A couple of weeks ago, Land Rover offered us a weekend family adventure with their new Land Rover Discovery. To celebrate the launch a new series of podcasts called ‘The Discovery Adventures’, they challenged us to go off the beaten track on a British adventure of our very own. We ended up going on a castle adventure to find some giants, as well as coming across the most beautiful firey sky I’ve ever seen.
Land Rover Discovery – Family Adventure Car
When it comes to blogging, I feel like Aitan does suffer quite a bit. He completely understands my passion for my job and everything that comes with it and he is always so supportive. But, when a camera has to come on all of our adventures and when I have to be constantly working while we’re out and about and even on holidays, it must get a little bit tedious.
As soon as this campaign fell into my inbox, I knew I finally was going to be working on something that would excite him. He is a huge car buff and a big fan of outdoor adventures. From the moment that I told him we would be reviewing a Land Rover Discovery, he started counting down the days until it arrived.
Within minutes of the Land Rover arriving at our house, Aitan was down the stairs with a camera around his neck. His coat was on and Evie was packed and ready to go. Before I even so much as signed on the dotted line, the car seat was strapped into the car and Aitan was telling me that we should get straight onto the road to test out the new car.
We’ve recently just bought a new car family car. Even though it’s so comfortable and completely suits us as a family, I have to say that the Land Rover completely dwarfed it and made it look a little inferior.
Although our new car has all the perfect features for us as a family, the Land Rover Discovery certainly looks a lot more ‘sexy’. It has curves in all the right places, chunky wheels, a sleek interior and a lot of va va voom, with all of it’s slick mod cons and things you wouldn’t even think to add to a car. It is a head turner for sure and so many people glanced at it or stopped to stare during our weekend adventures.
I don’t generally get excited over cars, but even i was impressed. When I took my first peek at the gorgeous cream interior and sat in the drivers seat, the features of the car blew me a way a little bit.
Do you fancy a massage while you drive? How about TV screens in the back of the seats and two big sunroofs? Sat nav, web browsing, seats that move at the touch of a button? Cameras to help you park? A boot that opens and closes itself?
Our poor little Clio looked a little bit lame sat in the driveway next to the Land Rover, but I was so excited to give it ago. I was immediately impressed with the amount of space inside. Even with the seven seats all up, the amount of leg room in the back was wow! We set up Evie in the middle and she looked completely lost. The four seats still available made us seriously consider growing our family a little bit more. Well, if this was our actual car of course.
The dashboard was equally impressive. All the functions are designed to make your ride as smooth, as immersive and as comfortable as possible and from the moment we pulled away from the driveway, I was sold. You can read more about the specs of the Land Rover Discovery we tried out here.
A Giant Adventure With Land Rover Discovery
As one of the ‘Discovery Adventures’ podcasts is set at St. Michaels Mount in Cornwall, close to where we live, it seemed only fitting to take the car here for the day. The drive over was so smooth and beautiful, but more about that later.
It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve visited in my life and how many times I’ve driven past, just seeing St. Michaels Mount in the distance is magical. I truly think it’s a must visit and the perfect spot to add to anyone’s bucket list.
If you’re not heard about it before, St. Michaels Mount is a famous castle that sits in the sea. Steeped in history and myth and legend, there are many tales about this family home and once monastery. But my favourite, and a story that I’ve now passed down to my daughter, is that it was once home to a giant! Of course it wasn’t, but even the mount has embraced the myth and has immersive ‘giant’ seeking spots all the way up to the top.
Here’s Evie pretending to be a giant, holding up the mount.
St. Michaels Mount sits a little bit away from the mainland. During low tide it can be reached by a cobbled causeway and during high tide, weather dependant, it can be reached by boat. We were lucky to arrive at low tide, so we could spend some time playing on the beach before we made our way across the causeway.
Evie quickly became immersed in her adventure to find giants. As she stomped towards St. Michaels Mount, she kept turning around to make sure that her giant shadow friend was following her.
Over the causeway St. Michaels Mount looks like any other seaside village in Cornwall. It is home to a little hamlet of houses and a cute little harbour full of local fishing boats. It’s not until you turn around and look up that you really feel like you’re somewhere special.
Before we started our ascent to the castle, we stopped off for a light lunch in the ‘Sail Lofts’ cafe. They do a whole range of sandwiches and baguettes, as well as hot food like soups and jacket potatoes. We weren’t bowled over by the menu choices, but it was enough to fill us up and send us on our way.
After lunch, our giant adventure truly began. We started our climb to the castle, meeting some of the local cats along the way and keeping our eyes peeled for any giants.
The myth of the giant who once lived here is so lovely for children. Evie was convinced the giant was in this ‘well’ and had to stop on both the way up and the way down to check on him. She was very disappointed that he couldn’t come out and play.
The little stopping points on the way up are great for kids imaginations and they break up the journey and make the steep hill climb, a lot more doable.
We particularly loved stopping by ‘The Giants Heart. This took me back to my own childhood when my dad used to say to us; ‘If you stand on the heart and put your hand over your chest, you can feel the giants heartbeat.’
I found that so magical when I was little, it’s only now that I’m older that I’ve realised I was actually feeling my own heartbeat.
Even as a local, I still find views like this breathtaking. There is something so incredible about seeing the coastline like this, especially on a warm, sunny day when you can see just that little bit further.
All the way up to the front doors of the castle there are picture points like this, where you can just stop and admire the views. On the day we visited, so many people were sitting down, basking in the sun and just enjoying the views. It was such a perfect day, you wouldn’t even believe it was October.
Our giant adventure, took us right up to the castle and in through the doors. The castle is open to the public 6 days a week, sometimes less, dependent on the weather.
The majority of the castle is still a private home. You don’t actually get to see much of the inside, only one small section along one side of the castle.
Still what you are met with are grand, but smallish rooms, so in keeping with the castle. Even though there is a guide in each room to give you information about what you see, we decided to make it more fun for Evie and made up our own stories about the castle and the giants that once lived here.
Each room seamlessly interconnects with the next so no matter how busy it is, you can easily flow through and get to see everything. We were lucky to come on such a quiet day and ended up having most of the rooms to ourselves.
Each room feels so ancient and is steeped in family, Cornish and world history. What always amazes me though, is that for a castle, it is surprisingly warm and cosy throughout.
Outside one of the rooms, you’ll find yourself on top of the castle. You can walk around the outside and can see 360 degree views of the sea and the mainland behind you. The views are incredible.
It’s hard to believe that the mount was once connected to the mainland. From up here we could see that the tide was coming in and that it wouldn’t be long till the causeway would be no longer accessible.
After a good look around the castle, we didn’t find any giants, we headed down back down to the causeway to try and make it across. We were just in time and the tide came sweeping in while we were half way down. We just about managed to jump across as the water as it started lapping over the middle.
Within a few minutes of stepping across, the whole causeway was under a small layer of water and the people who were behind us had to turn back and wait for the boats to start. I always marvel at just how quickly the tide cuts the castle off from the mainland.
I’ve written more about our adventure in a separate post ‘St.Michaels Mount, A Cornish Adventure‘, so if you’re interested in visiting, be sure to check it out. It really is the perfect spot for a truly British, off the beaten track adventure.
The Discovery Adventures Podcasts
After our giant adventure to St. Michaels Mount, and a little fun off roading on the beach so we could snap some pictures, we went for a drive to listen to some of the Discovery Adventures’ Podcasts. We ended up having a sunset picnic in the boot while we listened. The boot was roomy enough for all three of us to huddle under a blanket. It made such a magical end to our day.
I have to say, I’m not the biggest podcast fan. I much prefer to read books or watch something than listen to them. But we were so impressed with how immersive, gripping and engaging these podcasts were. The way the stories are told make you feel like you’re really there and that you’re a part of them.
The ‘Discovery Adventures’ podcasts are a mystery-drama series featuring typical teenager Sam, his outdoor enthusiast Uncle and his dog Rover. Us, the listener plays the role of ‘Sam’ and the podcasts take us on a mystery adventure to discover who is behind the nationwide GPS disruptions.
The series takes us on a journey around some of Britain’s most beautiful locations; such as Cheddar Gorge and St. Michaels Mount. Along the way help is on hand from some of the country’s most renowned outdoor experts and national treasures such as; Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Chris Packham, Sir Ben Ainslie and Kate Silverton to name a few.
The best bit about the podcasts has to be the sound! The podcasts are recorded on-location using binaural recording to capture 360 sound. Because binaural microphones pick up everything, the 3D sounds you experience really make you feel like you are there, in each location, actually experiencing the places alongside Sam and his Uncle. It’s such a unique way to listen to a story and makes it feel so real.
When we were done with our picnic, we packed up and drove a little bit more so we could listen to the podcasts along the way. We ended up journeying along the rugged coast paths leading from St. Ives to Zennor. The Land Rover looked so at home on these windy coastal roads. We couldn’t resist stopping off every so often to capture some more moments with this uber photogenic car. Can you tell we’re in love with it?
Evie was cosied up in the back under the blanket with her headphones on. Meanwhile, we got to sit and enjoy the most magnificent views and lighting, while the mystery drama unfolded some more.
We were fortunate enough to be witness to the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen this year. The sky looked like it was on fire and the colourful rolling clouds were incredibly beautiful.
It was the perfect backdrop to sit and listen to the remainder of the podcasts. We were gutted that the ‘St. Michaels Mount’ podcast wasn’t out in time for our adventure, but we did get to listen to the first three; ‘Shaking A Tail’, ‘The Witch’s Den’ and ‘Little Green Men’. We’re eagerly awaiting the next podcast to come out so we can find out what happens.
The podcasts so far have taught us some fascinating facts about Britain, nature and the countryside. We really threw ourselves into each adventure. As a family it was so much fun, and really magical, to listen to them as we were sat in our own beautiful location. We really recommend that you download them to listen to on your journeys.
Family Adventure Car
On our last day with the car, the sun had disappeared and we were left with a mizzly, drizzly day. Inspired by the podcasts, we couldn’t resist taking the Land Rover off the beaten track for another drive through the windy lanes and along the coast path. After picking some pumpkins on a local farm and going in search of some magical Cornish views, we once again ended stopping off in Marazion. Purely because Evie requested to see if the giant was at home.
Oh what a difference a day makes. If you’ve ever been to Cornwall before, you’ll understand just how quickly the weather changes here. One day you’ll feel like you’re somewhere abroad and exotic, with white sands and a beautiful clear blue skies and seas. Then the next you’re met with moody views like this.
The time we had left with the car was dwindling and we started to reflect on how absolutely perfect a car this is for family adventures.
For me, the most important thing about a car is the comfort and practicality. If, like us, you go off on a lot of family adventures, you too will want your car to be really comfortable. We couldn’t get over how lovely the car was for all the passengers and not just the driver.
Each seat had its own climate control. This meant no more toddler complaining she was hot or cold because we could set her seat to the temperature she wanted.
For once, she was in a car that was high enough for her to be able to enjoy the views too. But, if she complained she was bored, she could watch a DVD or listen to a podcast.
For us it meant no more uncomfortable rides. If you’re sat for too long you can get your chair to massage you. There are also arm rests, even in the drivers seat, and the difference these make are incredible.
Another huge sell point for me, was the space.There was more leg room in this car than you’d get on an aeroplane. Not just for the driver either, but also for the main passenger and in all the back seats. Imagine a long car journey where you actually have room to move about?
Another selling factor for us was the boot space and storage. The boot is huge! There is enough room in the back for a whole families worth of luggage and all the things you’d need for outdoor adventures, both on and off the beaten track.
Inside the car there were also a crazy amount of side pockets and hidden storage compartments. There was even space for a little cool box, which when you have young children in tow, can really come in handy.
The Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover have got it completely right when it comes to a functional yet luxurious family car and we definitely enjoyed our time getting to experience it.
I have to be honest, at first I was incredibly nervous about driving not only such a big car (we’ve always chosen smaller cars because I’ve always found it difficult driving big cars), but also an automatic.
It took me a couple of drives around to get used to not having a clutch, but what surprised me the most was how un scary it was to drive this big car. I felt so at home in the drivers seat and that was made possible by all the extra comforts of the car.
The drive was so smooth and being so high up made me actually feel a lot safer, which you want when you have precious cargo in the back, and way more in control of the car. The way the car glided along the road and turned the corners with ease was so dreamy and parking is made incredibly easy with the inbuilt camera which guide you into the space. That’s if you don’t want to take advantage of the cars ability to park itself.
With one last mirror glance at St. Michaels Mount, we headed home to return the car to Land Rover. We were so sad to give the Land Rover Discovery back and we’ve already been missing it on all of our latest adventures. We’re in serious talks about upgrading our car in the next couple of years.
The Land Rover suits Cornwall so well and also suits a growing adventurous family. It now sits firmly on the top spot, as the ‘family car of our dreams’. I fear that no car journey will ever be the same now that we’ve tested this car out. So, until we have it once again, we’ll keep dreaming and will be catching up the ‘Discovery Adventures’ in our own car.
The ‘Discovery Adventures‘ podcast is available to listen to on Spotify and we seriously recommend it. Whether you listen in the car as a family or you make a cup of tea in the comfort of your own home, they are well worth a go. Listening to them in a Land Rover is of course optional, but what better way to do it!
Have you been on any family adventures recently? Which British spots would you recommend we try next?