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Here’s how to conquer an urban escape in MINI’s family-size SUV, with our recommendations for stunning views, sporty activities and artistic inspiration

We’re exploring the best of the UK’s staycation hotspots with the new MINI Countryman, finding inspiring ideas for fun activities and distinctive destinations with a difference to help you make more of your next British holiday with family or friends.

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, and you’ve got true go-anywhere ability.

Compact on the outside, but surprisingly spacious on the inside, MINI’s family-friendly SUV is also perfectly sized for winding through tight narrow streets. Plus, with an ultra-efficient plug-in hybrid that offers up to 26 miles of low-impact electric range, it makes the new MINI Countryman the best way to explore the urban jungle.

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Take in a city view with a difference

The new MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid is an even more efficient way to explore the UK's towns and cities, with up to 26 miles of rechargeable all-electric range and CO2 emissions as low as 39g/km. And don’t think hybrid means less fun. With 217bhp, near-instant electric punch from 284lb ft of torque and a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive for added grip, you have punchy 0-62mph performance of 6.8 seconds.

As a spacious, family-friendly SUV, the new MINI Countryman also gives you a commanding view of a city’s streets. But to get the very best vistas, you need to head even higher.

London is packed with amazing ways to see the city from above – ranging from iconic landmarks such as the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge to skyscrapers such as The Shard and the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street.

Perhaps the most invigorating way to see the London skyline, though, is on a rooftop climb of the O2 Arena. Alternatively, if you want someone else to take the strain, cross the Thames on the Emirates Air Line cable car across the Thames, or climb the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the old London 2012 Olympic Park and let gravity do the work as you speed back down the world’s longest tunnel slide.


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In Edinburgh you can scale the extinct volcano of Arthur’s Seat or stroll to the Dugald Stewart Monument on Calton Hill to get two very different views across the streets. The Clifton Suspension Bridge offers stunning views down the River Avon to Bristol’s docks, while the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth and the Brighton i360 offer commanding views across the English Channel.

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Get urban active

You don’t have to leave the city for thrilling outdoor adventures. There are lots of ways to enjoy adventurous sports in the urban jungle. With five seats, a spacious, versatile boot that offers between 450 and 1390 litres of luggage space, and a range of roof rail, rear cycle rack and storage accessories, there’s even more room to stay sporty in the new MINI Countryman.

The UK’s cities are getting more bike friendly. But, if you fancy something a bit different (and more high-speed), it’s worth trying out one of the UK’s velodromes. Lee Valley Velopark was home to London 2012’s cycling events. As well as trying out the steeply banked indoor track you can sample the BMX park and cycling routes round the Olympic Park. The Calshot Velodrome in Southampton, Manchester’s National Cycling Centre, the Derby Velodrome, the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome in South Wales, and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow all offer similarly impressive facilities.

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Want to go surfing, but don’t fancy the trip to the coast? Well, head to The Wave – a new artificial inland surfing lagoon near Bristol, where you can enjoy up to 1000 impressive 6ft waves every hour without getting sand between your toes. Alternatively, Wake Up Docklands lets you wakeboard in front of London’s iconic skyscrapers.

To see your city from a different waterborne perspective, there are a wealth of ways to explore urban waterways – whether it’s by kayak, paddleboard or open water swimming. Secret Adventures offers a range of urban kayaking tours across London, while the Liverpool Watersports Centre, Manchester’s Helly Hansen Watersports Centre and CBK Adventure in Newcastle let you see these cities from a new perspective.

One final way to get wet without a long trip to the country is the Lee Valley White Water Centre, just 17 miles out of London. Another host venue for London 2012, it offers lots of thrilling ways to enjoy its rapids (ranging from rafts and kayaks to family-friendly tubing).

Finally, if scaling heights is your thing, head to Rokt in Yorkshire, home to Britain’s biggest outdoor climbing wall on the outside of an old grain silo. At 36m in height, it’s taller than the Tower of London and the Angel of the North (with equally impressive views).

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Explore your creative side

With 10 vibrant paint colours, contrast roof and mirror caps, five different bonnet stripes, 11 alloy designs and a multitude of interior trims, there are a wealth of ways to customise your new MINI Countryman to your taste. Need some inspiration? Well, there are lots of ways to discover amazing art and design across the UK – in some equally impressive buildings.

Obviously, London has a wealth of venues to cover all tastes – ranging from the National Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts and the V&A, to the Design Museum, Tate Britain and the Tate Modern. But London doesn’t have a monopoly on artistic expression or great design. The Tate, for example, has impressive satellite galleries – Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives that share the very best work from the its collection.

Elsewhere on the south coast, the Turner Contemporary in Margate in Kent uses the inspiration of landscape painter JWM Turner to highlight local artists, while the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has an amazing selection of art and archaeological collections.

The Nottingham Contemporary is one of the UK’s largest contemporary art galleries with a wealth of ever-changing exhibitions, while in Manchester’s thriving Salford Quays district you can see the iconic works of L.S. Lowry in The Lowry.

Heading north, the stunning Hepworth Wakefield in West Yorkshire curates the best international modern art, while the imposing BALTIC Centre has intriguing exhibitions and impressive views of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and Tyne Bridge to Newcastle.

Finally, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and the V&A Dundee (in a stunning Japanese-designed building evoking the cliffs of East Scotland) let you round off a tour of Britain’s best art and design. Now it’s time to spec that MINI...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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