It’s a beautiful sunny autumn afternoon. The air is crisp and cool, the woodland surroundings are stunning. And at 45 years old what am I doing?
No, I’m not having a sedentary dog walk, no I’m not kicking my way through the colourful leaves hand in hand with a handsome young man. I am 12 metres above the ground, bouncing on a series of giant trampolines, whizzing down net sides and being bombarded with giant play balls! This is Treetop Nets in Ripon.
Just seconds away from the Lightwater Valley theme park, this fabulous family orientated facility has only been open for 18 months but has already seen tens of thousands of people try it out.
Try to imagine over 2000m2 of giant trampolines, walkways, slides and tunnels all made out of netting.
Now picture this safely suspended between trees up to 12m off the ground and set in mature native woodland and you’ll have the right idea.
This is a Yorkshire first and the biggest in the UK, designed to offer an amazing and adventurous new way for both children and adults to play in the high trees.
Unlike the traditional high ropes courses, you are completely surrounded by 3m high walls of netting which means you are always safe and therefore you do not need harnesses - although at times when my jelly legs took over I felt like I could do with one.
Myself, 15-year-old daughter and friend all went along to see what all the fuss was about. I consider myself, as a keen long distance runner, fairly fit, and while the facility isn’t difficult, it doesn’t half take it out of your legs.
The admission price for adults and children, aged five or older, is £20 and this gives you two hours of play time. Needless to say my children managed a full session, I retired after a good half hour and made use of the warm log cabin reception area and hot chocolate making machine - where there is a good view of what is going on outside.
How to get there: look for signs towards Lightwater Valley, Ripon, North Stainley, HG4 3HT. By car - Treetop Nets is located ten minutes from junction 50 of the A1 motorway. From here, take the A61 towards Ripon. On arrival at the ‘Clocktower’ traffic light junction, take the A6108 towards the village of North Stainley. By bus - use the 159 Dales and district bus service or from Leeds and Harrogate, the Transdev 36 runs daily to Ripon bus station. By train - the nearest railway station is Thirsk with direct services from Manchester, Leeds, York, Middlesbrough and London.
Treetop Nets is staffed by qualified instructors at all times, however children remain the responsibility of accompanying adults.
Children aged 3-4 and adult supervisors pay just £13 each.
Find out more by visiting Treetop