Ride in style in a Mercedes Benz AMG track car and test the speed limit on the UK’s first purpose built motor racing circuit
| 2nd December 2019
We count down ‘five, four, three, two, one’ and my head is shunted hard backwards against my black leather seat. The G Force pulls my flesh and insides back a few inches too. As we hit naught to sixty in four and a half seconds down the track, the world whizzes by and a sense of freedom suddenly floods my body.
I am in a Mercedes AMG track car being driven around the grounds of the UK’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey. Originally constructed in 1907, the Brooklands race track was the ‘Ascot of Motorsport’ in its heyday and is now the home of Mercedes-Benz World and also Brooklands Museum.
Mercedes World is a top choice for all the family, with interactive racing challenges, racing car experiences – including the opportunity for under 17s to drive on the track, models of performance cars to be wowed by, indoor driving simulators and the Little Learners circuit – the fantastic mini Mercedes racing track for children aged 3-5.
After 30 minutes of stops, starts, spins and drifts, I stepped out of the car, my own mind spinning and in definite need to recalibrate and relax. Luckily the grand Brooklands Hotel was a stone’s throw from the track – the perfect place for us to stay with suites overlooking the circuit.
On entering the double height atrium foyer, the first thing that hits you is the colossal racetrack-inspired hanging bronze sculpture above. A sense of awe engulfed me, as I imagined all the racing greats who patronised Brooklands in by-gone years.
Check in was efficient and within minutes we found ourselves in our enormous family suite, replete with downy king-size beds and all the mod cons of a luxury hotel room. Décor is on the masculine side of the spectrum – a black, red and white colour scheme, which somehow suits the history of Brooklands.
Having all settled in, I left my other half with the children to check out the hotel’s popular bspa. And after a wonderful deep tissue massage, I retreated to Brooklands new sunlight therapy room for a different kind of drifting off. Artificial rays ensconce spa-goers like the Caribbean sun, while they relax on a ‘beach’ – sunglasses are provided at the door. A tad gimmicky some might argue, yet I thought it was something fun and different for the weekend.
Dinner and breakfast are both served in the 1907 restaurant, a large dining space that occupies most of the ground floor of the hotel on one side. We stayed when Brooklands was at full capacity and hence the atmosphere was buzzy. We felt waiters were a little overwhelmed at times at the sheer quantity of guests (the hotel is very, very popular at weekends), yet our requests were always met with jovial politeness and efficiency. The kids were well catered for with all the favourites, plus our Chateaubriand main was moreish, satisfying and plentiful.
Although we ran out of time over the weekend, we are hoping to go back and use our tickets to the adjacent Brooklands Museum. The attraction maps the history and pioneers of speed, flight and adventure at the birthplace of British motorsport, along with being the home of Concorde.
We booked the Brooklands Museum Discovery Break, which costs from £199 per room, per night. It includes one nights’ accommodation in a family room, a family pass into the Brooklands Museum and breakfast the following morning. Plus kids eat free in the 1907 restaurant, bar & grill. By train Weybridge is around 30 minutes from London, or visitors from further afield should find flights to London.
Find other great family weekend ideas on BabyBreaks.com, a unique ‘one stop shop’ that suggests great accommodation, restaurants and activities all suitable for families with babies, toddlers and small children.
Words by Leila Stocker.