{#deanwyebloggers} Outdoor Activities at the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean

At the end of our Meet & Greet, we were each given our own itinerary detailing the groups we were put it, what activities we were doing and where.  Ever since I’d seen the list of activities on offer, I had secretly been hoping I would get a chance to give the 4×4 off road driving a go.  I was really pleased to see that was one of my activities as well as Canoeing and the Adventure Ropes!  Yes!

Open Canoeing

Following a full breakfast, {I was told by the taxi driver the previous evening as he dropped me off that I just had to try it!…and yes, it was really good!}, I was picked up, along with my fellow bloggers, to head to our first activity, canoeing.

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We were canoeing with Inspire2Adventure who are in an ideal location based in the beautiful Wye Valley on the Monmouthshire and Herefordshire borders.

“inspire is a member of the IOL (Institute for Outdoor Learning), which supports, develops and promotes excellent practice in learning through outdoor experiences”

After our introduction and safety briefing, it was time to get our canoes down the River Wye and to get to those rapids we were so looking forward to!  The river was high so Paul, our instructor, decided to raft two canoes together.

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^^ Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning! ^^

And then it was time for the rapids at Symonds Yat.

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Fair to say there were a couple of wet bum’s after those…

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With some great views along the way.

I felt completely safe with Paul, our instructor, the whole time and he was full of information surrounding the area…and happens to have a friend who lives in Cynwyd!  Small world…

A great activity I would definitely do again and take the family.

Further info on Inspire2Adventure here ; website / facebook / twitter / instagram

Forest of Dean Adventure Challenge

Our second activity of the day was the  Adventure Challenge.

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Outdoor and Adventure bloggers from across the UK visit the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.

“Climb, swing, jump and dive your way around our high ropes activities. Join our team of qualified instructors on an adventure that will push you to your limits!”

And push me to my limits, it did!

First up was Climb the Crate Stack.  I thought I had this…turns out, I didn’t!  The aim here is simple and basically, what it says on the tin; “the stacker” adds a crate and you climb it.

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I don’t think I got much higher than one or two more…so, there was only one thing for it…

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If I was going…then Kate was coming with me!  {Sorry, Kate!}.

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And then it was onto the Leap of Faith.  I was bricking it.  I’m not normally good at throwing myself off small platforms.  Or any platforms for that matter!  I don’t remember much of the climb up but I know I just kep telling myself “Don’t think about it and just JUMP! when you get to the top!”.

I got to the top and I just went for it…

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…and I don’t know how…BUT I did it and managed to grab the bar too!  Very, very pleased with myself.

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Next up, the High Ball Challenge.  Using the big red balls, {did I mention they were way up high?!}, you have to get yourself across from one side to the other whilst keeping your balance on the wire.  I was up first and failed miserably at this.  I think I managed to get to the second ball but couldn’t quite hold on to the third.

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Going…Going…GONE!

We finished off on the zip wire.  “I might scream and swear” I told everyone as I made my way up…and Scream and Swear I did.  Loudly.  Brilliant fun and one activity I can’t wait to introduce to my bois asap!

More info on Forest of Dean Adventures; website / twitter / facebook

4×4 Off-Road Driving

Like I said at the start of this post, this was the one I was really excited about!  And it didn’t disappoint!

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Once the initial introductories and safety chats were over with, we didn’t hang about in getting in our vehicles and heading off to the stunning location where the Whitecliff off-road driving centre is based.

The introductory circuits gradually increase in difficulty from muddy, undulating terrain to mild declines/inclines & moderate gullies and side slopes. With an instructor alongside you’ll put your new skills to good use tackling the tricky terrain with ease.

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Our instructor, Kevin, demonstrated and discussed with us what to do to highlight the use of the defferential lock and 4wd systems…and after all that he still had to shout “Clutch! Take your foot OFF the Clutch!  CLUUUUTCH!” to me…

See what I mean about it being in a stunning location?!

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“You bring your mascara and we’ll bring the mud” they told me.  They weren’t wrong.

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During our session we were progressively taken up to a level where we were able to successfully negotiate obstacles whilst driving off-road in a standard vehicle…all whilst giggling and a few “ARGH!  Am I doing it right?!” moments!

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This photo must have been when Kevin told me “You’ve got to do this bit, your face is going to be a peach!”…

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I’m sure this bit felt a LOT steeper on the day!

 

This was my first time driving off-road and I absolutely loved it…pretty sure you can tell from all of the smiles in the above photos!

The 4×4 off-road driving experience should definitely be on your To Do List if you are ever visiting this beautiful part of the country!  Such a laugh.

More info here ; website / twitter / facebook

I still can’t believe I was chosen through my blog by the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourist Association to go and try out the above activities – a massive thank you to all involved!  I genuinely had such a great time.

The activities the other group did were Mountain Biking with Pedal a bike away, Clay Pigeon Shooting with DCB Leisure and Caving with Clearwell Caves.  Immy, who was lucky enough to try out these activities, has written about her adventures.  Take a look here.

Most of the photos above are Copyright to David Broadbent Photography.

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{serious face : I was lucky enough to be a guest of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourist Association on this trip to help promote the Activity Fest; A festival to showcase the amazing activities that are available in the Forest of Dean. Sunday 23rd April 2017.  All words and opinions are my own…including that massive cheesy grin whilst 4×4 off-road driving, that one is definitely mine too…}

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