New Look World of Top Gear at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

World of Top Gear Launch

We last visited the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu back in April 2014 and our favourite area head to be the World of Top Gear.

Although neither my husband or I are petrol heads, Top Gear is a show we love to watch and it is a real family affair as we will the presenters on to complete their challenges and laugh when they go awry.

I had been worried that the show wouldn’t be the same without Clarkson, Hammond and May at its helm, but I needn’t have worried. The presenters and format may have changed, but the fun and mayhem hasn’t and we love the show as much as ever.

Today, we were invited to the launch of the refreshed World of Top Gear at Beaulieu, which reflects changes introduced to the new-look BBC Top Gear. We were introduced to the exhibit by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, whose father was the founder of the National Motor Museum.

World of Top Gear, Beaulieu

Next up on stage was one of the new presenters of Top Gear, Chris Harris who was joined by The Stig. Chris regaled us with some of the tales from filming the show, including how he thought he had killed Matt Le Blanc when he pranged his car whilst racing in Kazakhstan.

World of Top Gear

The amazing new exhibits from the world’s biggest motoring show include the impressive Ssangyacht, the longest limousine selfie opportunity ever and a marine feature displaying boat challenge vehicles.

World of Top Gear, Beaulieu

Once they had finished introducing the new world of Top Gear, there was a chance for a photo opportunity and some questions, although Sebby was just excited to meet the “Stick” and attempt his customary arm fold. Thankfully I don’t think Stig minded the slight change of name.

World of Top Gear

You enter the exhibition through a heritage corridor, whose timeline pays tribute to the show’s 40-year history. It began with Angela Rippon as the first presenter and ran through four decades up to more recent times with Formula One racing driver Tiff Needell, then Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

World of Top Gear, Beaulieu

This leads to the Enormodrome which boasts a brand new studio in keeping with the style of the latest series with presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid and is home to the current Reasonably Fast Car, a suitably red Toyota GT86 and one of the most famous vehicles on the planet today.

World of Top Gear

It is then time to head inside to see the indestructible Toyota Hilux rising from the ashes in a haze of smoke, alongside the roofless Reliant Rialtos driven by Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc in their first road trip challenge. Then walk through the upcycled tyre columns to the dry marina where the amphibious car challenge’s damper van and Triumph Herald and sail will be displayed alongside the Nissan pick-up which crossed the English Channel.

World of Top Gear

For a photo opportunity, sit in the trailer hooked behind the Jaguar XJS rail car or dress up as a granny and step inside the unforgettable Fiat Multipla grannymobile which raced around our local Christchurch.

World of Top Gear

An open side gives a better view inside the airship caravan……

World of Top Gear

…..and get up close to the red Lotus with a sleeping compartment, Porsche 944 Turbo ambulance and doubledecker racing cars. Then follow Top Gear’s adventures across the globe with the scooters from Vietnam, ski slope Mini with a union flag on top and high-mileage taxis from the recent Kazakhstan road trip.

World of Top Gear

In a separate gallery, see the surprisingly sleek-looking Ssangyacht which was built to shake up the world of luxury yachting.

World of Top Gear

Look across to the scrap art map, with toy cars showing everywhere the programme has been filmed and shown . . . the complete World of Top Gear!

World of Top Gear

Memorabilia from Top Gear is on show throughout the display, including the Jaguar steering wheel from a Clarkson challenge and door panels from the Hindustan Ambassador hailed as the world’s best taxi. Old favourites remain on show outside the display, including the rocket-shaped Reliant Robin space shuttle and snowbine which cleared an entire Norwegian road of snow.

World of Top Gear

They are joined by the giant hovervan, which was created from a Ford transit van.

World of Top Gear

That wasn’t the end of the fun though, we were treated to a precision driving display with drifts and donuts in the display arena by Chris Harris himself.

World of Top Gear

Sebby squealed with delight as he raced around in a Mercedes AMG, sliding the car around the track and revving the engine.

World of Top Gear

He then stopped and took a couple of people out for a spin in the car too, to which I remarked that I would love to have a go. Cue a waiver to sign in my hand and a helmet to put on. I am the type of passenger who always goes for the imaginary brake, but if I was going to get into a car with anyone to try this, I couldn’t be in better hands (even if he did almost wipe out Joey).

Any nerves were soon gone a Chris explained exactly what he was making the car do as we raced around the arena. It was so much fun and nowhere near as scary as I had imagined and I can see why people love to push cars to extreme.

World of Top Gear

The refreshed World of Top Gear is included in a general admission ticket to Beaulieu which also offers entrance to the National Motor Museum and its collection of more than 250 vehicles.

World of Top Gear

There are lots of attractions and activities for kids to enjoy at Beaulieu and Sebastian was desperate to ride the monorail.


The monorail takes you around the grounds and offers stunning views over the manicured gardens, the Abbey and the stunning Palace House. There is also a vintage bus that runs around the site too, offering a second way of getting around if you don’t want to walk.


For the kids there is large, well equipped play area which was being updated during our visit, plus the chance to drive their very own cars too.


With the Motor Museum, Abbey and Palace House to explore, Beaulieu is a fabulously fun day out for all the family with plenty of child friendly facilities, a large restaurant, or plenty of picnic areas if you want to bring your own food. I cannot wait to take all the kids back in the holidays!

A family ticket to Beaulieu costs from £49 in advance with children under 5 free.

29 thoughts on “New Look World of Top Gear at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

  1. Lubka Henry says:

    I didn’t even know there was a Top Gear museum. Definitely a good place to visit with the family.

  2. I last went to Beaulieu over 20 years ago. Do they still have the car like an orange??? It is on our list of places to go with the kids in the next couple of years

  3. Helen says:

    I didn’t even know there was a World of Top Gear! Sebby looks so pleased to have met the Stig (or stick…how cute) I have to be honest I haven’t watched Top Gear since the originals left. I maybe haven’t given it a fair chance and should try watching it again.

  4. I haven’t been to Beaulieu since I was at school! My hubby would love it but I’m not that keen!

  5. Steph says:

    We love beaulieu and this sounds like a great new addition to it. How exciting meeting them too!

  6. Nazrin says:

    Aww this looked like so much fun for the lads! I hope thyey had an amazing day out! My other half loves Top Gear to pieces so I may have to check this out!

  7. Charlotte says:

    This looks interesting and I love the cars they have from the episodes! I have to say we were a bit disappointed with the remake but my husband will watch it now and again

  8. This is a must have for top gear fans. How awesome that you get to have a look at behind the scenes moments x

  9. So much to see and do – wowza. My son is a huge car fan and this would be his dream. Me? I’d happily opt for the monorail ride I reckon haha!!! No jokes aside I did used to watch Top Gear and do love a good fast car

  10. Oh I’ve been to Beaulieu but not to the Top Gear museum, this looks fab and my eldest and husband would LOVE it! Worth a visit for sure!

  11. Beaulieu is on our list of potential days out for this summer as I haven’t been since I was a child. I hope the orange car is still there!

  12. We have never been to Beaulieu, I’d not considered it before but I will look into it now.
    (hubby helping out)

  13. Omg! That sounds so exciting that you got to take a ride in the car and the talks at the beginning sound great as well. I’m not sure I would have the attention span to look round the museum it’s self – I’m not a huge fan of cars, I think it is the personality of the Top Gear presenters and banter that makes the show.

  14. I am not a Top Gear fan, I don’t think I have seen a single episode. My dad and brother love it though and they would have loved this x

  15. Personally I’m not a top gear fan but I bet this would be perfect for fans of the show or cars in general x

  16. Rachel says:

    I would have been very excited to see The Stig admittedly and it sounds like you had a great time x

  17. Carla says:

    The museum looks really cool. I’m not really into cars but I too like the challenges and humour of Top Gear.

  18. Talya says:

    What a fab day out my daughter would absolutely love this! Talk about heaven for car lovers!

  19. My kids would love this, and the hubby. I have never been to Beaulieu, I think I will have to go!

  20. Kate says:

    It looks like a really fun day out with plenty for everyone to do. I love ‘the stick’.

  21. Even though our little family isn’t into cars, I think this is still a fun event to go to, especially since hey, Top Gear 😉 Looks like your little man had fun 🙂

  22. Aww sounds like a great day. I must admit, I’ve never watched top gear so don’t know much about it to be honest. X

  23. Hannah says:

    This looks like a great day! I’m a big fan of Top Gear. Hopefully go have a look at it soon 🙂

  24. Jon says:

    Oh my word. That Ssangyacht is absolutely huge. Looks like there were some amazing things to see at this event!

  25. I used to love Top Gear but haven’t watched since the 3 Amigos left. Looks like you had a fantastic day out, and Sebby’s picture with the Stick is just too cute! Stephanie xx

  26. Helen says:

    Ohh I’ve been wanting to take Evan to Beaulieu since forever. I didn’t know there was a Top Gear feature there – he loves the show! How long is it there for Kara?

  27. Sabina Green says:

    Oh wow that looks amazing, Hubby and I are petrol heads and both used to work in the motor industry. We visited IWM Duxford last year and picked up a leaflet for Beaulieu which is definitely on our to-do list!!

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