No-one does greenlaning adventures like LRO's deputy editor Neil Watterson, which he proved by taking an L405 Range Rover SDV8 on an epic 1400-mile adventure from East Anglia to the Highlands. Just because he could. No-one had done that before, and we've not seen anything like it since. Bob Atkins' stunning photography captured the rugged beauty of a snowy England and Scotland perfectly too. It's a journey I'm dying to do, even without a £90k motor.
Here's a snapshot of the feature...
'I’m in £90k’s worth of L405 Range Rover Vogue SE SDV8 with all the whistles and bells – here’s my chance to see how good ‘the world’s best car’ really is, as well as driving some great roads.
'That’s if I can even stay on the roads. Snow falling on to frozen ground turns them into a treacherous ice-rink and my route is often blocked by minor shunts. I almost come a cropper on a corner when my confidence exceeds the capabilities of the tyres – fortunately, the ABS does its job and both the Range Rover and bridge parapet I was sliding towards remain intact.
'I’ve long wanted to drive Bealach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle), the daunting mountain pass to Applecross from Tornapress. It may be ‘only’ the third highest tarmac road in Scotland but for sheer drama, air of foreboding and driving challenge, it’s in a league of its own.
'I want to drive it before dark and arrive at Tornapress mid-afternoon after enjoying the gorgeous drive along Glen Shiel. The warning sign at the beginning of the pass is ominous – 1-in-5 gradients, no caravans and unsuitable for learner drivers. The ‘road closed’ barrier is open (deep snow can make the summit impassible, even if the weather’s fine a few miles down the hill), so I begin the long, steady ascent.
'Turn after turn the single-track climb gets steeper and steeper. The final climb, with its steep switchbacks – an Alpine-like feature that’s an unusual sight in the UK – is easily dispatched by the Range Rover, the 4.4-litre SDV8 growling as I plant the throttle to whisk the front round the tight bends.'
To read the full feature, download the May 2013 issue of LRO on the App Store or Google Play, or order a back issue by calling + 44 (0) 844 84 888 72 (UK), +44 (0) 1858 438828 (overseas) or email: Great Magazines (firstname.lastname@example.org)