2012 is a great year to be British. From the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the fantastic sporting achievements during the summer, to the anniversaries of the first Beatles single and Bond film, Britannia really is ruling.

Now CAR magazine is getting in on the action by celebrating its 50 birthday with a fantastic bumper souvenir issue, which celebrates the 50 greatest cars over the last half a century. And in a year where British fever is dominating the world, British cars large and small took pride of place in this prestigious list.

If there’s one car than screams ‘Britain’, it’s the MINI – the car that inspired the magazine’s first publication in 1962.  To celebrate 50 years of this motoring icon, CAR magazine decided to really put it to the test with an epic adventure across the Himalayas.

But you don’t have to travel halfway across the world to enjoy the superb steering and unbeatable handling of a MINI. With MINI’s car finance deals, there’s never been a better time to get your hands on a British legend. So we’ve put together our favourite road trips to help you enjoy your own MINI adventure, right here in good old Britannia.

The Atlantic highway

If you really want to experience the best that the south of England has to offer, you need to leave behind the tedium of the M5. At junction 23 join the A39 and head west to experience the beauty of the ‘The Atlantic Highway’. The road will take you past the towering cliffs of Lynmouth along Britain’s best stretch of coastline to the fisherman’s paradise of Padstow.

Ireland’s south-west coast

As soon as the ferry docks in Limerick port, a spectacular road trip awaits. Head south through Blarney towards Cork, then follow the winding coastal road past vast, sweeping bays on a circular route via Tarbert back to Limerick’s medieval centre. This 450 miles’ circuit is a fantastic way to see Ireland’s rugged landscape at your leisure, which is packed with tranquil lakes and rivers for a picture-perfect pit stop or afternoon of fishing.

The Outer Hebrides

If you’re looking to escape the hustle of bustle of city life, you just can’t beat Scotland’s Outer Hebrides for complete seclusion. The ferry from the mainland takes you straight onto the narrow streets of Stornoway, where you can pick up supplies before embarking on your journey along 150 miles of single-track road. This remote road trip will reward you with views of the prehistoric Callanish standing stones, majestic mountains and seals lazing on unspoilt white sand beaches.

If you’re dreaming about the open road, why not read a MINI Cooper S review and take advantage of a great finance deal to bag your own slice of British history?

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