Amy ColvinGlyn O'BrienMartin Dunne
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Flying High Todds Leap Adventures (Part 1)

Posted on July 20, 2015 @ 4:39 PM in Adventure

What's your idea of a really great day out?! At OutdoorNI.com we are always on the look our for action packed activities on offer across Northern Ireland to help you plan "the best day out ever"! Whether you're in search of ideas for a hen, stag or birthday party or looking to make the most of a day off with your mates.

Our journey from Belfast began early on a sunny Friday morning as we jumped into the car to head down the M1 towards Todds Leap Activity Centre in Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone just over an hour’s drive from Belfast City Centre. We arrived to a warm welcome, delicious scones and a cup of tea the ideal fuel ahead of our action packed day of activities. It was here we met with our first instructor who gave us the rundown of what activities we would be having a go at during our day onsite.

Clay Pigeon Shooting Northern Ireland

First up was clay pigeon shooting an activity I can’t say I’ve had much experience of! The firing range looked out across the valley over a small forest of trees to give a brilliant setting and feeling of a real country shoot! Here our instructor talked us through the safety and how tos of handling the gun. Having made it sound easy enough I was quick to hit my first clay on my practice shot before a bit of competitive fun began. With two points up for grabs for those who hit the clay with their first shot and one point for hitting it with the second I quickly realised my first successful shot was more a case of beginners luck...even with some top tips throughout the session from Todds Leap's resident clay pigeon shooting expert.

Giant Swing Northern Ireland

At the end of the session we were met by another instructor who directed us uphill past the assault course and log cabin accommodation towards the ‘Giant Swing’ which we had been told was just like our old playground favourite (but bigger! much bigger!). Climbing into our harnesses and dividing into groups of 3 we cautiously made our way over to the instructors to be clipped into the swing. The floor soon moved away from our feet as we were slowly pulled up to what can only be described as a “knee trembling height”.

This activity puts you (or your friend) in control, as it's up to your when to pull the release to swing high out over the cliff edge...so make sure you choose your friends wisely! The freefall moment of the drop takes your breath away but soon the sound of “ahhhhh’s” is replaced with the sound of laughter! The “superhero” which sees you clipped onto the swing by the back of your harness was a favourite amongst us all as we struck our best superman poses for the camera during the freefall.

Drop Zone

Buzzing from the adrenaline of the Giant Swing we made our way back down towards the car park to have a go on the 'Drop Zone'. From the moment we parked the car at Todds Leap it was hard to miss the Drop Zone's high tower and ‘Big Air Bag’. The first purpose-built recreational free fall stunt jumping facility in Europe this is definitely not an activity for the weak kneed or faint hearted!

Running through the safety briefing with our instructors and with the promise of an epic photo to share on our Instagrams and Facebook later, we nervously followed our instructor up the stairs to the lower intermediate level platform to practice our ‘jump technique’. Having managed to land successfully three times we were allowed to make our way to the 30ft free fall platform. It takes nerves of steel to walk along the platform and make the jump from the tower but the thrill of flying through the air feeling like a stunt artist in an action movie was the only incentive we needed!!

And that was only until lunch time!

Read part 2 ' Heading Off-Road'  of the Todd's Leap Adventure Blog series here.

Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Officer & Active Clubs Coordinator for Walking

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She oversees the marketing and communication on WalkNI, OutdoorNI and Walking in Your Community Project. Most recently she has been working with Parkrun Ireland & UK to introduce the 'Walk @ parkrun' initiative.

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