It’s always so satisfying to climb a tree: to scramble up and reach that first low branch and carefully wind your way higher before sitting against the rough bark. I’m never usually brave enough to make it higher than the first few branches. But, there is a huge old oak tree in Appley Park, standing just above the beach, where anyone can climb as high as 50 feet up in to its canopy.
Goodleaf Tree Climbing has been showing people the ropes on the Isle of Wight for almost ten years. After only a few minutes Paul and Archie will have you climbing up in to the branches, and scrambling in to hammocks strung high.
This is a seriously big tree: the kind you might have a picnic under; never one you’d be able to climb. But with harness and ropes, you can make your way right the top. From there, you can peer over the trees of the park, across the Solent and out to the city across the water.
Leave your watch behind and get sucked in to life under the oak leaves for a couple hours. You won’t tire of it and can stop for some Goodleaf tea and homemade flapjack before there’s a chance of that.
Images by Tom Pratt and courtesy of Goodleaf Tree Climbing