Currently reading: Advertising Feature | The UK's best open-top drives for the BMW M4 Competition Convertible
When it comes to great driving experiences, there’s a joy in looking up. We’ve picked the UK’s best destinations with a view – the perfect match for BMW’s hottest drop-top

Improving on perfection is a seemingly impossible task, but it’s one that BMW’s M division has managed to achieve time and time again over its near 50-year history.

The new BMW M4 Competition Convertible joins a long list of BMW M performance cars that have not only enhanced the breed, but added an extra twist to make it even more compelling.

In its normal guise, the BMW M4 Competition is a performance coupé with eye-catching styling, a race-bred 510hp turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six TwinPower Turbo engine, a track-honed chassis and now an M xDrive system that delivers confidence-inspiring all-wheel traction or traditional BMW rear-wheel drive to suit your mood and the road. 

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So, how do you improve on all that? Simple: add miles and miles of open sky. The new BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s soft-top roof is 40 per cent lighter than its predecessor’s retractable hardtop, while the electric drive mechanism allows it to be opened or closed, on the move, at speeds up to 31 mph. Impressively, the process takes just 18 seconds. 

By turning the BMW M4 Competition into a soft-top, BMW has mated the perfect drivers’ car with the joys of top-down ambience to create the ultimate driving experience. So, to celebrate its arrival, we’ve created a list of some of the UK’s most incredible roads and destinations that are perfect for open-top journeys this summer.

Learn more about the BMW M4 Competition Convertible.

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Stargazing in Kielder Forest

Nestled on the Scottish border in Northumberland is Kielder Forest – one of England’s largest and densest woodland areas. Sparsely populated, with very little light pollution, it’s one of the biggest Dark Sky Parks in the world, giving unparalleled views of the night sky.

Activate the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s M xDrive all-wheel drive mode and head up the loose gravel road to the modern angular lines of the stylish timber-clad Kielder Observatory. Here, you can enjoy expert-led stargazing sessions and the observatory’s powerful telescopes, before folding back the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s soft-top roof and relishing extended views of the night sky. Soothing audio through the 16-speaker Harman Kardon HiFi system provides a perfect soundtrack to your view of the heavens.

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When the sun rises, you have the right car to enjoy the incredible roads surrounding the Forest – like the B6357 that skirts the edges of Kielder Water, the largest man-made lake in Europe. Flick through the M driving modes, before utilising the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s high torsional stiffness, precise M Servotronic steering and adaptive suspension to hug each apex, and grip every inch of this sweeping asphalt.

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Threading your way through the urban jungle of Canary Wharf

Having fun behind the wheel doesn’t always happen on the wide expanses and open roads of the UK’s national parks, forests and moorlands. The BMW M4 Competition Convertible is also laden with creature comforts and tech that make low-speed cruising a joy. 

Make your way to central London and the A1261 for one of the most spectacular urban skylines the UK has to offer – Canary Wharf. As you wind your way towards Poplar Marina, drop the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s roof and look up in awe as world-famous buildings like One Canada Square, Newfoundland (Vertus) and Citigroup Centre climb vertiginously towards the sky. 

Equally, you can admire the sweeping lines of your car in the seemingly infinite steel and glass mirrors that surround you, and revel in the neon-like glow of the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s digital instruments and ambient LED interior lighting.

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The BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s light and accurate speed-sensitive M Servotronic steering makes manoeuvring through tight city streets a breeze, while adaptive M suspension and electronically controlled dampers can be adjusted by the driver for ultimate comfort on bumpy urban streets. 

Fancy a trip to the Crossrail Place Roof Garden – one of Canary Wharf’s best rooftop views? The BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s Park Distance Control and Parking Assistant with Reversing Assistant make navigating tight urban car parks a breeze, while the optional Parking Assistant Plus adds Surround View and Remote 3D View for the full 360.

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Winding through history in Cheddar Gorge

The B3135 in Somerset – better known as Cliff Road – is one of Britain’s most famous canyon passes. Winding its way through the limestone cliffs of the world-famous Cheddar Gorge, it offers one of the south of England’s most incredible driving backdrops

Cheddar Gorge is home to a labyrinth of caves, tunnels and coves. It’s also the perfect place to indulge in the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s straight-six orchestra, with the exhaust rumble echoing off the cliff faces. Using M Sound Control, you can pick the perfect tone and timbre from the custom-designed dual-branch exhaust: whether it’s a subdued rumble, a full-on roar, or a raucous symphony of exhaust pops and bangs.

This isn’t a fast road, but the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s optional M Carbon seats are as comfortable and supportive while cruising as they are on-track, while the optional Comfort pack adds even more creature comforts to make every day driving a joy.

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The sky's the limit on the the Isle of Skye

Home to some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland, the Isle of Skye is a favourite destination for walkers, climbers and bike riders alike – but it’s especially loved by drivers.

The A87 from Invergarry is one of Britain’s best driving roads, culminating in the stunning Skye Bridge that crosses the waters of Loch Alsh. The A87 then winds the length of the Isle of Skye, running past dense forests, alongside picturesque lochs and under the towering cliffs of The Storr.

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Skye’s sweeping roads are the perfect stomping ground for the BMW M4 Competition Convertible and its highly adjustable M xDrive transmission. Engage two-wheel drive mode to experience BMW’s traditional raw rear-wheel drive character, or leave it in all-wheel drive mode for added confidence and unparalleled grip as you wind your way across the Isle. 

On the straights, the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s 479lb ft of torque gives you plenty of mid-range oomph, while the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission provides crisp and instantaneous gear changes.

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Savour the big screen at a coastal drive-in cinema in Cornwall 

Open-air and drive-in cinemas have undergone a resurgence in recent years, and seem almost perfectly designed for convertibles.

The pop-up Wavelength drive-in cinema at Watergate Bay in Cornwall provides some of the most stunning coastal views anywhere in the UK – made even better when you’re enjoying an unfettered open-top view of classic movies on the big screen. Situated just north of world-famous surfer town of Newquay, the Wavelength cinema is the perfect place to drop the hood and indulge in your favourite flicks. 

Link up to the Wavelength Cinema’s Bluetooth audio transmitters and enjoy movie-quality audio through the 16-speaker Harman Kardon HiFi system, and keep yourself warm with the innovative Air Collar system that directs warm air around your neck as you laugh, weep or scare your way through the comprehensive line-up of films on offer.

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Navigate your way through the night to Portland Bill lighthouse

Our final choice for one of the UK’s best open-air driving destinations is particularly illuminating. First shining its light out onto the English Channel in 1906, the Portland Bill lighthouse is a staple of the Dorset landscape – first guiding sailors carefully around the coast, and now an attraction that brings thousands to the Isle of Portland every year.

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Enter your destination into BMW Maps navigation with Personal Assistant voice control and your journey to the Portland Bill Lighthouse will be displayed clearly via the 10.25inch touchscreen and optional Head-Up display, making it easy for you to admire the scale of Chesil Beach as you cross from Weymouth to the Isle of Portland.

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If you fancy a night time trip to see the lighthouse in its full-functioning glory, the BMW M4 Competition Convertible’s optional BMW Laserlight will cut through the darkness.

So, whether you’re looking to enjoy the wide-open expanse of the night sky, stunning natural landscapes that tower above you, a cruise through a futuristic neon urban landscape, or the thrill of the big screen, there’s no better drop-top performance car in which to do it than the BMW M4 Competition Convertible.

Learn more about the BMW M4 Competition Convertible.

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