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Lake District Adventure

Go Ape’s Naturally Powered Adventures are designed and subsidised so that they’re accessible to all tribe members. In October 2022, Go Ape tribe members from all across the UK headed up to the Lake District for four days of adventurous activities including, hiking, paddle boarding, wild swimming and a Via Ferratta  

Go Ape Whinlatter Instructor, Pip Hawthorn, shares her experience:

Go Ape staff paddle boarding in Lake District
Go Ape staff with harnesses and orange helmets

In October 2022, nine co-owners from Go Ape sites around the country met up in the Lake District for a few days of adventure. We had a jam-packed itinerary and, despite staying in Borrowdale, which has a reputation for being one of the wettest places in the UK, the forecast looked promising.

The trip began with us all meeting up on Monday evening at the Yurts in Seatoller, our home for the next few days. Situated in a small field with dappled sunlight from the surrounding trees and a river running by it would have been perfect apart from the midges! We were treated to Barry’s homemade chilli and jacket potatoes before retreating inside and having a chatty evening getting to know each other before an early bed.

The next morning we were up early to head up Honister pass for our Via Ferratta activity at the slate mine. A few of us opted for the 2 mile uphill walk, while the others jumped in the car to save their legs. We arrived in plenty of time so sat and had a coffee in the cafe before our session. Via Ferrata is Italian for ‘Iron Path’ and it refers to protected climbing routes found on mountain sides. Climbers would be equipped with a harness and two leashes and make their way along metal fixtures in the rock, clipping themselves on as they go. We were kitted up by an instructor before jumping onto the Hoister bus up the the start of Via Ferratta, where we were briefed and shown how to used the equipment before setting off. It was an excellent morning, 3 hours of climbing up and down metal staples in the rock with spectacular views down into the valley and a couple of RAF planes flying low made us cling on tighter as the flew by. We topped out by Fleetwith Pike and, elated, headed back to Honister for a well-earned lunch.


The plan for the afternoon was to hike out to Black Moss Pot, a deep clear pool on the Langstrath Beck, popular for swimming and jumping into the water. A great introduction to wild swimming. We hiked up the valley for two miles before reaching the pool, by which point the cloud cover that kept us cool on Via Ferratta had cleared, and we were treated to blue skies and a hot sun, making getting into the chilly water very refreshing. That evening after heading back to the yurts, we had a BBQ for dinner while attempting to dodge the midges, and early bed for all.


Wednesday was our hill day. At 8:30 our mountain guide, Ellie; also a Go Ape instructor, met us at the yurts to give us a rundown of the day. She had made a plan to head up Green Gable, the sun was already out and it was forecast to be baking hot, so we piled on the suncream and headed out of the campsite. The first part of the trail took us up a steep climb from Seathwaite up Sourmilk Gill, alongside the waterfalls. We took time to relax at the top and sit by the river before heading along the valley to Gillercomb and up our second climb of the day. At this point we were treated to more RAF fly by’s before making the final push to the top of Green Gable. At 801 metres, Green Gable might not be one of the higher summits in the Lakes, but the 360 degree view taking in Buttermere, Ennerdale and Scafell Pike, is not to be missed. We celebrated at the top, as It was one member of the groups first mountain, took some photos and headed down to Styhead tarn where we took some time to relax after a hot day walking before heading back down to the campsite.

On our final day we were hiring paddle boards from Nichol End Marina on Derwent Water, another activity that many members of the group hadn’t done before, everyone was excited for a relaxing few hours on the lake. It was another hot day, so much of our 2 hours on the water was spent in the water rather than on the boards. We paddled out to St Herbert’s Island and went for a short walk around before making our way back to the Marina at a lazy pace, having fun in the water along the way. The original plan had been to walk the 6 miles back to the Yurts in the afternoon, but everyone was fairly exhausted from the previous two days so we opted for an afternoon around Keswick instead. It was market day so everyone split up to enjoy the afternoon in their own way before meeting up in the evening for dinner at the Woodstone pizza restaurant, a great end to a fabulous trip. 

It would seem a shame for everyone to go their separate ways without trying out a local Go Ape. So the next morning, armed with bags of snacks for the instructors, we piled into the cars and drove in convoy down to Grizedale, to have a go on their Challenge course. It was a great addition to the trip, and from there we said our goodbye’s before heading our separate ways.

I feel that everyone had a chance to challenge themselves on this trip, and it was a fantastic opportunity to meet other instructors from around the country and have a go at some new activities. Thanks to Barry, formally manager at GoApe Whinlatter, for organising the trip and providing the food, and to the company for continuing to provide staff trips such as this to encourage us all to Live Life (more) Adventurously.

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Group of Go Ape staff posing with gorilla sculpture