Sites to inspire children to play outside by Tristram Mayhew from Go Ape, the best adventure company on the planet 'where you can be home in time for tea’.

In 2001, ex-tank commander Tristram Mayhew and his wife, Rebecca fell in love with swinging through the trees during a holiday in France. They threw in their jobs and the following year, with a giant leap of faith, created the first Go Ape tree top adventure – and they’ve never looked down since. It’s still a family run affair; Tristram’s brother, Jerome, is the Managing Director. Since 2001, Go Ape has grown organically to thirty-one locations across Britain and sixteen in America, creating 1000 jobs. Go Ape aims to be ‘the best adventure company on the planet where you can be home in time for tea’.

We asked Tristram for top tips and sites to get children off their iPhones and into outdoors adventures:

1. If children are protected from experiencing any elements of risk they won’t learn risk assessment skills... needed to be able to lead adventurous lives safely. Adventuring can build self-confidence and self-esteem, and improve fitness and health.

2. Camping is a low cost adventure that can result in a lifelong passion... It slows the pace down and can get the whole family talking, especially if there is no phone signal. If you can, pick a beautiful campsite next to a forest or national park, where other adventures are close at hand. Some campsites allow campfires – nature’s TV. Download a star gazing app before you go.

3. Ask your kids to pick an adventure of their choosing and make a plan... Why not try something new, climbing, scrambling, coasteering, wild swimming, foraging, orienteering, purpose-made mountain bike trails or rock pooling?

4. If you want to achieve positive lasting memories... rather than just lasting memories there is a lot of truth in the adage ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad kit’. Borrow or buy good equipment and wet weather clothing, for the children not just for the adults.

5. If your kids groan at the idea of a family adventure... they may be much more enthusiastic if they are invited by another family. Rig this up beforehand, so that each family’s children think that the other family invited them.


This site promotes a proportionate, sensible balance between risk & safety and achievement and opportunity.

Time Tokens are a simple way to manage screen time for younger kids.

Cool Camping showcases fabulous campsites, glampsites and the Cool Camping Cookbook is brill.

Check this out for amazing swimming and other wild adventures in the great outdoors.

This site is packed with ideas and reviews to encourage families to get out and fine new adventures, on their doorstep or away fro home.

July 2017