Destination UK

Visiting the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu

Posted on
September 20, 2017

Back in July I was invited to opening of the new World of Top Gear attraction at Beaulieu National Motor Museum.
We had an amazing day but as it fell on a school day the kids were not able to join us so I promised them we would visit again over the school holidays.
The Beaulieu Estate, is set in the New Forest and was first opened to the public in 1952. Originally it was the Palace House that welcomed visitors, until a small display of veteran cars outgrew the family home and led to the creation of a separate motor museum.
Palace House Beaulieu
Today, there is lots to see – the Palace House and Gardens, the historic site of Beaulieu Abbey along with a museum, and of course the National Motor Museum which houses a number of motoring themed exhibitions including the fantastic World of Top Gear.
World of Top Gear
Top Gear is one of those TV programmes we all sit down to watch as a family, marvelling at their madcap creations, cheering on the mad challenges and wishing we were the ones hurtling around the racetrack and if you’ve ever wondered what happened to the cars that were battered, modified and generally ruined by the BBC’s Top Gear team, then Beaulieu Motor Museum have lovingly gathered them up and displayed them for us all to admire and even climb aboard.
World of Top Gear
With vehicles from every era of the Top Gear challenges, World of Top Gear is now bang up to date with a brand new studio in the Enormodrome and fresh, new exhibits from filming with Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid including the sleek-looking Ssangyacht and high-mileage taxis from the recent Kazakhstan road trip from last series.
World of Top Gear
There is much more to Beaulieu though and we then headed into the main museum which has a collection of more than 250 vehicles.
Beaulieu Motor Museum
There is plenty to do for all ages, whether you visit to admire the vehicles of yesteryear, see legendary F1 cars and land speed record breakers for the speed freaks or incredible examples of pioneering motoring for the history-buffs.
Top Gear
There is plenty to keep the kids amused too with interactive exhibits showing how each component of cars work from safety features to tyres and brakes.
Beaulieu Motor Museum
One of the kids favourites activities was the Wheels ride where you climb into a pod and take a fascinating audio-visual journey through the history of motoring.
National Motor Museum
Outside the museum there is also plenty to do and see, including a monorail which gives you a wonderful view as you pass through the museum and around the estate.
National Motor Museum
As well as the house and museum there are also beautiful landscaped gardens to admire……
National Motor Museum
…..lots of pathways to race or wander along……
National Motor Museum
and some fun cars for the kids to practice their driving skills.
National Motor Museum
Opposite the cars is a large motor-themed play area.
National Motor Museum
The kids could pretend to out fuel in their car, drive a tractor and even clamber aboard a huge wooden bus themed climbing frame.
National Motor Museum
There was also more traditional play equipment including a roundabout, slides and swings.
We wanted to explore the Abbey but it can be hired for functions and there was a wedding going on that afternoon so we paused for an ice cream instead.
We also got to uncover Beaulieu’s history as a top-secret training establishment for special agents of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War Two in a separate exhibition.
World of Top Gear
You could easily spend a whole day at Beaulieu as there is so much to see and do for all the family.
Family tickets are priced £49 in advance or £64 on the door.

  1. Reply

    Shannon Bryson

    September 20, 2017

    This looks like an amazing place to go to! There’s so much to do by the looks of it!

  2. Reply

    Jessica McDonnell

    September 20, 2017

    It looks like you had a wonderful day and the museum sounds fun.

  3. Reply


    September 20, 2017

    We have a small car museum near my home but nothing like this in terms of the numbers…250 cars!!
    We have Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum but again,not anything like this. The ice cream looked great…

  4. Reply


    September 20, 2017

    If I spend 1 minute to appreciate each car, it will take almost 3 hours of fun!
    I’m not a kid anymore, but I’m sure I can enjoy an afternoon there!
    Thank you for the info and photos!

  5. Reply


    September 20, 2017

    This sounds like the perfect day out for me and hubby – the cars for him and the WW2 history stuff for me. Plus ice cream…we both love ice cream!

  6. Reply

    five little doves

    September 20, 2017

    Oh we have been here too!! Looks like you had a great day, I’m sure mine would love it there.

  7. Reply

    Jaymee (@_TheMumDiaries)

    September 20, 2017

    What a lovely hands on museum! i think my boys would love to visit here

  8. Reply


    September 20, 2017

    That looks like such a fun place to visit. My kids especially my son would love to drive the cars that seems like great fun

  9. Reply


    September 21, 2017

    This place looks fantastic! I know my boys would love it there.

  10. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    September 21, 2017

    There definitely is a lot to do, looks like a fun day out x

  11. Reply

    The London Mum

    September 21, 2017

    My son would love love love this, and it looks so hands on and interactive too. Perfection!

  12. Reply

    Mary Abbott

    September 21, 2017

    Looks like a great day out! Oh to be a kid again x

  13. Reply

    Louise Smith

    September 21, 2017

    This looks like such a fun museum to visit with the little ones! I think my two would really enjoy it here. They are both car mad at 4 and 14!!
    Louise x

  14. Reply


    September 21, 2017

    How exciting. Looks like a fab day out with plenty to see.

  15. Reply


    September 22, 2017

    Oh wow! I am blown away by the motor museum and the Beaulieu Estate grounds are just impeccable.

  16. Reply

    Gareth Torrance

    September 22, 2017

    Oh man, this is the perfect place for me to visit! I’d absolutely love it! 😀

  17. Reply

    Elinor Hill aka Beach Hut Cook

    September 22, 2017

    Looks great fun and I love how they let you sit in some of the vehicles.

  18. Reply


    September 22, 2017

    I have never been here before. It looks like a great place with lots to see and do. Great photos Kara 🙂

  19. Reply


    September 22, 2017

    Looks like a great trip! I absolutely love Top Gear and it’s great they let you get in some of the vehicles!

  20. Reply

    Charli Bruce

    September 23, 2017

    This place sounds amazing, I reckon the kids would love it. Definitely going to plan a day trip there soon x

  21. Reply


    September 23, 2017

    I wouldn’t necessarily expect to find that in such an elegant setting. How wonderful.

  22. Reply

    Ayesha Farhad

    September 23, 2017

    Oh my! This looks like so much fun and absolutely loving the pictures! I think my little boy would love this!

  23. Reply

    Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...

    September 24, 2017

    I remember visiting Beaulieu as a child and loving it but haven’t got around to taking my own kids yet. I love the wooden bus climbing frame (my kids go mad over playgrounds!).

  24. Reply


    September 24, 2017

    My husband would love it here! I have only visited the New Forest briefly and I’d love to go back one day!

  25. Reply


    September 24, 2017

    We love here, we’re going to the firework night as it’s the best around

  26. Reply

    Lubka Henry

    September 25, 2017

    This is really cool for a family day out. And the family tickets are reasonably priced

  27. Reply

    Chloe Ciliberto

    September 25, 2017

    I went here when I was little. I absolutely loved it but it looks so much better now. A great reminder that I need to go back. x

  28. Reply

    Super Busy Mum

    September 26, 2017

    WOW – what an amazing looking museum! We love visiting museums, there’s always so much for the kids to do and play on. This one is particular looks awesome.

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog