Like the spacious family-size new MINI Countryman SUV, Britain is bigger than you think. With epic mountains, amazing forests, rugged coasts, scenic lakes, thrilling cities and inspiring culture, there are lots of great destinations for a break with a difference with family and friends – and the new MINI Countryman is perfect for it all.
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 MINI Countryman 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 – without being afraid about heading off the beaten track.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with the new MINI Countryman to help you scale up your next holiday adventure, with inspirational ideas for activities and destinations that help you supersize any UK staycation. First up: delving into the depths of the UK’s forests for a night of stargazing, a day of mountain-biking, or a wild camping or glamping weekend.
For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com
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. With a spacious luggage bay that can expand from 450 litres to 1390 litres and 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 panoramic sunroof.
The Galloway Forest, just south of Glasgow, was one of the first UK locations to gain Dark Sky status, thanks to its 300sq 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-looking Kielder Observatory – an amazing venue 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.