Play Queen for a Day
In the world of automotive marketing, luxury cars are oft referred to as “aspirational vehicles”. Not all of us can afford them but many of us set our sites on them and aspire to own one. The first part of the process of owning a luxury car is getting your driving test passed with the assistance of somewhere like the Cumbred School of Motoring. The vehicles made by Land Rover fall into this category. World famous for their off-road prowess, they evoke images of aristocracy, adventure and muddy wheel wells after a day at the hunt. In this country is it a slightly different story. Owning a Land Rover is more often associated with celebrities (our royalty!), shopping and more shopping.
While owners in the U.S. may yearn to be like Helen Mirren in The Queen, driving her Land Rover over the rough trails of the Royal Estate Balmoral in Scotland, the closest most of them get to upscale adventure is pulling into the parking lot of Fred Segal after a heavy rain. Not exactly what they were designed for is it?
Land Rover USA has a solution that satisfies current and future owners’ desire to connect to the heritage of Land Rover while making them feel like a Queen (or King) for a day. It is called the Land Rover Experience Driving School. There are three in North America and I was lucky enough to take part in on at the most stately of estates, The Biltmore in gay-friendly Asheville, NC.
Here is the idea; you check into the gorgeous Inn at the Biltmore Estate, situated on over 8,000 acres that was once the summer residence of George Vanderbilt and his family. Make arrangements with the Land Rover Experience Driving School for a lesson ranging from 1 hour up to a full day and then fasten your seat belts for some of the most fun you’ll ever have behind the wheel. Companies like Get in Gear also offer automatic car lessons, but land rover lessons are far different due to the size of the vehicles!
We did a full day of off road driving that included a tour of various parts of the estate. Our professional Land Rover Experience Driving Instructor gave us instruction and then let us loose on a challenging off-road obstacle course where we learned to properly navigate steep ascents and descents, pick the right line on side tilts, and maintain vehicle control on log bridge crossings. At one point, as a passenger in the rear, we were driving in a ditch and I could put my hand out the window and touch the grass! It was amazing!
There are two things I can guarantee: you would NEVER do this with your own vehicle and you will walk away absolutely amazed at the capabilities of Land Rovers. If you are even THINKING about a Land Rover, make a vacation out of it and enroll in the Land Rover Driving Experience. You’ll return to your suburban jungle with stories to share and a new appreciation for what Land Rovers were built to do.
As monumental as the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround it, the magnificent Biltmore Estate has been enchanting visitors for more than a century. George Vanderbilt’s 250-room château is impressive on many levels—such as the 65 fireplaces, the collection of priceless antiques and works of art and, of course, the architecture. Stroll through the Frederick Law Olmstead gardens to visit the Biltmore Estate winery to sample award-winning estate-grown wines. Pick up the activity level by exploring the 8,000-acre property on mountain bike, horseback or from the driver seat of a Land Rover. The Estate’s woodlands, pastures and rolling hills create an exceptional setting for off-road driving. At trail’s end, recharge at the Inn on Biltmore Estate—a four-star hotel with all the charm and elegance of Biltmore House itself.
For reservations and information, please call 1-800-239-0533.
The Land Rover Experience Driving School at Biltmore Estate
1 Approach Road
Asheville, NC 28803
For information on other Land Rover Driving Schools, click HERE.
Land Rover is a gay-friendly company.