Your dream MINI Electric road-trip: south-west England

The MINI Electric is the perfect getaway car. Here are our top tips for urban style and country escape in south-west England...

MINI Electric south-west road trip

The MINI Electric is a multi-talented all-electric hatchback that’s perfect for long weekends away, offering iconic standout style, a comfy tech-packed interior, fizzy go-kart like-handling, up to 145 miles of range, and rapid recharging that can get you from 0-80% in as little as 36 minutes. All combined, it means you can pack in even more adventure.

We asked three real MINI Electric drivers – Iola, Monwar and Misty – to tell us why they love the car. They’ve picked their favourite MINI Electric features and top tips for using the car every day. We’ve even explained how the MINI Electric busts the most common driving myths. But we also wanted to offer some extra MINI Electric inspiration.

That’s why we’ve created three itineraries for dream MINI Electric getaways. You can read our tips for the Scottish borders and the Cotswolds elsewhere. But here’s our five-day plan for south-west England – blending contemporary art, prehistoric marvels, a night under the stars, delicious organically-sourced food in Dartmoor, and a matinee performance by the sea. At every step of the way, the MINI Electric makes it easy. So, let’s start the journey.

Want to try the MINI Electric yourself? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric - SS Great Britain

Thursday: Maritime history meets contemporary art

Our long weekend begins in the famous maritime city of Bristol and the magnificent SS Great Britain. Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s great ocean liner is now a hugely popular living museum and a testament to British engineering. Fitting, then, that the MINI Electric’s dazzling Union Jack rear lights and iconic styling also tip the hat to another marvel of British ingenuity: the original MINI.

Tracing its history back to the Stone Age, the city of Bristol is home to an eclectic mix of architectural styles, and has become a cultural hub of the south-west. Use MINI eDRIVE services to locate one of the city’s many destination chargers, before heading to the Spike Island International Centre of Contemporary Art to immerse yourself in Bristol’s weird and wonderful artistic community.

At this point, you’ll probably be getting hungry. Use the MINI Connect smartphone app to check the charging status of your MINI Electric while you head over to Cabot Circus – Bristol’s ultra-modern sprawling shopping quarter. If you lose yourself in the wealth of shops, bustling bars and restaurants, simply use the MINI Connect App to get directions back to your MINI Electric, before checking into one of Bristol's stylishly modern hotels. The Bristol Harbour Hotel, Hotel Du Vin, Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel and Bristol Marriott Grand Hotel all offer modern design and comfort that’s a perfect match for the MINI Electic’s ambient-lit interior, chiselled dashboard and serene sports seats.

Has the MINI Electric sparked your interest? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric - Cheddar Gorge

Friday: A trip through the ages and a night under the stars

Friday begins from the comfort of your hotel room, using the MINI Connect App to directly input your next destination into the MINI Electric’s sat-nav. Head out of Bristol and cross over another of Brunel’s masterpieces – the Clifton Suspension Bridge – before taking a short 21-mile trip into the depths of rolling Somerset.

Carved deep within the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge is a prehistoric ravine and cave network, perfect for a day out walking among the stalactites. Fancy a bite to eat? A picnic atop High Rock should be easy thanks to the MINI Electric’s 221 litres of standard luggage space, and up to 731 litres with the seats down – that’s more than enough for a few wheels of cheese.

Snaking and winding through the rock, the stunning B3135 – also known as Cliff Road – offers the perfect opportunity for passengers to look up and marvel at the limestone cliff faces through the MINI Electric’s optional Panoramic Sunroof, while the echoey gorge makes for a grand stage to crank up the optional 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

Once you’ve explored the Cheddar Gorge, it’s time to plunge into the heart of Devon with a short 58-mile trip to the stunning seaside town of Sidmouth. A gateway to the Jurassic Coast, Sidmouth’s natural beauty makes it perfect for an afternoon hike, or a stroll by the sea. As evening falls, why not check into the gorgeous Victoria Hotel for dinner, while grabbing a few miles of range on one of the hotel’s three chargers.

For a stellar night out, use the MINI Electic’s digital cockpit and pilot-like Head-Up display (standard on Level 3 trim) make your way to the Norman Lockyer Observatory and planetarium for a fascinating lecture on the night sky before an engrossing trip into the planetarium, all wrapped up with a historical telescope tour – weather permitting! Inspired by the night sky? Tweak the interior ambient lighting to your taste and blast the MINI Electric’s powerful Adaptive LED headlights with Matrix function and carve through the night back to your hotel. Remember to grab an overnight charge, ready for more adventure tomorrow.

Fancy getting behind the wheel of the MINI Electric? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric - Dartmoor

Saturday: Driving fun across the moors

The MINI has always been renowned for its engaging driving character – and the MINI Electric is no different. Low-slung batteries help keep the weight low, while compact dimensions and 184hp and 270Nm of addictive all-electric torque combine to give the MINI Electric the fizzy go-kart-like handling we’ve all come to expect.

Use the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist to keep you safe and relaxed while heading down the A38, before peeling off onto the B3357 and winding your way across the beautiful expanse of Dartmoor National Park. After a short while you’ll come across the Dartmoor Inn, Merivale. Pushing a zero-waste ethos, the Inn offers a locally-sourced and 100%-organic menu, while all waste is sent back to farms and used as compost. So, as you’re eating delicious food and gazing out across the moors, you have peace of mind that your lunch is as good for the planet as the MINI Electric.

Refreshed? Right, back in the MINI Electric. Is it getting a bit chilly? Whack on the heated seats and crank up the dual-zone climate control before heading along the A30 to the world-famous Jamaica Inn. The subject of Daphne du Maurier’s best-selling novel following her enforced stay in 1930, the Inn’s fascinating history of smuggling makes it a hotspot for tourists, while it’s mix of traditional and modern rooms means a bed for you. Plug your MINI Electric into one of the on-site chargers and explore the Smuggling Museum and farm shop before having a relaxing meal and drink while gazing at the sunset over the stunning Cornish moorland.

Want to try the MINI Electric yourself? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric - Eden Project

Sunday: Stunning plants and the final performance

The final day of our epic south-west adventure begins with a quick 20-mile trip down the A30 to the Eden Project, located just outside St Austell. The Eden Project is home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest, letting wander among over 1000 species of plant inside a series of huge awe-inspiring biomes. Alternatively, why not thrill yourself and see the Eden Project from another unique perspective on the thrilling zip wire experience that gets you soaring over the former quarry from on-high. The Eden Project is as stunning to look at as it is engrossing to explore. It’s also a strong reminder of the importance of environmentalism, and what humans can achieve with a shared goal.

Once you’re done, hop back in the MINI Electric and head further down the A30 to the most westerly town in Cornwall – Penzance. One of the UK’s most famous seaside towns, Penzance is home to a raft of exciting activities; we’d suggest setting out on one of the many locally-run boat trips for a chance to experience the Cornish coast in all its natural beauty – all while your MINI Electric is grabbing a top-up at one of the chargers in the Harbour Long-Stay car park.

Has the MINI Electric sparked your interest? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric - Minack Theatre

When back on solid ground, check into one of Penzance’s many quaint bed and breakfasts before heading out for the final performance of this epic road trip.

Just a few miles further down the A30 is the incredible Minack Theatre. Carved into the granite cliff, it’s Cornwall's world famous open-air theatre, and is set in glorious gardens overlooking the spectacular panorama of Porthcurno Bay. With music, performances, workshops and tours available all year round, this stunning place on the Cornish coast is the perfect location for the curtain to fall on this memorable south-west adventure.

Want to try the MINI Electric yourself? Take a 24-hour test drive

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