June 2016.

the mini grand tour.
a clubman road trip.

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Three men. One MINI. An epic adventure across Europe.

This summer, MINI are sending a handpicked team to Europe. The whole of Europe.  Over 30 days, they’ll visit no less than 30 countries by road, from the white cliffs of Dover to the fairy chimneys of Göreme; the forts of Wallonia to the crypts of Moravia.


Our team, led by British Travel Writer of the Year 2015 Jonathan Thompson, will be circumnavigating the continent in the MINI Clubman, exploring Europe’s roads less travelled and lesser known cities in effortless style. 


With a carefully curated itinerary powered by group adventure travel experts The Flash Pack, Jonathan and his crew will face a number of challenges en route, as they seek to shine headlights on Europe’s quirkiest corners.


Using key features such as in-car navigation and the MINI Connected GoPro app, the team will document the entire journey from start to finish. Follow Jonathan, cameraman Simon and photographer Oli on social using #Clubmanroadtrip and visit this page to see their journey week by week. 

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It’s day one of the MINI Grand Tour and team spirits are high. Our mission over the next month is to drive our six door MINI Clubman through no less than 30 European countries - all 28 EU States plus Turkey and Albania, which we'll need to cross in order to make the necessary ferries...


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The MINI Grand Tour team move south from Finland, through the three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

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The Mini Grand Tour team move deeper into Europe, reaching the EU’s opposite corner, via a night in an Austrian palace

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The final leg of their cross-continental clubman road trip sees the mini grand tour team return home, via Cyprus, Greece and Malta.

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Jonathan Thompson.

travel writer and team leader.

British Travel Writer of the Year 2015, Jonathan's career in travel has taken him from cliff camping in Colorado to heli-biking in New Zealand. A former Senior Editor at Britain’s best selling men’s magazine, Men’s Health, he now works as one of the country’s leading freelance travel writers, contributing regularly to publications including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Esquire, Mr Porter, Metro, Escapism, Conde Nast Traveller, Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Tatler.

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oli hillyer-riley.


A freelance photographer based in East London, Oli has worked for a wide range of commercial and editorial clients, including Robinsons, Nike, Esquire and GQ. Having studied Commercial Photography at the well respected Arts University Bournemouth, Oli specialises in documentary photography, which has seen him chart everything from the world of professional bodybuilding to the unseen corners of disabled sports. A veteran of MINI campaigns, he knows how to get the best out of the Clubman, from both behind the wheel and behind the camera.

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simon martin.


A producer, cameraman and editor whose career has taken him from Russia to the Caribbean via Africa, Simon has worked with major broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Channel 5, producing more than 1,000 hours of television. His company Kerbstories has produced original digital content for clients including Puma, Philips, Live Nation, Men’s Health, The Daily Mail and Esquire.

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lee Thompson.

Production manager.

The man behind the curtain on this adventure, Lee is the co-founder of group adventure company The Flash Pack, and painstakingly planned MINI’s route around Europe. Before starting his own business, Lee worked as a photojournalist covering some of the worlds biggest news stories such as war zones in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2014, he also took one of the world’s most viral selfies from the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, after persuading the local archdiocese to let him climb to the top. Lee will co-ordinate the team’s efforts from London, as well as flying out to join them for key stages.