Joe Swash has been on a road trip of a lifetime, touring the Scottish Highlands in a vintage Land Rover as part of Green Flag’s Scenic Route series of inspiring drives. But when a car is almost as old as its driver, things will inevitably go wrong under the bonnet.
When cars breakdown, getting to the root of the cause is half the battle to swiftly getting it back on the road. That’s why every Green Flag breakdown van carries hundreds of tools, each with a very specific purpose. It means if a driver’s motor splutters to a halt – as Joe’s Land Rover did several times – the Green Flag technician should be able to fix the problem at the roadside.
The tools vary from the simple to the highly complex, costing from pence to hundreds of pounds. And several of them came to the rescue of Joe Swash, although he wasn’t too sure what many of them were for.
Take our quick quiz and see if you can guess the Green Flag tools and identify more of them than Joe could…
Joe Swash is the first to admit he would benefit from a new driver course. The popular actor and television presenter may have taken the Scenic Route round Scotland but he only passed his driving test in July 2015. And the 34-year old Londoner says he would benefit from further lessons at the wheel.
So for Joe and the thousands of other newly qualified drivers, what courses are available if they want to brush up on their skills at the wheel and clock up more experience under professional guidance?
It’s not just an issue for those drivers who have recently passed their test. Anyone who’s been driving for some time can feel rusty and require a confidence boost in certain situations. If that sounds familiar, the good news is there are all sorts of driving courses across Britain that will put you on the right road. Here are four worth investigating:
Courses for newly qualified drivers: Pass Plus, any driving instructor
Fans will tell you buying old Land Rovers can be a fun and rewarding experience. Old versions of the model we now know as the Defender were the original ‘go anywhere’ vehicle. Ever since its introduction in 1948, the Land Rover is one of the few cars that can truly lay claim to having a cult following. It’s no surprise then that Joe Swash picked a Land Rover for his epic road trip for Green Flag’s Scenic Route series.
Joe’s is a 1985 Land Rover 90 Soft Top, the short wheelbase version fitted with what appears to be a poorly erected tent covering the back seats and load bay. You need a sense of adventure to own and drive a car like Joe’s. It’s also ideal to have a little mechanical knowledge or, at the least, the enthusiasm to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in, learning to fix faults as they arise. And they will – as any Land Rover owner will tell you. Continue reading →
The Jump and ex-Eastenders star Joe Swash is the first in a series of celebrities to take Green Flag’s Scenic Route. The series of adventures around the UK and Europe has been designed to celebrate the freedom of driving and encourage drivers to take the road less travelled. In this Joe Swash exclusive interview, the London lad talks about his life and how important motoring has been.
Why did you leave it so late to learn to drive?
“I lived in central London and public transport is amazing there. You can get round so much easier and quicker than in a car. Also I started doing Eastenders when I was 20 and we were ferried around by drivers all the time so I got lazy. Then before I knew it, I was in my 30s and still couldn’t drive. But I had my boy and I couldn’t keep on picking him up from school by cab…”
With the Easter holiday around the corner and the summer break on the horizon, millions of us are planning to get away from it all. To fuel inspiration for great adventures in the UK and Europe, Green Flag has hit the road with an exciting new series of road trips. And some of the country’s best-known faces will be sliding into the driving seat and sharing their experiences with you.
Called Scenic Route, the journeys are easy for anyone to take. All you need is a car and a thirst for adventure. In the first Scenic Route road trip, actor and presenter Joe Swash, best known for Eastenders, I’m A Celebrity and, most recently, The Jump, reveals how the Scottish Highlands can take your breath away and get the adrenaline racing.