Travel: Go Ape, Peebles

Go Ape Tree Top Adventure in Peebles. Pic: Comp

Go Ape Tree Top Adventure in Peebles. Pic: Comp

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I’VE known my friend Laura since we were about three years old. We’ve been through a lot together: first day of school, first sleepover, first boyfriend, first heartbreak.

And now she’s asked me to be her bridesmaid - the ultimate act of friendship.

But with such an honour comes great responsibility. Planning the hen do.

Thinking back to our childhood growing up in the country, we loved nothing more than climbing trees and seeing who could jump the furthest out of them.

So what better way to celebrate her impending nuptials than a day at Go Ape Tree Top Adventure in Peebles? It’s essentially just climbing trees - right?

Well, kind of. Only a million times scarier, especially when that childhood fearlessness has morphed into adult phobia somewhere along the line.

But I knew Laura - who still has that adventurous streak when it comes to scaling heights - would love it, so I put my own reservations aside to give her a hen do to remember, like the truly fantastic bridesmaid that I am.

After a few Proseccos the night before, we arrived at Glentress Forest remarkably bright and early, the beautiful sunshine putting us at ease and getting us in the mood for the adventure awaiting us.

I admit, I was the most nervous out of our party of nine; the once champion tree climber had somehow turned into a nervous vertigo sufferer over the years.

But our calm, friendly instructor immediately allayed my safety fears.

She gave us a detailed lesson in how to safely clip and attach ourselves to the safety lines which run across the tree- top course, not letting us leave until we all felt comfortable that we knew what we were doing.

After a short uphill hike through the forest, we arrived at our destination - the start of the treetop obstacle course.

It was time to put our safety lessons to the test and hook ourselves up correctly to avoid any accidents - and then we were all set, quite literally, to go ape.

It’s amazing how quickly it became second nature, turning us all into instantaneous pro climbers.

The obstacle course was a mix of tightrope walking, zip slides, Tarzan swings and obstacle navigation. We broke ourselves down into smaller groups and talked each other through the challenges and spurred each other on.

Some of us were more natural than others, but the course was designed to start a bit easier and build up to some of the tougher - and scarier - challenges, like the Tarzan swings, which produced the most tribal sounding screams of the morning.

The last two zip slides were both exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure - and luckily we have the video evidence recording some of the screams to prove it.

Each of our party finished with a smile on their face, and the experience was talked about all weekend.

It was fun, scary, nerve-racking and hilarious, and was a great team- bonding exercise for the hens.

The next day we were proudly covered in bruises - our battle scars to prove we had survived Go Ape.

• Go Ape Peebles is built on the hillside within the beautiful Glentress Forest and takes advantage of the valley for some jaw-dropping exposure and features the highest zip in the country over magnificent reservoirs.

Prices range from £31 for a gorilla (aged 16 and over) to £25 for a baboon (aged 10 to 15).

For further information and to book a Go Ape stag or hen adventure visit www.goape.co.uk/events/stags-and-hens