During the easter break, which seems like a while ago now, we got offered an opportunity to go and try out the brand new high ropes Tree tops Junior at GoApe in the beautiful Grizedale Forest in the stunning Lake District. We were really keen to have a go as my son has been asking so many times to try out GoApe and up until now he was below the height and age limit for the adult courses. The extra bonus here was that all the little ones could go on as well. If they were under 6 they had to be accompanied by an adult and my OH was pretty keen to volunteer! 🙂

They all got kitted out with their harnesses and had a pretty in depth demo on how to do it all. One great thing that we noticed, which put our worrying minds as rest, was that they were always attached to the safety line. I have been to some high ropes courses where the kids have to clip on and clip off at each different activity in the trees. Which if you are a 5 year old might be something you forget to do! I thought that was such a well thought through addition, especially for the little ones so that they can be included safely.

There are two levels of course and they kids have about 90 minutes to have a go at as much or as little as they want. Our bigger kids went for  both levels and our youngest adventurer went for just the first level with her Daddy. The kids had a great time and at no time did i have any concern for their safety.

After we handed the harnesses back and picked up the kids certificates for completing the course we headed out for a little walk around the stunning Grizedale Forest and its tribute to the Gruffalo. With wind up trees that played songs and little clues and tips on nature and what is in the Forest.

I really love the Lake District. It is a place we have lived relatively close for such a long time and not visited nearly enough! It is a true gem of a place. We really love it there.



We had a lovely and much needed family trip out and we headed out in the cold sunshine to Quarry Bank Mill. It is a fabulous national trust property surrounded by gorgeous gardens and forest walks. It was beautiful strolling through the forest and the kids climbing on trees, jumping puddles and squealing as they ran. Perfect childhood freedom that is sometimes rarely available for our city kids. Of course, there was the odd squabble over sticks and who would hold the dog’s lead.

We went a little off track, having not picked up one of their info sheets on the way in, and ended up struggling across a field to get back onto the forest track. The field was up hill and had a sheer layer of mud all under the already wet grass. There were a couple of face plants in the mud! Good to be out and not have to worry about a bit of mud. Lots of hand cleaning later…

We got back to the mill and then paid the fee to get in. It was in the middle of being used in a film set so there were roped off areas in many place and lots of piles of fake cobbles everywhere presumably to cover the concrete. The mill is a listed building and a fully restored 18th century cotton mill. It has a fabulous massive waterwheel and lots of textile machines. We came here years ago when we just had one very lively two year old and i remember going through the mill being a little bit of a pointless activity. Chasing a chicken round a coop was a little bit what it felt like as my very active two year old was not interested in the slightest.

This time it was very different having school age kids who could read the exhibits, follow the stories and listen to the description of what life was like for workers in the mill. We still had the running toddler thing but even she stopped when we got to the fun water interact exhibits.

We finished the day off with tea and cake in the cafe, which had a small kid friendly area with pens, pencils and books. Then waving goodbye to a day well spent  with the misty wintery sun setting over the mill. Pretty good all round. Next time we are going back to see the gardens as we ran out of time!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall