Michelle Tompkins pays a visit to Jungle Parc at Lydiard

WORRIED about your kids hanging about on the streets this summer? Then get them down to Jungle Parc at Lydiard and let them... ermm... hang about in trees instead.

The high ropes course right here on our doorstep in Swindon gives any of its bigger-named competitors a run for their money, providing two hours or more of knee-trembling, stomach-churning fun 40ft up in the treetops.

We visited as a party of two adults and two children, and each of us faced our own demons as we tackled the 44 different obstacles on the course.

For some, it was about conquering a fear of heights (the best advice? try not to look down); for the more vertically challenged in our group (me!) it was about pushing ourselves to stretch from one perilous perch to another.

But at the end of an exhausting but exhilarating morning, we all agreed we’d go up and do it again... once our legs had stopped shaking in a couple of weeks, perhaps.

Safety-conscious parents can rest assured that all participants are given a thorough briefing before climbing anywhere, and are only allowed onto the high course once they’ve mastered the carabiners and the sequence for using them aimed at preventing falls from a great height. That said, once up in the treetops you’re expected to take care of your own personal safety, so make sure you pay attention at the start!

Once you’re let loose, a series of rope swings, nets, tightropes, zip wires and other wobbly crossings await to be tackled in your own time.

At certain points, there are red and green options, the red pointing towards an even harder route. With the benefit of solid ground beneath our feet, we’d all agreed there would be no wimping out and we’d go red all the way. Once we were clinging to a tree trunk 40ft in the air, however – our nerves as shaky as our knees – green seemed altogether more preferable, and even that pushed our bravery to the limits.

The X-Plorer course we were on is only for people over 10 years old and 1.35m tall. For younger children, there’s also the Adventurer course at a lower level, where parents can supervise from the ground.

There are 40 different activities for little monkeys, including bridges, zip wires, a rocket launcher, cargo nets, tunnels and slides. And judging from the whoops of delight coming from below us as we traversed the tree tops, it’s loads of fun.

Jungle Parc is a fantastic place for kids to let off steam and expend energy this summer. Pack a picnic and make a day of it at Lydiard Park – Swindon’s very own answer to the rainforest.

Jungle Parc is at Lydiard Park, Swindon. Tel: 0844 879 4378 or go to www.jungleparc.co.uk to book.

  • For the X-Plorer course, particpants must be over 1.35m and minimum age of 10. Children aged 10-13 inclusive need adult supervision (one for every two children). Adults must be over 18. Sessions are £21 for adults and £16 for juniors.
  • For the Adventurer course, participants must be over 1.05m tall and four years old. The course require supervision (not actually on the course) at a ratio of one adult for every five children. Sessions are £12 per child.