Call 07557 768 047
  E-mail katherinebeaumont76@gmail.com
Full Circle Experiences
Full Circle Experiences
The Happy Ape


Happy Apes, is more then a ‘wellbeing’ experience or an adventure. It is an education in what it is to be free. To connect with the wild within you and learn what it takes to be happy. Exploring the self through play and adventure, connection and challenge in nature. Group and individual experiences utilising tree, rock, water and wood. Connect as a group and explore boundaries with structured play fighting or 'rough housing’.

The Happy Ape is run by, local barefoot personality, Ben Atkinson. Ben has lived in the area for over 20 years, he knows every rock, tree and body of water personally. He can show you all the hidden gems, and how to adventure and play to your maximum capacity, in safety.

Ben is very skilled in bringing people together, his professional experience in working with groups and people really comes into play when creating rapport with budding apes.

Whatever, your fitness level or personal ability, Ben Atkinson, can table a sequence of rewilding unwinding and bonding activities suited to you, your family or your group.

Ben, your facilitator is a renown adventurer and activist. His award winning video ‘My own hands’ shows you the commitment of his practice.
He invites you to meet your humanity as he really is stripped bare of pretension: relative to the apes, looking beneath the veneer of urban comforts you explore yourself from novel perspectives.

"I love introducing people to the heritage of their minds and bodies".

“this is the best thing I have ever done”

Ok - I want to share how happy my little boy is at 'Barefoot Ben's' (as my 5 yr old calls him) tree climbing group. He is a child that isn't easy to get to go to new things and doesn't often engage easily in groups however he loves to come along to Ben's sessions. On the first time we went I could see how happy he was then at the end Ben asked everyone if they had enjoyed themselves and Felix jumped up and said 'this is the best thing I have ever done' with a big smile on his face. I was almost in tears as it is very rare he is so enthusiastic about things.
Reviewed by Hatti - April, 2020
“I like climbing up high with bare feet”

It was really good, and I like climbing up high with bare feet and felt proud and happy. The pillow-fighting was exciting, and i was suprised when i won one. i like Ben he is kind and i liked watching him climb the tall tree.
Reviewed by Kirsty Williams and Milo - March, 2020
“a wonderful day”

We all had a wonderful day. Kai was so proud of himself he was able to be barefoot. He suffers from raynauds, but it didn't affect him today!
Reviewed by Laura - March, 2020

Accessibility for The Happy Ape

We include everyone on our retreats and carers and support buddies and support dogs always get a free place.  So if you have any kind of disability please call us so that we can direct you to the right accomodation and learn more about your specific needs.

Bookings and Enquiries

Full Circle Experiences   Request a date below to book your place on The Happy  Ape
Alternatively, contact Katherine & Ben for more info:
E-mail katherinebeaumont76@gmail.com  Call 07557 768 047

Do you have any questions? Send us a message below

Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of people is this suitable for

This is great as a bonding experience for families to do together. Its also fantastic for corporate group as a team building exercise. its fantastic for groups of friends looking for fun and adventure and its wonderful as a 1:1 therapy session. Ben has spent a lot of time mentoring young people and he finds that they especially benefit from being carefully guided into their wild and natural selves. If you have physical limitations, please do not worry, you will be considerately welcomed and appropriately facilitated.

Is it dangerous

There is always a risk when playing outside, however, the trees, rocks and water that we use are as familiar to Ben as his own home. He has coached people through jumping, climbing and exploring, you will be thoroughly guided on what to look out for to avoid any accidents. Ben is a fully trained outdoor first aider and mountain leader.

What is the minimum age range

The minimum age for a participant is 5 for all activities except Packhorse Picnic (then it is 8) and Wild Woman Nature Retreat (then it is 14 unaccompanied). Children under 5 may come along if you think it is suitable, they can attend free of charge.

Do you need to be fit

You need to be reasonably agile and fit to take part in Packhorse Picnic.  However, we will support the people who are not used to hiking, climbing, balancing or yoga etc.  (we take regular rests and adjust accordingly for beginners).  Please call or email us and ask, we do our very best to include everyone.

Will I be safe

All our experiences take place outdoors, and when required, practice safe social distancing.  All our facilitators are trained in first aid and carry first aid kits.  We never go up into the hills without a trained facilitator and we keep the groups small and intimate so that we can keep a careful eye on everybody taking part.  Training and mindful regard is at the heart of everything we do.

Whats the maximum group size

The is a maximuim of 10 participants allowed for any Full Circle Experiences or Wellness sessions.

What should I wear/bring

For outdoor activities:

  • Comfortable and warm clothing and lots of layers.
  • Waterproofs just incase.
  • Sensible walking boots or trainers.
  • Your swimming costume and towel if the event requires it.
  • A small rucksack with refreshments.


Were are the toilets

There are toilets at Rydal Hall and public toilets in Rothay Park in Ambleside.


Can I book a private group session

Yes, all activities are available to book for private groups.

Do I need to book in advance

Booking a Experiences or Wellness session in advance of your Lake District holiday booking is essential, as our activities sell out very quickly.

Can I book at the site

Yes, you can e-mail us from your Full Circle Holiday on katherinebeaumont76@gmail.com, also, if you are staying elsewhere you may book with us.

What if there is adverse weather conditions

Adverse weather is defined by our own risk assessment.  An outdoor activity may be cancelled due to the unlikely event of adverse weather, no refunds will issued in this case and Full Circle Holidays Ltd cannot be held liable for any further damages.

What if I need to cancel

If you desire to cancel your Experience or Wellness session:

  • 28 days in advance of the event date, A full refund is retrievable.
  • 5 days or less than of the event date, no refund is given.
  • Within 28 and 6 days of the event date, only your deposit is retrievable.
An Experience or Wellness session can be rescheduled or transferred up to 5 days in advance of the event date.  The deposit ammount may be transferred and used against any of our accommodation units.

What if I need to change the time of my booking

Contact us and we will try our best to accommodate your preferred time.

Can I book accommodation and how

Please see our accommodation section on this website to book a yurt or cabin.  Also ask us about availability in The Hermitage where we have a holiday flat.

Where can I park

If you have booked one of our cabins or yurts then you will already have free parking.  You will also find parking in Rydal at Pelter Bridge and White Moss car park if you get there nice and early.  Miller Bridge car park at Ambleside has also been extended so get there nice and early and you should have no trouble parking there.  It's just a short walk then to our meeting point.  If the groups are small and located at The Hermitage then, there may be free parking on enquiry at The Hermitage.

Can I arrive by public transport

Public transport is the best way to travel to avoid parking blues and to do your bit for our beloved planet and countryside.  The bus will drop you right outside Rydal Hall or in Ambleside, walk to the meeting point, Rydal is a lovely 1 mile walk from Ambleside.

Can I buy a gift voucher

There are 'Book Online' buttons on this website to take you through to buy a gift voucher.  Gift vouchers for our Experiences and Wellness sessions, or even a glamping retreat, will make wonderful unique gift for loved ones.

Can I bring a dog along

It is posible to bring along a dog, but please confirm this with Kathering before booking.


Where can I get food

For the Packhorse Picnic, Adventure and Wellness Day and the Forage and Feast, we will provide delicious and healthy food and snacks, you will be very satisfied.  Bringing your own packed food is ideal but there are plenty of amazing places to eat in Ambleside and Grasmere, though, we recommend that you prebook any restaurant.  There is a teashop at Rydal Hall that sells food and there is also The Badger Bar Pub and Restaurant at Rydal.

What else can I do in the area

Rydal is an amazing place where you can while away hours enjoying waterfalls, the lake, caves, woods and hills.  You can also spend time in Grasmere and Ambleside, just a short walk or bus ride away and enjoy the unique shops, cafes and tourist attractions and walks.

Full Circle Activities

During your stay, why not treat yourself to a Full Circle adventure 'Experience' or a 'Wellness' session?
(also available to none-residents)

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The Happy Ape