These days you don't need to go off road to find an off road vehicle, they're everywhere. SUVs and crossovers are the fastest growing vehicle sector but they're generally used more for a potter to the shops than tackling any serious terrain. However, whether you drive a 4x4 normally or not, taking one of these vehicles and testing it to its limits can be just as thrilling a ride as any supercar. So as we're looking at all things SUV this April, here are six of the best places in the UK to experience some real off roading!
The Lake District undoubtedly has some of the country’s most stunning scenery, and what better way to see it that from behind the wheel of a 4x4? Cumbria isn’t exactly famed for its wonderful climate, but luckily you can off road with the KANKKU team whatever the weather, so ditch those walking boots for a pair of driving gloves. Journeying through areas of genuine natural beauty you’ll learn intelligent driving techniques that tread lightly to help preserve the landscape for future generations.
Lake District National Park, Victoria Forge, Victoria St, Windermere LA23 1AD
It has to be the most iconic off road brand, certainly here in the UK anyway, and in fact there are 9 centres across the country (33 worldwide) where you can live the Land Rover Experience. Whether you take on the Jungle Track at Solihull, grouse moors in the Scottish Highlands or cross the haunted bridge of Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, you’re certain to have a memorable drive. Options vary from course to course but most venues offer something for everyone, from taster experiences to full on professional training.
Multiple Centres Worldwide
With a wide range of vehicles available you can get your off road fix at True Grip, whether you’re looking for brand new 4x4s packing with technology or thrill a minute quad bikes. Backdropped by stunning Kent countryside, the 3000 acre Eastwell Park Estate makes the perfect playground to test your mettle. They also give you the opportunity to drive your own vehicle if your nerves can handle it, and offer bespoke overland expeditions across the country too.
True Grip Off Road, Eastwell Court, Lenacre Street, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4JT
Whether it’s a stag or hen do, corporate event or full on pro training you’re after, Drive Tech offer the lot. The Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire comprises a 4x4 off road course with white knuckle descents and water splashes, but also the opportunity to get to grips with the technical side of differential locks and off road etiquette. There’s even an on site go-kart track too that’ll keep any non driving license holders occupied while you get stuck in the mud.
Drive-Tech Ltd, Castle Combe Circuit, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 7BW
If you’re planning an off road adventure overseas, then Explore 4x4 could be the choice for you, they can give you the skills and confidence behind the wheel to take on the wilderness worldwide. At their two sites in Warwickshire and Suffolk you’ll find activities ranging from archery and air rifling to military survival - you can pretty much learn how to be the next Bear Grylls in a weekend… probably. This isn’t just a macho experience for the lads though, with both female and male instructors there’s no need to feel intimidated and everyone is welcome to join the fun.
Larks In The Wood Cottage, Pentlow, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 7JU
North Wales is your start off point for a driving adventure courtesy of Motor Safari. If you’ve always wanted to take on one of those multiple-day driving treks just like the guys from Top Gear, this is your chance to live out a dream. You can choose to take your own vehicle or use an instructors, plus there’s also the chance to roll in a quad bike experience while you’re at it. Or for something that is really different, contrast your hair raising off road drive with a stay in a spa, Motor Safari offer complete packages, the perfect mix of rest, relaxation and off road driving!
Motor Safari, Seren Country Activity Centre, Ruthin Road, LL11 5UY