Over the past few months, I’ve been having lazy Sunday afternoons at Chirk Castle, wandering around their snowdrop and daffodil infested woodlands, feasting on homemade cake and hanging around in their dark dungeons (not as dodgy as it sounds). It’s such a wonderful and inexpensive place to visit with the family or solo (especially if you’re a National Trust member). I thought I’d seen most of Chirk’s grounds…
Until I heard that you could Segway at Chirk Castle and so I gave Tom the owner of SegTrek a quick hello! On Easter Sunday, Rik and I had a Segway session and it was completely and utterly awesome!
I’ve never been on a Segway and my childhood attempts at skateboarding and my adult attempts at surfing weren’t anything to shout home about – balance issues! So I entirely expected to be somewhat Bambi-esque on a Segway at Chirk castle.
After a quick intro, helmets put on, and a waiver form signed, we had a practice on the cobbled streets (near to the gift shop). In case you were wondering Segway means ‘smooth transition’ and it was developed in New Hampshire. I can’t begin to go into the mechanics of the Segway’s at Chirk castle but they have 2 fat wheels, with sensors in the footplates and what I can only describe as a sophisticated pogo looking stick which is the steering!
They look as though they shouldn’t balance but they do. To stop, and to reverse, you lean back and to go forwards (and faster) you lean forwards. Psychologically it feels as though you’re going to fall forward but you don’t! The steering is very sensitive, in fact, the whole Segway is – it reacts to everything your body does.
Getting on is probably the wobbliest part of being on a Segway.
After some practicing (see Rik here) we were let loose onto the roads and woods in the grounds. The roads were lovely and smooth and it’s easy to build up speed (they do a maximum of 14 mph). It felt quite surreal, to begin with – people staring at you, as you’ve got a childlike grin plastered to your face because you’re on this space like contraption zipping past cars and people.
I had a vision of what space-age Wales would look like….
Minimum Effort for Maximum Fun
Once you get off the smooth road, we entered woodlands with a variety of hills.
Going downhill, you’ve to lean back to slow yourself but as I found, your head tricks you into thinking you’re leaning further than you actually are. Therefore, steering becomes quite light and it can throw you off balance!
We whizzed past bluebell covered woods, wild horses, cows, castle turrets and bird hideaways. Generally, you don’t have to do much at all on Segway except enjoy the ride.
And maybe dodge tree roots and stones which can take the Segway out. I bottled the steep ‘Hercules hill’ – no surprises Rik was rearing to go…
We stopped off at various points to learn more about Chirk castle grounds. It was also great to find out more about Tom, who’s got a wicked sense of humor and fun about him. I love meeting people who work out in the outdoors, they’re generally upbeat people!
Before every corner, I found myself hoping this wasn’t the end as I was loving every moment of it! The entire session lasts for about 90 minutes. I can’t wait to bring some friends along for the next session as there are some useful group discounts. I’d like to take on that hill too…
There may have been a few occasions Rik nearly sent me flying (if the Segway’s wheel collides with one another they tend to jitter about the place) but I got him back and sent him into a spin nearly towards the end… Don’t mess with me!!
Easter was well spent on a Segway at Chirk Castle with SegTrek, my only complaint is I didn’t want it to stop.
Segway Tips with SegTrek
- Bring gloves for chilly days (wind chill can be nasty);
- Give your phone to Tom as he’s handy at seging and filming you;
- Wear sturdy shoes just in case you do come off – protect those ankles;
- Make use of extra padding they offer you if you’re really worried about falling off;
- Always wear a helmet and make sure it’s securely fastened;
- It’s perfectly normal for jelly-esque legs once you’ve got off.
Rik and I actually walked the track this time taking in the bits we’d missed. When you first get on a Segway it does take up a lot of your concentration! I’d recommend the scenic walks around the grounds. We clocked up 4 miles which brings my current Walk 1000 miles to 325 miles so far!
Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post – all thoughts, leaning, big grins, and shaky ‘no hands’ for picture moments, were all mine.