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OutdoorNI.com does motor sports madness at Todds Leap

Posted on August 8, 2011 @ 5:55 PM in Adventure

OutdoorNI.com does motor sports madness at Todds Leap is the latest in our regular blog feature ‘OutdoorNI.com does…’ which is our opportunity to showcase the exciting outdoor activities available in Northern Ireland.

Chris Scott spent an action packed morning at Todds Leap near Ballygawley in Co Tyrone.  He had signed up for a 4x4 off road driving tasterexperience but got a lot more than he bargained for.


As a native of Fermanagh I have to confess I have often thought of Ballygawley as the roundabout on the way to and from Belfast.  However over the past while I couldn’t help but be enticed by the promotional machine of Todds Leap including Ulster Rally Sponsorship, an exciting new brand  and a seemingly endless stream of new activities. Could this quiet countyside village really have spawned one of Northern Ireland’s most innovative and exciting activities centres?

I had signed up for a 4x4 off road driving session and after a quick safety introduction I was behind the wheel of ‘Shane’ – each 4x4 is named after an past or present instructor – most people get things named after them once they have passed away, but I didn’t dare ask as I buckled up!!  Shane and I maneuvered our way along the track at a break neck speed of 5 mph whilst the instructor quietly built up my confidence. 

I would like to say that my speed improved but I continued to drive Shane like a granny on the way to shops albeit whilst I was negotiating sheer hill climbs requiring plenty of right foot to ensure I didn’t roll back from where we had just came.  I wouldn’t say it was high speed adrenaline (that would come later) but it was certainly the most fun I had had behind the wheel for a long time.  Todds Leap 8 miles of purpose built tracks are certainly challenging with each obstacle given innovative names such ‘Hamburger Hill’ or ‘Michelin Mountain’

4x4 is also a great way to see everything else Todds Leap has to offer.  I have to confess to losing track of the number of death defying activities available.  I have to say the only time Shane and I speed up was when the instructor pointed out the 30 foot high drop zone and the 500 metre long zipline.

On return to base I was casually asked would I like to try out the Hill Rally which is included in their Off Road Multi Activity Day package. Feeling confident after my 4x4 performance I of course accepted.  I have to say I was wasn’t feeling quite as confident a few moment later as I was being buckled into a bucket seat in a high powered land rover.  My previously calm and reassuring instructor changed from Jeykell to Hyde in an instant and became a crazed rally driver.  His last words to me as he pulled on his crash helmet were ‘if I say the words roll roll then hold on tight as we are going to crash’, from that moment on I was not waiting for the phrase ‘roll roll’, the white knuckles were fully on show as the jeep raced off towards the track.

We were quickly racing along at around 30 – 40 mph, which seems slow on a normal road but bear in mind I was struggling along at 10 mph on these tracks only moments earlier.

The jeep leaped from side to side only inches from a wall at one side and steep drop off on the other.  The crazed rally driver roaring in laughter as we blasted through a muddy puddle completely soaking me, I was careful not to make a sound so as not to excite him any more, he didn’t need any further encouragement!

Check out OutdoorNI.com's Rally & Off Road 4x4 Schools section for more motorsports madness.

Activity Provider:

Todds Leap
BT70 2BW

+44 (0)28 8556 7170


Off Road Driving Experience: from £109 (driver + 2)

Multiactivity Days: from £45 p/p

Suitable For:

Recommended minimum age for the off road driving and hill rally stage is 8 y/o.

Pre-Booking required.


Chris Scott
Chris Scott

When not boring everyone about his little kids’ latest antics, Chris enjoys sailing and cycling, if only to offset his love of eating out and Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon..

2 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Charleigh on August 25, 2011 @ 1:26 PM

My hat is off to your astute camomnd over this topic-bravo!

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