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May 23, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Bear Grylls Survival weekends near Bridgnorth

Digital imageRecently a friend went on one of the Bear Grylls survival weekends at Burwarton near Bridgnorth, run by Far A Foot. He said the weekends are very stretching for 11 yr olds a swell as the accompanying non-army parents ! There were 12 in his group – 6 children, 2 mothers & 4 fathers, coming from Surrey, Suffolk & Hampshire. One father & son had come from Portugal, another father & son had come from Ireland.

They learnt to build a shelter from sticks & leaves, make fires using a steel & flint, make a snare, forage & skin a rabbit. Amongst other activities, they zipped down the zip wire (Tyrolean abseil) & abseiled down a steep cliff. They camouflaged themselves with mud (which is what you would do to disguise / dampen your own scent). He said the hardest bit was swimming through the lake then running back to the base camp – I assume they did it fully clothed, which is hard work !

They made a stew with the rabbit, but cheated a bit by adding some vegetables they’d brought along (when I did this aged 14, we pinched a few potatoes from the next door field !). They did nothing very scary except eating maggots (I’m still not sure if this is true !). They all took their own sleeping bags in which they got about 6 hrs sleep. They woke to the dawn chorus, but said the woodpecker as the most effective alarm clock.

Digital imageLunch in the Boyne Arms, Burwarton, was a very welcome end to the experience. Far a Foot’s instructors Andy & Nick were fabulous, competent & encouraging with a great approach. The conclusion was that it was a great way of chipping away all the our comforts, teaching our children to make do with whatever you’re standing up in & to be resourceful.  He’d recommend the weekends & the leaders to anyone (but NB. – he’s ex army !).

Why not book any non-Bear-Grylls family member into an Apley Holiday Cottage, offering luxury & comfort, then nip off for some more modest excitement on the High Ropes Adventure which recently opened in Telford Town Park, run by Closer to the Edge. Enjoy an excellent lunch in The Creamery Café at Apley Farm Shophas a menu way more tempting than rabbit stew ! Shropshire offers a wide variety of activities to meet every visitor’s needs – sporty, intellectual, thrilling, relaxing, creative. Search this blog for my A-Z of Things to Do in Shropshire. Zip wire can now be my new entry for Z ! For other ideas, try Shropshire Tourism & Visit Ironbridge which are 2 useful websites for planning your visit.

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