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Black Park – The place for family fun in South Bucks

Arriving at Black Park in early July felt like a long overdue escape to the forest. And what an escape it was! I came to have a look at Go Ape’s newly built course in the country park, located near Slough. Go Ape first opened there in 2010 but had to rebuild their courses this year (just before lockdown!) to see in a new decade. They took the opportunity to make this already family friendly course into a one-stop-adventure-shop for families of all ages.


What's New?


The entire course is new…new crossings, new zip lines AND there are two new activities. Treetop Adventure Plus was introduced to a handful of Go Ape’s in 2019 and is a more advanced version of its younger brother Treetop Adventure. It’s perfect if last time you came to do the Adventure course your children were whizzing round it like there’s no tomorrow. It features trickier and wobblier and more physically challenging crossings that’ll push them out of their comfort zone again.

All activities start at a central ‘hub’ where you get attached to each ‘loop’ in progressive order depending on the activity you are doing. This makes it a lot easier if you are supervising from the ground or just spectating.

Boy with a red jumper ona  Go Ape crossing


What's the difference between the treetop activities?


The three treetop courses all now use the same safety system (continuous), so one of your safety lines stays attached to the safety cable continuously throughout your adventure. Each course is part of the same set of loops. There are 6 loops in total at Black Park and the activity you choose dictates which ‘loops’ you go on. The easiest loop is number 1, where the Adventure course starts, it's perfect for young children over 1 metre in height. The most difficuly loop is number 6, the last loop of Treetop Challenge; that features the longest and highest platforms, suitable for anyone over 1.4 metres tall.

The main difference between Adventure and Adventure Plus is the difficulty of the crossings, hence why it is designed for older children who are at least 1.2 metres tall. As the loop numbers go up the crossings get trickier and the Adventure+ loop features the most challenging ones.

It takes an hour to do either Adventure or Adventure Plus, but if you want a longer activity (and are taller than 1.4m) then Treetop Challenge is the one for you. It takes less time (approx. 90 minutes) it is a great activity for older children who are looking for a bit more of a challenge. Parents of teenagers can join in the fun or watch from the ground. 

Girl in a pink top on a Go Ape crossing


The Safety System


To get technical for a second the ‘operational’ change is that the whole course now runs off a ‘continuous belay’ safety system. For non-high ropes boffins that basically means you get put on the course at the beginning and you are attached right until you walk off at the end of the zip line. So for parents alike it means less heart in mouth moments triple checking that they listened to the instructors when they reminded them to ‘stay attached’ in the safety briefing! This also means the safety brief is shorter than a full Treetop Challenge course so you are up in the trees quicker than before.


Less supervision


There is another benefit to the new-fangled safety system in that you can supervise more children (up to 8 to be precise) and if they’re over 6 years of age you can do that from the ground on Treetop Adventure or Adventure Plus! This also makes it a great option for birthday parties too. For Treetop Challenge you can now supervise up to 4 children for every adult partaking in the activity. Full supervision details can be found here.


Man in dark clothing ona  Go Ape crossing

What else is there to do?

If a high wire adventure is not for you then Go Ape also has a few more family friendly activities to tempt you. Its Nets Adventure is a 30ft high bouncy net in the forest canopy with magical paths, treehouses and a slide to bring you back down to earth. And what’s more its toddler friendly too and no harnesses are needed so it really is a great introduction to playing at height in a safe controlled environment for children of all ages.

For teens (13 years+) the ultimate thing to do would be a Forest Segway and the route in Black Park is pretty flat so is great for beginners who need a wide open path to get used to 2 wheels.