Deep green meadows, brilliant sun and stormy rain showers alternating every minute, plus sensational views of the vast landscape: the Scottish Highlands are a natural wonderland and have always captivated visitors. Between the approximately 1,000-metre-high mountains called Munros with their characteristic pyramid shape, rivers and lochs repeatedly cut deep into the ancient rock of this region steeped in history. Lochs is what the Scots call their crystal-clear lakes, and Loch Lomond, the largest lake in the United Kingdom, is located in the national park of the same name. The perfect destination for challenging test drives with the adventure-ready third-generation MINI Countryman.
From the rustic Castle Hill to the wild world of the Munros.
The tour starts in the small town of Stirling. From the castle hill of Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland, the view extends far into the Highlands of Loch Lomond National Park. Stirling Castle was first mentioned in documents in the 12th century. It flourished under the early royal family of the Stewarts during the Renaissance.
From Stirling, take the A84 and A85 north along dense forests and deep blue lakes to the small village of Mid Lix. The branching A827 invites you to take a detour to the north-eastern mountain range along the shore of Loch Tay. Here, the MINI Countryman can demonstrate its comfortable and sporty driving dynamics for the first time on the winding route through the Munros.
Below Ben Lawers – at 1,214 metres one of the highest Munros in the region – the impressive dam of the same name dams up 344 metres of water from the surrounding mountain rivers. The MINI Countryman with its SAV presence fits perfectly into Scotland’s unspoilt landscape. The necessary equipment for extended hikes can easily be stored in the spacious boot.
On the trail of James Bond.
The ups and downs of the Scottish Highlands awaken the visitor’s urge to discover anew with each ascent. On the way northwest, the A82 leads into the Glencoe Mountain Range. Along the way, the winding road repeatedly passes numerous rivers, which flow into the spectacular loch landscape of Lochan na h-Achlaise behind the historic Bridge of Orchy.
Just beyond the bridge over Glen Etive, a narrow path leads south along the wild river with its numerous waterfalls deeper and deeper into the valley. The River Etive is considered one of the most challenging white water kayaking routes in Scotland. No wonder Daniel Craig as secret agent 007 also chose the route along its banks for a spectacular ride in the film “James Bond: Skyfall” to lose pursuers. On the way back south, the off-road tyres of the MINI Countryman ALL4 are undoubtedly better than the British sports car of the world’s most famous agent.
Natural beauty and Atlantic delicacies.
Back on the A82 towards Arrochar, the waterfalls of Falloch offer a special vantage point. From here, continue south, with Loch Lomond in view at all times on the left, until the branching A83 leads west to Loch Fyne. It is the northernmost spur of the Clyde Fjord, which cuts deep into this stretch of coast from the Atlantic. Its tidal movements can be felt as far as Glasgow Harbour and the associated currents make the waters of Loch Fyne particularly fresh and nutrient-rich. Ideal conditions for breeding oysters and best hunting ground for numerous fish species. The result tastes best in the Loch Fyne Oysterbar, where you should definitely stop at the end of this adventurous discovery tour – of course with a wide view of the sea and mountains.