East of England Land Rover Experience
By Stephanie Bateman

I wasn’t going to be asked twice when invited to attend an experience day at Land Rover – who wouldn’t jump at the chance of putting an £80,000 vehicle with all the latest gadgets, to the test?


So off I set, with a very excited husband in tow, to Rockingham Castle estate near Corby where the East of England experience centre is based.
The estate itself houses the 900yr old Rockingham castle, home to many kings over the years, but more recently the Saunders Watson family who have lived there for 450 years. With a 130acre country park including open grassland, valleys, woods, rutty tracks and steep inclines, it is the perfect setting for testing out the UK’s leading off-road vehicle. The East of England Land Rover experience was set up 1992 by specialist off-road driver Vince Cobley, well-known for his company Protrax and his tours to Morocco with the Land Rover Adventure Club.
Keeping it in the family, our guide on the day was Vince’s son Luke Cobley who is just as knowledgeable and passionate about off-road driving as his dad, and did a great job explaining all the fancy gadgets and gizmos in the latest Range Rover Vogue SE DV8.

Usually, special features in cars are wasted on me, but even I appreciated the toys on this bad boy! Not only were the seats heated, but they had air-con too, and the central display can show the driver the sat nav, while playing a film or Freeview channel to the passenger.
The 8 speed semi automatic vehicle is driven by its computer selecting the right 4x4 combination of power, diff lock, gear, lights, reverse camera and tow hitch line-up assistance plus a boatful of other features including side cameras by the wheels to show how close you are to the curb, but also front bumper mounted cameras see round corners at blind junctions!
After a quick tour through the car, Luke drove us round the off-road course to demonstrate what

the beast could do. With various terrain settings including rock crawling, snow, sand and gravel and hill descent control, we tackled a 28deg side slope, axle twister, downhill and uphill slopes and a very rutted single track with ease. The central display even showed how the centre and rear diff worked when driving through the axle twister to keep the body of the car as level as possible.

The best bit was when we got to have a drive. Luke was super at explaining exactly how to get the best out of the car over the course. Anyone who has purchased a brand new vehicle from the Land Rover or Range Rover Brand are given a free experience half day simply to learn how to utilise the vehicle to its full potential.
It was a fantastic experience but the most thrilling bit was the hill descent control where the car drives you down a steep hill without you having to do a thing – not even hit the break! There’s a few seconds when the car starts to free-wheel down the slope and the urge to hit the brake is enormous, but the computer soon kicks in and takes over, slowly guiding the car to the bottom. The 28deg side slope was pretty cool too. We were pretty impressed when Luke told us that it could handle a 40deg slope if really pushed!

The whole experience was not only great fun, but we learnt a lot about off-road driving and how to handle difficult terrains in any vehicle which was handy for us as we’re often driving off-road when attending various horse events.
On this occasion, we tested the big Range Rover, but you can also try the Range Rover Sport, Evoque, Discovery 4, Defender and Freelander in groups of up to three people in one vehicle.

The experiences are available as half days or full days and can be incorporated into corporate days, team building days or as fantastic gifts. And if you fancy something a bit different, there are other off-road vehicles to play on including 6x6 ATVs and Rage Off-Road Buggies.

Prices start from £195 for a half day, shared occupancy using a Defender, Freelander or Discovery. Corporate prices can be from £70 per person.

For more information, visit http://www.offroadmasters.com/shop/shop.html
Checkout East Of England Online's Land Rover Gift Experiences

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Steam Driver Experience Days

Looking for present to give someone for a special occasion, or maybe it's just an opportunity for you to indulge in a childhood dream!

Bure Valley Railway are able to offer a range of courses, designed to get you behind the controls of one of our unique narrow gauge steam locomotives.
Prices from £225.00

01263 733858 Website
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Why should I book a Gift Experience via EOE?

East of England Online are the only experience company in the East of England and East Anglia to offer dedicated, first-class service, every step of the way, this includes road testing first hand ALL of the experiences that we promote!

East of England Online work with the best independent experience partners in the East of England and East Anglia to ensure all our readers enjoy that perfect moment!

So, if you're looking for a unique birthday gift or an extra special Christmas present, or just a novel way to mark your own special occasion, then East of England Online offers an exceptional choice from which to select. 
 
Take a look below at our superb range of EXPERIENCE DAYS, and EXTREME EXPERIENCE DAYS! All within the East of England, and East Anglia, guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping.
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The Bird of Prey Centre is NOW OPEN!
The Bird of Prey Centre has relocated to Herrings Green Farm, Cotton End Road, Wilstead MK45 3DT. 

The Bird of Prey Centre is a family run business, owned by Phil, Maggie and Emma Gooden. The family made the difficult decision to leave Shuttleworth after 14 years and relocate to Herrings Green Farm, Wilstead. In September 2013 we started the massive task of building the new centre, by no means was moving 200 birds going to be an easy job. Like the whole of the UK we were hit by one of the wettest winters, we all knew that the move was going to be a difficult one but what we did not anticipate what was about to come.

Over the winter months we received storms, torrential rain, high winds and we were even hit by lightning twice. As we were building the weather was just pulling everything back down again, luckily all of our birds were ok. There were many points of the move that we all wondered whether this was going to be worth it.  

With the Centre under water and nowhere near ready to open, our falconers had to be put onto part time and life became incredibly difficult for all of us. The last few months have been the most difficult time the centre, family and our extended family of Falconers and volunteers have ever had to face. Our Falconers and volunteers have been the most amazing team our family have had the pleasure to work with; regardless of everything we have been through they have shown support in so many ways; to us and our birds.

The public support has been very heart warming, letters and emails have poured in, some of which have even brought a tear to our eyes. For this we thank everyone, without the continued support I very much doubt we would have made it this far.

For a great family day out come and visit us at our new venue. The centre is open 7 days a week from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Home to over 200 birds of prey including many species of owls, hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures, there is plenty to see and do, come face to face with our amazing birds.

Three flying displays daily; 11.30am – Owls of the world, experience their silent flight as we bring the owls over your heads, 1.30pm and 3.30pm – Birds of the World, watch many different species in flight including our breath taking American Bald Eagles, our comical team of vultures, diving falcons and more. Each display is different, giving you a memorable and exciting display of flight.

After the 11.30am and 3.30pm displays we give you the opportunity to handle the birds; fall in love with the owls or feel the weight of the eagles. A perfect opportunity to get a souvenir photo and ask the falconers any questions you may have. At 2.00pm you can have a go at flying an owl or hawk, experience the flight of the birds as they glide into your fist. All of the activities are included in the entrance fee, no extra charge.

Visit our gift shop for a souvenir, our tea room is open daily for snacks and drinks, picnic area available and free parking.

Great day out for the whole family, bring you close to birds of prey!

The English School of Falconry
Herrings Green Farm, Cotton End Road, Wilstead, Beds MK45 3DT
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East of England Gift Experiences
By Stephanie Bateman 

Land Rover Experience 
If you crave the thrill of the Off-Road, or want the ultimate Land Rover Experience day, visit the Land RoverExperience 4x4 Driving Centre, Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire. For over half a century, Land Rover has pursued a single-minded goal - to build the best 4x4 vehicles in the world and is the UK's leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles. 

At the Land Rover Experience 4x4 (East of England) Driving Centre, they offer individuals, families, groups and businesses a unique and exciting way to learn the skills necessary to tackle some of the most challenging terrain, and introduce you to the exciting world of off-road driving. All their courses are available 7 days a week. Once the voucher you have purchased is received, all you need to do is call their booking line ( 0844 84 844 63 ) with your reference number. Their friendly staff will arrange your experience to be on the date you prefer, and with the Land Rover of your choice. 
  Track days
Fancy getting behind the wheel for a fun-packed, exhilarating day out, or know someone that does? Then why not organise a track day as a gift for either yourself or someone else?
Based right across the whole of East Anglia, the range of experiences include Rally Driving where you get the chance to get behind the wheel of the famous Ford Escort MK2 and learn how to do handbrake turns and power-slides on a rally prepared gravel stage. 
Young drivers are also catered for with the Junior First-Drive sessions for young drivers looking to learn basic driving skills in a safe and controlled manor. 
  Clarice House Bliss Day
Leave the stresses of everyday life behind and spend a day being pampered in the luxurious surroundings of Clarice House. Enjoy a day of indulgence including use of all the leisure facilities and two relaxing treatments including, a Germaine de Capuccini Express Prescriptive Facial and an Express Manicure. A delicious lunch and a complimentary robe are all included. 
Clarice House boasts a lavish swimming pool which provides a fantastic environment for relaxation. Get away from it all in the invigorating spa bath or wind down in the steam room and sauna. 
  Cookery School
Give that unique gift to someone you know which is not only for them to enjoy, but will benefit others for years to come. Rayeesa's Indian Kitchen is a unique authentic Indian cookery school set in the heart of Hertfordshire countryside. 

Rayeesa is an experienced and passionate chef and has won several awards for her cookery school and has launched a range of frozen curry sauces too. 

Visit East of England Gift Experiences HERE
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