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Dave B
28-03-2010, 07:29 PM
Or...Grand Tour Of Northumbria.

After spending a few hours bimbling though the Eifel woods with the Pinders last Summer, and now running a Hilux as opposed to a Forester, I figured I'd look at doing some more off-roading. Nothing too serious and as its the family do-it-all car, I can't damage it too much...
A bit of research located an organisation that ran day long 'green laning' tours, with a slight difference. They use Forestry Commission tracks in Kielder Forest and also some private trails on Otterburn Range. The cost is a reasonable 50 per vehicle, whether solo or loaded up with the wife and kids. Included is ONE full cooked breakfast with any beans on toast or bacon butties an extra....
Our original trip was booked for the end of January and we were snowed off...so we found ourselves booked on for yesterday, 27th March.
Its a 3 hour drive, although only 140 miles, so having childcare issues we had to depart at 5.30am instead of going the day before and having a nice country pub stop.
We met the other 8 vehicles at Kielder castle.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/DSC_0075.jpg

Some varied machinery included Defender 90s, 300tdi Disco, 2 new Disco 3s, a road tyre shod Jimny (How awesome are these ! If you've not tried their predecessor, the SJ at Park4Fun, you don't know what you're missing), an old Hilux surf and a Kia Sorrento on All Terrain tyres.
The event organisers had a G4 Disco 3, 2 Defenders and the man from the Forestry had a Ford Ranger.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/DSC_0003-2.jpg

We set off at 10am and spent 3 hours going up, down and along various straight forward trails and forest tracks. A few were slightly technical but all non damaging. Some boggy stuff on a steep incline had me mirror watching to see when the Jimny would get stuck. It was its owners first off road drive. Well, its owner sat next to her other half and watched him drive. His usual car being a type R. It did not get stuck, never came close, and the owner and OH seemed to have a great day (Like the rest of us)
One section we avoided as it was likely to cause damage to my side steps...a 2" lift is needed apparently. :whistle:
And you can see from the articulation on this Defenders rear axle that this bit wasn't quite a normal fire road.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/DSC_0021.jpg

Getting overgrown in places.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/DSC_0004-1.jpg

We stopped for a somewhat breezy and cold picnic at one end of Kielder Water. The showers held off and we had a natter whilst we ate our homemade fayre and then we were off again to the North just dipping into Scotland near to Carter Bar. We climbed to about 1500 feet and the views were awesome.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/DSC_0074.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/DSC_0073.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g205/boristhebold/DSC_0067.jpg

We should have finished about 4pm but ended up carrying on until about 530pm, descending to the main road to Carter Bar and each going our seperate ways. I managed to tag on with the Forestry man and did another 12 miles across Kielder back to the Village where we said thanks and headed off home.
We did about 75 miles off road, most at around 20 mph, but those last 12 miles were more like a WRC speed than a farmers tractor speed. :thumb:
We didn't take the kids on this as we didn't know what to expect, we'd do it again (with the brats) in a shot, a great and cheap day out. All the others taking part were normal people doing it for the same reason as us and the money doesn't fund some tossers extravagent lifestyle, most of it goes to the Northumbria Mountain Rescue Organisation. :thumb: Result.
It all forms part of my big plan to get the Mrs used to bumping along off road before I drop the holiday bombshell for 2012...Libya. :whistle:

Steve Gill
28-03-2010, 07:51 PM
Looks awesome Dave - serious question, would the X6 cope with this? I'd love to do a trip like that.

Thanks for the write up and photos :thumb:

Darran
28-03-2010, 07:53 PM
Fantastic. I adore Kielder. It used to be a fantastic driver across the moors from where I lived to the lake. Your photos make me miss it! Sounds like a cracking day too.

Simon
28-03-2010, 07:57 PM
Now that looks like a fun day out B) . Nice report, Dave :thumb:

Tim in Yorkshire
28-03-2010, 07:57 PM
Looks like a grand day out.

Do you have a link for the organisers?

Nige
28-03-2010, 08:42 PM
You finally did it ! Excellent ! :thumb:

The views look stunning. How did the car cope ? do you think its worth getting a set of all terrain tyres on another set of thweels, or were the standard ones fine ?

Weeman
28-03-2010, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by Steve Gill@Mar 28 2010, 09:51 PM
Looks awesome Dave - serious question, would the X6 cope with this? I'd love to do a trip like that.

Thanks for the write up and photos :thumb:
Not many hills on the school run to kensington, I doubt it. :lol:

Dan
28-03-2010, 10:36 PM
Nice report there Dave. I did an off road day couple of years back and it is a great day out :thumb:

Dave B
29-03-2010, 07:47 AM
If the X6 is on 22" wheels with 295/35s ...I doubt it. If it's on normal sort of wheels and tyres, it may do OK. The Hilux surf was on standard road tyres and did fine.
The only issue is overhanging branches that make lovely scraping noises along the side of your car. There is no damage on mine but there could quite easily have been.

The guys we did it with are http://www.gton.co.uk/

They took 450 off the 9 of us who did it. Four 'staff were with us all day. I presume they paid the Forestry commission for the forestry guy for the day, there was a guy in his Defender, from Northumbria Mountain Rescue and then the last 2 guys, one in a defender and the main guy, Ian, in his G4 Disco. If they each took their 'share' they would just about cover fuel for the day. They do it for the same reason the rest of us were there...a cool day out. They do 10 a year but Ian also does stuff with
http://www.allterraintours.co.uk/ with whom I will be booking shortly... :whistle:

I'd e-mail or ring and have a chat re the X6 and X5. If you have shopaholic wives, there's the Gateshead Metro centre they can be dumped..oops I mean dropped off at, whilst you go have fun for the day, Newcastle is a great City for a couple of nights. :thumb:

Weeman
29-03-2010, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by Dave Boulder@Mar 29 2010, 09:47 AM
If the X6 is on 22" wheels with 295/35s ...I doubt it. If it's on normal sort of wheels and tyres, it may do OK. The Hilux surf was on standard road tyres and did fine.
The only issue is overhanging branches that make lovely scraping noises along the side of your car. There is no damage on mine but there could quite easily have been.

The guys we did it with are http://www.gton.co.uk/

They took 450 off the 9 of us who did it. Four 'staff were with us all day. I presume they paid the Forestry commission for the forestry guy for the day, there was a guy in his Defender, from Northumbria Mountain Rescue and then the last 2 guys, one in a defender and the main guy, Ian, in his G4 Disco. If they each took their 'share' they would just about cover fuel for the day. They do it for the same reason the rest of us were there...a cool day out. They do 10 a year but Ian also does stuff with
http://www.allterraintours.co.uk/ with whom I will be booking shortly... :whistle:

I'd e-mail or ring and have a chat re the X6 and X5. If you have shopaholic wives, there's the Gateshead Metro centre they can be dumped..oops I mean dropped off at, whilst you go have fun for the day, Newcastle is a great City for a couple of nights. :thumb:
To summarise

Avoid turning up in a WAG/Drug dealers car and get a proper 4wd, so you're not laughed at.

Dave B
29-03-2010, 10:11 AM
Yarp. :thumb:

That kia sorrento went very well, but the lad driving it was too afraid of damage to his diff/underside from that pesky heather we kept brushing against... :loser:
All Terrain tyres are awesome....but it's Mud Terrain next FTW.
B)

This guy should have a ball..if he gets off travelling. 12k plus fitting for all his bits. :o

http://www.devon4x4.com/workshop/toyota-hi...-brief-121.html (http://www.devon4x4.com/workshop/toyota-hilux-invincible-expedition-build-9/the-brief-121.html)

Rory
29-03-2010, 10:14 AM
Now that looks like it was a cracking day out.
Lovely photos and nice to explore Kielder with it's rallying heritage.
Thanks for reporting Dave. :thumb:

Ollie_247
29-03-2010, 10:31 AM
cool my little brother just got offroad day for his 21st guessing it will be nothing like this but im so going pay and join in with him

Dave B
29-03-2010, 05:58 PM
The powers that be seem an odd bunch. Some are against 4 x 4s driving along the forestry roads...you know, the ones where 20 tonnes logging trucks go. ;)
They're missing a trick, loads to be made by supporting it, local B and Bs, pubs, shops etc. There's bugger all for miles and the only work is Forestry or the water board for the Dam...
We will do it again, make a weekend of it, so stay for 2 nights locally, eat out locally. Drive Saturday and mountain bike on the Sunday.

Chris
29-03-2010, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by Steve Gill@Mar 28 2010, 08:51 PM
Looks awesome Dave - serious question, would the X6 cope with this? I'd love to do a trip like that.

Thanks for the write up and photos :thumb:
do it!

I'll drag you out with the Defender, failing that, share the Defender?

I'm interested for the next one Dave :thumb:

Dave B
29-03-2010, 06:12 PM
Good man. I will see what I am working over the coming months. I am also fancying doing one of the intro to greenlaning events that meet at Scotch Corner and do the top of North Yorks and Durham. Simply to be shown some of the lanes and tracks. Its 45 so cheap as chips. I might also have a weekend event booked with 2 nights wild camping this September. :whistle:
I fancy the Auvergne or the Pyrenees next year before an Africa holiday the year after... :thumb:

Chris
29-03-2010, 06:13 PM
rgr,

Will call and discuss in a few mins :)

Dave B
29-03-2010, 06:14 PM
Oh, and Steve. I doubt you'd get stuck, but you MAY get the odd t-cut'able mark on the wings or doors. I didn't this weekend and just drove straight..i.e some drivers were swerving all over to avoid being brushed by a 2 foot fir tree or a bit of grass...
A Northloop offroad day. Epic. :thumb: