We crawled out of bed and set off eagerly for a day of off-roading adventures with The Wright Event, in Kent.
Pulling into the private drive-way, we could see that there would be no shortage of mud! We were greeted and welcomed to the centre, via a cosy reception area - with a wood burning stove, perfect for the chilly, wet weather - before the instructors outlined the day ahead. We would be taking part in 3 activities: Quad-biking, 4×4 driving, and Sporting Trials.
Once kitted out from head to toe in some much-needed waterproofs, we headed out to the Quads for an instructional briefing and introduction to the vehicles. Climbing aboard, we set off - some with a little more trepidation than others - for a quick practice around the obstacle field, before heading into the orchard, and then into the 4×4 off-road driving area. Lead by an instructor, we covered a wide range of terrain, climbing and descending mud covered slopes, and splashing our way through some demanding ruts and ditches. Needless to say, the sheer amount of mud made the experience very eventful and there was no lack of entertainment when one of our team members decided to take a few detours into trees and ditches! We all learnt a lot, and soon got to grips with our vehicles, enjoying ourselves immensely.
Then we moved on to the 4×4 driving. The fact that there were only 2 qualified drivers in our number was not a problem at all, as the session was modified throughout to cater for all of our abilities - from first time drivers, to those who had some previous off-roading experience. The qualified and highly experienced instructors were very patient, and encouraged all of us to have a go, taking us outside of our usual comfort zones. I personally was surprised at the extreme capabilities of the all-terrain vehicles.
The day came to a close with the Sporting Trials. The idea was to get the Trials car up some very steep slopes, and negotiate the tight, hairpin corners of the marked route, without stopping or knocking down the markers. With the amount of rain, the task seemed impossible, but the natural ability of the car soon had us all grinning from ear to ear, as we slid and skidded our way around the course.
Throughout the day, all of the instructors were not only knowledgeable and experienced, but also very patient and friendly. The centre welcomes bookings of groups and individuals across a wide range of ages and as most of the equipment is dual-control, those with no experience, including juniors (over 11 years or a minimum of 1.4m tall) are welcomed… we would highly recommend this for a thrilling day out!