The ultimate guide to off-roading in the UK

The ultimate guide to off-roading in the UK

For car enthusiasts wanting to experience some excitement this summer, you really can’t go wrong with an off-roading holiday. More people than ever before are spending their holidays closer to home, so if you’re from the UK you’re in luck, as the country is home to a selection of off-road tracks and experiences.

Here, Grange dealerships, who specialise in the stunning McLaren 720S, have brought you this ultimate guide to off-roading in the UK.

Before you go

Beginners and experienced drivers alike can all enjoy an off-roading experience, but you should definitely get some practice in if you haven’t done this before. Fortunately, we are here to help if you reckon your knowledge is lacking when driving on sand, through water and in the mud.

Do you plan on off-roading at the beach? You will want to be in a low gear when travelling across sand and maintaining a steady momentum. Lowering your tyre pressure, possibly to 15psi as a minimum, will also see you creating a larger surface area. In the event that your wheels begin to spin on sand, don’t panic and instead take your foot off the throttle and slow your car’s tyres so that you can regain traction. Parking in sand should also be done on a downward slope, as you’ll find it much easier to pull away once you get moving again.

When driving through water, you should take care to drive slowly and only increase your speed a little at a time. Just don’t follow another vehicle instantly into the water, as unsettled water adds to the challenge of achieving safe passage. Slipping or riding the clutch should definitely be avoided too, due to this action resulting in you losing control of the vehicle.

Mud is a difficult terrain to navigate through. Steady momentum is the way to go when travelling through deep batches of mud, with a vehicle’s tyres looking to cut through mud in order to pinpoint traction that’s achieved on firmer ground that’s located underneath. Refrain from losing your nerve in the event wheels do begin to spin mind, as you will just need to ease off the throttle and then slow the tyres until grip is regained.

When driving through the mud, you should be aware of ruts - these are deep tracks in the mud caused by driving. Deep ruts should be straddled, due to this limiting the environmental impact to a minimum. Then there’s muddy hills which you might need to climb up, whereby you should be seeking to gain momentum so to counter the decrease that you feel in traction. Do everything possible to avoid wheel spins when ascending muddy hills as well - you’ll lose momentum and cause damage to the environment otherwise.

What vehicle should you take with you?

Your choice of vehicle is key when going off the beaten track. You won’t go wrong with picking a 4x4, such as a Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE, when experiencing the amazing sights and sounds which make up an off-roading holiday.

When driving through tough terrain, 4x4s allow you to have more control of the road. Due to the engine’s power being distributed across all four wheels once the vehicle is moving, there is less chance of it becoming stuck while getting from A to B across various terrains too. The power available within a 4x4 means that you should also have little trouble getting the vehicle over obstacles and up even steep hills. The extra space and leg-room is also handy if you have a family.

It may also be worth adding some accessories to your car to help make the experience a bit smoother. Most 4x4 vehicles come with off-road lighting as standard but it’s definitely wise to invest in something that can produce a lower and wider beam if you’re going to be driving in the countryside. A driving lamp can be fitted below the bumper, giving you more light and increased visibility on difficult terrain.

The best places to go off-roading in the UK

Silverstone off-road experience

Silverstone is already famous for its driving tracks, but it isn’t usually considered as an off-road hotspot. Luckily, there is a purpose-built area dedicated to the off-road experience, offering a variety of obstacles and unique driving challenges. The experience can also be tailored to suit your needs, so don’t worry if you’re not an expert! You can also opt to receive one on one guidance from an experienced instructor as you attempt to tackle five different challenges.

Ultra Adventure Driving

Ultra Adventure Driving is located in Wales, close to some very impressive mountains such as Snowdonia. It’s also home to two purpose-built off-roading sites. The sites are catered to individual skill levels, so you’ll never feel out of your depth and with waterways, steep climbs and plenty of mud, you’ll be in for a real off-road adventure! There are also 20 off-road sites located all over the UK with various terrains and features for you to enjoy. Whilst some of the terrain presents an extreme challenge for the more experienced 4x4 driver, others are non-damaging to vehicles and safe for beginners.

Wild Tracks

If you like a bit of mud, the Wild Tracks off-road circuit in Suffolk is the perfect choice! With 3 tracks available, the most famous of which is the sandy Chippenham track, there’s something to suit every need here. Obstacles include deep sandy soil and a large watering hole (filed with mud, of course)!

There’s even an outdoor go-karting track for the kids. Due to its popularity it can get quite busy during the summer, so be sure to book well in advance if you plan on going.

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