Play Hard

Here are the North East experience days offering everything from F1 racing to tank driving

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 12.06.2021

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Car lovers (or anyone else who wants to look super-fly for the ‘gram), unite! Croft Circuit is here to make all your dreams come true – if your dreams happen to involve racing a Porsche, F1 racing car or Caterham Seven 270 at potentially breakneck speeds. Cool, huh?



At this FIA-licensed track in Dalton on Tees – which also hosts race meetings (including Ferrari and classic motorcycles) – you can choose whichever type of car you fancy and take it for a spin around the 2.1-mile race circuit, just like the pros. The instructors here have more than 20 years’ experience in operating driving experiences of this kind, so you know you’re in safe hands. Plus, you know it’s unlikely to be beaten as the most unforgettable birthday, anniversary, mate date, insert-any-other-occasion-you-fancy-here going.

Croft Circuit, West Lane, Dalton On Tees DL2 2PL


So you’ve taken some top-of-the-range sports cars for a spin at Croft, now it’s time to take your driving skills to new heights – and we’re talking 35,000 feet in the air kinda heights!

Ok, not really. But this is probably as close as many of us will ever get to piloting an airplane. And trust us, it’s pretty darn close.


Flight Sim Centre is Europe’s largest flight simulator – where you can ‘pilot’ everything from the Boeing 737s you go on holiday in, to Cherokees, Spitfires and helicopters. You can even get your Tom Cruise on and go full Maverick in their Top Gun Fighter Jet experience, or travel back in time and prove your heroics in their Battle of Britain simulation. The worlds of time and space are your oysters here – all without ever leaving the North East.

HLN’ers can use the code FSC20 for a 20% discount on any of the experiences (including vouchers). 

Flight Sim Centre, Unit 5 Gibson House, Brunswick Industrial Estate, Brunswick Village, Newcastle NE13 7GB


From paintballing to quad biking through the ‘jungle’, archery and axe throwing to hovercraft surfing and clay pigeon shooting, and even driving a full-size military tank – you’ll find it all at Turboventure.

The closest events centre to Newcastle (operating on the Matfen Hall Estate), Turboventure are all about finding the adventure in every activity. Led by intrepid adventurer Richard Wilson – who, in 1982, turbo-powered the Army and RAF Airportable Land Rovers to success in the World Himalayan Rally through India – the incredible team here are always looking for new ways to help us make the most of the great outdoors.



But while their proximity to Newcastle is certainly handy for us here at HLN HQ, it’s up at their epic course near Alnwick where you’ll find their Tank Driving Experiences – and they are next level! Getting behind the wheel of a steel behemoth (we’re talking 15 tons of tank) and experiencing its raw, Rolls Royce-powered agility over the hilly Northumberland wilderness… It’s bad-ass level 3000.

Turboventure, Standing Stone Farm, Matfen, Newcastle NE20 0RQ


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