As we live in the wilds of Durham and have a lot of country hobbies, 4×4 driving is pretty par for the course. I own a big 4×4, my Mam has a Land Rover and hub has a 4wd Impreza (surprisingly good in the snow y’know!). When you own your own 4×4, you always know what they CAN do, but when it is your sole mode of transport, always prey you don’t find yourself in a position where you need to wade up to your bonnet or descend a 20 degree hill. This is where the fantastic All Out Adventures comes in. Based in the countryside grounds of Slaley Hall Hotel, a mere 30-40 minute drive from both Newcastle and Durham, you can roll your sleeves up and attack their custom built extreme 4×4 course. And boy did we attack it with flourish.
When you arrive, you are greeted by the super friendly Suzanne, the front facing point of contact for All Out. Backed up by the 2 4×4 instructors Scott & Gav, you will be in safe hands. All Out Adventures cover corporate experience days as well as private tuition and experience days. Picking from an array of outdoor action, All Out offers paintballing, Segways, Quads, Kayaking as well as our chose006E 4×4 driving.
After a safety run through, you will be driven up to the 4×4 course by the instructor and taken on a lap of the course to get a feel for it. Sweet lord this is a bit scary. Those camber sections. I think I may have cried a little. Not afraid to admit that!
On our first visit, I was using All Outs Land Rover Discovery. It started clean… and ended up filthy.Perfect. I was accompanied by Scott and while giving me clear and concise instructions for the full course, he chatted about 4×4 driving and the capabilities of the set ups which I found very interesting. You certainly feel a lot more confident once you get that steering wheel between your hands and have control. The session I chose was 1hr long and £60. You can have the option to add a passenger or extra driver for £15 per person. I went it alone while Paul took photos.
I had initially not been very hopeful of the calibre of the course. We have had alot of “4×4 courses” pop up in the area over the last decade or so and they have all been nothing more than a grass field. This is certainly not the case at All Out. With plenty of pools, steep climbs and descents you are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to different terrains.
For our second visit (and for Pauls birthday) we paid another visit to All Out and this time brought my Mam along. We thought it would be interesting to find out what her Discovery can do, without doing it to her own car!
This time Gav took the reigns and led Paul and Mam round the course with the same great professional knowledgable approach. With minimal intrusion yet fully supportive at the tricky parts! On the second visit, the shared driving time cost £75 for both drivers.
Both of them enjoyed their visit and I think this is going to be something we start doing regularly, aiming to get better and better each time. I can see this getting competitive as you never want to take the car you have to drive daily, and hammer it round a course for fear of destruction! During both sessions, we weren’t pushed in to manoeuvres we weren’t comfortable with and both Scott and Gav were happy to talk through how to use the high low range gear box and how this would compare to real world applications.
All Out Adventures offer a great range of outdoor pursuits and can be fun for all of the family if you like getting out in to the country for some adrenalin fuelled madness. If you are in the North East, I fully recommend a visit, whether it is for a day out, birthday, hen party or work function. If you aren’t local you could even stay over at the opulent Slaley Hall to make a complete weekend package.