Where you can be king of the swingers

family page july 2''Julia Bennett at Go Ap!, Rivington
family page july 2''Julia Bennett at Go Ap!, Rivington
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Playgrounds weren’t as exciting when I was growing up as they are nowadays, writes Julia Bennett.

Taking the kids to the park makes me so green with envy I almost turn on a toddler tantrum. Why can’t I scale the climbing net or whiz down the zip line?

So it’s a massive relief for the whole family that I can unleash my inner monkeyness at Go Ape! - the family adventure park. The short 40 minute journey from Blackpool to Rivington took us through picteresque woodland to the Go Ape! centre where friendly staff got us kitted out. A full safety briefing later and dressed in a rather un-flattering harness, our team of 10 monkeys were ready for our practice run. Supervised by staff, we climbed up the first rope ladder, tiptoed across a high wire and then slid down a short zip wire before being allowed to go off into the woodland on our own. With screams echoing from the treetops in front of us, we entered the first of five Go Ape! zones with a little trepidation.

But once you remember you’re always attached to a rope, the butterflies in your stomach fly away. As we made our way through the ‘jungle’, each site became higher and that little bit more challenging. Cheers of encouragement got us across some tricky crossings - rickety bridges, a suspended wooden tunnel and rope swings. The tarzan swing, which involved leaping from a high platform nestled in the treetops onto a cargo net, definitely took nerves of steel and at the highest point of the route - around 10 metres - I had a serious case of wobbly knees syndrome. But the great thing about Go Ape! is as soon as you’ve tackled a particularly tricky section, an exhilerating zip wire is waiting round the next tree trunk. Even on a typically drizzly Lancashire day, the 200 metres of zip wire over the edge of the Rivington reservoir offered breathtaking views as we sailed through the air. This is one play park I’ll definitely be going back too - and next time, I might even drag the children along to...

n Hit http://goape.co.uk/sites/rivington or ring 0845 643 9215 for details.

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