IT'S THE WEEKEND: Have a high old time at Newport's Forest Jump at the Celtic Manor Resort
11:00am Sunday 8th September 2013 in News
WITH MY son’s birthday coming up, I was looking for a fun activity that the whole family could do.
Being 14 and of course a grown-up teenager who is too cool for most things, he outgrew soft play and farm parks a long time ago. But the cinema and bowling are just too boring for him! I had to get my thinking cap on and look for something a little different.
A few friends had mentioned the Forest Jump activity at the Celtic Manor Resort, but while I’d heard of the activity and seen the ads promoting the Celtic Manor Resort on the South Wales Argus website, I hadn’t spoken to anyone who had actually completed the high ropes activity.
We decided to opt for the high ropes and adventure golf. The activity pass we booked included a light lunch: it seemed a great idea for a family day out. The thought of ‘The exhilarating high ropes course combining 30 testing elements and concluding with an exhilarating zip line’ seemed a great idea.
Located in woodland on the resort’s grounds, it features both high and low ropes courses, bridges, walkways, and challenging obstacles, plus a freefall ‘Power Fan’ jump. We arrived at the Forest Jump Cabin and were greeted by the team who talked us through the safety information that would ensure our safety at all times. Being high in the trees, it was reassuring to know that you couldn’t unlock the harness from the safety ropes – there was no way that you could unclip yourself.
We were talked through the safety information and had a try on the practice ropes and zip slide. Although a little nervous, we were keen to get going and up on the ropes.
Climbing the ladder that took me to the very first platform last in the family group, I really did think “why on earth did I suggest this?!” The sight of the ropes disappearing into the trees and forest ahead of me left me feeling that I’d be up here all day!
My partner, his daughter and my son were all ahead of me, and while I could tell that they were having a ball, I could see that every now and again they’d catch a cheeky glance back to check that my nerves hadn’t got the better of me.
The walk across the first rope was in my mind a daredevil act of bravery, but of course the fact that I wouldn’t fall was clearly a reassurance, and we went for it.
Moving across each high rope, dodging the obstacles meant to make each climb different and challenging, was so much fun. I think my cheat was watching my family doing each climb first and picking up a few hints on what they did that made it easier for me. While they couldn’t see the concentration on my face, the thought of the youngsters below me on the low ropes taking it in their stride made me even more determined to enjoy the whole experience.
The corner point of the high ropes when the course moves through the trees and towards the golf course was fantastic: the views were incredible and in my mind, I’m sure the golfers walking below me were admiring my bravery by completing the course.
The final zip wire through the trees was amazing and hilarious all at the same time. My family had all gone before me and, standing in a row while I clipped my zip wire on the ropes, I could tell they were waiting for me to look down. The zip wire was, in my mind, sixty foot up in the air, but it was fabulous, and ended an amazing activity that the whole family enjoyed.
We made a pit stop and had a light snack in the Forum Café at the resort hotel, before moving on to the adventure golf. The fun putting challenges, designed for visitors of all ages, were great fun.
It comprises two nine-hole courses: ‘Celtic Challenge’ and the ‘Kingdom of Legends,’ which feature water hazards, bridges and rafts to add to the fun, but also pose a skilful putting challenge on high-quality, all-weather greens.
Being quite a competitive group, to put it mildly, meant that the key was ensuring the scorecard was completed to make sure we had the winner! It’s great to see such a varied group of people both young and old having so much fun together. The course itself is fabulous: the point where the whole family were pulling ourselves across the water raft to the next hole was a great fun addition and kept us all thoroughly entertained.
We left the resort, exhausted from out forest adventure but thrilled by a fabulous family day out.
Forest Jump low ropes are £9 per person, and high ropes £19 per person. Adventure golf is £5 per person for the nine-hole course and £7.50 for the 18-hole course. There is a family package (two adults and two children) of £15 for the nine-hole course and £24 for the 18-hole.
To find out more information or to book the activities see www.celtic-manor.com/activities or call the resort on 01633 413 000.
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