Short of signing on to spend a few years in the army, you might think that your chances of ever getting to drive a tank are pretty slim. But you’d be wrong, and there are, in fact, quite a few places offering civilians the chance to get to grips with some serious military hardware.
Since its introduction in the First World War, the tank has transformed the face of warfare. Even today in the missile age, tanks form a major component of most of the world’s armies. As an expression of military might, a massive chunk of mobile armour with a big gun is hard to beat, so there’s little wonder that many people want to know what it’s like to drive these vehicles.
What to expect
You’ll get to experience driving the vehicle in an off-road environment, usually with some thick mud and deep water to add to the fun. Driving a tank is one thing, but many centres offer more, including the ability to crush a car or to play tank paintball. Of course, you’ll receive some basic instruction to ensure that the whole thing is done in safety.
Tank driving is great as a group event, for parties or corporate treats. Most centres offer gift vouchers too, so you can treat the military nut in your family to an experience they won’t forget.
Where to go
There are several centres in the UK offering tank experiences. In the Midlands tank driving can be tried at places like https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/. There are also centres in Wales and Scotland. Some places in the UK offer ‘mini tanks’, which allow younger members of the family to join in the fun to.
If you want to travel further afield and perhaps make tank driving part of a longer holiday, there are centres overseas too. The Irish Military War Museum near Dublin lets you drive an armoured personnel carrier – which is almost a tank.
For the more adventurous, the place to head is the US. Ox Ranch in Texas not only lets you drive a tank, but also gives you the opportunity to fire its gun. The ranch is also home to a collection of animals including giraffes, zebras and kangaroos, so there’s plenty to keep the less tank-focused members of the family happy too.