Interesting comparison of 2 Discovery 2's on the same hill in Devon. Same vehicles, neither has Centre Diff lock fitted just TC, ones on AT tyres, one on Mud tyres, one on standard suspension, one on a 4 inch lift, and different drivers....
And just to show how good the Discovery's are, then here is a fairly standard Defender 90 on the same section...
Great trip in North Devon on a partial new route. As usually tight and scratchy in places but that's part of what makes Devon fum. Very dry in any places, despite what you might see in the photos. A bit more water in the rivers would have made the many ford crossings a bit more interesting. Also the second day needs a but more finessing. A bit to much tarmac between some of the lanes - oh well - another excuse for a recce!!!
Awesome crossing of the Tavy Tidal Ford after a night of heavy rain. What the video does not show was we were watching Salmon trying to leap up the wear while waiting for the last vehicles to cross. This was a first for me. Never seen anything like it in the UK before. Made the appearance of a Kingfisher seem like an ordinary everyday occurrence.
It really goes to show that is not all about the off road action. While we like to find good off-roading our Adventure Tours really get you out into place you would have no reason to go otherwise and we get to see some amazing site and visit some very undiscovered places.
(Apologies for the Audio level on this video!!!)
This sort of lane is not for everyone, but when we have got a capable group with well prepared vehicles and who are up for a challenge then this is what we can do...
East Devon, what a cracking route. Hope that Ray and Nick enjoyed themselves as much as I did. After meeting up in the middle of Honiton, started with a couple of easy lanes, then things started to get interesting. Southcote lane is a little cracker. Steep rocky decent into a deep valley, with a nice little river crossing at the bottom. Ray's Mitshubishi had to have a couple of goes at getting out the ford, but more due to sensible early caution than anything else. However 100 m on we meet a washout where the stream passes over the road. Nick's landscaping skills came in handy here with a bit of road building required to build up the edge of the track to get the vehicles over with the help of the sand tracks.
We continued over the next couple of valleys with a few more lanes, before stopping for mid morning brew with a nice view from the top of Goyle Acre Lane. Then it was onto the first ford of the day. We approached with caution in mind after spying a few flooded fields, but this turn out to be unnecessary as the water was only to be wellie boot deep this time, so we all splashed across nicely.
Previously this ford has been much deeper and is worth treating with caution due to the downstream footbridge which would cause problems if there is a high flow rate and the weight of water was strong enough to push a vehicle. Well worth crossing though as followed by pretty little lane with a further water splash before the farm at the end.
After lunch we followed a series of tight lanes requiring some careful driving to avoid any damage against tight trees and bushes. A few minor scratches are always to be expected in Devon with the tight hedgerows, so this route is not really for newer vehicles. However very few of the scratches are anything other than surface ones and would easily polish out (if you are that bothered!!!). We were finally brought to a stop at Rock lane. This climbs a steep bank at the eastern end. I got up easily enought with the help of my new Copper STT Muds. This is probably there first real test and they impressed, especailly as the Disco had a full load of recovery gear on board for this trip. There was little chance of either Ray's Mitsubishi or Nick's Disco 2 making it up on there own after me, and with the narrowness of the lane no chance of pulling up the second vehicle even if I managed to pull up the first. Luckily we were fairly close to the start of the lane and so I decided it would be best to back out before we got in worse trouble. Nothing wrong with quiting while you still can!!! After a quick re-route it was on towards Ottery St Marys for an afternoon stop. This one in Sainsburys to make the most of the facilities.
Final part of the day saw us heading north towards the Payhembery Ford. This is one of the best fords around. (Look it up on www.wetroads.co.uk). The entrance of the lane is difficult enough with a nasty washout that tries to tip you into the hedge, but the ford is awsome. Effectively 2 fords that meet at the track junction. To the left is the deeper upstream ford, while to the right is a shallower drive down a bubbling riverbed, suitable for most vehicles that can get this far and really good fun.
That was just about it for the day, as the early winter nights approached. Ray headed back to overnight in Honiton while Nick and I headed towards the M5 taking in a last couple of farm tracks on route. No time or daylight for the Ashill ford, but not a lane suitable for those without snorkels anyway - always next time!
4x4 Adventure Tours
Bespoke guided 4x4 tours throughout the South West and Wales.