It has become a bit of a tradition for Lauren and me to attend the London 2 Brighton Land Rover Run, which is generally held over the first weekend of October; this will be our 5th year in a row. Unfortunately however, this will also be the first time I go alone as Lauren is at university and unable to join me.
Now in its 15th year, this annual event is brilliantly organised by the South London & Surrey Land Rover Club (SLSLRC) with proceeds going to charity. This year’s run will be held on Sunday 6th October with vehicles arriving at the start on the Saturday before and camping overnight.
Until last year the start was in Crystal Palace park right by the foundations of the mighty glass house and in the shadows of the transmission towers which can be seen from across London. This was a great starting point with the history, the athletics track and the famous dinosaurs that could be found in the park. Unfortunately the introduction of the Mayors’ “Low Emissions Zone” has resulted in many of the older vehicles no longer being allowed to travel London’s streets, so rather than exclude them the start was changed to Hook Road Arena in Epson, outside the dreaded zone. Land Rovers from across the country, and some from ever further afield, converge on this small corned of south London ready for a very early start to the drive down to Brighton.
There are many London to Brighton runs, but the most famous, the Veteran Car Run, first took place on Saturday 14th November 1896. Originally it was called “The Emancipation Run” and was organised by Harry J Lawson to celebrate the recently passed “Locomotives on Highways Act 1896” which increased the speed limit to 14 mph! Possible still close to the average speed of the run today! It has taken place most years since its revival in 1927. Further details are available from Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_to_Brighton_Veteran_Car_Run
In addition to the several hundred vehicles which will park up over night, many hundreds more will arrive very early in the morning ready for the official off at about 9am. The drive down to Brighton is a leisurely affair as the vehicles wind their way through the London streets which slowly make way to the Sussex countryside. The last stretch follows the A23 as we finally make our way into Brighton and Madeira Drive which is right on the sea front by the famous pier.
As well as the opportunity to view hundreds of Land Rovers, all makes, models, shapes and sizes, there are also club stands, traders and other activities taking place right by the sea.
It is difficult to imagine a better way for a Land Rover enthusiast to end their summer!
Full details of the London 2 Brighton Land Rover Run can be found at http://www.london2brighton.org.uk/