First Sky Tykes course at Westfield Merry Hill


UK based adventure attractions specialist Innovative Leisure has completed the installation of its first Sky Tykes junior ropes course – directly adjacent to Europe’s tallest Sky Trail High Ropes Course in Paragon Entertainment’s Quest, at Westfield Merry Hill in Dudley, near Birmingham.

The metre high, six pole, triangular course opened just before the February half term school holiday and has proved extremely busy from the outset. Operating parallel to the Sky Trail course and just one metre from the ground, the Sky Tykes attraction is suitable for children aged two and upwards, although for the moment it is predominantly three to six year olds who are using it.


Installed in just three days, the Sky Tykes course gives young children the chance to try out the Sky Trail experience but without the extreme heights. Children are harnessed in the usual way and once connected to the overhead track, are handed back to the accompanying parent who walks with them through the course. Access gates around the attraction enable adults to hold hands with their child (if necessary) as they tackle challenges such as rope bridges, balance beams and lily pad platforms.

Many of those who are tall enough and have conquered the Sky Tykes course have then moved on to the full Sky Trail High Ropes Course having gained in confidence. This graduation to the higher course has helped in creating a memorable, shared experience that all the family can be a part of.

The new attraction is also operated under the Quest Family Entertainment and Adventure banner, part of the UK-based Paragon Entertainment Group of companies, whose Tim Rusby commented: “The Sky Tykes course is the perfect complement to the larger Sky Trail High Ropes Course and is proving very popular with visitors. Family groups with very young children can now all take part in a high ropes style experience and no-one is left out, which is an ideal scenario. The way it is priced is in line with other children’s attractions at the venue so it is very affordable and we are seeing a lot of repeats from youngsters wanting to go on it again and again.”

For Innovative Leisure, MD Phil Pickersgill noted: “We are very happy to have installed our first Sky Tykes course, especially with it being adjacent to our highest ever Sky Trail High Ropes Course. It’s proving very popular with visitors and after opening at 10am is busy by 11am, even during school hours, with mums and tots, so justifies operating staff being present all the time. It’s also transformed sales in the café situated close by as it helps to hold visitors on site for longer.”

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