Thank you, George, for a great day out In the countryside on Saturday 1st August, great company and all social distancing arrangements in place and kept. Even Archie behaved himself, well nearly😀.
Dave, Julie and the Springers (Toyota Hilux) Pennine Ways Relaxed & Scenic Tour
Another great trip out with George and Ian.
Wonderful lanes ✅
Socially distanced ✅
Great cake(s) ✅
Wonderful lanes ✅
Splashy fords ✅
Photo memories ✅
Great trip @trailsandtracks4x4 adventures.
Ed Hodgson (Land Rover Discovery 3) Pennine Ways & Northumberland South of the Border Relaxed & Scenic Tours
Just returned from our third annual Trails and Tracks Relaxed and Scenic tour. For three years the gentle Green Roading and spectacular scenery has been the highlight of our short break in the North East. George is an able and amiable host with a good dry sense of humour, suggesting that we were using our Wrangler rather than Defender to ensure that social distancing was maintained!
Apparently his D3 is due for retirement, obviously an excuse for George to buy a Land Cruiser. We normally go to places and do things once, twice at the most, but we will certainly be booking with Trails and Tracks for a fourth time.
Richard and Linda (Jeep Wrangler) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacon, Fords and Railways Relaxed & Scenic Tour
On a Trails and Tracks tour, you are sure to have a good day out, even in these Covid times. Socially distancing aware all day, but care is taken to ensure you enjoy the day. Loads of memories captured of your car and the group during the day, as well as a video of the trip. Always loads of interesting stories of the areas you travel around in your 4×4. Good to see old and new friends on any trip with these guys.
Ed Hodgson (Land Rover Discovery 3) Hadrian’s Wall and the Two Tyne’s Relaxed& Scenic Tour
“The whole experience with trails and tracks has been excellent. From the booking process where I got immediate feedback and details of the tour and where to meet. To the day itself Ian and the team were fantastic. Clear guidance on the route and what to expect. CB radios to aid communication whilst out on the trail.
As a complete novice Ian supported me by coaching me on suitable gearing and how to approach obstacles and ford crossing.
Through out the day Ian checked in to see how we were doing and supported with great pictures and videos it was a day to remember for me and my son. Would highly recommend 👍”
Dan (Land Rover Defender 90) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacon, Fords and Railways Relaxed & Scenic Tour
We have had the pleasure of attending two Relaxed & Scenic Tours over the past fortnight. One was with Ian, the second with George.
The tours were just as expected of Trails & Tracks, with spectacular scenery, great company and fabulous camaraderie from our hosts. What stood out to me was the professionalism Trails & Tracks have put into everyone’s safety during the Covid-19 situation. Not only did they write their own guidelines, paying strict heed to the Public Health statements, but had also written advice on how to safely attend a tour. Radios were provided, with cleaning wipes.
Gates were opened and closed with cloths and antiseptic – typical of Trails & Tracks to be considerate of the farmers too! The uncanny thing was how ‘natural’ everything felt in these tricky days. The guests all seemed to self-distance as if this had been the way forever and it didn’t feel ‘forced’. Of course the Trails & Tracks family are known to be huggy types at times, but hey when there’s air hugs to be gathered, there’s a positive :).
If you’re considering a tour this season, why not put your trust in George & Ian? It’s worth it!
Fran & Simon (Land Rover Discovery 2) Pennine Ways Relaxed & Scenic Tour
Enjoyed another superb trip out with Trails and tracks. Great to see everyone, and an array of different vehicles. If you like fords and splashing about!, this is one for that. Started the day with a sparkling clean car, certainly didn’t end up that way. Lovely laning day.
Edward Hodgson (Land Rover Discovery 3) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacon, Fords and Railways Relaxed & Scenic Tour
Just had the pleasure of returning to two trips out with the Tracks and Trails team: covering the Pennine Ways and Northumberland South of the Border tours.
As ever the days didn’t disappoint being well organised with a good combination of terrain, within the relaxed and scenic ethos, from fords to open moorland and rocky trails ; all helped along by guidance on how to approach them in terms of gear selection etc. Any concern these days is around Covid precautions and this was well managed by George and the team from sanitised radios to socially distanced briefings. A very enjoyable time by all and we’re looking forward to our next trip
Alan & Sue (Land Rover Defender 90) Pennine Ways & Northumberland South of the Border Relaxed & Scenic Tours
Another great ‘socially distanced’ tour with the #trailsandtracksfamily, a wonderful day out with great views, and lanes, and added interesting facts from George on the local history of the area. And of course no trip around Ripon would be complete without a trip to the Brymor Ice Cream parlour, which never lets you down. Beautiful ice cream from the lovely Jersey cows.
Ed Hodgson (Land Rover Discovery 3) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed and Scenic Tour
Laura (Google Review)
I loved my time with Trails and Tracks. George is an extremely responsible tour guide always taking the time to check lane conditions with GLASS reps before taking his group out. Group sizes are always small and George has taught me how to off road safely and responsibly. All those at Trails and Tracks are very knowledgeable about the lanes they travel and the vehicles they guide and I felt very safe travelling with them. They leave no car behind! … even if it is a fancy young Renegade! 😉
Martyn & Sylvia (Google Review)
Have had some fantastic days out with Trails & Tracks, George and Ian make you feel like part of the family, and we have also made some great friends. We have been to Andorra twice with them and this year we are really looking forward to Andorra & Portugal. Would highly recommend this company. The tours are always researched reference the use of the lanes, with any restrictions adhered to. If only ALL users of the byways were as strictly regulated and aware as Trails and Tracks!
Steve & Matt (Google Review)
We have been out with T&T many times now over the last couple of years. Both me and my son enjoy the great views you get to experience, the help on any little tricky parts (including recovery when you fluff it!) and the banter along the way. All customers have a great sense of fun and you get to meet up with old, and make some new friends each time. And on a side note – they are not Land Rover only like some groups, George and Ian like to have the odd reliable motor tagging along!
Andy (Google Review)
Have been out with Trails & Tracks on one-day tours, weekends, long weekends, staying on campsites and in hotels, and will be touring abroad with them later this year. Every single trip has ticked the following boxes: well organised; friendly and supportive leaders and participants; only sustainable green lanes selected, causing zero damage. I love the Trails & Tracks Family ethos and have made really good friends within this group. Highly recommended.
Anne & Ian (Google Review)
Simply the best, we’ve been on several tours with George & Ian whether it’s a day tour on our beautiful lanes, or a weekend tour you can be sure of one thing that George & Ian look after you and your vehicle. Five stars isn’t enough for Trails & Tracks you’re awesome guys. Looking forward to our March weekend.
Jacquie (Google Review)
My very first off-roading experience was with Trails & Tracks. George was brilliant, not only did he look after me and my car but he is hugely mindful of the environment we are in ; sticking rigidly to the policies and procedures laid down by Green Lane Association.
George encourages an ethos that is friendly, fun and educational. There is nothing this man doesn’t know about all the lanes and scenery we discovered. This is topped off by the photos he takes, highly recommend.
Adrian (Google Review)
I’ve had some fantastic days out with T&T met/made some great friends, seen some of the most stunning countryside our county has to offer and learned an awful lot thanks to all the hard work and effort both George & Ian put into their tours.
I’m quite probably the most challenging subject they have had to encounter but their skill, knowledge and patience has been impeccable.
When I first began on their tours I had no real understanding of what 4×4’s were actually capable of other than towing which is what I bought mine to do but now 4 years later in this 4×4 I am still learning and amazed constantly how good these vehicles are.
Thank You Trails & Tracks 4×4 Adventures for everything you do.
Fran & Simon (Google Review)
I started my 4 x 4 adventure under the guidance of George, almost 4 years ago. I started as a total novice and continue to learn on every tour we take. George & Ian make every customer feel like a part of an extended, friendly family and use their skills to ensure we all drive safely and responsibly on the green roads of not only this country, but into Europe too. With a choice of day trips, weekends away, and even holidays in Andorra & Portugal, there’s something for everyone. Trails & Tracks are a first class small business and I would recommend them to anyone wanting to use their 4 x 4 to get out and about. I can’t wait for the season to start (Trails & Tracks are so responsible that they don’t offer commercial tours over the winter months), and to a spring, summer and autumn of pleasant experiences on the highways and byways.
Stephen & Nicola (Google Review)
Very professional outfit. They actively check the status of lanes and tracks, BEFORE using them. Certainly, the most responsible of operators. Highly recommended. 🙂
Scott (Google Review)
A fantastic company to explore the great outdoors with. Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned pro, George and the team make you feel so welcome. I would highly recommend Trails and Tracks to anyone wanting to give greenlaning a go. 👍👍🚙
Rob (Google Review)
Can’t fault Gorgeous George and crew. Hugely enjoyable Wales trek undertaken and looking forward to the August bash enormously. Pucker up, strap in and pack the Haribos. Great camaraderie, lots of (challenging) fun. Responsible and professionally managed off-roading.
Gail & Steve (Google Review)
If you want a great day off roading this is the group to go with. We have been on many many tours and they are always fun with a group of likeminded people who only want to experience what their 4×4 can do in a responsible manner. It is always organised to respect and take care of the lanes we use & other users. Remember Adventure isn’t paved!!!!
Les & Jane (Google Review)
We have been on a few trips now, George and his team always very professional and make us feel most welcome. The trips are well organised with radios given to everyone so it is easy for George and Ian to keep everyone well informed especially on the best way to negotiate any tricky bits, and they make sure that no one damages their vehicle. They always treat other track users with respect and follow good green laning practice.
Lee & Family (Google Review)
Myself my daughter and my son when on one of trails and tracks 4x4Tours and had an absolutely outstanding time. We will definitely be going again very friendly and excellent service highly recommended.
A&R Bathrooms & Ceramics (Google Review)
A Thoroughly enjoyable time will be had when experiencing a day out with Trails & Tracks 4×4 Adventures.
They are a very knowledgeable company on the areas visited for both the current terrain and providing interesting guide information for thing you may wish to explore at a later time either on or off road.
The group of people who frequent on the tours are becoming more like family thanks to both George & Ian for making these experiences so warm and welcoming to All, nothing is to much trouble, they are always there to help, guide and advise.
Prior to commencement on any outing there is Always a group debrief which even to those who are regular followers Must listen and adhere to the GLASS ( Green Lane Association ) guidelines and all advised and reminded of the Tread lightly information to which anyone can read at any time to which unlike some the Trails and Tracks team follow each and every time.
Cant praise them highly enough for what they do, by getting people out into our Beautiful countryside to see and experience some of the most stunning scenery we have, some of which can only be experienced from going Off-Road especially for the less able bodied.
So a full 5* from me.
Keep up the good work that you do and don’t allow Haters who Do Not know your company try to bring you down.
Stacey (Google Review)
Me and my other half went on our first off roading tour with the trails and tracks family and they did make us feel just that, part of the family. We did a weekend break and enjoyed every minute. Expert advice and coaching when needed from other people on the tour and the tour guide. Fab track routes all mapped out, even scheduled in an ice cream stop 😍 would 100% recommend for newbies and pros alike
Edward (Google Review)
Always a great day out with George and his team. Be that in Northumberland, Yorkshire, Wales or the Pyrenees. Great care is taken to ensure you and your vehicle are well looked after, as well as the countryside that we travel around. A very friendly group to enjoy by ourselves with.
Jennifer (Google Review)
I’ve been on many tours with Trails & Tracks, with my mum. George is extremely responsible on the green (and black) roads, and we always have a laugh on our travels. Mum is now on her 2nd Land Rover because of the hobby she first found with George’s help 4 years ago. I thoroughly recommend this business.
Chris (Google Review)
Absolutely fantastic, well organised professional and fun, highly recommended!
Ian (Google Review)
Been on several tours and you’re not part of a group your part of a family, always have fantastic days & weekends with George & Ian
Simon (Google Review)
Always an excellent day out with Trails and Tracks, ideal for a different perspective on the countryside.
Graeme (Google Review)
Great team who look after their customers like they are family. Good fun in a friendly atmosphere but always with safety and sustainability at the forefront. Can’t wait for my next trip out.
Ian (Google Review)
Been out with the guys from Trails and Tracks a couple of times. Always a well organised day and very professional and friendly and always willing to give advice when needed.
Anne Marie (Google Review)
A very professional service with an amazing amount of knowledge to keeping everyone safe throughout the day. I would highly recommend a day out off road green laning with Trails & Tracks 4×4 adventures team, as the saying goes Carlsberg don’t do 4×4 green landing, but if they did it would probably be like this.
We had such a great time on the Tale of two Tynes relaxed and scenic tour. The scenery was fabulous and the company as usual, fun. We loved all the photos that were taken and will treasure them along with all the others. They are very professional. Thank you, George.
Helen & Andy (Land Rover Freelander 2) Hadrian’s Wall and the Tale of Two Tynes (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
After yet another fabulous day out on a Relaxed ‘n’ Scenic tour with Trails & Tracks, I think it’s time for another review. It has to be a 5 out of 5, although a 6 out of 5 would be more appropriate, because these guys are so accommodating and go the extra country mile to please their customers! Having been guided along marvelous routes by George for almost 3 years, we’re still being shown new green roads. I cannot recommend Trails & Tracks highly enough, for the novice right up to the more experienced green-laners. And don’t worry if you think you won’t know anybody, because the Trails & Tracks family grows with each trip and everyone is so friendly. Did I mention cake by the way? Yes, there’s always a gingerbread person, and often chocolate cake, Victoria sponge and coffee cake and, and, and … have I got my point across yet? Thanks again George & Ian and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing you very soon.
Fran & Gill (Land Rover Discovery2 aka Lord Farquaad) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed and Scenic Tour
What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I had my first go late last year with one of the Grand Tours. I enjoyed it so much that I booked three more the second the 2019 schedule was released. To say I was ‘green’ at green laning would be a bit of an understatement but have come away with much more confidence and knowledge. It’s not just the fantastic scenery, hidden gems and routes that one might think they are signing up for. It is much more than that – namely how well organised it was, amazing company to be had and the overall social aspect of it. Can’t wait for my next one!
Perry (Land Rover Defender90) Yorkshire Dales Grand Tour
George is a great guide. very knowledgeable, helpful and personable. I cannot recommend him enough.
Barry & Clare (Land Rover Defender110 G4) G4 Enthusiasts Private Group Tour
Cannot recommend Trails and Tracks enough! Had a thoroughly enjoyable day on an R&R tour! I explained I was new to off-roading and had only owned my little Jeep for a few months so this was a big learning curve for me and even though I made some mistakes, both George and Paul (and the rest of the lovely convoy!) were very patient and taught me so much about the capabilities of my car and helped build my confidence when using it in tough terrain. I felt very safe trusting their judgement as they took the time to step out of their vehicle to guide me over obstacles I wasn’t sure about. There was a lovely community spirit and we felt very welcomed! I’ve already booked a second one in June and can’t wait!
Laura & Richard (Jeep Renegade) County Durham Ramble Relaxed & Scenic Tour
Brilliant day out in Northumberland plenty of views water crossings.
Kenny (Range Rover Sport) G4 Enthusiasts Private Group Tour
Just had a day with George….fantastic day out…with a mix of terrain but nothing that would cause damage to vehicle or the environment.
Mick (Land Rover Discovery2 G4) G4 Enthusiasts Private Group Tour
Had a great time with Trails and Tracks on their Lakes and Dales Adventure tour, many thanks to George and Ian for great lanes and company, your trips do exactly what it says on the tin! 10/10. Look forward to seeing you soon.
Michael (Land Rover Discovery 3) Lakes & Dales Adventure Tour
Thanks for another great day! It’s only our second outing with you but well worth it. Dixie has now got 214500 miles and these trips, as far as I know, are the beginning off her doing what she was built for! Dixie is now back in her best dress after getting dirty and we all came home smiling, including Millie (the dog). Looking forward to the next trip and keep up the good work!
Chris, Helen & Millie (Land Rover Discovery 2) Rural Ripon and Reeth (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
Just like to thank you for a wonderful day, my passengers and I really enjoyed the day. You were so helpful; the pictures look great. Can’t wait till the next event I can go on. Once again thank you for a great day.
Philip (Land Rover Discovery 4) North Yorkshire’s Roman Roads and Beyond (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
As always, a well-run trip and great to meet up with everyone. The Pennine trip fits perfectly under the ‘Relaxed and Scenic’ banner and can certainly be tackled by all 4×4 vehicles, so if you are unsure about you or your vehicles abilities, this is what you are looking for. A great way to start, nothing taxing, and help is always on hand should you need it. Looking forward to the next!
Steve & Mat (Suzuki Jimny) Pennine Ways (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
As always, another cracking weekend with the T&T gang, a great couple of days up on the lanes, splashing though puddles and a bit of banter along the way. A lovely stop over with good food, drink, laughs and great friends. Always a great way to spend a weekend. Cheers to George for leading the group.
Steve & Gail (Land Rover Discovery4 aka Disco Dave) The Four Counties Grand Tour
We really enjoyed the weekend thanks, was great to learn a little more about the car before Wales and give my co-pilot some time behind the wheel! The traction control seems to do the job so fingers crossed … … … What worked really well with this tour was what felt like relatively little on road driving. As usual what really makes it is the company, relaxed, friendly and supportive atmosphere, being a relative novice to it all Gemma felt right at home and can’t wait to do more hence the lakes and dales booking. With a bit of luck, I might be allowed to drive occasionally too!
Adam & Gemma (Land Rover Discovery2) Yorkshire Dales Grand Tour
Really well organised day such fun!
Peter & Aurelian (Land Rover Discovery 4) County Durham Rambler (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
Just come back from doing the Durham rambler relaxed and scenic. And it was. There was a good pace to the day without being pressured. Plenty of breaks and photo stops. Ian took time to guide all the cars that needed it across the more technical sections. But it was never so hardcore that you felt in risk of damaging the vehicle. There was 2 Freelander’s with us and it was amazing to see them scurrying all over the lanes looking for the best route for them. Will definitely be doing another one soon. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Greg & Jan (Land Rover Defender) County Durham Rambler (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
Very friendly, very professional & very well organised. Had a fantastic day with them & I hope it’s the 1st of many …
Jay & Nicola (Land Rover Discovery 4) County Durham Rambler (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
If you have a 4×4 you know (or you should know) that “life starts where the road ends” therefore I highly recommend Trails & Tracks 4×4 Adventures!! Especially, if like me you are living in London and you get bored with tarmac, traffic and stressful busy city life; booking one of their several existing tours it’s an amazing way of relaxing from all that!! … Not only is your 4×4 doing what it was made for, but you will also enjoy the landscape, history, meeting new people…. Seriously 5 Stars!
Luis & Susana (Land Rover Freelander) County Durham Rambler (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
What can I say that hasn’t already been said. I had my first go late last year with one of the Grand Tours. I enjoyed it so much that I booked three more the second the 2019 schedule was released. To say I was ‘green’ at green laning would be a bit of an understatement but have come away with much more confidence and knowledge. It’s not just the fantastic scenery, hidden gems and routes that one might think they are signing up for. It is much more than that – namely how well organized it was, amazing company to be had and the overall social aspect of it. Can’t wait for my next one!
Perry (Land Rover Defender 90) Yorkshire Dales Grand Tour
We really enjoyed the weekend, it was great to learn a little more about the car before Wales and give my co-pilot some time behind the wheel! What worked well with this tour was what felt like relatively little on road driving, this was really good fun and we do intend to do it again at some point. What really makes it is the company, relaxed, friendly and supportive atmosphere, being a relative novice to it all Gemma felt right at home and can’t wait to do more hence the Lakes and Dales booking. With a bit of luck I might be allowed to drive occasionally too!
Adam & Gemma (Land Rover Discovery 2) Yorkshire Dales Grand Tour
If you have a 4×4 you should try this; if only to show your car what it was made for. Brilliant weekend, wonderful company and excellent leadership and organisation. You don’t need experience just a sense of curiosity and love of wonderful scenery and fun. A big thumbs up from us 👍🏻
Wendy & Neil (Land Rover 90) Yorkshire Dales Grand Tour
Thanks for another great weekend, some great drives up hill and down dale; a good variety of terrain and the chance to use more of the capabilities of the car, albeit I still cannot find the ‘terrain control’ settings dial. Cedric all ‘degunked’ and shiny again and ready for another- but will have to wait until we get back from our holiday.
Alan, Sue and Cedric (Land Rover 90) Moors & Dales Grand Tour
Snow, Snorkels & (New) Stickers!
Thanks once again to George & Stephen for leading our group on last weekend’s Grand Tour (not forgetting Ian & Mikey leading Saturday’s 2nd group). You’ve played a blinder yet again, guys!
No matter how many times we traverse the trails and tracks of Yorkshire, the conditions are never the same; the scenery constantly evolves with the change of light and weather conditions. All of us were furnished with new PMR radios to stay in constant contact – the quality of these radios is brilliant, and it’s clear Trails & Tracks continue to invest in the customer experience.
Saturday saw snow, then lots and lots of sunshine, friendly banter and …. cake! Gail is famous for bringing delicious cake; this time I managed to get my baking head into gear too, so ginger cake & strawberry victoria sponge were the order of the day at lunch break. The afternoon saw some ‘interesting’ antics surrounding fords – including a well-considered change of plan from George when the force of a river was deemed unsafe for the party. One thing I know, if George says he’s not happy with conditions, I’ll take his word for it. With years of expertise, these guys know what they’re doing.
With a change of plan, Ian went ahead to visit another ford; again this was deemed unsafe so both groups headed for a local landmark for the customary photographs of both groups together.
It was at this point that the day Relaxed & Scenic group headed off to go their separate ways, whilst the Grand Tour party headed to the hotel. With well-appointed rooms and delicious food, a most comfortable and sociable evening was spent before we retired for the night.
Following a sumptuous cooked breakfast, the morning saw us heading west, to the Yorkshire Dales and the snow showers. Familiar lanes brought back fun memories. The first time we did this route, it snowed and today was to be no exception.
Lunch was at the Brymor Ice Cream Parlour … as usual a lovely treat, and a chance to socialise in the warm!
The afternoon probably brought, for me, the highlight of the weekend when we found ourselves in a total white-out on one of the lanes. Keeping close together (but a safe distance apart), we headed slowly through the snowstorm. There’s not many opportunities to drive in such conditions and it was great to ‘enjoy’ the experience with like-minded friends!
Following immediately on from ‘White-Out Lane’, we headed for probably my favourite ford; again memories flooded back (excuse the pun!).
Stopping in a village for a loo stop, today wasn’t the day to enjoy the adjacent playground, so all the more reason to visit again. We said our goodbyes, tired but feeling the satisfaction of a wonderful weekend with great company.
Fran, Simon & Lord Farquaad (LR Discovery2 G4 Ltd Ed) Moors & Dales Grand Tour
Not much to say on the feedback front that hasn’t been said many times before. Been a few months since our last outing, but the guidance, information and banter is still second to none. Obviously the blizzard in the hills helped make it more memorable! Ready for the next one! Thanks
Steve, Matt & Little Jim (Suzuki Jimny) Moors and Dales Grand Tour
A great start to the tour season, as always, a big thank you to George and Ian for leading the way!
We had a fantastic weekend of great lanes, muddy puddles and fords, throw in a mixed bag of weather sun, rain, sleet, snow and “whiteout” what more do you need?
The weekend tours are good for catching up with old friends and making new one and sitting eating, drinking and having a good laugh about the day, roll on the next one it can’t come around quick enough!!
Steve, Gail & DiscoDave (LR Discovery4) Moors & Dales Grand Tour
We really enjoyed our tour in Yorkshire Moors and Dales. Your’s and Ian’s guiding is really enjoyable, should it be of technical or cultural matter. It was also good to be a part of the “trail and track” family, even so for just this couple of days.
This Moors and Dales tour was really relaxed, scenic and a wee bit technical. Carita is talking about the need of a snorkel for the Jeep.
Who knows what capacity it will have next time we meet? We are so looking forward to next time! Our very best wishes and many thanks.
Peter and Carita (Jeep Grand Cherokee) Moors & Dales Grand Tour
Such a great day out. Learning new skills, amazing scenery and good company. Thank you, George and Ian.
Helen & John (Land Rover Discovery 2) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacon, Fords & Railways (Relaxed & Scenic) Tour
Wow, What A Season. So, this weekend’s Grand Tour of Northumberland marked the end of George’s inaugural season of Trails & Tracks and what a season it’s been!! Firstly, a big thank you is due to George, and the whole team – Ian, Denise, Clare & all the helpers along the way.
It seemed fitting that Northumberland was the theme; as it displays such a variety of scenery and terrain. Saturday’s journey was what George describes as one of the easiest of the Relaxed & Scenic brand – certainly a great journey for the novice or anyone interested in history and gentle countryside. From the days of Hadrian’s armies through to Robin Hood and onto more ‘recent’ industrial times with Joicey’s lead mine, it was a veritable treat and a subtle reminder that the views we appreciate in modern times must have some stories to tell!
Onto the destination for the night – the ‘Tanky’ in Wooler. I love Wooler and this is my 3rd stay at the Tankerville Arms with George & co. Meeting in the bar for a natter and tales about the day, we then had a lovely dinner, before retreating back to the bar area yet again for more anecdotes and laughs. The Tanky is a dog-friendly hotel and our 2 hounds enjoyed the well-appointed ensuite bedroom, as they both slept well. Sunny barely emitted a sound, and he’s usually a great snorer!
Sunday dawned, mild and dry. We rose early, to complete the 1st dog walk of the day at Wooler Common, before returning to the Tanky for a great full English breakfast, complete with black pudding (my favourite!)
Then for the journey from Wooler to Morpeth, via a few Cheviot hills, a fair few rivers, some slippy grassy ascents and descents, and plenty of rocky terrain. I really think this is my favourite tour of them all. I’ve done this route twice as often as Simon, so I already knew which bits I particularly wanted to do!!! Branded a Relaxed n Scenic, there was just enough little technical bits to allow me to play with the difflock and to get my brain going. The day’s off-road activities culminated in a cheeky little ford that has special meaning for me in a couple of ways. It was the last ‘lane’ I ever did in my 1st Discovery, ‘Arty’, before he went into terminal chassis-rot. However, I also reminisced that this was the route of my 2nd ever run with George back in 2016 …. the run I did in a Ssangyong Rexton van with road tyres :).
Lord Farquaad, the ‘new for this season’ D2, behaved impeccably and I felt particularly in tune with both the car, and with George’s instructions through the techy bits , yesterday.
So, what to do until March? Trails & Tracks are responsible and adhere to GLASS guidelines, so don’t run tours through the winter months, in order to preserve the lanes. Well, there is one more tour for us, with Ian and then it’s time to settle at home, with a cuppa and to make the plans for winter workshop time for the car, in order that we’re ‘match fit’ for more fun in 2019.
Fran, Simon, Sunny (bark) and Joey (woof) not forgetting Lord Farquaad (LR Discovery2 G4 Ltd Ed) Northumberland Grand Tour
Another great day out with the T&T gang. Dark skies is an adventure, even though we have driven these lanes many times in the daylight it’s a whole different kettle of fish in the dark!! Also adding to the fun we had rain, sleet, snow and a bit of fog never a dull moment 😂 Add in to the mix a great bunch of friends, coffee and cake what more could you need?? Thanks once again to George and Ian leading the way 😁😁
Steve, Gail & DiscoDave (LR Discovery4) Dark Skies Adventure
Had a fantastic time on the Dark Skies tour with George and Ian leading the way into the darkness, I’ve done several relaxed and scenic drives out with Trails and Tracks and found the night time drive something different from the norm. A highly recommended tour to try if you’ve not been laning in the dark before and a great opportunity to try those light bars out!
Michael (LR Discovery3) Dark Skies Adventure
Another BIG thanks to Trails & Tracks for a great trip out, in the dark this time. Certainly, adds some fun to a route I have enjoyed previously in daylight. And how great to see the stars, the moon and snow!
Edward (LR Defender90) Dark Skies Adventure Tour
Another cracking weekend with the #TrailsandTracksFamily Filled with lots of water, muddy puddles and plenty of lanes topped off with an overnight stay in a lovely pub giving us time to chat about the day, catch up with old friends and get to know some new ones, great food, beer, wine and company Thanks to George, Denise and Clare for guiding the way and taking lots of photos in the ☔️ ☔️
Gail, Steve and Disco Dave (LR Discovery4) Moors & Dales Grand Tour
Just come back from Trails & Tracks first tour of The Pyrenees & Andorra. Had a fantastic time with George & Ian who put an exceptional amount of work into the planning and preparation of this tour. We covered 2,300 miles without incident and saw spectacular scenery beyond belief. Can’t wait to do it again.
Sylvia, Martyn & Tommy the Toerag (VW Touareg) Smugglers Trails & Tracks Pyrenees Adventure
Wow what a trip, hats off to George and Ian for organising a fantastic first tour aboard! It must have been like herding cats at times getting us all round Paris, but with their skill and patience we all made it to Andorra together lol. With a great mix of trails, amazing views, downtime, beer, wine food and laughs it was like a big family holiday. Once again a big thanks to George and Ian for leading the way and the rest of the #TrailsandTracksfamily for a great week.
Gail, Steve and Disco Dave (LR Discovery4) Smugglers Trails & Tracks Pyrenees Adventure
George / Ian, well, you have done it again. An awesome couple of days away with you both and the wider group. The planning you guys do to make sure we all have a great time is a credit to you. The trip is run with consideration to the cars, the countryside, and our enjoyment and of course fun. By the end of the tour, you come away with new friends, and the thrills of what you have achieved with your vehicle. A fantastic tour. Keep up the great work. Can’t wait for the next trip!
Edward (LR Discovery3) Lakes & Dales Adventure Tour
Another great weekend away with Trails&Tracks, it was most definitely an adventure tour! 2 day of a good mix of lanes and a bit more water that the last time out, topped off with banter, food and beer round the campfire with old friends and new. Thanks to George & Ian for a top time
Gail, Steve and Disco Dave (LR Discovery4) Lakes & Dales Adventure Tour
We got home fine today, think we both have some tires bushes but otherwise nothing new to report. Really enjoyed it, will definitely back for some more hopefully with the girlfriend next year, she’s really keen to have a go so you may have another lady Land Rover fan as part of the clan! Dark skies here we come. As for feedback you can post on the website that I was extremely grateful for the tug you gave me in the forest?!
Adam (LR Discovery1) Lakes & Dales Adventure Tour
As the Boy Scouts say “be prepared” and that was certainly what George & Ian of Trails & Tracks were for this weekend, as they produced a range of ‘new lanes’. By this I mean lanes that have had Temporary Restriction Orders on them until very recently. This brought a new perspective to a much-loved weekend tour and is testament to the time these guys spend on recce’s, and contacting Local Authorities to double-check the status of the lanes. Pretty impressive as they both have ‘day’ jobs too; and I know I’m not the only customer to appreciate all the hard work that goes into making these events a success and keeping us ‘right’.
Once again the weather Gods were looking down on us, as we starting heading north from the starting point in the South Lakes on Saturday. We headed over hills, the green fields were full of sheep, cattle and even some donkeys. Sheep always expect the farmer to turn up in his 4 x 4 – you can almost see them thinking “why are there 5 farmers driving through my field?”. Maybe they’re expecting 5 lots of feed!
We make a habit of losing something everywhere we go (it’s a Williams thing!) This time it was the front number plate, as we came up a steep incline out of a picturesque ford. It was just a plastic bolt that had sheared off and certainly nothing to worry about!
Lunch was in the forest. It was amusing watching everyone lined up at their boots, boiling water for pot noodles, cups of tea and one member of the party cooked up a veritable fry-up sandwich (very envious, Ed!). The afternoon saw more lanes, and a break in Hawkshead. I can recommend the ice cream from the cafe at the end of the car park! Our day ended at this point due to a mini-emergency at home in Co Durham, so we headed off, having made plans with George to rejoin the fun the next day.
However, I know the last lane of the day had had it’s TRO lifted on this very day! Well done, T & T – nicely researched.
Day 2 sprang and, everything being calm on the home front, we set off at a leisurely pace to meet George and his group at lunchtime. We only really missed one lane, as the rest of the morning’s offerings were lanes we’d traversed very recently indeed. We picnicked at Buckden, and took the opportunity to chat with some friendly walkers about responsible green-laning. They had lots of questions which was good, because I got to talk about one of my favourite things!
A gorgeous drive over narrow tarmac lanes took us to the highlights of the weekend for me. A pair of lanes that had recently been re-opened by North Yorkshire County Council, and recce’d by George & Ian in their spare time. The 1st of the two was stunning. It felt as if we were on top of the world. It gently took us to lower ground, and then upwards again on a lane that has been nicknamed our “Nemesis” by George. Cutting a very long (and cold!) story short, our 1st attempt at this lane back in 2016 wasn’t an all-out success.
I’m a great believer in making lemonade out of lemons and the failure of my steed on that day led to the decision that we wanted to do this hobby properly; hence my journey into the land of Discovery 2’s.
With a triumphant “yes” from hubby and grins from 3 of us, the weekend ended in the next village, with goodbyes, ideas for our cars (possibly wants not needs in my case!), plans for future trips out with Trails & Tracks and a general feeling of well-being, we set off northwards out of the Yorkshire Dales and up the A1.
See you next month Trails & Tracks and safe journeys into the Pyrenees for you and the T & T family!
Fran, Simon and Farquaad (Land Rover Discovery2 G4 Ltd Ed) Lakes & Dales Adventure Tour
Another amazing time spent with friends doing what we all love 👌 Carlsberg don’t do 4×4 days out, but if they did … …
Anne Marie & Adrian (LR Discovery3) Lakes & Dales Adventure Tour
The reason Ian & I initially booked our first day tour with you was that the club we joined is totally focused on trials which wasn’t evident before we joined, occasionally a green lane was chucked in. This year we decided that we would look for something else to do and Ian saw Trails & Tracks advertised in LRO, we booked our first tour and thoroughly enjoyed the day, the professionalism of you and Ian is your main asset, along with your natural banter. It was that reason we booked our second tour and we once again had a great day. All we can say is keep doing what you’re doing it works. We would recommend Trails and Tracks to anyone, the ambling way across the Tracks isn’t challenging it’s what it says Relaxing.
Ian, Anne & Lillian (the LR Discovery2) Yorkshire’s Roman Roads and Beyond Relaxed and Scenic
We were, I think, the last to arrive for this one-day relaxed and scenic tour. There’s nothing new there! The weather was drizzly, it was cold and I’d decided I wanted a baseball cap from one of the outdoors shops – couldn’t justify the price, which is fortunate, as I can put one on of the new Trails & Tracks’ caps on my Christmas list now.
Two parties were out, and we were in Ian’s group. Ian kept us informed with instructions, tips, and local knowledge throughout the day and even arranged the lunch-break near a fish & chip shop! I may have also found an outdoors shop!!!, where I bought yet another scarf.
The 1st half of the day took us high onto the moors, with waterfalls, gorges and a sculpture to enjoy. There was just the right level of technicality for a relaxed and scenic tour. Next time, I’d like more of a view – but you can’t appreciate the sunshine if it never rains!
After lunch, we headed for a big favourite lane of mine, where I got the opportunity to make a splash. Even better, this spot afforded a swimming opportunity for our black Labrador, Joey. One of the members of our group produced a set of tennis balls and gifted them to the dog, who was delighted! Such is the nature of the Trails & Tracks family.
We headed upwards again, onto a familiar but much-appreciated lane. The thing about the Pennines is that you could travel the same track 100 times and it would never look the same twice, because of different weather and light. Fate intervened and we got the opportunity to travel a new lane to me as well.
Nowadays I don’t have the energy or fitness to climb the high moors on foot. Who’d have thought I could get the same experience from my car? And this is the essence of Trails & Tracks’ “Relaxed & Scenic” brand.
Huge thanks to Ian & George for everything they did today! It won’t be forgotten and we’ll see you soon.
Fran, Simon and Farquaad (Land Rover Discovery2 G4 Ltd Ed) Yorkshire’s Roman Roads and Beyond Relaxed & Scenic
Many thanks for another great day out, with the relaxed and scenic days you always feel you will return with your car undamaged and with the added bonus great tracks and little tarmac it’s not easy to get the right combination and its great credit to yourself and Ian for getting it right …. again.
Gary & Alison (Land Rover Bowler90) Yorkshire’s Roman Roads and Beyond Relaxed & Scenic
A superb day, run brilliantly by George and Ian, if you have a 4×4 and want to use some of its potential you really won’t go wrong, keep doing what you do, it’s perfect.
Rob & Ali (Mitsubishi L200 aka Thor) Yorkshire’s Roman Roads and Beyond Relaxed & Scenic
What a fantastic day we had trying out our bog standard (pun intended!) D2 after only a few weeks of ownership. The lanes driven provided great scenery as well as a variety of surfaces and obstacles to try out and test our nearly non existent 4×4 driving skills. We were looking for buttons and levers as we went.!! Learned so much while enjoying a well planned and organised day. Thank you George and Ian for a very memorable time. See you again soon.
Helen & Andy (LR Discovery 2) Yorkshire’s Roman Roads and Beyond Relaxed & Scenic
A big thank you from Tracey and I for a great day out on Saturday! This tour around the Tyne Rivers and Hadrian’s Wall counts as the most relaxed of the scenic tours we’ve been on. I’d recommend it as a starter tour for anyone wanting to try out green laning for the first time. I guess the fab weather and tour leader/group made it even more enjoyable!
Gavin & Tracey (Land Rover Discovery2 G4 Ltd Ed) Hadrian’s Wall and the Tale of Two Tyne’s Relaxed & Scenic
Well, Trails & Tracks have done it again! Thank you George & Clare for a fabulous day out. As usual the photo’s are magnificent; Clare certainly has an eye for a picture. Where else can you spend a day with like-minded folk, with a shared love of getting off the beaten track in their beloved (or sometimes cursed!) 4 x 4’s? My D2 G4 behaved impeccably all day, except that a couple of the dash lights were feeling rather contrary, much to my bemusement.
I’ve been on so many tours that it’s sometimes difficult to pick a highlight, but today it was all about nature and wildlife. We stalked owls that possibly weren’t there, saw birds of prey, herons and even an (almost) flying deer! Well spotted, George! Apparently, there were even dead crows neatly hanging out to dry on a fence. And then there were wild raspberries and even some ripe blackberries oh and a dragonfly at a particularly lovely spot.
Plus, of course, the lovely family of dogs in the Mitsubishi in our party. So well-behaved and a reminder that our 2 dogs at home are nowhere near as good!
I adore the Tyne Valley and this is a particular favourite area of mine. From the steeply wooded tracks to the south of the South Tyne, to grassy meadows, and then onto the Sahara Desert (well something like that), the morning passed in a flash. The pace, naturally, was relaxed. As would be expected, George was full of interesting historical information, but even he did a double-take when he was told that 2 members of our party were planning their wedding at a venue along the route! A Land Rover gathering for the big day was suggested … who knows, it could be fun and great for photo’s!
Lunchtime brought an opportunity to chat with new friends and to catch up with existing ones. The T & T family is rather large these days, so there’s always new people to natter to. The afternoon was equally relaxed, and we never felt hurried. What I particularly love about these tours is that you get the feeling there’s all the time in the world, and there really is. In an age where we are time-poor, this is an indulgence. So calling out over the radio that we were holding back near the rear of the convoy so I could pick and eat wild raspberries from my driver’s window seemed the most natural thing to do. Thank you for your patience, George!!
At the beginning of every tour, we are told it’s our day and that is a genuine promise from Trails & Tracks.
If you’ve been out with T & T before, you’ll know what I’m saying. If you haven’t and have been thinking about booking your 1st tour, do it. I can wholeheartedly say that you’ll be welcomed whatever your level of ability.
Back to my ‘new’ D2, well all I can say is that it’s a truly competent machine, even with the automatic gearbox. Ok, I still don’t think the engine braking is as good as the manual model I used to have, but I’m well and truly settled with the ‘new’ one (particularly now he’s wearing so many of my old one’s ironmongery).
See you in a fortnight, Tracks & Trails (oh and a fortnight after that too!).
Fran, Simon and Farquaad (Land Rover Discovery2 G4 Ltd Ed) Hadrian’s Wall and the Tale of Two Tyne’s Relaxed & Scenic
Thank you for a most enjoyable day yesterday. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves although it did feel like a long day so next time (yes, there’ll be a next time) we will probably stop nearer the start point night before. We’ve had a look through your photos and there are some great pics of all the vehicles. It was nice to spend the day with like-minded people doing what these machines are designed for. We’ll be looking for another opportunity to join you in the next few months.
Andy & Gill (LR Discovery Sport) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacon, Fords and Railway Relaxed & Scenic
I would like to thank, Ian & George for the trip we done on Yorkshire Moors, it was a brilliant day, the scenery was out of the this world, it was a bit dusty but that was no problem. Its second time I’ve had my little Jimny off roading and it was went brilliant
Gordon (Suzuki Jimny) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacons Fords and Railways Relaxed & Scenic
Thanks for all the great photos and the videos. Me and Stuart thoroughly enjoyed our experience on the lanes with George. We had a blast of a day and would definitely recommend it to any of my friends.
Josh (Full Fat Range Rover) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacons Fords and Railways Relaxed & Scenic
Another cracking day out with the T&T gang. It had everything you could ask for great like minded friends, mixed bag of lanes a little bit of water due to the lovely sunshine and lots of dust! Knew we should have packed the 🐫. Thanks to George for his knowledge and fun facts about the area and leading the way.
Steve, Gail and Disco dusty Dave (LR Discovery 4) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacons Fords and Railways Relaxed & Scenic
Gr8 day terrific weather and topped off with Homemade ice-cream on lunch stop Carlsberg don’t do 4×4 tours but if they did … …
Anne Marie & Adrian (LR Discovery3) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed & Scenic
As always, a great day out with George and Ian. A good mix of lanes on a beautiful hot sunny day, just a shame the sun had dried up all the lovely puddles and water crossing, but it didn’t spoil a great day out with old friends and new. Thanks to Ian for leading the way, see you all next time😎
Steve, Gail and Disco (Dusty) Dave (LR Discovery4) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed & Scenic
Thank You George for a fabulous day in the Dales we’ll look forward to joining you again soon.
Anne & Ian (LR Discovery2) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed & Scenic
As usual had a fantastic day. Would recommend your tours to anyone who would like to go on one. Weather was great although a wee bit hot and dusty. Hope to see you all soon again in the near future.
Doug (LR Defender 90) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed & Scenic
Rural Ripon & Reeth brought with it the customary sunny weather, which George arranges for most of his tours. This is a tour I’ve done several times, in three different cars and today marked the maiden off-road voyage in my new-to-me Discovery 2 G4. In honour of the famed G4 challenge, Land Rover marked the occasion with some limited edition cars and I’m lucky enough to own one of them.
As we hit the trails and tracks, I felt as if I was in a ‘proper’ G4 car – we certainly could’ve been traversing a desert, as the heatwave had dried the tracks and, even at 10 mph, we were generating plenty of dust. The sun was blazing and the car’s climate control was a veritable treat. It was amusing to pass a gentleman on a mobility scooter, but the track was indeed a Byway Open to All Traffic.
One of my favourite things about any tour with Trails & Tracks is that there’s plenty of time to stop and appreciate the scenery, have a bit of a natter, and then slowly start on our way again. And so to lunch and yet another treat. We stopped at an ice cream parlour and after a picnic with my daughter, we went to choose our treat. I was more than delighted to see that Brymor catered for people with diabetes, so I indulged in a diabetes-friendly vanilla cone with a generous blob of cream on top. My daughter thoroughly approved of her strawberry ice cream, complete with a little tub of strawberry sauce.
The afternoon drive was every bit as pleasurable and scenic as the mornings had been and we visited one of my favourite lanes, where we drive along a river. Predictably, the river was very low, but that didn’t bother me at all. I was driving an unmodified, standard Discovery with road tyres so, for once, I regulated my splash accordingly!
There always seems to be a playground on George’s routes, so when we stopped for a comfort break, my 22 year old daughter couldn’t resist the zip slide. Actually, the owner of Disco Dave had to have a go too, which raised a laugh. It’s the laughs and friendships that are formed that make these days so special.
Returning to Reeth, I received my much-anticipated new sticker for Farquaad, my D2. Thank you, George! Next time you see Farquaad, he’ll look and feel somewhat different, as an extensive modification programme is commencing next week and we look forward to the next 6 tours we have booked with you during 2018.
We finished the day with a good old natter the more we go out with our friends (old and new) at Trails & Tracks, the more shared memories are created, which always makes for a great session of reminiscing! Thanks George & Ian for another fab day out and about!
Fran, Jen & Farquaad (LR Discovery2) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed & Scenic
As usual and as expected we had a fabulous day out in the Dales. Good, friendly company, great weather (too dry for any water splashes) and wonderful scenery from God’s own County. George, as always has an amazing knowledge, not only of the tracks but the scenery and landscape that accompany them. A new slant for us was the drones, can’t wait to see the footage from them. A great pity that one of them had to attempt suicide onto a stony track, hope it’s fixable. Enjoyed the ice cream break at Brymor farm.
Brian & Sue (LR Defender 90) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed & Scenic Tour
Another great day out with friends old and new. The County Durham Rambler is one of our favourites with great lanes and scenery. Thanks to Ian for leading the way, roll on the next one
Steve, Gail and Disco Dave (LR Discovery 4) County Durham Rambler Relaxed & Scenic
Had our first adventure out with George and Claire last weekend. What a great day it was. We have a Nissan Xtrail and found the ‘relaxed and scenic’ tour perfect for our vehicle. Really good fun being in convoy with the others! George was very friendly and made us feel very welcome on the day, not to mention the others in the group. Weather you’re an avid ‘green laner’ or like us just want to try something new and exciting, you like a road trip, great scenery, a little pit stop for picnicking out of your boot and great people, then try this!
Josh & Olivia (Nissan XTrail) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacon, Fords and Railway Relaxed & Scenic
Thank you for such a fantastic day, it was incredible, the scenery fantastic. Relaxed and scenic was by far the best description, your leadership throughout the day was brilliant, the company with all the other guests was great, thank you once again for an awesome day.
Anthony (LR Discovery2) North Yorkshire Moors, Beacon, Fords and Railway Relaxed & Scenic
Thank you for a great weekend, we had a very enjoyable experience. It was very much appreciated what you did for us especially guiding us through some of those tricky paths and stream crossings. The one on one tuition was excellent and needed to guide us through without causing serious damage to our bog-standard Freelander. My wheels escaped unscathed.
The accommodation was very cosy and very friendly, and the staff deserve a pat on the back for their services. Could do with a different set of wheels and tyres and another couple of inches in height I mean. LOL. Thanks again for a great weekend.
Gordon & Barbara (LR Freelander 2) Northumberland Grand Tour
Just a quick thanks for a great weekend tour. Good routes, good accommodation and good company. Will have to see what else we can plan in with Tracks & Trails this year. But first to clean and dust the car!
Alan & Sue (LR Defender 90) Northumberland Grand Tour
“My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” (Forrest Gump, 1994) This seems a good way to describe Trails & Tracks’ most recent offering. I’d called myself a ‘seasoned regular’ on George’s tours, having been on the road (or, more accurately, off the road) with George for the best part of two years now.
The weekend just gone combined routes I’d done twice before, but the combination of the weather, the company and the scenery have made this the best tour I’ve done with Trails & Tracks. As I write this review, I’m really struggling to find the right ‘angle’ – so that is probably where I will start. Although I’m an ‘old timer’, this was only my 2nd time out as the sole driver of my Discovery 2 on a tour. With my good friend Gill at my side for company, and the CB radios for guidance from George and support and laughs from the other cars, how could one feel ‘alone’?
If I had to describe the 2 days, I’d say they were perfect in composition of the routes. Day 1 took us south and then North of the Tyne, into Hadrian’s Wall country. It’s a part of south west Northumberland that I particularly love, having lived there for a couple of years and it was great to return. The nature of the lanes was such that it made an enjoyable drive, with nothing technical or challenging, and so it lent itself to pure relaxation and laughs aplenty. And this is the magic George somehow instils into these tours – with a combination of old friends and new ones made on the day, to me it felt like I’d known everyone for years. Some I’ve known so long now it reminds me of putting on a comfy pair of old shoes!!
And that was the atmosphere that continued as we checked into the hotel. On the weekend tours, Trails & Tracks book the hotel, which includes dinner, bed & breakfast, so it’s just a matter of getting your room key and selecting your dinner choices from the varied menu. Gill & I made a beeline for our room, which was a huge family room. We could have held a dance in the bathroom (if we’d had the desire to do so!). For us, it was a quick freshen up and straight down to the immaculately manicured beer garden. I say ‘beer’; and this was probably our comedy moment of the weekend. The hotel had sold out of Prosecco, but offered us an alternative Portuguese bottle. It’s a good job we all have different tastes and I’m pleased we tried it, but it was the colour of screen-wash (who’s actually had blue wine before?!) and led to much hilarity amongst the group. I have to say it’s not what I’d buy again, so after dinner I moved onto a lovely couple of Irish coffees in the bar.
Day 2 dawned and the weather was once again at its best. A hearty breakfast proved the perfect start to the day, as we made our way into the Cheviot Hills. This has always been one of my favourites, but I have to say it is now my absolute favourite, having pushed the County Durham Rambler into position 2 in my ‘Charts’. (If you haven’t tried the Rambler by the way, you simply must, because it’s another stunner). The 1st half of the day included some splashy fords and properly green lanes, through meadows and pastures full of proud ewes with their offspring. Lunch was another bring-your-own; and we settled in the Ingram Valley, in the sun. I can’t really think of a better place to sit, with a pasty and a can of pop on a lazy Sunday afternoon!
The second part of the day was certainly scenic (& relaxed), but with a little touch of technicality thrown in here and there. Don’t let the term ‘technical’ put you off. I’ve done the route myself in a standard Ssangyong Rexton van before, with very standard road tyres, so it’s entirely do-able. George, as always, is on hand to spot all party members through the more ‘interesting’ parts. I was stunned by the versatility of a very nice Freelander in front, with no body lift and ‘normal’ tyres. Whatever you’re driving, there’s always a technique, angle or line that George will share – so whilst the Freelander was advised to straddle the ruts, George advised me that my somewhat modified D2 had the height to go into those ruts.
Two (well three really) fords finished the weekend off perfectly. The final offering was a cheeky little ford, with a descent down rocky steps, into a river of large rock slabs, out the other side and up more rocks, finished with a tight hairpin. I went up onto the footbridge to watch the friendly Freelander do its thing, expertly guided by George. Two things amused me at this point, the 1st being that George shouted up “are you doing this ford then, Fran?”. I was so entertained by watching that I’d forgotten I was next in the queue! Secondly, I’d ‘forgotten’ I’m not agile anymore – I’d jumped up a bank to get to the footbridge and couldn’t get down again :). I was able to reach Arty my D2 for support, so hopped into the driver’s seat. If I could’ve handed the car to one of the guys at this point, I would’ve done but I’m so pleased I didn’t. George was right there, guiding me literally every step of the way.
“1st gear, slowly does it, a little to the left, a little to the right, straighten up. Through the river and then you’ll need some momentum to get over the rock on the hilly ascent at the other side. Plenty of momentum, feel the front wheels go up and then maintain that momentum until you feel the back wheels follow”.
And that was it, I’d done it!! Full of adrenaline, I was so pleased that I’d done it! When I’d had my back bumper replaced 3 days before, the pressure was bound to be on. I didn’t want to stall, roll back and break my new-to-me bumper, so I was smiling.
Back to the box of chocolates. You really do never know what you’re going to get. There are always new people to meet and even familiar lanes are different each time. The weather’s different, the lighting different; our British weather influences the terrain, so it will never be the same twice. It just takes a spell of rain, or the heavy snow of the winter just gone, and ‘old favourites’ take on a new line off approach because of washouts. Even something as simple as a fallen branch from a tree can re-route the flow of a ford travelled many times before.
How would I sum up the weekend in a chocolate then? Saturday was a strawberry crème; Sunday more of a caramel – a little more work to chew, but so worth it!
Fran & Gill (LR Discovery2 aka ArtyD2) Northumberland Grand Tour
Brilliant time on the recent grand tour of Northumberland. George is a fantastic host, from the outset we were made welcome not only by George but by others on the tour, he is extremely knowledgeable and provided advice and guidance when needed. Lots of laughs and fantastic memories made on the way, fab photos taken by George throughout which are all available to view after the tour to keep those memories alive!
Mandy, Debbie & Sue (LR Discovery3) Northumberland Grand Tour
Another fantastic trip with George and Ian (Trails & Tracks 4×4 Adventures). A great group of people, absolutely stunning scenery and some cracking food / beer!
Chris & Mark (LR Discovery3) Wales Trails 3 Day Adventure Tour
Another fantastic weekend with the Trails & Tracks gang! Fun filled with a great group of friends lots of laughs a few beers, three days of cracking lanes a great mix for everyone. A big thanks to George and Ian for organising the Wales trip looking forward to the next one!!
Steve & Gail (LR Defender 90) Wales Trails 3 Day Adventure Tour
Three amazing days in the Welsh hills, George, Ian and Paul made sure that this was a special trip for everyone who came along. Split into 2 groups, you have so much time to watch the others doing the ‘exciting’ bits, all with expert instruction from our leaders. Plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and to chat about your cars etc. Even if you are new to this kind of driving, never fear, plenty of advice on which gear, low or high ratio or one of the special programs that your car may have. Excellent food, and great evenings when you all get back to talk about the day. And it doesn’t end there, photos galore will follow to remind you of your weekend. Thank you George, Ian and Paul and everyone who was on the trip. A great weekend.
Edward (LR Defender 90) Wales Trails 3 Day Adventure Tour
Well yet another Fantastic time with the dynamic duo of George & Ian. Thank you both for the Wales adventure and to Mr Ed for talking you into it. It was as per an amazing time with fab company, stunning views and a couple of slippery moments but those just keeping your skills, knowledge & know how polished to perfection!! Well done 1 and all till the next 1.
Anne Marie & Adrian (LR Discovery 3) Wales Trails 3 Day Adventure Tour
First Grand Tour I’ve been on. Loved every minute and would recommend to everyone. Was a delight just to jump out of the truck at the lovely hotel that had been arranged and not have camping gear and meals to sort. Also, great to be with a group of likeminded people and led by an enthusiastic, knowledgeable guide with a great sense of humour. Will definitely do it again. Thank you.
Chris & Red (LR Defender 110) Yorkshire Dales Grand Tour
Just wanted to write a quick review and say thank you to George and the team for a truly memorable experience on my first Grand Tour in Yorkshire.
I’m pretty much a novice at green lanes, and was a little hesitant at joining a tour, but soon realised it was the best thing to do to get to know the capabilities of my car a little better. It usually pounds the tarmac of South East England, so swapping that for something a little more rural seemed like a good idea.
I wasn’t disappointed. George took us on a number of different routes with each having its own challenge. Muddy ruts, narrow paths, steep descents, wading a (shallow) river… and that was just the first day. Always on hand with a hint or tip about getting the best out of the vehicle, or advising on the terrain and how to approach it, George was on the radio throughout, or waiting patiently by the side of the track as we took on the various challenges in turn, and with a ready comment to make as we completed each.
Overnight accommodation was perfect for what we needed, food was great and the company grew just a little closer over a few beers. Great spot, George!
Day two was another set of challenges, including a steep climb on a narrow path, rocky moorland paths, more water, and more mud. The routes chosen made sure there was minimal tarmac in between, plenty of stops and plenty of scenery. I can’t really imagine what more could be fitted in, or how this would have been a better tour – it seemed pretty perfect to me just as it was.
Day two ended around 5pm, radios handed back, thanks and goodbyes made. I was sad to leave – it felt that in just two days I’d not only got to understand the car more, but I’d made friends with a group of like-minded people. George facilitated the days expertly, and I am delighted with how it all turned out.
I cannot recommend this highly enough. It didn’t require highly technical driving, but there were enough thrills to make this a first-class tour for novices and experienced drivers alike. It was a gentle stroll through some outstanding scenery, with a delightful group of people and an expert tour leader. By far the best weekend of my year so far – I hope to book on to another one very soon!
Thanks George, Denise and Claire – you’ve made a big impression and I had a wonderful weekend with you and the group!
Hal & Hayley (LR Defender 110) Yorkshire Dales Grand Tour
Thanks George for another fantastic day out keep up the good work, some amazing photographs. Let me know if anyone cancels in the near future and if we can be there we will. Thanks once again
Mark & Ali (LR Defender 110) Rural Ripon and Reeth Relaxed & Scenic
Thanks for the experience, a well thought out and organised tour, nothing was a bother and there to help all the way with conditions and use of our choices of car, my first but certainly not my last!
Lee & The Mystery Machine (Subaru Forester) County Durham Rambler Relaxed & Scenic
After a couple of false starts for us in 2018, my Discovery 2 finally found himself in off-road action on Saturday with the Trails & Tracks gang, headed up by the ever-friendly George & Ian. With the ‘Beast from the East’ well behind us, we were excited to see a light dusting of snow as we drove across the moors to the start point.
The excitement continued as we ascended our first lane of the day. By this time, the snow showers were building in intensity and, back on tarmac, the conditions became ‘interesting’ as the beast bit back! The hill descent control on the Disco wasn’t playing ball (it’s a toy that I only occasionally use), so I decided on low-box to descend a long hill. As George says “take your feet off the pedals and let the vehicle do the work”.
The second lane is one I’ve frequented many times with George & Ian previously. It’s a good lane, with deep ruts, rusty gates and usually lots of mud. Today, it was a lane too far – we watched Ian try to conquer the 1st snowdrift and it was quickly clear that it was not to be. This particular lane goes probably a good mile or so and there wasn’t a chance we’d all get through, so we continued on ‘tarmac’ (well, snow!). At this point I decided discretion was indeed the better part of valour, so I jumped across into the passenger seat to allow my husband to drive, knowing it was a long way down a big hill to get back to the main road through Weardale.
You can’t take anything away from George & Ian; they did their best to battle on. Both groups made it a fair way up England’s highest green lane, where we stopped for photo’s, to admire the views and to freeze! Ian set off up the track to see if our pursuit of height was a possibility – alas, it was not to be.
Making lemonade out of lemons, we diverted to a beauty spot beside a reservoir, for more photo’s. The spray from the reservoir was literally turning to ice as it blew up over the dam walls.
Time was pressing on, so it was soon time for a stop for loo’s, packed lunches and to have a brew. The weather was deteriorating rapidly. However, some children in our party had fun sledging, whilst Millie the Labrador performed taste tests with the guests’ food.
George & Ian set off in Ian’s D2 to assess the road we’d need to travel to get to the next lane. They returned shaking their heads. The road was impassable.
As the afternoon’s activities were due to conclude in Stanhope, and the only way was via the road from Nenthead to Killhope (which ascends to almost 2000 feet), George & Ian made the wise decision to curtail the day’s events, due to deteriorating weather conditions. There followed a picturesque drive back down to dale to the finish point.
Anyone can get in their 4 x 4 and go driving in the ice and snow. It takes experts to know when to stop. Yes, it’s fun off-roading, but the lanes will be there another day. Saturday further reinforced what I already knew about Trails & Tracks and their team – safety comes first. And that, for me, is one of the secrets of their success to date and no doubt well into the future.
Fran, Simon & ArtyD2 (LR Discovery2) County Durham Ramble Relaxed & Scenic
After going on 2 weekend tours and a number of day treks and more booked with George and Ian we’ve not had a bad tour yet and on a recent tour having a number of issues pop up, both were very helpful in getting us going again and again and again; can’t recommend Trails & Track enough whether new or experienced to Overlanding / green laning.
Andy, Liz and the kids (LR Discovery2 G4) Dales & Moors Grand Tour
Just had a great weekend on the Dales and Moors Grand Tour. George has an excellent knowledge of all the trails and tracks, and in a very friendly manner, gives excellent advice on how to approach the trickier parts. At no point did we feel worried that our vehicle might struggle or that it might get damaged. These relaxed and scenic tours are suitable for a wide range of 4×4’s and will also suit people with little or no experience.
Les & Jane (Defender 130 “Dream Catcher”) Dales & Moors Grand Tour
Another great weekend organised by George and Ian. Really enjoyed the scenic lanes with the mix of fords and muddy puddles, will get you one of these days Ian (lol). A good overnight stay with a group of likeminded friendly folk in a lovely hotel. Roll on the next tour
Steve & Gail (LR Defender90) Dales & Moors Grand Tour
Another great weekend under the stewardship of George and Ian, once you’ve tried a relaxed and scenic or two I’d definitely recommend stepping up to a Grand Tour. The accommodation, food and the odd ale or two were everything we could have hoped for and staying with the group gave everyone a chance to share some stories. More like going away with friends than a company, looking forward to Wales … … … I think!!!
Adam (Discovery1 Tdi) Dales & Moors Grand Tour
Had another fantastic experience with Trails & Tracks this weekend. Can’t praise them enough for their friendly expertise and knowledge. If you fancy testing your road going 4×4 then you won’t beat a relaxed and scenic tour. Thanks once again for a brilliant weekend!
Martyn & Sylvia (VW Touareg) Dales & Moors Grand Tour
Had a boss day with these guys, definitely be going on another trip very soon, would recommend to anyone of my 4×4 friends.
Greg (LR Disco2 Overlander) Dales & Moors Grand Tour
Thank you to Ian (our host) and George, fantastic day out as usual, great to see old and new faces and after looking at the many photos I wished id done the whole weekend. Keep it up chaps how do you perfect perfection. Maybe a trek on the moon !!!!!
Mark (Defender 110) Dales & Moors Grand Tour
Dark Skies Adventure was a great night out with a great group of friends. It really was a different experience in the dark, fog, drizzle with great lanes, sometimes a bit more like hound of the Baskerville than star gazing!!! We did enjoy it greatly. Thanks to Ian for leading the way on what was a really fun night ….. maybe next time we should go on Halloween 👻👻👻👻
Gail, Steve and shiny ninety (LR Defender90) Dark Skies Adventure
An excellent adventure, something different that I really enjoyed (and the weather spiced up!). Will definitely do again, as long as you have more ham and pease pudding sandwiches.
Carl (Nissan Navarra) Dark Skies Adventure
Another great unpaved adventure made all the more entertaining by the weather, looking forward to more of the same in 2018!
Adam (LR Discovery1) Dark Skies Adventure
Thanks for another brilliant day! Lots of water to have fun crossing. It’s great to have your expertly taken photos to look back on as a memento. Was it really that deep?!?! Thanks again and will be back on another tour next year.
Sion (LR Discovery3) Northumberland South of the Border
A good day out with the ever funny and informative George and a great bunch of people. As always, the day fly’s by with a good mix of lanes, rivers and fords, does exactly what it says on the tin relaxed and very scenic. Roll on the next tour
Gail, Steve and the shiny ninety (LR Defender90) Northumberland South of the Border
Many thanks for a well run trip from Wooler to Morpeth. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The whole trip was well run, ensuring everyone was comfortable with what we were going to do, and great care was taken to ensure our prized possessions were taken care off. Thanks for all of the pictures too, a lot of effort, but such good memories of all the cars, and great to see the 2 Jeeps on the run. Looking forward to the next one.
Edward & Darren (LR Defender90) Northumberland South of the Border
Just returned from our first event with trails and tracks and this will not be our last. An extremely well managed day with emphasis on safety and good communication combined with an informative and very relaxed run. What better a way to see Northumberland’s hidden scenery and fords than travelling along some of its historic lanes. For us this weekends three hundred mile trip was worth every minute.
Anna & Ross (Jeep Wrangler) Northumberland South of the Border