Clambering inside a 50-ton war machine to bomb around the British countryside must be one of the weirdest and most wonderful ways to spend an afternoon!
Tank Driving Experience Days is very popular in the UK, probably because we have lots of wet weather to create the perfect tank driving conditions: mud! According those in the know, driving a tank in dry sunny weather is no fun at all, and most actually recommend going during winter, so you can really get stuck into some gloriously muddy terrain.
Driving a tank is definitely an all-season activity, but in any case once the hatch is closed on the armored metal mammoth you won’t care what the weather’s doing as you’ll be having far too much fun!
Is it for everyone?
Most tank driving experiences have a minimum age of 16, but apart from that it’s open to everyone. It has to be said that tank experiences are not suitable for those who suffer from claustrophobia, as you will be sitting in a very confined space for at least 45 minutes. It’s better for small groups for obvious reasons, but on some of the tanks passengers can sit on the top for a great view. Just make sure you bring your wellies and sensible clothing – these things don’t have heating or a/c!
The Let's Go Out Team
What can you do in a tank?
It’s quite surprising how many different activities you can choose from when it comes to tank driving experiences. You can simply navigate the terrain and test your driving skills, or you can indulge your destructive side by completely crushing a car! Some venues offer night driving experiences where you can use night vision technology to help you find your way. There’s even such a thing as tank paintball, using 40mm balls for target practice.
How do you drive a tank?
Your instructor (or Tank Commander) will talk you through how to coordinate the pedals and levers to control the tank – apparently, it’s very easy! The main challenge is the lack of visibility compared to driving a car, but you’ll soon get used to this.
Where are the tanks from?
Most of the 10+ tank driving locations in the UK use the formidable Cheiftain, as these war machines were retired from the British Army in 1995 and are readily available to buy on the private market. Russian Gvozdikas are also a popular choice. If you’ve got a spare £30k you could even buy a Chieftain yourself, they are road-legal with the right driver’s license and are even exempt from the London Congestion Charge! A tempting alternative to the tube…
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