My blog has been the bearer of much happiness over the years. It’s brought a change in career, amazing friendships and good fortune. Plus extraordinary opportunities that have made my head spin. Too many to list but most notably:
The message that asked if I’d like to become a member of the GLTC testing team.
Finding out that the recipe I’d created for Hellmanns had been featured in The Lady magazine.
Given my nickname has been ‘Lady’ for the last 20 years, this caused much hilarity amongst my friends.
Getting the notification to say that I’d been appointed a Mark Warner Mum
Tears and squealing for that one.
And, more recently, an email to ask if we’d like to review a Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Erm. Let me think about that for a moment…
Definitely not an opportunity that I’d turn down, given my past association with Land Rover.
We had a Series 1 Land Rover when I was a child. It had a canvas roof (with plastic windows) and I used to play tents in the back of it. I loved it.
That was followed by a Series 2. My long-standing memory of this one was being taken ice-skating with a little group of friends for my 12th birthday. The back door hadn’t been closed properly, it flew open, and we all nearly fell out.
Oops. No child seats in those days folks!
We laughed all the way to the ice rink; until we discovered that it was closed *rolls eyes*. Then we drove home again (a little more subdued, it must be said).
More recently I’ve had my own Land Rover; an ancient Freelander called Lenny who *whispers* we’re planning to swap very, very soon for a newer model. Shhhhhh. Lenny doesn’t know that his days are numbered!!
So when we were asked to take the new Land Rover Discovery Sport for a weekend adventure — to celebrate the launch of an all-star mystery drama Podcast series called The Discovery Adventures — I was only to happy to oblige.
Being able to test-drive the car we plan to buy, for a full weekend (rather than the 20 minutes you’d get in a showroom), was a gift.
So what are ‘The Discovery Adventures’?
The Discovery Adventures for Land Rover is a series of mystery drama podcasts
The podcasts are designed to be listened to in the car (amongst other places) and they’re for all the family. They give an immersive, 3D sound experience as they’ve been recorded in innovative binaural sound.
For luddites like me (I had to Google it), ‘binaural recording’ is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones; to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation for the listener.
It basically makes you feel as though you’re in the same room as the performers or instruments. Cool huh?
The Discovery Adventures are set in different UK locations — London’s Natural History Museum, Mother Shipton’s Cave, Jodrell Bank Observatory — to name a few.
They’re narrated by some fabulous British actors; including Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones), Hugh Skinner (W1A), Sophie Thompson and Alexander Armstrong.
Plus a whole raft of leading UK outdoor experts; including Chris Packham, Alice Roberts and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Our Discovery weekend adventure
So where did we go for our own Discovery Adventures? Well, after a little bit of indecision we headed down to the Chilterns for the weekend.
The Chiltern Hills stretch from the River Thames in Oxfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire and are hailed as some of the finest countryside in the UK. It’s a gorgeous area to visit —nationally-protected — with so many places of interest; everything from stately homes to the world’s oldest, original model village.
On the Saturday, we took the boys to The Chiltern Open Air Museum for the afternoon.
It’s a really fascinating family day out — it was founded in 1976 with the aim of rescuing threatened buildings. More than thirty historic building have now been saved and rebuilt there and it’s literally like stepping back in time.
It’s a fantastic place for a little adventure.
We lived just a stones throw away for years and I never knew it was there.
There are so many things to look at — and beautiful gardens to explore. I’d highly recommend take your littles there. It would be a fab place to take a picnic on a sunny day. And on a chilly autumnal afternoon it was a fabulous place to visit.
Back in time
There are some amazing, historical buildings — some that you can go inside. It’s almost like visiting the set of a film.
Which is kind of what it is.
Their historic working farm has appeared on a number of TV programmes, including Downton Abbey.
It’s not purely about the setting though.
They have rare breed animals; sheep, goats, chickens and cows. Plus three working heavy horses; Harvey — a Clydesdale — and his half-brothers, young Shires, Joshua and Samuel.
Our favourite thing, by far, was the forge.
They were running a blacksmith’s experience day and it was so interesting to watch.
The boys were captivated by the fire and the Blacksmith shaping the hot metal with his tools. It was fab to see how things were made.
Well, as this post is beginning to resemble War and Peace, I thought I’d end it there. I’ll write about our Sunday adventure — and our thoughts on the Discovery Sport — in another post.
Do go and visit the Chiltern Open Air Museum if you get a chance.
We paid £32 for a family ticket — which could be considered a little steep when so many things are free these days — but as it’s a registered charity (that receives no regular grants towards its running costs or projects) it really is worth going to, to support it’s future.
It’s a brilliant day out
To find out how we got on the next day — and to see what we thought of the car — pop and have a look at part two of our Discovery Adventures.
Thank you to Land Rover for letting us try out the Discovery Sport for the weekend. I think it’s fair to say that we loved it and didn’t want to part with it!!