The New Forest is fast becoming our new favourite stomping ground, with several visits already under our belt this summer.
A couple of weeks ago we visited Buckler’s Hard and on the way there we passed Beaulieu and made a promise that we would visit again before the end of the summer.
There’s nothing like Beaulieu for a fun-packed day out, as there is so much to do including the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey and Beaulieu Manor to explore, plus rides on a vintage bus and the kids favourite monorail.
This summer they have an exciting line up of events, with something for all the family to enjoy.
The Art of Kustom Exhibition
A Citroen that looks like a spaceship, road-going speedboat, shortened Mini Ha Ha and speed-breaking Reliant Rialto raced on the Bonneville Salt Flats are be stars of the show in The Art of Kustom summer exhibition.
Featuring cars from the imagination of customiser Andy Saunders, the National Motor Museum is displaying his most famous creations gathered from private collections across Europe throughout the summer until September.
The kids all had their favourite cars, with Eliza declaring that she wants to drive the Indecision when she is older. I am sure it was the glitter finish that swayed her.
Colour the Muscle Mustang ‘Art car’
Andy Saunders is described as an artist who uses cars as his canvas – and Beaulieu is offering visitors the chance to get creative by colouring a real-life Ford Mustang ‘Art car’.
I have to admit I was certainly slightly nervous of letting the kids loose with the felt-tip pens provided, but they were soon having a whale of a time customising the muscle car.
First falconer and Abbot’s Mews
One of the highlights of our day was seeing magnificent birds of prey in flight at the Abbey.
The story of falconry at Beaulieu can be traced as far back as the 11th century and Paul Manning is believed to be the first falconer endorsed by the Montagu family for over 300 years. At Abbot’s Mews you can ;earn more about the kings, queens and nobleman who practiced falconry and the falconer’s skills – which haven’t changed for 700 years!
Bringing the past to life
When we arrived at Beaulieu, the kids were each given a challenge card which challenged them to find as many living history characters as possible.
Each living history character carried cards to give to the kids and there were seven to collect.
We joined Lord Montagu’s cook in the recently restored Victorian Kitchen at Palace House and watched as she made her own butter and counted the 35 bells above her head.
We also listened to the pianist perform at the grand piano and played traditional games on the lawns of the house and upstairs in the drawing room.
Sebby found his new vocation: Lord of the Manor!
Rolls-Royces in: The Luxury of Motoring
See a brand new Rolls-Royce Dawn Black Badge in a display of some of the most luxurious cars ever built in The Luxury of Motoring. A stunning collection of 28 Lalique glass car mascots is also on show for the first time as the glittering centrepiece in this new-for-2018 gallery. The National Motor Museum display spans the golden age of luxury motoring and tells the stories of car design, the people who owned them and chauffeurs who drove them. Perceptions of taste and class are explored through a range of fascinating objects, films and rarely seen images from the National Motor Museum Trust’s archives.
Jump on board the playbus
Let off steam in the new wooden replica playbus, with a fun slide from its top deck for children to enjoy. Beaulieu’s full-size Veteran Bus – the replica of a 1912 London double-decker bus – is a familiar sight as it carries visitors around the attraction.
For the playground version, Hand Made Places took eight weeks to design and build this new feature which takes pride of place alongside swings and a climbing frame in the Mini Motor Play Area.
As well as the bus, there is lots of play equipment for the kids to enjoy, as well as the chance to drive their very own motorised cars.
And if there’s too much to see . . . then return again for free!
Visitors to Beaulieu are welcome to make a return visit for free within six days of their initial visit.
There is so much to see and do and all summer activities are included in a general admission ticket to Beaulieu which includes entry to the National Motor Museum and its collection of more than 250 vehicles, the World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and the picturesque grounds and gardens.
Have you visited Beaulieu before?