Review: Alexandra Palace Go Ape: The Plummet

Go Ape

Go Ape - Credit: Archant

Face your fear and do it anyway on this treetop adventure course

Go Ape

Go Ape - Credit: Archant

I’m standing on a wooden platform with my toes over the edge, and ‘though I know my harness will save me, the idea of stepping off seems suddenly crazy.

With gentle encouragement from a ‘tribe’ member, and a little scream, I fall 50 feet to earth, landing softly on my back amid bark chippings as my children laugh at me.

It occurs to me that The Plummet, as it’s called, would be good training before your first parachute jump.

But not for someone like me with vertigo.

It’s the newest feature at Alexandra Palace’s Go Ape course. Located behind the boating pond it pitches you way above an already high point on the capital’s skyline, giving adventure seekers a stunning eagle’s eye view of the city over the treetops.

My fear of heights was put firmly in check by an safety talk from one of the ‘tribe’ of course staff.

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You learn to always clip your harness onto a wire line which runs continuously around the course and you also have a trolly pully that allows you to zip down wires, or swing Tarzan-like into a giant net.

My 10 and 13 year-olds joined me on the Tree Top Adventure - three circuits of varying difficulty - while my husband and six-year-old took on the Junior Adventure, an hour’s worth of stepping across ladders, boards and nets from tree to tree.

My sons raced around the course, and I was too busy trying to keep up to think about the downward drop.

There are several spots where the nervous can swerve tricky sections - such as the heinously difficult suspended rings across a vertigionous void - although there was no dodging a twisted ladder that I shuffled across in undignified fashion.

The sense of achievement from facing your fear and doing it anyway is hard to beat.

The kids of course are fearless and love the high of scampering over the obstacles and whizzing down zip slides. Even the six-year-old confidently raced around her circuit. There are 33 centres around the country with different courses.

Children need to be supervised on the courses so there’s no parental opt out but it’s a great family activity this summer.