Promoted | The new MINI Countryman: make the most of the coast

For our pick of the UK’s best coastal destinations to enjoy in MINI’s family-sized SUV, we go surfing and wild swimming and find lighthouses to explore...

MINI Countryman: Coast

Over the last five weeks, we’ve brought you some of the best British destinations with a difference and inspiring activities to help you supersize your next staycation with family and friends – all a perfect fit for the new MINI Countryman.

We've delved into the UK’s best forest escapes, relaxed on Britain’s most scenic lakes and rivers, and explored the best of British culture. We’ve also conquered the city break with inspiring urban activities, and scaled the heights with epic mountain adventures. Now it’s time to take to the coast.

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.

All of that makes the new MINI Countryman perfect for exploring the UK’s 11,000 miles of coastline. Rugged and versatile, with loads of room, it lets you take everyone and everything you need for a grand day out at the beach.

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

Surfing

Surf Britain’s wildest beaches

There’s a wealth of choice for amazing British beaches if you want to simply top up your tan, but there are more thrilling ways to spend time on the coast. So, skip the tourist traps, strap a surfboard to the new MINI Countryman’s roof rails, chuck your wetsuit in the spacious luggage bay and bring a couple of friends or the rest of the family along for the ride. And, with optional ALL4 all-wheel-drive you don’t need to fear sand or shingles.

Woolacombe in North Devon is one of the UK surfing’s most iconic locations, with nearby Saunton Sands offering a beginner-friendly surf spot. Alternatively, the stretch of Cornwall coast between Sennen Cove and Gwynver Beach (on the very tip of the UK) offers some of the region’s best beach breaks, with smaller starter waves to the south.

Rhossili Bay, just east of Swansea on the Gower Peninsula, offers some of the best surfing in Wales, while – further north – Newgale on the Pembrokeshire Coast and Porth Neigwl in Gwynedd, North Wales, are equally impressive alternatives.

The Yorkshire and Northumberland coast is another British surfing hotspot, with Saltburn providing dramatic waves next to its Victorian pier and the sandy expanse of Bamburgh Beach offering consistent waves in front of the dramatic backdrop of Bamburgh Castle.

In Scotland, Dalmore Beach on the Isle of Lewis and Harris is a great place to step a surfing adventure up a notch, boasting some of northern Europe’s most consistent waves thanks to its exposed location on the Atlantic. Alternatively, Thurso Beach is Britain’s most northerly surf spot, right on the top of the Scottish mainland. Its big waves are some of the best in Europe, but are perhaps better suited to more experienced surfers.

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

Swimming

Skip the surf and go swimming

If surfing isn’t your thing, there are lots of great coastal spots for wild swimming. Bude Sea Pool in Cornwall is a great part-man-made pool in which you can sample the Atlantic Ocean while staying relatively protected, while Durdle Door in Dorset boasts one of the UK’s most famous natural landmarks – a gigantic limestone arch just off the Jurassic Coast.

Porth Oer in North Wales is named ‘Whistling Sands’ for the way the sand squeaks between your toes, while Mwnt Beach in Cardigan Bay and Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire offer wonderfully protected spots for a wild ocean swim.

If you want to go even more extreme, head to the far north of Scotland and the Orkney Islands, where Waulkmill Bay offers a sheltered taste of the North Atlantic Ocean.

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

Lighthouse

Search out Britain’s best lighthouses

Even in an age of advanced naval GPS, lighthouses still shine as astonishing places to visit. The new MINI Countryman offers an advanced digital cockpit and touchscreen with sat-nav and a wealth of smartphone connectivity to help you find even the most remote coastal locations. Then, powerful LED headlights cut through the dark to light the way home, with the optional Adaptive LED headlights using matrix technology to offer intelligent automatic high beam.

If you want real bragging rights, why not visit the UK’s most extreme lighthouses? The distinctive towers of the Lizard Lighthouse on Cornwall’s scenic Lizard Point mark the British mainland’s most southerly point. (Land’s End only gets its title by being a few miles further west). Go to the other extreme, and Dunnet Head Lighthouse is the most northerly point of the Scottish mainland – a mile further north than John O’Groats. Sadly, it’s not open to visitors, but you get incredible views from the cliffside walks nearby.

For another type of extreme, Start Point Lighthouse on the South Devon coat sits on a dramatic rocky peninsula that juts a mile out into the Atlantic Ocean, while to reach South Stack Lighthouse on the far west coast of Anglesey in North Wales, you descend a spectacular trail of 400 steps along the cliff face – accompanied by the cacophonous squawks of thousands of local seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills and puffins.

Also well worth a visit are the iconic Portland Bill Lighthouse, off the south Weymouth coast, Tarbat Ness Lighthouse in north-east Scotland and Dungness Lighthouse in Kent, which offers a mix of an old 1904 light and one of Britain’s newest lighthouses from 1961. Finally, if you want to see a lighthouse from an entirely different perspective, then set your sat-nav for Beachy Head Lighthouse. You actually look down at the iconic red and white 41m-high structure, which sits 165m out from under the cliffs.

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

MINI Countryman side profile

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 rear three quarters

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 front three quarters

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 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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