Land Rover is the only car company to use the grounds of Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire to develop its vehicles. It also now becomes the only automaker to hold a festive winter wonderland there.
Running in the build-up to Christmas, the Land Rover Experience at Eastnor has become yet more magical with a wintery makeover, a magical off-road course and even Santa’s Grotto where the big man himself has taken up residence.
Land Rover will run the experience this weekend (15 December) and also on the 22 December. There’s something there for all ages to experience, it says – from bauble painting and tree decorating for the kids, to a fun off-road drive through the forest for adults (and there are ‘forest friends’ hidden along the way for children in the back to spot).
Eastnor venue manager Will Garrity says the package has been developed to “appeal to all ages [rather than] focus on entertainment for the younger members of the group”.
Two packages are on offer. The ‘Santa Package’ costs £35 for a family of four and includes the tree decorating activities and a visit to Santa’s Grotto.
The ‘Santa and Drive Package’ is £139 and this includes the 45-minute drive at Eastnor, taking in slippery inclines, muddy ruts, deep water and extreme drops.
What’s it like? The Aucock clan tried it out on a pre-launch weekend, and it’s safe to say everyone loved it. Land Rover’s complex at Eastnor is a cheery place to visit anyway, but doubly so when you’re seven and four and about to go off-roading for the first time.
I drove the Discovery, our instructor was in the passenger seat and Daisy and George got the birds’ eye view out as Mrs. A sat in the middle. Well, they had forest friends to spot – and they got them all, despite pausing to scream every now and then as we drove down another sheer slope or crawled around a concrete slope at 30 degrees sideways.
Buzzing, we arrived back at base, for toasted marshmallows, cookies and mince pies, and SNOW!
Then, in to see Santa, before heading back out to consume more sugar before the drive home in darkness.
It was all really rather lovely, and helped get us in a cheery festive mood. If you like Land Rovers, and the countryside, and Father Christmas, I’m sure you’ll like it too. Follow the link to book a place… but be quick! Santa won’t be there for much longer as he’s got presents to load onto his sleigh, you know.