Go Ape Battersea

Things to do Battersea
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Go Ape Battersea
David Tett
Go Ape at the Go Ape, Battersea Park, London on the 02/12/2015. Photo: David Tett

Active fun among the treetops of SW11.

Harnessing your inner chimp can apparently make you more confident, happier and calmer. You may care to ponder the truth of this as you dangle 40ft up from a south-west London tree. 

Battersea Park is the Go Ape group’s first central London location (there’s another in the Enfield suburbs), and it’s certainly gone big with it. Or rather, high – many of the treetop walkways, zip wires, rope-bridges and ladders are twice the height of the other Go Ape sites, which means you’ll be wobbling in the wind just that bit higher up. But don’t worry, you’re strapped in nice and tight, so even if you can’t grip tight like our hairy ancestors, you won’t drop too far before being caught by a very snug harness. Boys, enjoy.

There are a couple of location-specific drawbacks. First off, it’s certainly not as sprawling (two of the three adult runs follow the same route, just at different heights), which means the zip wires – by far the best bit – are shorter than elsewhere. The Battersea Park location comes with its own special charm, too: one of our team was heckled by lads watching from the bench below – there’s nothing quite like a cackling, ‘Go on daaaaahlin, you can do it!’ to put a spring in your struggling step. It can also get pretty cold up there, so make sure you wrap up warm in winter.

Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had, and it’s a real boon to not have to travel out of town to get your swing on.

Stephen Farmer

Tree Top Adventure (for ages 10+, minimum height of 1.4m (4ft 7″) and Tree Top Junior (ages 6-12) are open every day from December 10 to January 3. The venue is closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. From January 4, Tree Top Adventure will be open daily and Tree Top Junior will open on weekends and holidays.

Posted:

Venue name: Go Ape Battersea
Contact:
Address: Battersea Park
London
SW11 4NJ
Opening hours: Tree Top Adventure and Tree Top Junior open everyday from December 10 to January 3. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. From January 4: Tree Top Adventure open daily, Tree Top Junior open on weekends and holidays.
Transport: Rail: Battersea Park Station/Queenstown Road Station
Price: Tree Top Adventure £33, children aged 10-15 £25, Tree Top Junior £18
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Tastemaker

Go Ape has been an activity that has been on my do list for a while. With their fairly recent arrival in Battersea Park in London I really had no excuse not to go now. This is great for anyone seeking some adventure and challenge that is a little different from the norm. It offers just the perfect opportunity to monkey around and have some fun. It is open to and appeals to all ages and is a great team bonding activity. The price is fair although in a group booking you can get a discount and it beats being stuck indoors in my opinion anyway. Although I haven't been to any others in comparison from what I've heard the site is a lot smaller than others. It is literally next to Putt in the park and a children's playground that just adds to the thrill of the experience. Therefore the course is probably one of the most vertically challenging to compensate for the lack of space and a lot of the routes will be repeated but just at higher levels. Never the less I felt reassured and secure at all times although there are some scary and hair raising moments at times, the swinging poles and ropes proved to be a real test for me but managed to get through! There are zip wires and you can get the chance to channel your inner Tarzan whilst swinging through the air. This for me was a great intro to Go Ape, it has definitely made me more curious to experience some of their more rural courses throughout the country that I would be excited to try them out to see the difference. The staff there were great and friendly and will be on standby if you ever need a helping hand. You'll definitely feel achey the next day and be prepared to wear plenty of layers if it's chilly. Gloves are pretty handy too. There will be lockers to store your stuff. Afterwards Battersea Park itself is a joy to explore and is a buzz of activity especially on sunny weekend mornings.

Tastemaker

This was my first time to any Go Ape experience and I hope it isn't my last!  From what I can gather, this one is quite different from a lot of others as it is over a much smaller space and goes up in level rather than separating over a larger area.  For those afraid of heights it really may be best avoided!  The obstacles are all fun and just the right side of scary.  I wouldn't advise those who don't like a bit of physical activity go, it can be quite tough.  You start on an easier route and then there are two more difficult ones.  Due to a few time constraints we chose to only do one of the more difficult and it worked out to be enough for everyone, I think if we had done another we would have got bored!  There weren't many queues on the platforms but we did go at 9.30am on a Saturday so that is perhaps why.  Would be great as a team building exercise or with a big group of competitive friends :) 

tastemaker

I've been to other Go Ape locations and was very excited when I heard the Battersea one was opening up. I went on a chilly but sunny day in November. Due to the lack of space available they have built upwards rather than outwards with 3 platforms on top of each other, each level you do gets a bit higher each time. It's really not one for those afraid of heights! One member of our group couldn't complete the third level for this reason. It is a lot of fun for both adults and kids alike with varying levels of difficulty and some stages allowing you to chose how extreme you want to go. There is a lot of repetition with some of the obstacles and i think it is more than long enough so probably wasn't necessary.


Perhaps they have changed the fastenings of all Go Ape locations or maybe it is just this one, but you used to be able to detach yourself on platforms so that others could go ahead of you if you were slower. Unfortunately this is not the case here and I understand this might be a security measure but it meant that it took us over 4 hours to complete the course with incredibly long waiting times at each platform that seemed to get worse the higher we got. By the third level, what seemed like a fun day out at the start had become some sort of torture. Waiting around 20 minutes at each platform with frostbite setting in just to get 30 seconds of a repeated obstacle before another long wait. The worst part is the only way down is to get to the end so you have no choice but to freeze and wait it out. I believe this could be avoided with better organisation, perhaps starting groups at different levels rather than all at the same starting point. Or just having less groups at any one time!

Tastemaker

Think monkeying around is just for kids? Well you couldn't be more wrong. Go Ape at Battersea Park, the newest and incidentally highest addition to the Go Ape empire, is tons of fun for everyone and an adrenaline-filled way to experience London in a different light.

This high ropes course towers above Battersea Park, entwined with the large oak and chestnut trees it boasts. With three levels of difficulty, a variety of challenges and obstacles including mini-trapezes, tunnels, rope ladders and three exhilarating zip wires, this course has it all. And all for £33 per visit- one of the only experiences in London that feels just as reasonable as its northern counterparts.The staff are super friendly and enhance the experience with their banter and energy, but also are incredibly thorough when it comes to the safety briefing, so you know you are in good hands.

Yes, it isn't as expansive and remote as some of Go Ape’s other sites, but this is their first urban venture so whilst the zip wires aren't as long and the crossings not as quiet, when you can see the stunning London skyline from the top levels, you realise this Go Ape has its own unique charm. Grab a bunch of friends, go on a Saturday afternoon and enjoy getting some fresh air in the best way possible; dangling petrified from a tree 12 metres above ground. Afterwards, you can take advantage of many of the lovely pubs in the Battersea area for a debrief pint. 

Tastemaker

This was my first Go Ape experience and I have to say it was a bit mixed. We went on a beautiful May sunny day so that made the experience much more enjoyable than I can imagine it is on a cold, rainy one!


The course is compact, squeezed into the South West corner of Battersea Park above a children's play park with three courses of differing difficulty and heights. I had a great time on the first and second courses but by the time we were half way round the third (about 2.5 hours in) I had probably had enough. The primary reason for that was the waiting times - there were simply too many people on the course and so at each obstacle we were waiting 5-10 minutes to cross. It became fairly tedious. I have heard this is not the case on other Go Ape courses and I suspect this is endemic of the London location and the sheer demand but the amount of people allowed on the course certainly detracted from the experience.


All in all it was a fun few hours though and certainly worth the £33. It's very challenging, I'm physically very fit but by the end I was pretty exhausted and certainly gloves would be advised - my hands were very sore by the end. The zip-lining is good fun and you can make the obstacles harder by trying not to hold on. It's all very safe and well organised and I would recommend it for an afternoon activity. Just perhaps, from what I hear, the Go Ape's outside of London are a little more special.