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Southern Pursuits at Tulleys Farm

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by Keeley Downey (subscribe)
Writer and journalist living in Wimbledon. Check out my blog Follow me on twitter: @KeeleyJD
Published October 14th 2012
My boss sure knows how to reward his staff, or maybe he's just all too aware of the importance of breaks, especially for such hard workers like us. Either way, for the last two years my office has been treated to a couple of unforgettable afternoons out at Tulleys Farm in Crawley, near Gatwick.

Home to PYO fruit, animal corner, a farm shop and tea room, we were there for a very different reason – we were supposed to be letting off steam after all.

Southern Pursuits at Tulleys Farm is an outdoor activity centre offering a selection of outrageous sports that promise to get your heart thumping, perfect for adrenaline junkies (and rowdy staff).

On our first visit two years ago we indulged in a spot of clay pigeon shooting to warm up before letting rip on the ballsy 4x4 350cc quad bikes. The experience includes a safety briefing, a couple of laps round the 'baby course' and about 30 minutes trucking through the deep, muddy tracks around the forest in single file. The rough and ready instructors were a real laugh and never missed an opportunity to make fun of those who struggled to keep up. It was good banter all round.

Prepare to get muddy on the quad bikes. Photo courtesy of Southern Pursuits

This year we returned to Southern Pursuits to try out what else was on offer, and opted for rifle shooting – like the clay pigeon shooting last year, this was the slightly more subdued activity before we were let loose on the dry, dusty track in a curious-looking rage buggy.

With two buggies allowed on the track at once, one pair of colleagues at a time – blue buggy against red buggy – raced to see who would come out on top and be named the office champ.

The course looks tricky but just how tricky remains a mystery until you're in the driver's seat with a face full of dust, sliding uncontrollably across the ground and into cones as the bare tyres provide no grip, but a lot of fun.

You won't be raging after a session on these sliding buggies. Photo courtesy of Southern Pursuits

Afterwards I was literally shaking from the adrenaline that was pumping through my body and could just about stumble back over to the safe waiting area and sit patiently before it was my turn again.

I'm sure we'll be back next year and there are lots more activities to choose from: archery, axe throwing, hover crafting and Argo Cat driving, which the Southern Pursuits website describes as a "six-wheel amphibious all-terrain vehicle 18 hp vanguard which are designed to go almost anywhere. On land they can do up to 30mph whilst on water they will do 3".

A possibility for next year?: Argo Cat driving. Photo courtesy of Southern Pursuits
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Why? For a fun and dirty day out
When: Monday-Sunday, 9am-5.30pm
Phone: 0845 094 3398
Where: Crawley, West Sussex
Cost: See website for details
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