7 ways to walk, climb or swing among Britain’s treetops

Published on : Thursday, January 28, 2016

britainWould you like to see Britain from a birds’ eye perspective? As the Westonbirt Arboretum (a botanical garden devoted to trees) in Gloucestershire, south-west England, is set to open a major visitor attraction this Spring, with its new Treetop Walkway, we take a look at where you can walk, climb or even channel your inner Tarzan among the treetops in Britain.


Westonbirt Arboretum Treetop Walkway, Gloucestershire, south-west England


The Westonbirt Arboretum will open its new Treetop Walkway in Spring 2016. Following a serpentine route through the trees, it will offer a fun and hands-on way to learn more about the trees in this historic Victorian woodland. Visit in autumn for its spectacular golden colours, or spring for the rhododendron, azalea and magnolia displays.


Getting there: Westonbirt Arboretum is located near the historic market town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, around 50 minutes by train from Bristol.


Xstrata Treetop Walkway Kew Gardens, London


The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is home to a 59ft-high, 656ft-long Xstrata Treetop Walkway that winds through sweet chestnuts, ancient limes and oaks, echoing the Fibonacci numerical sequence often found in nature. Kids can inspect birds, insects, lichen and fungi at close quarters and play at the Tree Towers playground for three to 11 year-olds. Underground, the ‘Rhizotron’ installation explores tree roots, soil and organisms.


Getting there: Kew Gardens is situated next to the river Thames, ten miles west of central London and easily accessible by Tube. The Treetop Walkway is free once inside the gardens and open until 45 minutes before closing.


Tree Top Way at Salcey Forest, Northampton, central England


The Royal Forest of Salcey is a magnificent ancient woodland offering excellent walking and opportunities to view an amazing range of wildlife. The Tree Top Way is a wooden construction which climbs to a height of 15 metres through the forest canopy, with a crow’s nest platform at 20 metres reached by steps. From the walkway there are beautiful views of Salcey Forest and the adjoining woodlands of Yardley Chase.


Getting there: Salcey Forest is seven miles from Northampton city centre in central England, around two hours by train from London.


The Sky Maze at BeWILDerwood, Norfolk, east England


This forest playground is packed with zip wires, jungle bridges, tree houses and all sorts of old-fashioned outdoor adventure. The new-in-2014 Sky Maze is set high in the treetop canopy and stretches nearly half a kilometre, weaving its way through the natural landscape and reaching over eight metres in height at the top of the Parasquawk’s Nest. Made up of connecting tunnels, walkways and bridges, cargo nets and spiral staircases, zigzag beams and spectacular vantage points, it’s a curious treehouse adventure for children and adults alike.


Getting there: BeWILDerwood is a 15-minute train journey from Norwich station, which is around two hours by train from London.


Treetop Trail at Landmark Forest, Carrbridge, Scotland


Landmark Forest boasts Britain’s original treetop trail, built around 30 years ago. Walk through the pine branches of The Treetop Trail, which has recently been refurbished and widened for buggy and wheelchair access. There are lots of attractions for the brave or the cautious; from the runaway timber train and wild water coaster, to feeding rare red squirrels among ancient pinewood.


Getting there: Landmark is situated in Carrbridge, which is 23 miles south of Inverness in northern Scotland, around 3.5 hours by train from Edinburgh.


Tree Top Adventures, Snowdonia, north Wales


Want a rush of adrenaline? Less of a relaxing treetop walk and more an adrenaline-fuelled treetop adventure, this high ropes course has more than 30 obstacles including balancing beams, zip wires, ropes bridges and parachute simulator, or try jumping from a mighty Douglas fir on the Tree Top Tower, the highest (106ft) PowerFan Plummet in the world.


Getting there: Tree Top Adventures is in Snowdonia National Park in north Wales, with transfers from Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham airports taking less than two hours.


Tarzan Tree Top Adventure Course at The Jungle, Northern Ireland


A tree-top obstacle course set at varying heights above the ground, this is the place to unleash your inner Tarzan! From rope bridges, scramble nets, tunnels, Tarzan swings, tree-top zipline, and Power Fan Drop, which lets you experience the rush of a free fall Parachute jump, this is definitely for adrenaline lovers! There is also Kids Tree Top Adventure keen to swing like a monkey in the trees.


Getting there: The Jungle NI is located in the Sperrin Mountains in Northern Ireland, just 45 minutes’ drive from Belfast.

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