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The Top 8 UK Zip Wires

Zip lines have been used as a mode of transport for over 2000 years but more recently they’ve been used for entertainment! You can get long zip wires, fast zip wires, ones you land yourself and ones that automatically brake for you. At Go Ape the one thing that unites every one of our zips is that you have to take the leap off the platform and set yourself moving down the cable to a landing site sometimes so far in the distance you cant even see it. Sounds simple, however when you are on a platform 16metres+ high in the canopy looking out into a valley where the sides fall away, you don’t just double check you’re attached! Even the bravest people can have a wobble. But once you do take the leap, you’ll feel the air rushing through your hair, look around you and look down (if you dare) and you’ll see the forest or valley floor in the distance below and you will truly experience the freedom of flight.

A well-kept secret about Go Ape is that every time you do our Treetop Challenge course you get to do at least 4 zip wires as part of the experience. Read on to uncover the best, most spine-tingling zip wires Go Ape have to offer, as told by our Chief Gorilla, Tristram Mayhew.

A woman with blue trousers on a zip wire

1. Aberforyle, Scotland

Located in the Trossachs less than an hour from Glasgow, Go Ape Aberfoyle sits in the top spot because before you get to the first site of Treetop Challenge you have to fly through the valley on a 300m zip wire over a waterfall. During the Challenge course there are 5 more zips. The final one over 400m is the scenic route home soaring above the valley skimming tree tops as you go. Don't just take our word for it; UK Staycations recently visited Aberfoyle and described the zip wires as ‘insane’ and said that ‘this Go Ape is a MUST!’. We wholeheartedly agree!

2. Grizedale, The Lake District

Anyone who has visited the Lakes knows of its stunning beauty so why not do a scenic tour Go Ape style on Zip Trek Adventure? It is the only place in the UK you can do this and is a truly unforgettable experience taking in 3km’s of zip lines in the heart of the glorious Lake District. It is one for the Zip Fanatics, the purists who want the thrill of a zip lining experience. The moment you arrive you know you are in for something special. After a safety brief you head up the mountain in Zip Trek vans to the start point and after the training zip, where you learn how to use the braking system you are let loose on the remaining 6 zips that will navigate you down the mountain back to base camp. More on that braking system…. These zips are QUICK! Speeds of up to 45mph you will feel like you are racing through the air and as you look across you will see your buddy on the next door zip and no doubt share the same ‘this is amazing’ look of joy. So it comes as a relief as you fly into the landing site and the braking system does the hard work for you allowing you to land at a sensible speed!

Go Ape Grizedale gets bonus points for having the most amazing zips also on the Treetop Challenge course too. So if you want your high ropes fix you are guaranteed to get some amazing hang time on the zips here. The longest zip on Treetop Challenge is just under 300m long and takes in some stunning scenery with platforms up to 19m in the canopy of Douglas Firs.

Two men on a dual zip wire

Zip Trekking at Go Ape Grizedale in the Lake District.

3. Glentress Forest, Peebles

If you are looking for extraordinary then the dramatic Scottish scenery in Glentress Forest, Peebles with its huge Douglas Fir trees will be just the ticket. The Treetop Challenge course is spectacular here set against the backdrop of the picturesque highlands teamed with 5 zip wires; one of which is a whopping 325 metres long and will take you over mountain bike trails and even over a lake! You will zip across the valley from the top of one hill to another traversing the landscape on a unique forest adventure.

4. Cockfosters, Trent Park

The fastest and longest zip wires in London! Just a short walk from Cockfosters tube station nestled in Trent Park is a thrill seekers oasis. One of our most challenging Treetop Challenge courses just happens to be within the M25 and when you are there you get a feeling of true escapism and you leave behind the strain of the city as you fly down its awesome zips surrounded by amazing old oak trees. The zip wires here will not disappoint; the last zip wire starts from a platform 16 metres up in the canopy making Cockfosters the highest course in the South East! If that’s not enough of a reason to visit then where else can you skateboard down a zip…alongside your buddy?! Visit Go Ape Cockfosters and you wont just feel like you’ve escaped London you’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time to old England with this hidden gem on the outskirts of our capital!

A person in red shorts ona zip wire with trees

A zip wire ride through the giant Douglas Firs at Go Ape Peebles.

5. Dalby, North Yorkshire

Treetop Challenge at Go Ape Dalby has some of the longest zip wires. In fact put all 5 of them together and you’d travel over 1km throughout your forest experience. The course at Dalby is high, offering stunning panoramic views of the North York Moors and what’s more you fly from valley top to valley top zipping above the forest…not through it! But imagine flying 225m over the forest in the dark?! At Dalby we also offer a seasonal night-time Zip Wire experience (Night Zips). It is available throughout winter and heightens your senses as you take a leap of faith into the night skies.

6. Haldon, Exeter

Towering Scots Pines set the scene for some awesome zip wires at Go Ape Haldon Forest, near Exeter. Our most southernly course has long, cool zips that go from hilltop to hilltop. The longest of their 5 zips is a real showstopper at 230m across the valley affording stunning views of Dartmoor in the distance. To make a day of it bring your mountain bike to top it off with some amazing bike trails.

A person in yellow landing on a zip wire in the dark

Night Zips at Go Ape Dalby.

7. Temple Newsam, Leeds

Just 15 mins from the centre of Leeds the Treetop Challenge course here is a true northern gem. Introducing the Alpine Zip to our zip fanatics; the course is one of only of 3 in the country to feature tree to tree zip wires. It will give you a real feeling of what it is like to swing through the trees. Brings a whole new meaning to monkey-ing around!

Want to try a tree to tree zip course further south? Head to Go Ape Coombe Abbey our course just outside of Coventry in the Midlands.

8. Leeds Castle, Kent

An Historic day out with a difference! Our Treetop Challenge course at Go Ape Leeds Castle boasts the longest zip wires in the South East! There are 5 zips in total, 2 of which are over a staggering 250m long! The zips here are breath-taking and as you pop out of the woods across a steep bank flying high above a stream you can take in the views from the garden of England with the beautiful Leeds Castle beyond.

Once you get the zip bug you’ll be seeking out new ones to try and that’s the great thing about doing them as part of our Treetop Challenge course because we have 34 locations throughout the UK…a total of over 200 zip wires for you to explore. What are you waiting for?!

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