What better way to beat the Winter blues than flying through the trees of the Greater Manchester’s finest aerial adventure? Zip World Manchester, the high ropes and zip wire adventure at Heaton Park has three adreline-packed options to choose from. The Full Trek includes 20 aerial challenges and 14 ziplines, while the lower level Mini Trek is suitable for over fives. The final option is Treetop Nets, a kind of large, suspended net platform comprised of giant trampolines, slides, ball zones, aerial walkways and crawl tunnels.

We went along to check the trek and nets out at the weekend – and you can see from the pictures that our visit was a success. Our party included two adults, twins (10) and a four year old. I did the Full Trek with the twins, while my friend hung out on the Treetop Nets with the four year old.

The twins have done a lot of ziplining and climbing and literally ran around the course. The guides are really on the ball, offering help both on the trek, and from the ground. They can easily tell what level you are at, and give advice accordingly. Given the twins’ confidence, our guide suggested they try ziplining with no hands or backwards. These were two options I wasn’t going to take in a hurry, but which they absolutely loved.

I found the course fairly challenging but not unpleasant. I’ve done a few of these courses before, and my strategy is to try and focus on my next step, rather than looking down. I’m not going to lie: it can feel disconcerting, to try and move from one wobbling wooden log to another, suspended over a 15 metre drop.

Exhilarating fun

Two of the ziplines require you to land on your feet. You do this by starting to ‘run’ in the air at a certain point. I found this easier and more exhilarating than expected. I started to think I could be great at paragliding. The guide suggested I master the end of the course first.

Meanwhile, the four year old loved the bouncy nets. She had an hour-long tea party with some inflatable reindeer in a tree house and went down all the slides. The bouncy nets are fun, tiring on the legs and absolutely massive. I’m not sure on the exact number of square metres they cover, but it feels like a space that’s as large as several swimming pools in a row.

All in all, despite the fact that we visited on a freezing January day, the children had a blast and the adults enjoyed themselves too. It’s not cheap – expect a visit like ours to cost in the region of £100 for a family of 5 – but the safety and fun features make this a worthwhile treat for half term and beyond. The site was acquired in 2023 by the Zip World group who also run five sites in Wales including Penrhyn Quarry and one in Windermere in the Lakes. Click through on the link below to find out more.

Zip World Manchester,
Heaton Park, St Margaret's Rd, Manchester M25 2GT
, Varies
Ruth Allan
Published on:
Sat 10 Feb 2024