You think of road trips and you think Route 66, muscle cars and roadside diners. But as long-time believers of doing things another way, Japanese car-connoisseurs Mazda asked us to do what they do; Think Differently. We obliged, and the results were breathtaking, fascinating and, strangely, not as tiring as you’d imagine. We drove the length and breadth of the UK but, thanks to our Japanese friends (a spangly new Mazda6 and a CX-5 SUV), it wasn’t nearly as wearing as that sounds.
As you’d expect, our road trip was more culturally-minded than most, instead of taking in service stations and Little Chefs, we sought out places outside of Britain’s major cities that took culture, design and art as seriously as we do. Places that thought outside the proverbial box – places that thought differently.
Along the way we visited an eccentric Italianate village in North Wales, a forward-thinking contemporary art gallery in a well-preserved Victorian beach retreat, world-beating architecture in a small North East town… there was internationally renowned sculpture in beautiful Yorkshire countryside, iconic design on Britain’s South Coast and two Black Country towns battling it with world class art galleries. We anticipated thinking differently, but our trip exceeded all expectations. Think differently became a way of life during our weeks with Mazda.
In the mix, we spent a few days with Mazda at Milan Design Week and spun a Mazda6 around Longcross Proving Ground – the course where McLaren test drive next year’s car and the British film industry shoots its car scenes. In short, we entered Mazda’s world. We thought differently as they do, we looked outside the norm and broke rules like they do. We explored, dug deep and got inspired. It was an emotional ride, and we’d do it again tomorrow.