Trafford Centre, Manchester
I went to Ariel Extreme with 3 ladies I had never met before. For team building and enhancing trust between people it was amazing, a really positive experience. The staff were relaxed and balanced the important safety instructions with being friendly and approachable.
The safety aspect of the course, all the harnesses and ropes, the rational part of me knew I was 100% safe. The instinctive, terrified of heights part of me was less convinced! The course was divided into two parts, smaller then larger and higher. The layout was really well designed, and everything felt thoroughly thought through. The balancing got harder as the course went on, and really allowed me to gain confidence en route. There was no fussing with clipping and unclipping the safety ropes through the course, it was continuous, which again I found well designed.
I am not confident with heights, and the experience of overcoming each aspect of the course was exhilarating rather than my typical idea of enjoyable. I was fortunate enough to have great company on the course, and we got an 'in it together' spirit going on, and it felt very much a shared experience. I imagine this happens for most groups that go.
I would expect children aged 7 and over, to really enjoy it. I would recommend it to most groups of people. It wouldn't be something many of my friends would have expected me to do, and I'm glad to surprise them. I think it was a beautiful introduction to more out-door activities, and a fun challenge to outdoorsy folk. I don't climb or usually do anything more adventurous than walking my little spaniel, but I would now consider something a little more wild and even doing something similar again.
All our group after completing the course rather quickly, came down the zip line with relieved and proud smiles on our faces, to promptly land in an slightly undignified fashion, but get up laughing!
It was fabulous for a sense of achievement, was a total ice-breaker and over all was a positive way to spend time. The romantic in me does see it being perfect for new couples.
They offer a discount voucher for the nearby Frankie & Bennie's, which is an opportunity to relax afterwards. I would say I felt the fee for the activity a little steep, but we were offered the opportunity to go round the course again which would make for better value, especially if you take advantage of the Frankie & Bennie's offer.
Review by Samantha MacKenzie
Before attempting the Aeriel Extreme course I set about looking on the internet to see what I was letting myself in for, and was pleasently surprised to see the amount of different obstacles there were. So when the day came I wasn't too nervous about what was about to come.
Upon arrival the course didn't look as daunting as I thought, the staff were kind, friendly and informative. We had to read and sign a health and safety briefing and was told that we could possibly come away are minor injuries (e.g, scratches, brusie's and maybe a splinter or two).
We were then shown how to properly fit our harnesses which were quick and simple and not as uncomfortable as they looked, they were double checked by the staff and were adjusted if needed.
Then came the briefing of the course and to my surprise told that the course in front of us was just the starter course and the main one lay hidden behind the trees further aback… I must admit my legs started to wobble at that point!! Also we were reminded of the rules that we had to follow… like only one person per obstacle.
We were 'hooked' onto the course by a safety clip which we manoeuvred around the course as we went along.
Myself and the 3 friends made our way up the stairs to the start of the course to our first obstacle… which was a long log we had to walk across. Gaining my balance was a little tricky but holding on to the harness rope really helped. As we went further around the course it become more tricky but with lots of encouragement we all made it around safely. In between each obstacle there was a wooden platform so you could suss out what was too come and catch your breath or stop your knees from shaking… it came in very useful. As the first course came to an end we had the delight of going down the zip wire, which was scary but fun.
When I found my feet after the zip wire we made our way along the overhead wire which was our guide to the 'main' course.
Now was the time to really face our fears and put our skills to the test. This course was like the other but higher and required a lot more willpower to overcome. There were many more obstacles to conquer and the similar ones from the smaller course were given a greater level of difficulty by some little surprises like the simple high wire now had buoys, ropes dangling from above. This course was longer than the first but was still lots of fun. The staff were near by if you felt that you needed a any reassurance. Again this course finished with a zip wire.. which again didn't disappoint.
Overall the course was fun and had many obstacles for different abilities, and included your simple high wire, climbing net to platforms you had to jump across and wooden steps suspended in the air.
I felt happy and safe as I made my way around, and would recommend people to give it a whirl, but don't go dressed in your best gear as we all landed on our backs and bottoms on our landing from the zip wire. Even though I found the price a little high for what the course is, that didn't stop me recommending it to my family and friends who themselves have booked a date to go.
At the end of the course we were given the chance to give the course another a go but my feet were staying firmly on the floor and i was happy to come away injury free and with not only a certificate for my bravery on completion of the course but also a voucher for the nearby Frankie and Benny's restaurant.
Review by Emma Baker