Attraction Reviews

Go Ape Alexandra Palace: Monkey Business or Worth the Bananas?

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As you plan your London itinerary, you’ve probably realized: there’s a lack of adrenaline-inducing experiences in the city. This is partly because of how London is: it’s a historic, culturally rich, urban destination – you’re not out hiking on ridgetops or bungee jumping from tall bridges or buildings in London!

There is, however, one great (and family-friendly) option if you want to step outside your comfort zone and bond on your London trip: Go Ape Alexandra Palace.

Go Ape Alexandra Palace Review Hero

If you’ve heard of this attraction and are wondering whether it’s worth the time and money to add to your family’s London travel plans, hopefully, I can help: I’ve written this review of my experience visiting with my kids, to give you a personal perspective.

Below you’ll find some basics of visiting, then details of my visit to Go Ape at Alexandra Palace and whether I think it’s worth adding to your London itinerary.

Photos courtesy of Go Ape Alexandra Palace.

Basics of Visiting Go Ape Alexandra Palace

Before jumping into my own experience, it’s important to cover some basics of reaching and visiting Go Ape at Alexandra Palace.

Location & Transport

Built in the early 20th Century, Alexandra Palace, or as it is fondly known, Ally Pally, is a Grade II listed property created as a community entertainment venue. It is located between Wood Green and Muswell Hill in the London Borough of Haringey. 

Before I jump into the transportation alternatives, the palace website recommends that all visitors to Go Ape Alexandra Palace travel via public transport. Parking is fairly limited and the public transport links to the palace are excellent; that said, my family and I traveled by car without an issue and we found a parking space easily, although we did arrive quite early. Parking ranges from £1.50-£2 per hour depending on how long you stay.

Here’s how to reach Alexandra Palace…

  • By tube: The closest subway stops include Wood Green on the Piccadilly Line and Finsbury Park on the Victoria Line. The W3 bus operates from both of these subway stations. It provides transportation to the Alexandra Palace Ice Rink stop or Palm Court entrance. The W3 bus runs every 5-8 minutes on weekdays, every 6-10 minutes on Saturdays, and every 9-12 minutes on Sundays.
  • By train: Alexandra Palace has its own British Rail Station, Alexandra Palace Station. It is located at the Wood Green entrance to the Park. A regular train service runs directly from Kings Cross, changing at Finsbury Park.
  • By bus: Take the W3 bus from outside the Alexandra Palace station to the main Palm Court entrance. If you’re coming from North London, the 184 bus heading towards Turnpike Lane Station makes a stop at Alexandra Palace Station. The 184 bus operates every 7-11 minutes on weekdays, every 6-10 minutes on Saturdays, and every 10-12 minutes on Sundays.

Hours, Admission & Tickets

At the time of writing, Go Ape Alexandra Palace is open 9am to 5pm daily. Advance booking is crucial, and it is important to check the official website regularly for any updates, particularly in the event of any adverse weather conditions.

Tickets start at £23 depending on the route you take through the course; children must be one meter tall at minimum.

Food Options & Other Facilities

There are a number of cafes and restaurants within the Palace grounds, including the Ice Cafe, the Lakeside Cafe, and various ice cream stalls during the summer months. There are plenty of picnic areas throughout the park. We chose to enjoy a lovely picnic by the lake and highly recommend this option. 

Regarding services on site, there are accessible toilets and baby-changing facilities.

While there isn’t a gift shop at Go Ape Alexandra Palace itself, there is a garden center elsewhere on the Palace grounds that sells a delightful array of gifts and souvenirs and is well worth a visit! 

My Experience at Go Ape Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace setting is special in itself; a little nugget of rural beauty in the center of the thriving urban capital that is London. The route to the Go Ape course was very well marked from the parking lot, and I eagerly made my way over to the tree-top adventure. I was greeted by a team of friendly and enthusiastic Go Ape personnel who put me and my family at ease straight away. I had to fill in the usual health and safety forms, and we were fitted with our safety harnesses. 

I then made my way around a mini practice course, where I learned to use the equipment and had the opportunity to ask any questions. After a final safety brief, we set off on the course. The kids and I had the most wonderful time negotiating rope ladders, swings, steps, and zip lines high up in the trees. 

The second part of the course was higher and more challenging, and my daughter had a bit of a panic on one of the platforms. An instructor was with her in moments, and with some kindness and encouragement, he helped her to complete the course. She was thrilled with what she had accomplished! 

So… Is Go Ape Alexandra Palace worth it? Without sounding too much like a marketing brochure, Go Ape is a fantastic attraction that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Even those who are not very adventurous or who are a little apprehensive of heights can have a go at completing the course, as they will receive all the help and encouragement from the Go Ape team that they need. It was really quite special seeing other families also negotiating the courses together, supporting each other, overcoming challenges, and working together as a team.

Additionally, the course at Alexandra Palace is somewhat different from other Go Ape courses in the U.K. (of which there are 37!), as it enjoys an urban setting, and this diversity is actually rather splendid.

All told, my family and I loved it, and I think you and yours will too. Have any other questions about whether to add Go Ape Ally Pally to your London itinerary? Let me know in the comments below!

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Vikki grew up in south east London and enjoyed all aspects of the city for many years before she left to travel the world. She still has family in the city and brings her kids back to enjoy all the wonders of London whenever she can.

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