Why Land Rovers?

As far back as I can remember I have had an interest in 4×4 vehicles, coupled with a wanderlust inspired by a variety of literature, movie adventurers, toys and being in the Cubs. As proof of this, if proof were needed, during the March 2021 UK Covid lock-down, I started to scan all my old photos, just so we have a digital record (and as a backup in case of disaster). I found one picture from 1971, where I was on my Grandmothers knee clutching a toy car. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a toy Land Rover. This in turn, turned out to be a Dinky 340 model Land Rover from the mid 1950’s. More astonishing than that, a few days later I was clearing out my garage when I came across an old box of toys that belonged to my Grandparents and nestled in among all the other battered junk was the very same toy Land Rover I had been clutching all those years ago! That seems to have been the match that lit my interest in the vehicles.

1950s Dinky 340

1950s Dinky 340

Later down the line, at primary school, I had a yellow matchbox size 4×4 with a titling roof rack. I have no idea what car make it was, but I used to make up adventure stories based around this toy, and played with it for hours in the school playground. During that same period of time, my parents subscribed us to the ‘National Geographic World’ magazine, which was at that time, the mid to late 1970’s, their magazine for children. There were many stories and articles about travel and nature, and in one issue there was a ‘cut out and keep’ mini magazine about hiking. It had loads of info about how to look after yourself in the wild, first aid and so on. All of this clearly had a lasting impact, as it stayed with me into adulthood!

As I got older, I discovered the Camel Trophy and watched all the video tapes of the various events. The Land Rover brand reeked of adventure and I wanted one. Like most fans of the brand, I wanted a Defender or a Range Rover. Although we had an old Range Rover Vogue SE (1992 J reg) for a time, for one reason or another we ended up with Freelanders. I say we, I mean my father. I didn’t own one personally until 2011, but I used his cars constantly. He had the Range, then a brand new 50th Anniversary Freelander 1 (S reg), this was followed by a Y reg (2001) TD4 Freelander 1. I have subsequently inherited the TD4 following the passing of my Dad in 2013. I had a V reg Freelander 1 petrol Ebay disaster followed by a 54 plate 1.8 petrol face-lifted Freelander 1. In 2018, I sold the 54 plate Freelander and replaced it with a 2003 Range Rover Vogue. The Range lasted only 9 months under our care, before I traded it in, bit the bullet, and got a (almost) new 2017 Discovery Sport. I sold the Disco in November 2021 and we are back to Dad’s TD4 for the time being.

We have taken it upon ourselves to show my youngest daughter some of the country she lives in, so at weekends we pack up and disappear on Day Trips, and the occasional over-nighter, around the UK. So far we have explored Norfolk, the Peak District, the Cotswolds, the Lake District, parts of the South Coast, London, some of the West Country, almost all of Leicestershire, the East Midlands, Warwickshire, parts of Yorkshire & Cambridgeshire, a large chunk of Scotland and a little bit of Wales. There is a lot more to go, so we decided to document it right here. It serves as a reminder for us and a potential guide for others. Please enjoy!