If you are anything like me, then you have often dreamed of being a monkey.

Climbing up into the branches, swinging between the trees. Generally monkeying around. For a long time I thought my lack of branch gripping ability and a counter balancing tail had nipped my monkey aspirations in the bud. That was, until I heard about Go Ape.

Situated in Swinley Forest two miles from Bracknell train station, Go Ape occupies a small corner of the 2,600 acre crown estate.

Our session began with a kind guide helping me and a companion into not overly uncomfortable harnesses and then explaining to us how not to fall off trees.

The core principle is ‘always stay connected’, which refers to the two clips dangling down from the waist, which must be taken from one load bearing rope to another, one at a time.

Rapport having been quickly built, I asked the guide if anyone had been badly hurt at the site. He told me, somewhat ominously and particularly sadly, that a boy had fallen from a platform and broken both his wrists, and an elderly gentleman had died from a heart-attack whilst amidst the tree tops.

Now thoroughly concious of our own mortality, we broke off from the group, clipped ourselves on and climbed a ladder up the first tree.

The most surprising aspect of Go Ape and one of its strongest is the independence afforded customers. Rather than being mollycoddled through en-masse by an instructor, you are left to scrabble up yourself.

Having blundered ourselves to the front of the queue, we were able to zoom through the first three of five stages.

Roughly seven metres in the air, wooden platforms ring trunks, with rope bridges of various structures connecting the trees. Bounding easily and gracefully through the first handful, I momentarily thought it was all over when a unsteady mess of lines stopped me in my over-confident tracks. I dangled shamefully from the end of a wire, significant other looking scornfully on, before heaving myself back onto the path.

The best parts of the course were at the end of each section, where zip wires provided a hurtling return back to earth across 60 or 70 metres of woodland.

The only downside to the day out is the price, at £132 for a family of four, and the slight frustration of being stuck behind a more leisurely climber. In terms of satisfying monkey dreams however, it does well.

Go to www.goape.co.uk