THIS SUMMER, there’s another reason for visiting Drayton Manor theme park. The popular attraction has unveiled VertiGo! – a new high wires course which, as the name suggests, challenges visitors to test any fears of heights they have. Standard editor Tristan Harris and his family were among the first visitors to test out the course earlier this month, prior to the course opening to the public…..
DRAYTON Manor and Thomas Land has always been a great place to take children of all ages in the school summer holidays because of the wide variety of rides and attractions.
At Thomas Land there’s a host of gentle rides, including Bertie Bus, Jeremy’s Jet Flying Academy and Harold’s helicopters to Winston’s Whistlestop Tours and Emily’s soft play adventure it’s perfect for the little ones.
Add to that the main theme park where some of the rides – eg G-Force, Maelstrom and Shockwave – are guaranteed to satisfy the hardened of thrill-seekers and everyone in the family has plenty to do on this full fun family day out.
As well as all that, you have train rides, a big wheel, a 4D cinema and a zoo and now – from this month onwards – there’s another reason for visiting – the VertiGo! high wires adventure course.
There are two courses – one which goes pretty high, offering stunning views of the theme park – and a tots one, so toddlers or smaller siblings (up to 1.2metres tall) do not have to sit watching on the sidelines.
I’m not the best with heights so when asked to review it, I had it all sorted – my nine-year-old daughter (who loves everything like this and has done plenty of high wires before) would give that a go and my toddler would have a go at the smaller one and I’d gauge their comments at the end.
But, after speaking with the friendly persuasive staff (and my daughter’s face willing me on) I decided to literally face my fears and took on the high wire course.
I can safely say I have never done anything like this before and was a bit apprehensive. You begin by watching a 15-minute instructional film to let you know what it’s all about, what to do and what not to do and then the reassuring staff put you in your harness and link you up to the metal rails.
When I climbed up to the first level I had a few butterflies about what was ahead but having been told, and having seen for myself, that I could do as much or as little as I wanted. I followed the course round with rope ladders, single and double rope courses across the spaces, single ledges, double ledges and stepping stones. At the end of each course, there is a zip line where – if you are like me – you take a leap of faith and slide along in mid-air like something you would expect to see on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (minus the creepy crawlies or dangerous animals). After successfully completing the first level, part of me thought: ‘Right, that’s it, you’ve done it now, I’ll go and get a coffee’ but another part of me was willing to go on – and that was exactly what I did.
I climbed the stairs to the second – much higher level. By now I was feeling pretty confident and managed to get to the end of that course (zip line and all). As I made my way down, I was buzzing as this was something I would never even thought of attempting.
But now I’ve done it, I’d definitely do it again.
And while I was completing that, my three-year-old daughter was taking her first ‘little’ high wire steps. She equally enjoyed that and I’ve got a funny feeling, the next time the family’s at place with high wires, she’s going to want to give them a go.
So if in the coming weeks you are looking for something for you and your family to do, get yourselves to Drayton Manor, Thomas Land and the new VertiGo course.
And don’t worry if you’re scared of heights. Give it a go – it’s certainly a buzz when you conquer your fears.
VertiGo is £5 online or £6 on the day per person (30 minute session) or £3 online or £4 on the day for the VertiGo Tots (20-minute session). There are also discount tickets for families of three, four or five and group discounts for ten people or more.
Visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk for more on the theme park or www.draytonmanor.co.uk/vertigo for more on VertiGo.