Off-roading in the UK: Where and why?
Whether your weapon of choice is a 4WD Jeep, Range Rover or even a Hummer, sooner or later the urge to take it off-road will come along. Naturally, here in the UK you can’t just rock up and ride roughshod over any old field or hill. There are certain rules and regulations that you’ll need to stick to. After all, someone always owns the land and you don’t want to be churning up their back garden. With that in mind, here are a few places you might want to head for…
One of the most popular places is True Grip, in Kent. They have a specialised track which is designed to be tailored to suit your own individual driving abilities and the capabilities of your vehicle, so it’s a great way to get involved with off-road driving without having to worry about the daunting possibilities of needing to find your own feet.
White Cliff, near the Forest of Dean, on the other hand, is based in a quarry, with a huge range of terrain which will help you push your vehicle to the limits and put your own off-road skills to the limits. For those further norther, there’s a site in Perthshire which offers similar terrain, but even gives you the opportunity to hire a vehicle on-site, meaning you won’t need to worry about getting the hose out afterwards.
Picture: Wild Tracks, Suffolk
In terms of popularity, it’s hard to beat Wild Tracks, based in Suffolk. For just £30 a day (which includes a free first tow), this site includes waterholes, steep inclines, sand, soil, deep mud and just about every other off-road challenge you could think of. It’s a hugely popular destination for off-roaders and it’s easy to see why. Although it may not be the easiest place to get to for most people, its unwavering popularity is testament to the quality of the site and the fun it offers.
There are also providers, such as Ultra Adventure Driving, who offer 4×4 experiences and adventure days around the country, so these providers are always worth checking out in order to see whether there’s somewhere local to you where you can go off-roading for the day. If it’s something you’ve not tried before, it’s a hugely worthwhile experience and you don’t even need a 4×4 to go along — many sites have vehicles to hire.
Picture: Jeep Wrangler Off Road
Off-road driving provides a challenge which normal road driving doesn’t give. Negotiating a tricky double-mini roundabout is one thing, but trying to deal with a fifty-degree incline before working your way through a muddy bog and up a sand dune is an experience you’re not going to get in the middle of Reading. It’s also something that the majority of people won’t have considered trying, but all who do will testify to the fact that it’s incredible fun. It needn’t be expensive, either — Wild Tracks in Suffolk charges just £30 a day for their off-roading experience.
If you do have a 4×4 vehicle, being able to put it to its limits on an off-road site is fantastic fun and will help you to see your vehicle in a new light. After all, it’s what they were designed and built for and you’d be surprised at the limits to which you can push your Jeep or Land Rover on an off-road track. One thing’s for sure — you’ll feel a lot safer on the roads of Britain after you’ve found out just what an incredible machine your 4×4 really is.