Back in May, Noam and Alasdair were lucky enough to visit the Land Rover Experience Centre at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, where we were introduced to our expedition vehicle, the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The 5000 acre Eastnor Castle Estate is Land Rover’s original off road testing ground. Since 1961, every one of Land Rover’s most capable 4×4 vehicles has been engineered in response to the 43 miles of rough tracks that cover the estate. More recently, Eastnor has become a testing ground for 4×4 driving skills, with the military, the emergency services, humanitarian societies, NGOs, explorers, adventurers, and the occasional academic all using the site to develop their off road driving abilities.
During our two day course we were guided through the theory and mechanics of 4×4 vehicles and off road driving, before being given a full familiarisation with the Discovery Sport – the car that will transport us for nearly 6000 miles from Nomansland in the UK, to the no-man’s land of Bir Tawil on the Egypt-Sudan border.
When we got behind the wheel (expertly guided by our instructor, Baloo) the experience was extraordinary. The car soaked up the roughest of tracks, guided us down unspeakably steep slopes and dragged us through water hazards that resembled canals more than they did 4×4 tracks. The car never faltered for a moment – not even when Alasdair got a little heavy footed on the concrete articulations.
We are enormously grateful to all the staff at the Land Rover Experience at Eastnor for looking after us so well for the two days of training
The good news is that RGS members and Fellows can enjoy the full Eastnor experience for a specially discounted rate. More information can be found here.