forestry Commission land, they have recently begun to branch out and work with other landowners. “It is a great way to open up the woodlands to new users. Whatever your experience of the Forest, whether it’s a gentle stroll with the dog or a full-on treetop Go Ape adventure, you are out there doing something, being natural and having fun – and that’s enough.” says Rebecca.
The new plans include the exciting prospect of bringing the tree top experience to City Parks; the Battersea Park Go Ape opens in April and there are more in the pipeline. This is fantastic for urban tribes, bringing Go Ape right into town for them.
And at the existing sites, Go Ape has added new ways to enjoy the forest. Forest Segway rides are a great way to explore the woods, and almost all sites now have Junior Treetop for younger children. The latest innovation is the exhilarating Zip Trekking Adventure at Grizedale Forest in the Lake District.
Swing into Action
Every Forest Holiday location is situated close to a Go Ape, and we can’t think of a better way to enjoy all that the forest has to offer than combining the two. And to help you swing into action, Go Ape offer a generous 10% discount to all Forest Holiday guests.
Are you ready to release your inner Tarzan?