It’s over a year since I first heard about an exciting new attraction being built in Skipton. It was at the launch event for the Skipton and Craven Rotary 2017 Santa Fun Run. In the centre of the busy room, full of representatives from many of Skipton’s best-known charities and organisations, was a rough model of a high ropes course. It was there I first met Helen and Jason, the couple behind this intriguing and ambitious venture. They were there to introduce their plans to create a high ropes course within the stunning woodland area of Aireville Park. An exciting prospect, not only adding yet another activity for locals to enjoy, but a unique and regional attraction, which is sure to entice even more visitors to our bustling town!
Some months later, after an extremely snowy winter, Raven Tree Top Adventure was nearing completion. It had just been opened to the public so I wanted to know more about what was on offer, and of course learn more about the passionate couple behind Skipton’s hottest new attraction! So, I headed down to Aireville Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon, walking down the path adjacent to the cafe at Aireville Leisure Centre and found the busy starting point for the course.
I met Helen and Jason, who had been working tirelessly on creating the course, to find out more. After a quick tour of the ropes course – which is incredible – I had the chance to ask them a few questions!
So, who’s behind Raven Tree Top Adventure?
Jason: We’re a local couple based in Crosshills. When I was in college, I studied Outdoor Pursuits and started working as an instructor, although I quickly realised that there wasn’t much money in it, so I had to get a proper job! I then worked for the Police for eleven years and left two years ago to work on the Tree Top Adventure!
Helen: I’m currently working as a Project Manager, but I’ve always wanted to do something for myself and create something that other people can enjoy!
What inspired you to build the Tree Top Adventure?
Helen: The kids inspired us more than anything! We both worked full-time and we wanted to spend more time with them. We’ve got three boys and they’re all into Playstations or ipads so we wanted to get them out more. We wanted to give the kids something to do whilst building a future for ourselves and getting out of employment by doing something that we really enjoy!
Jason: We’ve always been quite outdoorsy anyway, so we thought, “what can we do to combine work and fun?” We have some friends over in Ireland who run a similar course, so after a few discussions with them over several beers, we decided to look into it.
After a lot of red tape and a long time searching for the right place, we eventually landed in Craven!
When did you first open and when is the course open to the public?
We first opened on May Bank Holiday, we’re open every weekend and all through the school holidays. We’ll open mid-week for group bookings of 10 people or more, whether that’s during the day or in the evening.
Who is welcome at Raven Tree Top?
Jason: We start from 7 years old and above. Children aged between 7-10 have to have an adult with them up in the trees. At 10 years old and above, parents can supervise them from ground level. Anybody over the age of 75 can come to Raven Tree Tops free of charge if they have parents with them. Haha…
How much does a session cost?
Helen: Our introductory rate is £12.50 per person. For family bookings, it will be £10 each and group bookings of ten or more are also £10 each. We’ve tried to price it so that it’s an affordable activity, having had our own experience with our own children. We’ll also be offering discounts for community events, welcoming people who may not usually be able to afford it, to try and make it accessible to all!
What do you like most about Skipton?
Helen: Certainly whilst we’ve been building, it’s got to be the people. We’ve been building all through the winter and met some fantastic dog walkers. They’ve all been so lovely, stopping for a chat and offering words of encouragement. Even when we first opened we were astounded by how lovely the people are.
Jason: For me, I love everything in and around Skipton. You’ve got enough to keep you busy at night in Skipton and you’ve got enough to have fun during the day!
Why should the people of Skipton pay you a visit?
Jason: We’re a local company who are family orientated, and let’s face it , there isn’t anything like this around here… it’s the best high ropes course in Skipton!
Although I didn’t get chance to get up in the trees and test out the course (unfortunately, I hadn’t come dressed for the occasion,) I could tell from the people who were making their way around the course that it was brilliant fun and will certainly be back to try it out in the near future. In the mean time, I highly recommend visiting Helen, Jason and their wonderful tree top adventure course, not only for the warm welcome that you’ll receive, but to push yourself out of your comfort zone and enjoy a very different perspective of Aireville Park!
If you’d like to visit Raven Tree Top Adventure, walk-ins are accepted as they have team members ready to get you up in the trees safely. However, Helen and Jason encourage you to book ahead to avoid waiting times. Contact details are available on their website.