THE NEW MINI FAMILY.
The new MINI Countryman: Always ready for adventure.
Safe on bendy roads.
The adventure begins in Stirling, a small town nestled into the Scottish Lowlands – it is situated roughly in the middle between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The town is overlooked by the mediaeval Stirling Castle, considered to be one of Scotland's grandest and most important castles, which dates back to the twelfth century and was built on volcanic rock. It affords fantastic views across the Loch Lomond National Park's Highlands. We get an inkling of the kind of impressive landscapes we will soon explore with the new MINI Countryman.
From Stirling, we follow the A84 and A85 northwards. Our route is lined by dense forests and deep blue lakes. We take a break in the small village of Mid Lix before turning onto the A827. Our destination: the north-eastern mountain range along the banks of Loch Tay. The road winds its way through the mountains, which are called the Munros. Thanks to its sporty driving dynamics, the MINI Countryman easily handles well in the curves. Below Ben Lawers – at 1,214 metres, one of the region's highest Munros – the impressive, 344-metre-long Lawers Dam catches the water from the surrounding mountain rivers. The SAV also drives through water without any difficulties.
Effortless hill climbs.
The route continues up and down through the Scottish Highlands towards the north-west. The A82 leads to the Glencoe Mountain Range. The road winds its way around the mountains – hardly a challenge for the new MINI Countryman. We pass rivers that flow into the spectacular lake landscape Lochan na h-Achlaise behind the historic Bridge of Orchy. Immediately behind the bridge across the Glen Etive, a single-track road leads southwards. It follows the river with its numerous waterfalls and ultimately leads to Loch Etive.
Comfortably through uneven terrain.
Film fans will recognise this spectacular route from the film "James Bond: Skyfall", as 007 has also already travelled along this road. The return journey southwards leads over uneven terrain. However, thanks to its off-road tyres, the MINI Countryman ALL4 is bound to be a more reliable choice than the world's most famous secret agent's sports car.
Relax to the best views.
We return to the A82 towards Arrochar, and drive to a viewing point to see the Falls of Falloch. Afterwards, we continue towards the south with views of Loch Lomond on our left at all times until we return onto the A83 westwards. It leads to Loch Fyne, the northernmost tip of the Firth of Clyde. From the Atlantic, it cuts deep into this section of the coast. Its tidal movements are noticeable as far away as Glasgow harbour, and the respective flows ensure that the water of Loch Fyne is particularly fresh and rich in nutrients. It offers the ideal conditions for oyster farming, and the perfect hunting grounds for numerous fish species. We want to taste them for ourselves, and spend the rest of the evening in the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar whilst enjoying views of the sea and the mountains, and can't wait for our next tour in the MINI Countryman ALL4. After all, it overcame all of the challenges of this long-distance test drive with bravado.