Interview with Via Ferrata Cornwall
If you are looking to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy the thrills of heights, then you will love Via Ferrata Cornwall, an adventure company with a difference.
Via Ferrata Cornwall is nestled amongst the beautiful 60-acre Goodygrane Activity Centre, an old granite quarry; home to heathland, woodland and five flooded granite quarries, it is a stunning setting. They are located close to Penryn, off the A394 Helston Road.
Traverse cliff faces to heights of 20 metres above the water, wobble across a 70m long single strand of wire and zipline through the air on their Via Ferrata activity. Twists and challenges along the way add an increased dose of fear and excitement for participants!
Once clipped in to the safety cable, you are ready to embark on your adventure – get ready to test your nerves and physical agility!
What is certain is you will feel alive once you get going on this adventure trail, especially when flying over the deep canyon on the zip wire with incredible views over Falmouth Bay and the Lizard Peninsula.
High ropes help to develop confidence and take many people out of their comfort zone, if like us that is generally two feet firmly on the ground. You can start off with the low ropes and ascend to the high ropes as your confidence grows. When you get back to the ground, you can be proud of your accomplishment and bask in your sense of success. Everyone could do with an adrenaline shake up at some point.
It’s not just the Via Ferrata activity that’s on offer here; other activities include coasteering, rock climbing, water sports (stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing) and archery. Furthermore, there is a nature trail for families to enjoy.
Open most of the year round, it is the ideal destination for a fun filled day out with family or friends where you can enjoy an exhilarating outdoor activity.
Staff are extremely patient and incredibly competent and professional and will put even the most nervous participant at ease.
Thank you Eleanor for taking time out to chat with us today…
What made you come up with the idea of transforming an unused quarry into a high wire adventure trail?
"Via Ferrata is an incredibly popular adrenaline activity, with routes worldwide, but there are none in the South West. We recognised the opportunity to provide a unique activity that meets the growing demand for nature-based adventures that offer more than just an adrenaline rush. Participants are clipped into a safety cable at all times, so as well as experiencing the thrills of being up high and leaping from the cliff top, they also get to push their limits in a completely safe environment, conquer fears, feel a sense of achievement and make amazing memories. All profits go to our launching charity BF Adventure, which supports Cornwall’s disadvantaged children and young people to overcome their own challenges, so participants are also making a real difference by joining us."
Where did the name Via Ferrata come from?
"Via Ferrata means ‘iron path’ in Italian. They originated in the Alps during WWI to enable troops to cross mountains, but are now one of the most adrenaline-filled climbing activities worldwide!"
How long does it take to complete the entire course?
"The Via Ferrata Full Classic route, which includes traversing the cliff faces in two quarries, braving the 70m long high wire bridge, tackling high challenges and finishing with the zip wire, usually takes between 2-3 hours depending on group size and confidence. With some groups with very low numbers who are very confident, the Full Classic Tour could be completed even quicker. The Full Classic route is for children aged 10+ and adults."
"The Via Ferrata Adventure Zone includes traversing in the smaller quarry and taking on the high wire bridge – it takes 1-1.5 hours and is for adventuresome children aged 8+ and adults."
Do you need to be fit to take part in any of the activities you provide?
"For the Via Ferrata, coasteering and rock climbing, a medium fitness level is required. A low-medium fitness level is required for our archery and watersports sessions. You can check the height and weight restrictions on our website: https://viaferratacornwall.co.uk/terms-and-conditions/."
What if someone is fearful of heights?
"We’ve seen so many participants who are scared of heights really enjoy the Via Ferrata and conquer some fears! Here’s some feedback from one such person:"
“Let me open by saying I have a great fear of heights. I thought I would end up observing my friends having 'fun'. However, the instructors and staff are amazing, exceptionally friendly, and they put me at ease. I never felt pressured. So I thought why not give it a go? I am so glad I did. The courses are so well thought out they ease you into the climbing whilst providing total confidence in the safety equipment, instructors and your own ability to do the course. I never thought I would do this and if I can anyone can. Such a great time with great people. Please give this a go; it's a real bright spot in what could be considered a dark year.” – Thealey, Trip Advisor."
"We want everyone to enjoy the course at their own pace, and you will not feel rushed. Therefore, we will release groups onto routes at intervals, so as to avoid the route becoming overly busy or congested. You can also choose to lead your time slot group from the front or take your time and follow from the back."
What should people take along with them?
"We provide all the equipment, however you will need to wear clothes and shoes that are suitable for the outdoors. Our website has more information on what to bring for each activity."
Do you offer on-site catering?
"We sure do! The Cornish Barista has an amazing Café on-site which overlooks the quarry – So if you’re not sure about trying Via Ferrata, you can come and observe part of the route over a cuppa or cake! The Cornish Barista makes delicious breakfasts, lunches and cakes and is big on using locally sourced ingredients. It also donates 10% of its sales to BF Adventure’s charity work with vulnerable children – win win!"
What do you think are the benefits of outdoor adventure?
"Several studies have linked the benefits of the outdoors to improved health and well-being. It’s believed that contact with nature plays a crucial and irreplaceable role in brain development, and simply walking through a natural environment can reduce blood pressure as cortisol levels return to normal and stress levels are reduced. Connecting with others, being physically active, learning new skills and paying attention to the present moment (mindfulness) were also listed by the NHS as ways to improve mental wellbeing – something that our outdoor adventures provide in spades!"
Which is your favourite activity at Via Ferrata Cornwall?
"For me it has to be the Via Ferrata – it’s just so different and I felt such a buzz from it – despite normally being afraid of heights!"
You work closely with local vulnerable children and young people experiencing tough challenges through your charity programme. You have achieved a lot of success with your charity work over the years. You must be proud of your achievements to date.
"The children and young people we support face incredibly difficult circumstances. There is hope, however, and we know that the approach we use empowers these young people to experience real breakthroughs. Here’s some feedback from one of the young people we have the privilege of working with:"
“Before I started at BF Adventure I was lonely, had high anxiety and felt stressed, worried about talking about things. Now at BF Adventure, I am quite open about my feelings, stand up for myself more and am able to help others more - such as the younger ones. My anxiety is also reduced. When I wake up on a morning I am going to BF, I am happy and excited. I enjoy the activities, meeting new people and doing new things.”
When visiting Via Ferrata, you will not only have a fabulous time but also help support a great local charity.
We would like to say a huge thanks to Eleanor for taking the time out to chat with usand answer all of our questions.
Thank you also to Caroline Kearsley Photography for the superb photos.
For more information and details on how to book a fun session at Via Ferrata Cornwall please check out the following:
Via Ferrata Cornwall
Telephone: 01326 341904