Visiting Beaulieu and the National Motor Museum has always been one of our favourite days out locally.
Set in the New Forest, Hampshire, Beaulieu is a full day out that can be enjoyed by all the family and although cars do play an important part of the day out, there is so much more to explore.
National Motor Museum
The Motor Museum features fascinating cars and motorbikes from yesteryear, through to formula one cars, speedway winners and even land speed record breakers.
New for 2021 is Motoring in Miniature – Toys from Your Childhood, where you can relive the joy and excitement of your favourite childhood toy cars in this fun-filled family exhibition that showcases more than 800 toy cars and pedal cars.
You can also see famous cars from TV and Film, including the Ford Anglia from Harry Potter, the Reliant Regal from Only Fools and Horses and Mr Bean’s famous green mini.
The kids favourite exhibition by far is the bizarre creations from the wonderful and wacky world of Top Gear.
There are some old favourites as well as some of the fun cars from challenges in the last series too, as well as the chance to go on set and meet the presenters!
Little Beaulieu is a stunning new play area , which is the perfect location to let the kids run wild as they explore the magical wooden palace.
It is a kids heaven, with secret passageways, hidden tunnels, lookout towers, a tricky rope maze room, stepping stones, a scramble net and a zip line. For fans of the old play area, some of our favourite wooden cars are still there too.
For Mum’s and Dad’s there is a sheltered seating area and a refreshment hut selling tea’s, coffee’s and snacks.
You can lose yourself in the beautiful gardens and there is something for everyone, with manicured lawns, colourful flower gardens and themed topiary hedges.
For those that want to get back to nature, the Millpond Walk takes you on a woodland walk alongside the tidal Beaulieu River.
You’ll pass ancient oak trees and thick reed beds, both home to a variety of New Forest birdlife and for a real treat for the kids, spot fairy doors and fairies hidden in amongst the trees.
Look out for the Rufus Memorial Cairn – commemorating the death of King William Rufus who was killed whilst hunting near Beaulieu in 1100 and some fun wooden sculptures hidden amongst the trees.
Secret Army Exhibition
During World War II, Beaulieu was used as a training facility for Special Operations Executive Agents and over 3,000 were trained in the dark arts of warfare, before undertaking daring and dangerous missions behind enemy lines.
This exhibition features information and artefacts all about the training and where they were sent.
The stunning Palace House is a Victorian country house, set on the Mill Pond.
Inside the house is full to the brim of the history of the Montagu family and you get to see family treasures, portraits, and memorabilia on display.
Walk in the footsteps of Medieval Monks who once lived in the Abbey over 800 years ago.
The ruins have now been conserved and inside there is an exhibition of the history of the Abbey.
Save your feet and enjoy bird’s-eye-views of the Beaulieu grounds with unlimited rides on the ‘Skytrain’.
The monorail takes you through the Motor Museum and all around the site and is so much fun, my kids wants to ride again and again!
Arte Russe at the Clockhouse
This gallery aims to develop a greater understanding of Russian art and artists from the late nineteenth and twentieth century.
The exhibition encompasses a variety of artistic styles including Socialist Realism and naturalistic landscapes.
Food & Drink
Beaulieu has its own excellent Brabazon restaurant, as well as picnic areas and parkland to enjoy your own picnics and various refreshment huts.
Before you visit, do check their events page as they have a number of fun events coming up which also add to the day.
A family ticket costs £55 and provides access to all these attractions and COVID restrictions means you must pre-book tickets in advance, as visitor numbers limited each day to ensure that our spaces never become crowded.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Beaulieu for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own
Check out our video of Little Beaulieu here: https://fb.watch/5Ka7QrzkdH/