High Ropes Day Out at Beamish Wild

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Sunday 4 May 2014

High Ropes Day Out at Beamish Wild

Beamish Wild High Ropes course is a place we'd always wanted to visit but despite living in Durham for 7 of the last 8 years we'd never gotten round to it. Esther had arranged to visit with her friends on her hen party in early February but had to cancel as I was too ill to be left home alone so had been left with a lot of High Ropes vouchers which we wanted to try and use before we left Durham. In our final weekend before we left the North East we got the chance and were joined by a group of friends prepared to brave the heights with Esther, and some friends prepared to sit watching with me as well.

The first thing that struck us on arriving at the course was how high it looked, even from the ground.Fortunately we had good weather on the day a I can't imagine what it would be like on a windy day. When the start time came Esther, Ali, Jonathan, Rachel and Lizzy all went and got trussed up in the very safe and groin constricting looking harnesses finished off with a bright green helmet before listening to a safety briefing. Myself, Dave, Sarah-Jane and Phil all looked on bravely from the sidelines with a camera. The staff at the centre seemed very efficient and reassuring and there was definite smiling going on amongst the climbing team despite some serious fears of heights in the group.

After a short section on the floor to get used to the safety clips they went up, led by a very relaxed Jonathan who practically skipped across the first few obstacles, followed by Lizzy, Rachel and Esther. Ali bought up the rear and impressed all of us onlookers with how brave she was as we all knew how much she hated heights. There seemed to be a very supportive feel between the climbers who were shouting encouragement to each other like "that bits really nasty". The obstacles got progressively harder round the first loop, finishing in a short zip line to the floor.

The big, second loop looked higher and harder and started by climbing up the trunk of a tree to about 25 metres off the ground. There we about 15 obstacles in total working higher and higher and finishing in a leap from a platform about 30 metres up to descend straight to the floor. The whole loop took about an hour and a half before all of the climbers were safely back at ground level. Ali passed on the final few obstacles while the other four went to the final leap, and not a single fall at any point from any of them.

After we'd finished we made a short short trip to the nearby South Causey Inn for lunch for food in very generous portions. When we arrived we found animals wandering around the beer garden including a turkey antagonising Sarah-Jane and a lamb in a hay enclosure being petted by children (which some took as a lunch suggestion). Although the balloon man working the room was a little off putting, the food was very good and was followed up with a walk around the animals before we all headed back to Durham.

The whole experience at Beamish Wild was a lot of fun and definitely somewhere we'd like to head back to in the future when I can join the climbers as well.

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