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Our top picks for epic forest adventures
The new MINI Countryman is perfect for delving into the depths of the UK’s forests for big adventures. With seating for up to five people and a large adaptable luggage bay, you can scale up any stargazing, cycling or camping trip with family or friends. Plus, with optional ALL4 all-wheel-drive, you don’t need to be afraid about heading off the beaten track.
Explore the forest with the new MINI Countryman
Explore the night skies
With longer nights and milder weather, autumn and spring are perfect for stargazing, and Britain has a wealth of remote Dark Sky locations from which to admire the cosmos without the disruption of city lights.
And, thanks to a spacious luggage bay that can expand from 450 litres to 1390 litres, allied to versatile seating for five that offers a choice of 40:20:40 split-rear seats or a sliding bench, the new MINI Countryman has all the space you need for family, friends and a telescope. Or, simply recline your seat and stargaze in style through the optional panoramic sunroof.
The Galloway Forest, just south of Glasgow, was one of the first UK locations to gain Dark Sky status, thanks to its 300 sq miles of undisturbed forest. As a result, the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory is one of Britain’s top stargazing spots, boasting impressive telescopes that offer the perfect intro to the night skies.
Alternatively, head across the Scottish border to Kielder Forest, just north of Newcastle, and the stunning Kielder Observatory– an amazing venue with standout design, where they’ll give you a stellar view of the Moon and stars, as well as some great after-dark lectures from astronomical experts.
Both locations are accessible by car, but you’ll be heading up steep, slippery gravel roads – perfect terrain for the new MINI Countryman’s optional ALL4 all-wheel-drive system and its powerful TwinPower Turbo engines. Even better, with powerful LED headlights as standard, and the option of Adaptive LED headlights which use matrix technology to offer intelligent automatic high beam, you can cut through the pitch black on your way back down.
If you’re looking to stargaze a bit closer to home, there are plenty of other locations around the UK that are ideal. Exmoor and Dartmoor have a wealth of sheltered stargazing spots, while the South Downs offers stargazers from London and the South East their best chance of unpolluted skies. Usk Reservoir is the perfect spot for enjoying the Dark Skies of the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, while the Peak District and the North Yorkshire Moors also offer great views of the night skies if the conditions are right.
Alternatively, if you want to go that bit further, travel to the northernmost point of the UK in the Shetland Islands, and you’re only 400 miles south of the Arctic Circle. That gives you almost as good a chance of seeing the Northern Lights as in Iceland or Scandinavia.
“The new MINI Countryman has all the space you need for family, friends and a telescope. Or, simply recline your seat and stargaze in style through the optional panoramic sunroof”
Tackle the best forest cycling trails
A vast expanse of forest is the perfect backdrop for a day on the pedals. Whether you’re looking for peaceful serenity or exhilarating jumps and big air, the UK is awash with forest trails for cyclists of all abilities to conquer. And, with a wide range of roof rail and bike rack accessories, the new MINI Countryman offers a wealth of ways in which to carry the rides for your family and friends, while the five-seat interior has enough space for you and your crew.
BikePark Wales, just north of Cardiff, is home to over 40 diverse woodland biking trails in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons. With everything from beginner trails to jumps, dips and tree-dodging turns, this centre has it all. Alternatively, Whinlatter Forest in the Lake District, is England’s only true mountain forest. With miles of sprawling woodland, it boasts unrivalled views across Bassenthwaite Lake and is home to the region’s longest trails.
Then there’s Laggan Wolftrax, which offers 20 miles of purpose-built bike trails hidden deep within Laggan Forest in the heart of Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park, with spectacular views of the Monadhliath Hills. Or, for a different kind of forest, head to Whitelee Windfarm, just south of Glasgow. It’s Britain’s biggest wind farm, with 215 turbines and over 80 miles of free-roam tracks to be explored. Scything your way under giant turbines provides a completely new biking experience that you won’t forget anytime soon.
Finally, if it’s something simple you’re after, there are plenty of easier trails out there. Kielder Forest, just north of Newcastle, sports the Borderline Cycle Trail – an 11km run along a former railway track. With smooth ground and little undulation, it’s perfect for the family.
Camping with a difference
There are only two ways to go camping: either embrace the wild, or go posh with a quirky glamping site that offers many of the mod cons and comfort of a hotel. Luckily, with seating for up to five and luggage space that can expand from 450 litres to 1390 litres, the new MINI Countryman offers you and your friends or family enough space to pack for rain or style.
In Scotland, free-roam laws mean you can wild camp pretty much anywhere – so long as you respect the land you’re pitching on. With backdrops ranging from the Highland munros of Gleann Na Muice to the stunning Peanmeanach Beach and Quiraing mountain on the Isle Of Skye, Scotland is pretty much your oyster. The new MINI Countryman’s optional Activity Pack – featuring an automatic tailgate, luggage compartment netting, sliding rear seats and a picnic bench – gives you the perfect support for your wild adventure.
When it comes to glamping, there’s a real wealth of choice for original destinations. Atlantic Surf Pods in Bude, Cornwall, boasts stunning modern curvy wood cabins with underfloor heating and large beds and an outdoor dining area with a barbecue, while Happy Days Retro Vacations in East Dorset offers a choice of caravans – ranging from cosy classic British compacts to huge iconic American aluminium Airstream models.
Crafty Camping, also in Dorset, has a huge wooden treehouse that has won a host of design awards, as well as compact tipis and large yurts – all with large beds. You can either explore the nearby Jurassic Coast, or fettle your own spoon with a woodworking course. Blackberry Wood in West Sussex goes one better, with the choice of a fairytale treehouse, a double-decker London bus and a converted Wessex helicopter (all of which makes it much easier to remember which one you’re in).
You can really go back to nature in style at the Red Kite Tree Tent in Powys, South Wales, with a tent that literally hangs from the trees – albeit with the comfort of a woodburning stove and outside shower and cooking facilities. Finally, Tahuna Bothies, just north of Edinburgh, offers astounding sea views through the ceiling-to-floor double-glazed wall that dominate its modern ‘bothies’.
The NEW MINI Countryman:
the big mini. now better than ever.
The new MINI Countryman is the biggest, most versatile member of the MINI family.
It blends stylishly rugged looks and a spacious, high-tech, five-seat SUV interior with up to 1390 litres of highly flexible and adaptable luggage space – while also offering a wealth of ways to customise your car your way, making it feel even more premium or even more practical.
Add in the ability to choose confidence-inspiring ALL4 all-wheel-drive and a Plug-in Hybrid engine that delivers up to 26 miles of all-electric running and impressive fuel efficiency, and you’ve got the perfect partner for big adventures with family and friends.
Flexible seating for five
The perfect family-size SUV, with versatile 40:20:40 rear seats as standard or the option of a sliding rear bench.
Plenty of luggage space
With 450 litres as standard, and up to 1390 litres with the rear seats down, you can carry more stuff, more easily.
Easy to load
A large practical tailgate comes as standard, while the Activity Pack adds an automatic tailgate with hands-free ‘Easy Opener’.
Packed with technology
A digital dashboard display and touchscreen, better smartphone connectivity, more safety aids and LED headlights.
TwinPower Turbo engines
Choose from high-tech petrol performance or responsive diesel efficiency across the MINI Countryman range
Efficient plug-in hybrid
The MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid delivers up to 26 miles of electric range, up to 166.2mpg and CO2 as low as 39g/km.
Delivering added confidence and safety for slippery road conditions, as well as off-road flexibility when needed.
Show your own style
Pick from 10 vibrant colours and a wealth of contrasting roof colours, bonnet stripes, alloy wheels and other style features.
Just like the spacious family-size new MINI Countryman, Britain is bigger than you think. With epic mountains, amazing forests, rugged coasts, scenic lakes, thrilling cities, and inspiring culture, there’s no shortage of great destinations for a break with a difference with family and friends. The new MINI Countryman is perfect for it all.
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