Promoted | The new MINI Countryman: explore the best British culture

Our pick of Britain’s best creative staycation experiences to enjoy in MINI’s family-size SUV – including drive-in cinemas, outdoor art and living museums...

MINI Countryman culture hero image

We’ve teamed up with the new MINI Countryman to help you scale up your next holiday adventure, picking some of our favourite inspirational ideas for destinations with a difference that help you supersize any UK staycation.

With room for five, up to 1390 litres of versatile luggage space, and plenty of ways to customise your MINI to make it even more stylish or even more practical, the new family-size MINI Countryman SUV is a real all-rounder. Add in the option of ALL4 all-wheel-drive or an efficient Plug-in Hybrid with 26 miles of low-impact electric range, and you’ve got true go-anywhere ability.

That’s why it’s perfect for exploring the best of British culture. With standout design, a wealth of customisation options, and advanced in-car tech that gives you more connectivity and more control over navigation, music and phone calls, the new MINI Countryman is perfect for finding the UK’s artistic and creative hotspots.

For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com

Drive-in cinema

Supersize movie night at a drive-in cinema

Prompted by the popularity of innovative open-air cinemas which blend iconic films with stellar backdrops, drive-in cinemas that evoke iconic 1950s retro Americana have made a high-tech comeback in recent years. They’re a novel way to share movie night with friends and family, especially when you can comfortably seat five in the spacious new MINI Countryman.

Depending on the venue, they’ll give you a wireless speaker for the film’s audio, or you tune in to a local FM frequency – perfect for the new MINI Countryman’s six-speaker audio with DAB and FM radio, or the premium 360W 12-speaker Harman Kardon Hi-Fi system. Equally, its commanding raised SUV driving position gives you a perfect widescreen view of the action.

Goodwood – home to the Festival of Speed and the 1960s-themed Goodwood Revival – has joined forces with the team behind Secret Cinema this year to create a premium drive-in that uses Goodwood’s period backdrop to really dial up the retro atmosphere. For something even more tasty, the Drive & Dine Theatre in Cornwall has been blending classic films with amazing diner-themed dishes created by British Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth.

London has always offered a great cinematic backdrop, and the popular Rooftop Film Club has been running a drive-in for 2020 at the stunning Alexandra Palace. On the other side of town, the Sunset Cinema in Acton boasts the biggest outdoor screen in West London.

Established open-air after-dark film specialist Luna Cinema has created pop-up drive-in cinemas at a wealth of venues across the UK in 2020, and with the likes of Adventure Drive-In, Drive In Films, Nightflix, the Star & Mouse Picture Show, Great British Drive In and Cinestok offering a great selection of classic and current films at an equally eclectic range of venues, it’s clear drive-in cinemas are here to stay.

Finally, itison Drive-in Movies has established a great reputation for pulling off innovative outdoor cinema and drive-in events around Scotland – including Harry Potter in Glencoe, Jaws on Troon beach and a Valentine’s Day screening of Top Gun at Edinburgh Airport – so definitely keep an eye on what they have planned next.

For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com

Motor museum

Travel back in time

The UK has amazing history, but you don’t need to head to a stuffy museum when you can experience it first-hand at one of Britain’s many ‘living museums’ – immersive outdoor venues that blend period streets and costumed hosts to bring history to life around you. So, pack your friends and family into the five-seat new MINI Countryman and journey to another era.

Depending on your historical preference, the Beamish Museum near Newcastle, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum and the Black Country Living Museum in the Midlands, the Weald and Downland Museum in the South Downs, the Historic Chatham Dockyard in Kent and the Comeston Medieval Village near Cardiff all feel like you’ve stepped onto a film set as history comes to life around you.

Why not step back into the golden age of steam on one of the UK’s many heritage railways. The Bluebell Railway in Sussex is perhaps Britain’s best known line, while the North Yorkshire Moors Railways crosses stunning scenery on its way to Britain’s best fish and chips in Whitby. The Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales blends dramatic mountains and tunnels as it climbs 700ft from Porthmadog to Caernfaron, while the Jacobite is a steam train that takes in Scotland’s famed Glenfinnan Viaduct from Fort William to Mallaig.

You can explore the history of flight at the RAF Museum Cosford in the Midlands and IWM Duxford near Cambridge. Or you can reminisce about the cars of your youth at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire’s New Forest, the Transport Museum in Coventry, the Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset or Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, Surrey.

For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com

Sculpture

Take in some art, outdoors

With 10 vibrant paint colours, contrast roof and mirror caps, five different bonnet stripes, 11 alloy designs and a multitude of interior trims, the new MINI Countryman offers a wealth of ways to customise your car to your taste. But getting artistic inspiration doesn’t mean you have to head into a gallery. There are plenty of great outdoor art installations around the UK.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the grounds of Bretton Hall is the UK’s most acclaimed sculpture park, with an ever-changing selection of 80 sculptures from the likes of Ai Weiwei, Angel of the North designer Antony Gormley, Barbara Hepworth, David Nash, Damien Hirst, Elisabeth Frink, Henry Moore and Julian Opie. Equally spectacular is Jupiter Artland in the grounds of Bonnington House, Edinburgh. It blends a surreal landscape of ridged hills, designed by architectural theorist Charles Jencks, with a wealth of provocative sculptures.

Antony Gormley’s 100-strong army of iron statues ‘Another Place’ provides an imposing site on Crosby Beach near Liverpool, while the Barbara Hepworth Museum in Cornwall and the Henry Moore Studios in Hertfordshire celebrate each pioneering artists’ work.

For an outdoor exhibit that’s truly out of this world, head to the Crawick Multiverse in the Scottish borders. This former open-cast mine has been transformed into a space-themed amphitheatre, with a ‘Comet Walk’ and winding hillside paths to represent the spiral galaxies of Andromeda and the Milky Way.

Elsewhere, the Kielder Art & Architecture walk boasts 22 sculptures on its 27-mile trail, while the Forest Of Dean Sculpture Trail includes ‘Cathedral’ (an enormous stained-glass window hanging amongst the trees). The Sculpture Park in Surrey brings together more than 600 works from 300 artists in its 10-acre site.

For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com

MINI Countryman

The new MINI Countryman: The big MINI. Now better than ever.

The new MINI Countryman SUV is the biggest, most versatile member of the MINI family. It blends stylish looks and a spacious, high-tech, five-seat interior with between 450 litres and 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 optional 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.

MINI Countryman interior

Elegantly spacious; eminently practical

The new MINI Countryman has become a well-loved staple of British roads in the last 10 years, thanks to its standout style, oodles of space and flexible rear seating, as well as a fun driving character that has made it a favourite for families and car-lovers alike. Now, the new MINI Countryman is even better and even more practical.

With seating for five and 450 litres of boot space as standard, there’s plenty of room to ferry friends, family and all their luggage. But the new MINI Countryman’s designers have thought about lots of extra clever ways to squeeze every inch of practicality into the car.

The standard-fit 40:20:40 folding rear seats offer up to 1390 litres of storage when folded flat, with the ability to push long loads such as skis through the middle while still seating two rear passengers in comfort. The large tailgate makes it easy to load bulky items, while the four luggage compartment lashing eyes helps you keep your load secure.

The optional Activity Pack adds an ‘Easy Opener’ hands-free automatic tailgate that makes loading even more effortless, as well as adding a sliding rear bench seat that offers a different way to configure your luggage space and a picnic bench that is perfect for days out with the family.

Original MINI Accessories offer plenty of further options for personalisation or practicality – including rear-mounted bicycle racks, and accessories for the standard-fit roof rails that let you load sports gear or a roof box for even more luggage space on longer trips.

MINI Countryman tail light

Style that stands out

Don’t think that the new MINI Countryman is all work and no play, though. MINI is known for its attitude-oozing style, and the new MINI Countryman lets you choose from 10 vibrant paint colours, contrasting roof and mirror caps, five different bonnet stripes, 11 alloy wheel designs and a host of different interior trim materials. It’s your car, to mould your way.

Interior mood lighting lets you set the scene with a choice of 12 basic colours and 700 shades, while the Union Jack rear lighting arrangement helps you stand out from the crowd. On Cooper S, John Cooper Works and ALL4 all-wheel-drive models, a body-coloured bonnet scoop and twin tailpipes convey your sporty side. Chrome accents – inside and out – scream class, while the rugged trims and raised-up body show that this SUV (and its driver) mean business.

MINI Countryman interior

Tech that keeps you connected

The new MINI Countryman’s abundance of advanced in-car tech makes solo or family journeys even more fun, while helping you stay connected to friends, colleagues and loved ones.

A bold 5-inch digital display cockpit and a large 8.8-inch central touchscreen with MINI Navigation and Real Time Traffic Information are fitted as standard, while the optional head-up display puts even more key information directly in the driver’s eye-line. The new MINI Countryman’s DAB radio has six speakers for impressive sound, while Bluetooth, a USB port and Apple CarPlay let you connect compatible smartphones for music, calls or apps.

MINI ConnectedDrive gives you the ability to search online, while the Navigation Plus Pack adds a second USB port, enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging and Amazon Alexa voice control. You can fit an impressive 12-speaker Harman Kardon Hi-Fi system, too.

The Comfort Pack adds automatic air-conditioning and heated seats, and if you opt for the heated front windscreen or the panoramic glass sunroof – which floods the interior with even more natural light – the new MINI Countryman feels as lavish to drive as it is practical.

MINI Countryman cornering

Performance with punch and efficiency

MINI has always been renowned for its highly engaging driving character, and the new MINI Countryman doesn’t compromise its fun factor for SUV status. A range of powerful and economical engines – using MINI’s TwinPower Turbo technology – work with a responsive chassis to make the new MINI Countryman a nimble road-hugger, while optional ALL4 all-wheel drive delivers added confidence on slippery trails.

With petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid variants, there’s an engine to suit every need, whether it’s the turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol with 134bhp, or the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel with 258lb ft of torque – delivering impressive pulling power for when the car is packed with people and luggage. For even punchier performance, the turbocharged 175bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine in new MINI Countryman Cooper S models delivers 0-62mph in just 7.5 seconds, while maintaining an impressive combined economy figure of 42.8mpg.

Finally, the new MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid delivers the best of all worlds, with up to 26 miles of rechargeable all-electric range, impressive combined fuel economy up to 166.2mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 39g/km. And don’t think it compromises driving fun. The Plug-in Hybrid is fitted with a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system for added grip and with a combined output of 217bhp and near-instant electric punch delivering 284lb ft of torque, you have a hot hatch-baiting 0-62mph performance of 6.8 seconds.

MINI Countryman headlight

Standout safety

The new MINI Countryman hosts a range of driving aids and safety tech to make journeys easier and more relaxing, while keeping you and your passengers protected and safe.

Powerful LED headlights and fog lights are fitted as standard to help you cut through the dark, while you can choose to add Adaptive LED headlights with matrix technology to better illuminate bends and automatically dip the lights for other traffic. Rain sensors and automatic headlight activation help you safely carve a path through the strongest storm, while automatic emergency braking, ABS and stability control keep you on the straight and narrow.

And, when you reach your destination, the new MINI Countryman features rear parking sensors as standard, but the Comfort Plus pack adds a rear camera, front parking sensors, automatic Parking Assistant and folding mirrors. It’s that finishing touch to the perfect adventure.

For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com

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