Land Rover modification engineers Twisted Automotive demonstrated the power of experiential events in its second annual Yorkshire 300 road trip.
As a child, Twisted Automotive founder, Charles Fawcett was surrounded by Land Rover vehicles, with his father running a 4×4 off-road driving centre. In 2001, he joined the family business and established Twisted as a side operation, taking the iconic and now out of production Land Rover Defender and re-engineering it with more powerful engines, adapted bodywork and beefier suspension components. The customised vehicles have become popular with events specialists such as Bruntingthorpe Events, who use them to run extreme off-road team building experiences across the north.
The second Yorkshire 300 tour celebrated the business’s new partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire, while raising money for children’s charity, Variety Yorkshire.
In an exclusive four-day road trip around Yorkshire, Twisted hoped to showcase the county’s stunning scenery, thrilling off-road driving and warm hospitality to Land Rover Defender devotees hailing from as far as the Netherlands.
The four-day round trip of the county saw a convoy of 15 Twisted Land Rover Defender vehicles and their owners take in the very best Yorkshire has to offer. 20 of the business’s customers and team members embarked on the journey, including extreme endurance adventurer Sean Conway who took to the wheel of his own legendary Defender, nicknamed Colonel Mustard.
Taking in the North Yorkshire Dales and Moors, the journey began at Twisted headquarters in Thirsk, before heading through Thimbleby, Masham, Lofthouse, Aysgarth, Muker, Harrogate and Garforth. The trip included stays at Guisborough Hall, a 19th-century mansion house hotel, The Kings Head Hotel, an 18th-century Georgian inn in Masham, and The Coniston Hotel, a 1,400-acre country estate and spa in Skipton. The convoy also drank in the views from Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in the UK, standing at 1,732 feet above sea level on the Pennine Way.
Attendees enjoyed a tour of the Black Sheep Brewery and had the opportunity to drive the Buttertubs Pass, described by Jeremy Clarkson as “England’s only truly spectacular road”. Guests enjoyed lunch and evening meals at The Carpenters Arms in Felixkirk and The Wensleydale Creamery and Betty’s Tea Rooms in Harrogate and even participated in a clay pigeon shooting experience at Thimbleby Estate.
They went on to visit the historic parish of Coniston Cold, experience the water-sport hotspot of Lake Semerwater, the second largest natural lake in North Yorkshire, and marvel at the stunning views from the Cow and Calf rocks at Ilkley. There was also a visit to renowned Yorkshire racing legend Ginetta, which produces hand-built road and race cars from its state-of-the-art factory just outside Leeds, before convening at Bowcliffe Hall in Branham, a Grade II listed event space, which hosts regular driving meets.
In total, the event raised £400 for Variety Yorkshire, a charity which provides mobility aid to Yorkshire children. Charles Fawcett, Twisted Automotive Managing Director, maintained the overall response from guests had been incredible: “We were so happy to be able to run the Yorkshire 300 for the second year running, it really is the highlight of our year. Being able to share our love for Yorkshire with our Twisted family is fantastic, it really is an incredible sight when all 15 vehicles are travelling across the Dales together.”
Organisers believed the prospect of 15 large vehicles roaring through remote villages may concern a few Yorkshire folk, but the event had people coming out to see what was happening, generating a buzz around the vehicles and increasing brand awareness.
Fawcett also recognises the potential for experiential events, like the Yorkshire 300, to provide the catalyst behind new networks, reporting that one of the best things about the trip was the lasting friendships forged: “It is a cliched expression, but Twisted is a family and the number of new friendships formed between guests was incredible. There was a lot of knowledge and passion on show and it’s always pleasing to see that shared.”
The success of the trip not only generated interest among enthusiastic customers, but paid dividends as Twisted staff returned to the office with boosted morale, resulting in increased productivity. The bonds formed on the trip were carried into the attendee’s professional roles, helping disparate teams better collaborate, working together for the success of the business.
The Tan Hill Inn has been snowed in 50 times! In 2009, revelers celebrating New Year’s Eve were stranded there for three days!
Attendee Sean Conway broke the record in 2018 for the fastest crossing of Europe by bicycle, just days before participating in the inaugural Yorkshire 300.
The moment when it hit home just how much planning had gone into the event was when organisers stopped traffic to allow the convoy of 15 Defenders to join a main road!
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