Going on an alpine coaster has been on my bucket list for a very long time so when we decided to visit Northern Ireland this summer, I was really excited to find the Black Bull Run at Colin Glen Mountain entrance. This new attraction is Ireland’s first alpine coaster and obviously we just had to give it a go. The 250m Forest Flyover zipline at the same venue was an obvious bonus!
When we arrived we headed up the hill to check in at the small cafe window. We were given wristbands for our two experiences and directed to the queue for our first activity – the Black Bull Run.
We were given a safety demonstration where it was explained how to sit in, speed up and slow down the cart and then we queued to wait for our first ride.
When we reached the front of the queue we got into out individual carts and lined up to go down the coaster. As soon as the light goes green you can set off. The coaster was really fun, I love to go fast so didn’t break at all but you can control your speed as you go down. The coaster itself was a lot shorter than I had imagined and although it was super fun, it could have been longer. It twists and turns down the hill and goes down a steeper slope through a tunnel.
When we got to the bottom we were told what to do by an attendant and we stayed on the coaster back up to the top of the hill. The journey back up was quite relaxing.
You get three goes on the alpine coaster. Your wristband will be marked or have a section removed at the end of every turn when you get off and rejoin the back of the queue. The whole experience took us about an hour.
After the Black Bull Run alpine coaster, it was time for our turn on the Forest Flyover zip wire. An attendant helped each of us to put on a special harness and handed us a trolly to carry. We were taken up lots of steps to the top of the zipline tower. It was fairly hard to climb the stairs as the harnesses were heavy and hung round our knees and we had to carry the trolly.
At the top of the tower we were attached, 2 at a time to the zip line and then set off to fly to the other end. Again, the zip line was shorter than I had hoped for but it was still fun racing to the other side.
When we reached the other side, we were helped off the zip line and then walked to a trailer which drove us back up to the top.
You only get one turn on the Forest Flyover and we paid the same price as for the Black Bull Run so I would say the Black Bull Run was much better value for money and if we were to return I would probably miss the zip wire out.
There are toilets on site and a small cafe as well as lockers to leave your belongings if needed. Young children need to ride with an adult.
Colin Glen has three main entrances: River Entrance, Leisure Entrance and Mountain Entrance. The Blavk Bull Run and Forest Flyover are located at the Mountain entrance. There are other available activities at the other entrances such as laser tag, golfing and a Gruffalo Trail.
Activity slots need to be booked online in advance.
Taking an autistic child on the Black Bull Run and Forest Flyover at Colin Glen Mountain Entrance?
There is a need to queue for the Black Bull Run before every turn. Depending how many people are booked onto your time slot this could take quite a while. I felt like we were queueing for quite some time compared to our ride time.
The Black Bull Run needs you to be able to follow instructions in order to control the vehicle by yourself. There are also safety instructions that need to be followed such as not putting your hands out of the cart.
Riders over a certain age have to ride alone. If you are on your own with your child and you go first they will need to be able to get on to the cart by themselves and be strapped in etc. If you ride second they will need to get out first and wait for you.
The Forest Flyover is two zip lines next to each other, you could go on it at the same time as your child so you also get off at the same time.
You need to climb lots of stairs for the Forest Flyover and to be able to follow instructions at the top.
The harness for the Forest Flyover is fairly heavy and uncomfortable. You need to wear it and a helmet from when you put it on at the bottom of the tower until you get back to the top in the trailer.