Have you ever turned the steering wheel and felt the car lurch the wrong way?
It’s one of the most uncomfortable experiences you’ll ever have, and it’s much worse when you’re being filmed and photographed when you’re doing it.
Experience the Country, based at Hounslow Hall in Newton Longville, is a veritable treasure trove if you’re looking to spend a day outside.
From sending new Land Rovers over huge drops into lakes of water and the confusing Crazy Car which sends your senses into a spin, to the more serene of archery - there’s something for everyone.
We were given a taste of a few of the fun pastimes they have on offer - 4x4 driving, the Crazy Car and Segways.
Being left in charge of a very expensive new Land Rover was an honour until instructor Mark told me to point it at the most uncomfortable-looking collection of potholes that would make even Milton Keynes Council blush.
“Don’t worry,” Mark said. “But you’re on three wheels.”
As if that wasn’t unnerving enough, we aimed at the next obstacle which appeared to be a ramp. But we were approaching it from the side.
The car dramatically tipped sideways, and I’m sure if he’d opened the window, Mark could’ve scraped his face along the ground from the passenger seat.
The whole afternoon I spend at Experience the Country was counter intuitive. On the hills and drops, I was told to get off all the pedals. If the car got into trouble, I was told to hit the accelerator. If a huge, deep pond blocked my way, I was told ‘it’s only a bit of water, go through it.’
After a few tours, I was beginning to get the hang of this ‘ignore what you think’ stuff, so it was only natural to try my hand at the Crazy Car.
This is an ideal way of humiliating even the best drivers. What’s so crazy about it? You turn left, the car goes right. Easy to get the hang of, right?
And it was initially, when you’re only concentrating on going in and out of the cones. Introduce a conversation in the car, you’re stuffed. Well, I was. Cue a 50-point turn as my mind turned to mush and I tried to turn around in a wide open field.
On to something which is almost telepathic, I threw on my helmet and jumped on a Segway. One of the easiest transport devices to drive, it’s also one of the most ridiculously fun (and tough to get off!). Lean forward, the platform moves forward. Stand still, the Segway stops. Within seconds, we were darting in and out of cones. The full experience has riders unleashed on the vast countryside surrounding the estate, bombing over the fields on two wheels controlled entirely by which way you decide to lean.
We only scratched the surface of what Experience the Country has to offer, but given the smile on my face, even that was enough to convince me to go back.
Visit Experience the Country’s website at www.experiencethecountry.co.uk