Stewart Deards, Go Ape Dalkeith's Site Manager, tells us a little more about this exciting new addition to the Park
Why did Go Ape feel that Dalkeith Country Park would be the perfect spot for its newest site? We have been looking for a spot to launch our first Scottish Go Ape for under (and over) 10’s for a while. Dalkeith Country Park fits the bill for so many reasons – being close to Edinburgh and already having an amazing offering for families. It felt like a natural partnership.
How does the Park’s landscape lend itself to Go Ape and how did you design the courses to embrace this? The woodland area either side of the river felt like the perfect home for our Go Ape course. There are some great mature trees with the ability to have over five zip wires going back and forth over the River Esk. It was key that we designed the course to take in as many river crossings as possible. We’ve definitely achieved that.
Can you tell us a little about each of the courses and who they are aimed at? At Dalkeith we have something for everyone. Treetop Adventure is for anyone over 1m tall. Its combination of tree-to-tree wooden crossings, wobbly bridges and zip wire finales are the right amount of exhilaration for an hour of fun for younger children.
For anyone over 1.2 metres Treetop Adventure Plus is a great hour long activity. You can build your confidence on the Adventure loops before progressing on to the Plus loop using the zip wire that goes over the River Esk!
Treetop Challenge is a great activity for anyone over 1.4m. It is a longer activity, approximately one and a half hours in duration. It takes in several zip wires back and forth over the River Esk as well as a continuous journey through the woods on a variety of crossing to get you from tree to tree!
All of our courses run on a continuous belay system. This is really popular with groups, particularly schools and youth groups. This is because it requires less supervising adults to the number of children than our traditional self-belay courses.
What’s different about Go Ape Dalkeith compared to the other Go Ape courses/sites in Scotland? Dalkeith is a more compact course. This makes it great for groups, families and also people who don’t have a full two or three hours to take on one of our other self-belay courses (Aberfoyle, Peebles, Aberdeen).
The safety system we use at Go Ape Dalkeith is also different because you attach at the bottom of the stairs. You then move around the course until you reach the woodchip at the bottom of the zip wire. This is particularly popular with younger families. Its available to under 10’s. Also, once a child is aged six and over parents can supervise from the ground. However, we think it is rather good fun to still get involved yourselves too.
What do you reckon will be the most talked about moment adventurers of all ages can expect from their Go Ape Dalkeith experience? For Treetop Adventure Plus and Treetop Challenge the stand out moments will be zipping over the River Esk. There’s nothing like the rush of adrenalin you get from a zip wire. Zipping over a river takes it up another level!
For Treetop Adventure the main thing that we feel will be loved the most are the wobbly crossings and the cool forest zip wire finale. Kids love zip wires. They’ll be landing the zip and running straight back round to the stairs to have another go!
Fancy giving Go Ape Dalkeith a little go. Book your slots online!