Friday, 23 July 2010

23/07: SEGWAYS

David & I wanted to organise something slightly different to celebrate my friend's recent birthday and settled on a Segway tour around Leeds Castle in Kent yesterday.

The four of us had great fun - apparently there should have been another couple in our group but the lady took one look at the stationary machine and refused to even try it. Her partner had booked the tour without telling her and she just wasn't 'game'. All the more fun for us!!

We had a practice/training session and then the tour itself was about 40 minutes. We're now thinking about doing a longer Segway tour which will involve even more 'off-road' bumpy terrain and will involve travelling alongside an expanse of water - what an incentive not to fall off!

If anybody hasn't seen a Segway before - the best way I can describe one is to call it a motorised two wheeled scooter. It reaches speeds of 12.5mph (which seems pretty fast when you are on board) and is extremely manouverable and responsive to shifts in bodyweight.

'Look no hands' - getting a little over-confident during the training session!

Taking a breather after a bit of a 'burn up' along the tarmac path.  Leeds Castle is just visible through the trees on the skyline

The weather was very kind to us for the morning.   It was warm enough to enjoy lunch on the covered terrace at a little fish restaurant in a nearby village.   We then went back to Leeds Castle to walk around the grounds and aviary and to see the falconry display which they provided every afternoon.   Unfortunately, it started to rain quite heavily as the display was due to start so the performance was curtailed quite severely.  Managed to get a few photos but nothing spectacular!   We'll definitely go back to have 'another go' though.

Here are a couple of parrot-in-flight photos - the camera lens got rain splashed so didn't help matters

There are some beautiful birds in the Castle Aviary and lots of exotic birds in the grounds (including an albino peacock)  These African cranes were very protective of their 'little one'.  Isn't it amazing that the little brown fluffy thing will grow up to be an exotic African Crane - quite the 'ugly duckling' story


Sunny said...

I would love to try a Segway, they look like a lot of fun!
What amazing bird pictures, the Cranes and chick are breathtaking.
☼ Sunny

sue said...

Hello Sunny
I'm very flattered that you commented here as your photography is absolutely stunning and mine is embarassing by comparison.
However, I think my pics captured the moment for me. I know my friend Jenni will have taken better shots and look forward to seeing them said...

looks like fun Sue, and your photos are beautiful!

sue said...

thanks Geraldine

After seeing these pics I know I'm going on a serious diet/exercise regine. My friend Jenni has lost 1.5 stones.. I've put on nearly the same amount so I'm determined to lose a bit of weight over the next month. The camera never lies ... and all that!!!

Janet Pantry said...

The Segway looks great fun, I've never heard of or seen these before. And those are great bird shots, Sue, - if you think they're not good you should see my pathetic wildlife photos (lol)! Looks like you enjoyed yourselves on the trip :)

sue said...

We really had fun Janet and if you get the chance you must experience the Segways. I've been checking the 'net' and European City Segway tours are probably better value for money but the speeds are restristed (less fun). We ruled out Paris for that reason but I'm quite interested in Bruges (an easy journey for us as the Dover ferry terminal is just an hour's drive from us so we could do it all in a day trip.

However, if we go back to Leeds Castle in Kent, we can do the longer Segway tour, with more off road stuff and faster speeds :o)

Michelle Wrighton said...

I've never seen a Segway before but all I can say is 'I want one!' That looks like so much fun! Your photos of the African Cranes are gorgeous, I don't remember seeing them when we visited Leeds Castle on our honeymoon (LOL but then it was many years ago now!)

sue said...

Hi Michelle.

I believe you can buy Segways for around £5,000 but in England you aren't allowed to use them on public highways - so you have to find someone offering these organised tours.

I've been to Leeds Castle once before for an open-air evening concerts/fireworks display (which was fantastic) but this was my first daytime visit. I now want to go back to have a really good look around the castle and grounds - its only an hour's drive from us but I'm very guilty of never really appreciating whats on my doorstep!

Jan said...

What fun you all must have had! The segways were touted as a big deal here a few years ago but we don't hear much about them anymore.

The crane photos are fabulous although that little chick really doesn't look as if he belongs to them.

Thanks for the info on the punnet - I did look it up and it just said it was a basket - your explanation was much better.

Chrissy said...

Thats looks like loads of fun :D Your photo's of the cranes are beautiful. It is a shame you missed the falconry display but as you say, somewhere to go back.

sam said...

I too would love to have a go on those! The castle looks like a great place but why is 'Leeds' castle in Kent!? :o)

sue said...

Leeds Castle is apparently named after Led who is supposed to have been the Chief Minister of King Ethelbert IV of Kent in Saxon times. Its been enlarged and improved over the centuries and is a really beautiful place. Its also very close to the village of Leeds in Kent - don't know what came first - the castle or the village though :o(

By the way Sam - are you anywhere near Rother Valley? Segway tours are available there. Just seen they offer a 5 mins test/intro glide (£4) which is a bit cheeky - we had a short training session which was included in the tour price.
Here's the link:

pett paintings said...

Hi Sue just catching up on your blogs (better late than never) this looks great fun! its been ages since we last visited Leeds castle but must make the trip again soon its a great day out;-)
x kay

sue said...

Hi Kay
Hope everything well with you? It certainly is a great day out and the entrance ticket is good for repeat visits throughout they year.
If you return, you must book a Segway tour!

Dors said...

Hi Sue. Now that's what I call fun. Oh I would love to try the Segway. Glad you had a good time and wow to those photos of the birds. Beautiful.
Thank you so much for sharing your fun day. Hope your friend had a lovely birthday.

sam said...

Ah well that makes sense Sue , didnt know there was a Leeds in Kent) As for Rothervalley its very close to us, they do a lot of watersports there. I will definitely check it out thanks a lot!

sue said...

Thanks Dors ... its beginning to sound as though I'm earning commission from Segway - but we did have fun ...... I know you can do a Segway tour in Sydney (Olympic Park) so perhaps when you next fancy a day out???

Great Sam ... let us know how you get on

Jo said...

Brilliant photos Sue and the Segway looks real good fun X

Pet Portrait Artists said...

Segways are fantastic! We went on them with Nutty and we had a blast! M xx

sue said...

You're sooooo right Mel! I was beginning to worry peeps would think I was on commissions as I kept 'plugging' Segways .. but they really are fun aren't they?