Situated in the grounds of the stunning Eastnor Castle in Ledbury, Land Rover Experience is one of only a handful in the UK where budding and experienced off-roaders alike are given the chance to put the company’s new models through their paces as part of structured experiences and courses.
With over 5,000 acres to play with, a picturesque woodland to navigate, and plenty of pheasants to dodge, SoGlos strapped itself in and got ready for some off-road driving in its Land Rover Experience challenge.
Meeting at Sheep Field, Land Rover Experience has a number of man-made courses, a large tipi to enjoy refreshments, and two charming shepherd’s huts, including one with a roaring wood-burning fire to warm away any winter chills.
The half-day experience kicked off with a few deceptively difficult driving exercises designed to get groups working together, as well as giving guests the chance to get a feel of the cars.
First off, Nikita and James took to the driving seat to navigate the Range Rover Evoke into a small circle, before attempting to U-turn their way out without touching the sides, which saw scenes reminiscent of Austin Powers ensue.
Next up, it was Sophie’s turn to drive the vehicle over two narrow raised tracks, while Kathryn and Alice dashed back and forth removing and replacing wooden blocks to ensure there weren’t any gaps that the wheels could fall into. This turned out to be a lot more complicated than first thought, and involved a lot of strategic thinking and teamwork.
With the engines warmed up, and the rest of the team keen to get behind the wheel, it was time to take on some of the more ominous looking challenges.
With three Land Rovers to play with; a Range Rover Vogue, a Range Rover Evoke and a Land Rover Discovery, SoGlos split up into cars with an instructor each, before we were driven through the obstacles, which consisted of a steep and slippery incline up some concrete steps, down a sharp slope, and a drive through some deep water.
The editorial team took to one car and I have to say, we tackled the obstacles with relative ease, bouncing up the steps, and only hesitating slightly before navigating the drops and gliding through the water, before heading into the forest.
Next up was the task everyone had been looking forward to, a drive through Eastnor’s stunning forest, with our instructor taking us to ‘Fish Hill’, named after a man who crashed on the very spot, filling us with confidence…
It wasn’t long before we were happily trundling through the woodland, with the occasional screams and sweaty palms upon sliding down some very muddy hills and bumping over tree roots and rocks.
Winding through trees, spotting plenty of pheasants and taking our eyes off the wheels for a split second to take in the spectacular views of the rolling countryside hills, the Land Rover Experience offered something for everyone to enjoy.
The morning was packed with laughter, both happy and nervous, and after a strong coffee back at Land Rover’s base, The Bothy, SoGlos discussed who the better drivers were, and as history is written by the victors, I’m going to go ahead and say the editorial team triumphed…
Blown away by Land Rover Experience’s stunning grounds, professional and friendly instructors, exciting activities, and of course, the incredible cars, the SoGlos team is now considering pooling their money to save towards that Range Rover Vogue.
By Alice Lloyd
Friday 28 October 2016
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