4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day – 7th Apr 19
Words, Pictures and Video by James Trembath

Our penultimate day at Bampton this season and it was good to see that the site still had some new sections to offer and keep people on their toes! Rob Smail and Mat Bishop both joined us for their first outing in their td5 Discoveries. Complete with families in tow both vehicles were certainly full and well prepared for the day.

We reverted to custom and started the day up at Warm Up woods to give everyone the chance to warm up to the ground conditions and check over their vehicles, tyres pressures, everything secured and the such like. Paul and Jack Radford soon had the dirtiest LR after a speedy ‘splash’ through the water section. Mike and Tony took it steady in their Tdi and proved you don’t need the speed to succeed!

Warrens Hill was soon calling and after taking on some of the shorter descents and tracks we headed across to Sam’s Hill/Climb. The lower profiled Discovery’s struggled a little with it with Rob taking the bypass after seeing Mats vehicle having to work hard on its third attempt. With the ground recovering from the recent rain of Friday we missed out Warrens Quarry and instead headed across to First Long Drop.

A new pheasant pen is going up around short climbs and drops of First Long Drop but there is still access to the bits we need. Some choose the more challenging route to get to the top by going up around the back of the rutted climb to the top. The more challenging route has a tight turn straight into and an axle twist that requires good steering, confidence and the momentum in a timely manner (and not too much grunt!) A testing track for all with the shorter wheelbase vehicles fairly slightly better. Meanwhile Rob was tackling the short rutted climb as shown in the short video, it did take a few attempts!

With lunch looming we headed for Priestlands which would give us a little shelter from the elements. Priestlands is a complete contrast to the rest of the site with its deep wet ruts and unforgiving surface. We completed our Drive Round Weekend at the end of Mar in there and had repaired the bridge plus opened up some new routes for people to test. After the deluge on Friday it was either going to be 20mins in and out or a ‘fair bit longer’ it turned into the latter as the pictures do justice!

With the day moving on Matt, Tony and Rob disappeared off at the end of Priestlands leaving Paul and Russell (now with a used dirtier winch) to follow Scott out to Top and Middle woods before finishing back in the farm yard.

Conditions were hard going at times, codrivers worked hard at times, traction was lost quite a few times, winches worked hard at other times. Fun was had by all; all of the time!

Some videos of the day

Some pictures from the day