Be a social butterfly...

I’ve fallen a little bit in love with Scotland over the last couple of years.

My first trip was a slightly boozy one for my 25th birthday.  Aside from the inside of a number of pubs and bars, we did manage a trip to Roslyn Chapel.  The Chapel, which featured in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was incredibly peaceful and worth the trip on it’s own.  I returned a year later to an Edinburgh blanketed with snow.

Last week, we went glamping in a village not far from Loch Lomond.  I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect when I read the word teepee on their website? I certainly didn’t expect this.

Not all ‘tee pees’ are created equal….some come with their own guard dog!!

I’d say this was more of a cabin than a teepee!!  It had double glazed windows and a fridge!  Each teepee had it’s own fire pit and picnic bench (very civilised) aswell as use of a communal kitchen and individual showers/washrooms.

There was something nice about having all three of us sleeping in the same room….well, four if you include the dog!  We realised that we are all giddy kippers!  The three of us were like teenage girls having a sleepover; laughing and joking for hours in a little wooden hut in Scotland.  It could have been anywhere in the World but it was perfect because the most important people were there…… I was just thinking these deep and beautiful thoughts when Beth said….”Mummy did you just do a trump?”  :-/

During the day we made the most of the beautiful countryside.  We walked for miles up and down the hills around Loch Lomond.  Phill almost lost his shoe in the mud and Beth screamed like…well like a little girl when she stumbled across some wild goats.  As with most wildlife, they were more frightened of her!

I would try to add some words to these pictures but really there are no words; this place was just beautiful.

But the best place to see this incredible countryside is from high up …like this….

….or like Beth’s T-shirt suggests, you could ‘Go Ape’ and see the world from very high up indeed and we did just that.

You may remember reading that ‘Go Ape’ have been kind enough to sponsor me to attend BritMums Live?  Well when they heard that we were up in bonny Scotland, they asked if we’d like to check out the local Go Ape at Aberfoyle.   

The last time we visited Go Ape didn’t go quite to plan.  You can read about it here, but the short version is that Beth decided that she was too frightened after completing on one and half of the five sections.  This time?  I’m happy to report that our girl completed the whole thing!!  Believe me that is no small achievement!  Especially when the course begins with a huge 426m zip wire, 150m above the ground….and she had to go on it all by herself.  Before you ask, yes I did feel a bit wobbly watching my baby being pushed off a ledge over a huge valley!!  Who wouldn’t?  But I knew she was safe.  the harnesses are fitted by an instructor and everyone is given training before they set off.  Phill was on the other side waiting for her (no it wasn’t easy watching him go either!!) and once she had radioed up to us to say she was clear, it was my turn.

Mums are very good at saying things like ‘oh it’s all safe’, ‘no need to be frightened,’, ‘you can do it’, but when it comes to taking that leap of faith yourself, it’s often not as easy as you’ve told everyone that it is!!  A few deep breaths and go.

Wow!  That zip wire is so long that you have all the time in the World to get over the fact that you’re dangling 150m off the ground and really take in the scenery, the speed and the exhilarating feeling of flying above the tree tops.  It makes you feel very small and very free, all at the same time.  Once you’re back on solid ground it’s up into the trees.  This was Phill’s first visit to Go Ape and he’s a big lad; tall with broad shoulders and rugby type legs.  I was worried that he’d struggle with some of the small spaces, but he was fine.  In fact some of the things that I found difficult, were a walk in the park (see what I did there) for him.

With two adults and one child, we found it pretty easy to make sure that Beth had all the checks and support that she needed, but you can take part with one adult to two children as I did last time.  It isn’t a problem.  there are staff milling around on the ground, with their eyes permanently fixed on the trees: if someone’s struggling, they’ll see straight away.

Children quite like being afraid.  I know that sounds silly but they do.  If not, why would they tell ghost stories, ride roller coasters or sneakily watch horror movies that are too old for them?  Being afraid is exciting and you do feel a little afraid at times when you’re up in the tree tops.  But it’s a good kind of afraid, a motivating, safe and active kind of afraid and it’s difficult to explain the sense of achievement when you overcome that kind of fear.

I love Go Ape and Aberfoyle is definitely among the best!  Once you’ve tackled that massive zip wire, you can take on anything else that the course can throw at you and when you complete it, you’re rewarded with another zipwire back to where you started!!

Hope you swing by again soon ;-P

Love Rachel


I have some videos that I’m struggling to upload but I will get them here I promise!


Be a social butterfly...