A couple of weekends ago Charlie and myself drove down late Friday night to Crawley, staying in a little Travelodge for the weekend so that we could get up nice and early for an action packed afternoon at Southern Pursuits.
Our hotel was just a 15 minute drive to Tulleys Farm in Crawley, where Southern Pursuits are based. After turning up the wrong road just a couple of times and after checking my email and reading the address properly we pulled up just a little early ready for our afternoon of activities. We were greeted by the lovely Jessica and Victoria, and later our instructor for the day, Tom. The staff at Southern Pursuits were all so lovely which really helped when asking questions about certain activities. I’ve been to an outdoor activity center before where I felt too scared and intimidated to ask the stupid questions whereas the staff at Southern Pursuits were just so warming – very important.
Southern Pursuits are open all year round, apart from Christmas day. So whether you’re part of a hen or stag do, planning a Christmas party for work or even planning a team building day, Southern Pursuits can accommodate. They can entertain up to 150 guests and provide exciting and flexible packages for all.
Our first activity was quad biking on the powerful 350cc quads. Naturally I was a bit worried that I’d either end up flying off or flipping the quad bike but our instructor Tom made us feel quite safe. The instructions led by Tom were extensive, we were told what to do if we were to get stuck, if we were to fall off or a solution for any of our other worries. He went through the basics, such as sitting as far forward as possible as it would be more safe and comfortable, but if we were to get stuck on a hill to try and sit back to ensure the quad was able to get up the hill.
Tom also taught us probably the most crucial thing, if we were stuck on a hill or needed help, to press the brakes and just put a hand up and he would come and help. Charlie and myself both needed help at some point and we both felt safe even when I felt like I was going to tip back on a very steep hill with water gushing down haha.
After Tom had given us his 10 minute talk about the quad biking, the instructions and answered any of our questions, we were led around a track in a field to get to grips with the controls. Normally group sizes are much bigger than just the two of us (great for parties), which meant that after one lap of the ‘trial’ track on the field we were able to go onto the purpose built woodland safari, with hills, water and mud everywhere. The track is a 5 mile purpose build mud track which tackles trick terrain with steep inclines and declines, very muddy puddles (aka lakes!), bridges and muddy slopes.
The price for quad biking is £45 + VAT per person, for what felt like way over an hour of driving around the amazing track. When we first started going along the track I didn’t quite expect the sort of hills and dips that were there. On embarking the first few dips I had to max out my brakes, thinking I was going to fall or flip the bike. By the end of the track I was revving down the hills, splashing everything as I went by. It’s amazing how much your confidence increases just after 10 minutes. It was so much fun and felt so surreal, it felt like something you’d come across abroad rather than little England.
We never drove on the same bit of track once, each bit of track was new and interloped. I have no idea how long the track took to build but it was immense and so thought out. To be honest I can imagine it would be a mountain bikers dream. Whether you’re a newbie like myself, or a quad bike regular, Southern Pursuits caters for all abilities.
Our second activity of the day was archery which was Charlie’s choice as I chose quad biking. archery is priced very competitively at £17.50 + VAT per person which was very worth it. We had Tom again as our instructor for archery which was great. Once again it was just the two of us partaking in archery but they could host so many more. Tom led us through the techniques and tips of archery to ensure we were able to hit… well at least the board every time.
The funniest part of archery is that during the first few beginners round, Charlie hit the red/yellow pretty much every time. Where as I would only get about 3 of my arrows on the board at all. Still pretty happy about that though. After the beginners round Tom brought out the scoreboard. As soon as he did this I hit the red and yellow pretty much every time. Going from rarely scoring to winning by over 60 points to Charlie’s measly 30 points shows that I do love a good competition haha.
I did archery a few years ago on a school trip, I actually thought it was pretty boring at the time. So I went into this archery activity thinking it might be the same. Oh how wrong I was. I’m actually quite thankful we did archery because I wouldn’t hesitate if archery was an option in the future, aka Center Parcs. It was so much fun and Tom gave us so so many pointers after pretty much every shot. I went from shooting over the board every time, to shooting bullseye and in the red/yellow most shots. So it shows a good instructor can really help your aim.
Southern Pursuits in Crawley run so many different activities that vary from concentrating with archery or more adrenaline activities such as 650cc twin engine rage buggies. Some of the activities include; clay shooting, quad biking, archery, axe throwing, air rifles, argocat driving, off road karting and hovercrafting.
It is pretty much an all-weather type outdoor activity place. As you can see from some of the photos we got absolutely drenched by the rain during archery. However we wore old clothes and had spare clothing in the car. So after getting covered in mud during quad biking we thought well, we’re going to change as soon as we leave so why hide under cover when we can play archery in the rain eh.
We had such a wonderful day at Southern Pursuits, I think we arrived around 10.30 and left around 3ish so a fun-packed afternoon. Thank you to the wonderful Jessica who arranged it all and the lovely Victoria who shot the majority of the photographs above, and to Tom our fabulous instructor.
I’m in the middle of convincing my manager to book Southern Pursuits as our team building exercise day out for next day. I’d really recommend the day and it is worth the drive if you live far away like myself. Thanks again!
*Charlie and myself were invited along for a couple of activities in exchange for a review. All photographs are shot by Victoria @ Southern Pursuits.