It’s a cloudy day and I’m standing on a forty foot high platform in the middle of a forest. My body is bursting with nerves and excitement as my instructor Tom tries to convince me to jump off the platform. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a good idea. Logic tells me that the pulley system will catch my weight and bring me down slowly. Logic tells me that the qualified and friendly instructor wouldn’t make me do anything unsafe. Yet, logic also tells me that jumping from something really high isn’t the wisest idea. Damn, logic is confusing. My legs started to shake but I’ve always loved a challenge so I took a deep breath, grabbed hold of the ropes and jumped. As Tom promised, I was almost immediately caught by the system and began to glide down to the ground feeling awesome. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Tamar Trails.
Opening in 2009, Tree Surfers is an activity centre based at The Tamar Trails in the Tamar Valley, Devon. With trails stretching over 25km, the centre provides access to historic woodlands which are perfect for a hike, bike or run. However, since opening, Tree Surfers has developed an almighty selection of activities for all the family. From archery to high ropes and, most recently, canoeing, there’s something for everyone and the nice people at Tree Surfers invited a few bloggers along to test them out!
The first activity of the day was a taster high ropes session, one of the most popular activities available at Tree Surfers. If you’re unsure what this entails, imagine an assault course suspended high in a forest. Actually, make that three assault courses as Tree Surfers have three separate sections in the package, meaning there’s a challenge for everyone. As someone who’s tried high ropes before with another company, I assumed it wouldn’t be too challenging. Needless to say that air of confidence swiftly disappeared as I started to make my way up the tree. However, after balancing on bridges, flying on zip wires and climbing up netting I left with the same elated feeling! I’ve always loved high ropes and I would absolutely recommend visiting Tree Surfers for this alone. Tree Surfing is not only the safest high ropes I’ve ever been on but also the most creative. It may seem scary but it’s the most amazing way to challenge yourself and do something different.
We left the high ropes feeling awesome but all that hard work left us starving so we headed straight to The Beech Cafe. The Beech Cafe at Tamar Trails proudly prepares locally sourced refreshments including homemade cakes. I’m no Mary Berry but cake is one of my core food groups and I can genuinely say that their carrot cake is one of the best I’ve ever had. Seriously. It’s that good. I’ve also been told the gluten free cake and lemon slice are pretty special too. One thing I would say is that this cosy cafe can get quite busy at weekends but it’s worth waiting for a space.
Our next activity was an hour long archery session where we learnt how to stand, breathe and shoot like an archer. It was a welcome change of pace to Tree Surfing but equally entertaining. I particularly enjoyed playing the mini games and I even managed to shoot a balloon on the target! I’m still no threat to Katniss Everdeen but it was great to learn a new skill and I really enjoyed the experience.
Our final activity of the day was The Big Zip. The Big Zip has been noted as one of the best zip wires in Cornwall/ Devon due to its long descent and beautiful views. One thing you should know about me is I absolutely love zip wires. I’m not a fearless person by any means but it took everything in me not to run to my favourite attraction. What? I was excited! After climbing the biggest tree I’ve ever seen in my life, the instructor made sure we were safe and secure so all we had to do was jump and enjoy the journey down through the woods. And boy, did I enjoy it! It’s only short but it was a definite highlight of the day.
As days out go, Tree Surfers is right up my street so I guess you could say it wasn’t exactly a challenge to win me over. However, their catalogue of activities have earned Tamar Trails a very loyal following from people of all ages and they’re growing more and more popular by the day. It’s truly a centre for everyone and I suspect it won’t be a hidden treasure for much longer.
Many thanks to Tree Surfers for a lovely day out. For more information, check out Treesurfers.co.uk
Disclaimer: I was invited to this event by Tamar Trails and Dart PR but all thoughts and opinions are my own.