A trip to the Go Ape Dalkeith Treetop Challenge

Saturday July 22nd 2023

Go Ape Tree Top Challenge

Written by Midlothian View reporter, Rachel Bowen

Being someone who has always wanted to go to GoApe but has been slightly too scared to venture onto the courses, I can confirm that the GoApe Treetop Challenge in Dalkeith Country Park was a great way to spend time with my friend and push myself outside of my comfort zone.

Admittedly, if I was someone with a fear of heights, I would consider the other courses available, as although it was not too bad for myself, I did feel a little nervous when looking down at the ground, especially near the start of the trails.

What is the Treetop Challenge?

The Treetop challenge is designed for adults and older children (children over the height of 1.4m). It involves 4 different loops which are completed over a 1-2 hour period depending on how fast you can conquer them.

If you think of a children’s play park which has a wooden obstacle course, with things such as tightropes, stepping stones, and climbing nets, but this time imagine it high up in the trees and being clipped in with harnesses and bayers, then this should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Once our confidence was gained, we decided to challenge ourselves on the more difficult obstacles, and it is safe to say that this used a lot of arm strength and determination to keep going because once you start laughing then it’s hard to gain composure again. One of my favourite parts was the zip lines throughout and at the end of all the loops, by the end we were gliding along and looking down over the river below us.

Does it feel safe ?

This was one of my concerns, whenever I had watched people complete GoApe trails before, I had always noticed that they seemed to be clipping themselves in and out of the safety lines? It turns out I was wrong. I found out in the safety briefing talk and practice course, that we would always be clipped onto the safety lines and that all we had to do was clip the bayers on and off.

Initially this seemed daunting but very quickly into the course this worry disappeared. Although we were left to our own devices once we started each loop, there was staff available to call for help that ensured we were okay throughout the course. This meant that we felt safe whilst also gaining independence.

Is it worth it?

I would say yes, we spent two hours on the course, the staff were very friendly and it didn’t feel overwhelming or like we were in a rush.

We were told that our 10am slot was often quite quiet during the week, which worked perfectly for us as we were put in a group with just two others. We let them go before us, as we were new to this experience, but even as we started to catch up with them, it felt no one was in a rush or holding each other back. Once we had all completed the first loop, my friend and I were put onto a separate one, so that we could complete it in our own time.

It was very sunny when we first started which meant we went up just in our t-shirts, but by 11:30am the rain decided to fall very heavily on us, which meant we felt cold, and the wood felt slippery. However, the rain soon passed, and we were back to normal.

GoApe is a great place to take visitors and is something I would recommend for those looking for an adventure and those looking for something different.

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