After a pleasant drive through the countryside, Margaret and I arrived at the Go Ape centre in Grizedale Forest for the start of our adventure. This Go Ape location offered four experiences. We settled on the Zip Trekking Adventure to begin with. We had a safety briefing and were introduced to our instructors. A minibus ride took us to the top of a hill in the forest; there we were allowed trips on seven zip wires of varying height and steepness, each with a stunning view of the landscape for us to enjoy as we zipped between the trees.
The final zip wire offered a change from the cover of trees, instead is carried us over some parkland meadows, giving a chance to appreciate the beautiful valley below before landing where we’d started at the visitor centre. If you’d like to give it a try, allow 2-3 hours for this one experience – I can certainly recommend it.
Our second adventure was the Tree Top Adventure, where we were able to hop from tree to tree on 5 different obstacle courses, one of which was the highest Go Ape course in the UK, this took 2-3 hours for us to complete and was great fun, but it was made even better by the friendly and helpful staff.
On another occasion we were joined by Jaffa and Banjo (our dogs) for a self-service lunch at the café, then we went on to explore the courtyard which included a gallery and other places, which were all dog friendly! We walked up The Red Route: a 3-mile trail up to Carron Crag – the highest point in the forest – where we were surrounded by gorgeous views in every direction, it was very peaceful.
Go Ape was just 35 minute drive from our self catering accommodation at Witherslack’s Cycle Barn. The Cycle Barn is dog friendly accommodation and on our adventure days we parked at some kennels close to the Go Ape and left our dogs their for safe keeping. It was a short walk, following a stream through the woods, from the kennels to Go Ape.
In the evenings we headed home to Witherslack’s, a beautiful grand design project built by the owners Rick and Steph, who welcomed us to their new hostel. The facilities included a drying room, 14 beds in 4 bedrooms, a self catering kitchen and an open plan sitting room. The rest of the night was spent in front of the fire enjoying some local lemon drizzle cake.
Alongside the Zip Wire and Tree Top adventures there are walks and cycle hire available at Go Ape. I suggest you set aside 2 days to enjoy the Go Ape centre and make a base at Witherslack Cycle Barn‘s great value self catering accommodation.
you can see a complete list of bunkhouse and hostel accommodation in the Lake District here.