Land Rover is celebrating 50 years of using the Eastnor Castle estate in Herefordshire as a centre for off-road testing and development. Tucked away in rural Herefordshire, this historic country estate is still an important tool in the research and development of new Land Rovers as well as offering a completely unique Land Rover driving experience to members of the public.
In 1961, Land Rover first chose the 500 acre Eastnor Castle estate located near Ledbury, Herefordshire to assess the off-road credentials of its vehicles. Half a century on, the tradition continues with Eastnor playing a pivotal role in research and the development of Land Rover's vehicles. As well as the vehicles themselves, Eastnor has been instrumental in developing an impressive collection of Land Rover technologies including Anti-lock Brakes, Adjustable Air Suspension, Electronic Traction Control, Hill Descent Control and Terrain Response some of which were world firsts in the 4x4 sector.
The tradition of testing all Land Rover models at Eastnor continues to this day and the Evoque was the most recent model to complete its off-road testing and a large part of the Evoque’s technology, including MagneRide, was proven on the estate, where its ride dampers were tested extensively. The Eastnor estate offers testing conditions and is important in the continuing development of this technology.
Eastnor has been used as not only an ideal off-road engineering ground, but since 1989, as an off-road learning centre for the emergency services, explorers, humanitarian societies such as the Red Cross and, more recently, the general public. Customers and fans of the brand can now book drive experience days to hone their on and off-road driving skills with tuition from a team of highly qualified Land Rover Experience instructors. Eastnor is one of more than 30 centres around the world and hosts over 5500 visitors every year participating in half or full days, beginner and intermediate training as well as exciting night drives. Many of these visitors have travelled from overseas, keen to experience Land Rovers in their home territory.