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Go Ape Buxton REVIEW: tree top fun for kids aged 10+

Go Ape Buxton REVIEW: tree top fun for kids aged 10+

Go Ape is renowned across the UK as the ultimate high ropes adventure course and receives rave reviews from families who take on the challenge. But did you know that there is a Go Ape in Buxton?

Every time we have ventured over to Buxton Country Park to either climb up Solomon’s Temple or venture underground into Poole’s Cavern, my boys have longingly gazed at the high ropes course as the sounds of thrill-seekers on the zip wire screech through trees. For any kid who loves an outdoor challenge, the Go Ape Buxton course looks incredible.

Peak District Kids were offered a complimentary session for one adult and two kids in return for this honest Go Ape Buxton review and social media coverage.

And there’s a reason it looks so incredible. The ropes are a little higher. A little longer. And the course is that little bit more extreme than your kids may have experienced at other Go Apes around the country. Indeed, Go Ape Buxton offers one of the biggest Tarzan Swing drops.

But there’s a snag. This epic course has some essential requirements. Kids must be over 10 years old and above 140cm. Plus, those under 15 must be accompanied by a participating adult (one adult can look after up to two kids). So yes, parents, you need to take on the challenge too!

Our eldest, Arthur, is now 10 years old and above the height restriction, so when Go Ape Buxton invited Peak District Kids to check out their course, he was super excited and invited a mate, Oscar, to join him for the session (sorry little brother, you’re not quite big enough yet!)

Arriving to Go Ape Buxton

Go Ape Buxton is next to Poole’s Cavern and shares a car park, so parking is very easy.

We arrived 15 minute early (as advised on our booking email) and were raring to go! We checked in with the friendly staff at the main hut and then sat patiently in the sheltered waiting area.

We had come prepared with gloves; in the colder months, gloves are a good idea to keep hands warm and dry for clipping and un-clipping the caribenas. However, I quickly decided that my pink, woolly mittens that were falling apart, probably weren’t up to the job, so I picked up some Go Ape gloves from the main hut, which were a snugger fit with added grip (there are a range of sizes available for a small charge).

Safety briefing

We joined about 4 other people in our 1pm time slot and were all fitted with harnesses. We then had a safety briefing where we were shown how to clip on and clip off with the caribenas and also had a practice on ground level ropes.

All instruction is very clear and straightforward.

However, I hadn’t actually realised until this stage that there wouldn’t be an instructor with us up on the high ropes course! I, alone, was responsible for the two boys up there! How had I not realised this? I was then grateful that my son had chosen Oscar to join us, who is a sensible kid who is rarely fazed.

But do not worry, there is always an instructor on the ground somewhere to help you and provide advice (which I needed at one point to get up the cargo net).

After the initial instruction, we were led to a small test area to climb up a rope ladder, walk along a rope, and down a short zip wire. This is so the instructor can check that you’re clipping on and off correctly and give you practice at al lower level of how it all works.

The two boys both went up and followed the instructions beautifully. It was I, of course, who had forgotten which coloured caribena to connect onto the bit that attaches to the rope (belay?). I went at the back and the two boys went ahead of me.

Taking on the Go Ape Buxton course

We were now ready to take on the course!

As everyone is independent from an instructor, we didn’t tackle the course as our full, original group at the safety briefing. Everyone quickly dispersed and did their own thing, which we were quite happy with really.

Being one adult and two kids, we were a little slower as we had to wait for everyone to get to the platform before I could check the boys were clipped on correctly and allowed to go.

There are two courses, the second going up a notch for that extra challenge, and they were brilliant fun! But, I’ll be honest, it was a little more hardcore than I had realised it would be. For me personally, with zero upper body strength, I found climbing up the shaky rope ladders tricky, and climbing up the cargo nets made me realise that I won’t be applying to Gladiators anytime soon. When it came to the larger cargo net, there was thankfully a much easier detour to take. The boys mentioned that they found climbing the rope ladders a little tricky too due to the equipment weight they had to pull up.

But Go Ape is not meant to be easy, it’s meant to challenge you and it gives you a fantastic sense of achievement. All three of us were buzzing afterwards! The zip wires especially were brilliant fun.

Tips for the Go Ape Buxton course

  • Remember this is perhaps a different level of course to what you have experienced at other Go Apes. This is the highest tree top challenge with a minimum age of 10 and minimum height of 140cm.
  • Also remember that you are up there without an instructor (although instructors are watching and there to help from down below). This is perhaps not the place to test your fear of heights, especially if you are the participating adult responsible for two kids.
  • Take your time up there. There is no rush and you can always let other groups pass in front of you if needs be.
  • Bring gloves to save on buying them there. Although the gloves available to purchase at reception are a nice souvenir.
  • Wear clothing that is comfortable and that you don’t mind getting muddy. I landed on my bum at the end of every zip wire! We also wore our hiking boots as they provide the best grip and, again, we don’t mind getting them muddy.
  • Plan your day to include a visit to Poole’s Cavern and take the short climb up to Solomon’s Temple, which is all in Buxton Country Park. The entrance to Poole’s Cavern is the opposite side of the car park to Go Ape Buxton, and the Solomon’s Temple walk starts and ends at the same car park. Check out our guide for things to do in Buxton with kids for more ideas. A visit to Brick Corner is a must for LEGO fans.

How to book

The easiest way to book is via the Go Ape website. Click here to book Go Ape Buxton.

Final thoughts on Go Ape Buxton

We spent about two hours at Go Ape Buxton on a Sunday afternoon and had the best time! We were all muddy, I was knackered (the boys could have gone again), and we were buzzing from our sense of achievement. The last zip wire really is a fantastic end to the course, and one of the best we’ve ever been on.

The Peak District Kids Team give Go Ape Buxton a big thumbs up. If your kids are the right age, this is an absolute must do Peak District day out.

You may also like to read:

Things to do in Buxton with kids
Poole’s Cavern Buxton REVIEW
Solomon’s Temple walk, Buxton