Home / Destinations / How To Unleash Your Tarzan For The First Time On An Exciting High Ropes Course

How To Unleash Your Tarzan For The First Time On An Exciting High Ropes Course

I step nervously onto a sliver of wood slung across the chasm between two towering trees. Small planks, joined by plastic coated steel ropes, sway perilously from side to side, as I try to navigate the ‘twisted bridge’. It’s a cautious dance between sections, as I frantically try to shift my weight and limbo beneath the steel cable to avoid being flung from the treetops. Thank god for those sessions with my personal trainer, as I have to combine strength, core balance and flexibility. Forget any notions of graceful acrobatics or monkeys scampering through the trees however. I’m more like the Incredible Hulk lumbering ungainly across a tightrope.

Thinking about crossing the Twisted Bridge on the Go Ape High Ropes course

Jason tries to guide me, suggesting ways to distribute my weight, but as my foot slips from the wood, I release a scream fit to start an avalanche. I somehow manage to sway, swing and step safely onto the opposite platform, and release my breath.

on a treetop platform
The relief at surviving the latest high ropes obstacle (even though the safety equipment prevents me from ever falling!)

High ropes course

The ‘twisted bridge’ is the penultimate challenge in our Go Ape Adventure. Jason and I have spent almost two and a half hours climbing trees, navigating tightropes, swaying footbridges, nets and tunnels, all high above the beautiful landscape of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. This obstacle is just one of many pulse racing crossings.

Just some of the aerial adventures at Go Apes Treetop adventure

Tarzan swing

The Tarzan swing is another, but this is one of the first Tarzan challenges. Barely out of Tarzan school, I take a leaping jump from the platform and whizz through the air into a large, sprawling net. After a loud screech, I scramble awkwardly onto the platform with my knees shaking.

We go on to navigate the adrenaline packed course, with a mind-boggling array of different obstacles. From swings to rope walls, to highly unstable, rocking rope ways. I definitely have moments where my legs shake so much I feel like I’m on a power plate. (Thankfully, I don’t have a total meltdown like I did when we did Zipworld caverns!)

Go Ape aerial obstacles

You will certainly get value for money, as the Cannock Chase high ropes course ‘has the longest combined length of crossings of any Go Ape location.’ It offers nearly 1,500 metres of suspended tree crossings. Each has clear instructions, reminding you to ‘stay attached at all times’, and there’s also clear pictures on each tree. These show you where to put your equipment, and once you have done your practice run with an instructor, it’s pretty easy.

There’s often a choice of routes, so daredevils can take the extreme option, while those a little less confident can opt for more sedate options. Even though I am a wuss, I couldn’t resist opting for the harder routes!


My favourite bits are of course the zip wires. Each of the five courses ends with a wire, one of which is a whopping 260m long. The sensation of floating, with the wind whistling through my hair, and my feet skimming the forest, is pure ecstasy. Be warned however, the landing is rather less graceful, despite Sarah our instructor, giving us very specific instructions on how to slow our landing.

riding the zipwire
Taking to the zipwire at GoApe
Go Ape zipwire landing
A rather ungraceful landing


We had an absolutely fantastic morning at Go Ape, and I really felt like the course was a great ‘fear factor’ challenge in a controlled environment. The instruction at the outset was excellent and everything was very clearly signposted. I can’t wait to return but next trip, we will bring the kids, as it would make a perfect family outing.

Go Ape Treetop Adventure infographic
Go Ape Treetop Adventure infographic

What you need to know


Go Ape gets very busy at weekends, so be sure to book in advance. If you book before 8th July, you can take advantage of a 20% discount on your high ropes Tarzan experience. Book between 22nd July and 3rd September 2018 and keep the kids amused in the school holidays. See full Terms and conditions on the Go Ape website.


Allow two to three hours for your adventure. We are reasonably fit and strong, and took almost 2.5 hours to complete the course. If you are travelling with children, you may need to allow more time to help them.

This crossing needs some even weight distribution

Treetop Junior Course

Children over ten can take part in the main treetop adventure, but fear not, the young ones do not need to miss out either. There is a treetop junior course for all ages, subject to meeting the minimum height restriction of 1 metre. Take note, there are strict ratios for adults to children so please read all the rules before you book. Adults have to accept responsibility for children under sixteen, meaning you are responsible for the safety of your mini tribe.

Go Ape junior infographic
Go Ape junior infographic

Corporate days out

Go Ape also offer corporate team building days and although that kind of thing often brings me out in a cold sweat (after all, who really wants to make a tit of themselves in front of their work colleagues?) I actually think it would be great fun (unless you are terrified of heights).

Other things to do in Cannock Chase

This forest offers outdoor enthusiasts access to endless miles of running and mountain biking trails, the ‘Forest Segway’, orienteering courses and of course Go Ape. Just 20 miles from Birmingham, it feels like an enchanted forest, a million miles from city chaos.

If you want to stick around and make a weekend of it, Hotels.com offers a number of options available within a short driving distance of Cannock Chase.

Have your say

Have you ever visited Go Ape and tried the high ropes course? If so, I would love to hear what you thought.

We were hosted courtesy of Go Ape however all views are our own and unedited.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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  1. Parnashree Devi

    I have tried a couple of them. But the twisted bridge looks the most scary. I don’t think so that I can even attempt that. It feels good when you accomplish one hurdle. You seem quite excited though.

  2. Blair villanueva

    Such a wonderful experience adventure you had. I used to experience it back in school like every week! It was a momerable and nice to be active.

  3. I would love to challenge myself on this one. I have done a few of these rope courses in a similar place in India but having it all together would be really fun. I can see that you had a blast too. Well done with capturing your experience with those helpful tips

  4. Wow…. all these adventures on top or trees, twisted bridges, swings, ropes etc. They could either scare you or excite you. And i guess it did you both. It seems like a one of a kind experience and a lovely way to infuse some energy in life. I coukd definitely use some break from the daily routine and try some of these out

  5. This looks like a lot of fun! Though my heart did start racing when reading it, as I’m quite afraid of heights! The zipline would be exhilarating, and I can imagine the high at the end of it! Will remember Go Ape for sure!

  6. That looks so much fun. I would love to do this with a group of friends or kids. Must be cool for kids to do this as a birthday celebration. I have done ziplining before, so this wouldn’t be scary for me. Thank you for sharing 😀

    • Yes I think this would be great for birthday celebrations. Or special occasions for groups. I’d love to do this with a gang of friends as I think it would be hilarious.

  7. The Go Ape course looks really challenging and exciting. Something straight out of Tarzan and the apes. The twisted rope challenge seems to be really tough. Having experienced something similar I can vouch for the fact that it is so unlike the smooth monkey crawl kind of movements that one sees in the pictures. But definitely a great experience.

  8. YUKTI Agrawal

    I am not very much adventurous type and high on ropes is no for me. But looking and reading your post tempts me to do it as it is all surrounded by lush greenery and trees. I love nature and so would love to do this. You have given all valid details of Go Ape. My boys would surely love it.

  9. I did the Go Ape course in Indianapolis Indiana. I thought they did a great job building a very inclusive course. It was a great way for people to get out into the woods and try something new. I love the tree cover over there and it looks like it wasn’t too busy.

  10. I have never been to something like this and it looks like so much fun. Although I am slightly terrified of heights, I would definitely give this a try. It’s better than just doing a bungee jump. I like things like this that are a little challenging 🙂

  11. Live go ape and thanks fir sharing this. Have had my sons birthday party here and the kids loved it We gave one near our house in Chessington in the U.K. love the activities and the zip at the end. It’s a great day out for the whole family. Thanks for sharing and the photos are great as well

  12. This looks like so much fun! I have zipe lined before and love it! But I have never done a rope course. I want to try it though! 🙂

  13. It felt like I was reading a book more than a review. Exciting! I actually have a pair of passes to Go Ape to cash in still! Great photos, too! I’d feel like Indiana jones!

  14. I haven’t done Go Ape but we did go zip lining in Mexico, and whilst I loved the zip lines, I found the rope bridges and crossings to be very challenging! At one point I was dangling from a cable over jungle treetops, having to haul myself back up inch by inch… I’ve never ached so much in my life! Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t give it another try though…

    • Yes I definitely had to haul myself up the Tarzan rope and could really tell I’d done it but I felt a sense of accomplishment after. I’m guessing it must have been pretty cool in Mexico

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