Visitor Information from the attraction
Come to Beaulieu in the heart of the New Forest and discover the many delights that one of the UK’s leading Tourist Attractions has to offer.
Beaulieu was one of the first Treasure Houses in England to open its doors to visitors in 1952 and this year the attraction is celebrating its 60th anniversary. With over 355,000 visitors every year, Beaulieu is a guaranteed great family day out, with so many attractions to discover in acres of beautiful grounds and lots for everyone to enjoy, whatever their age.
In this Diamond Jubilee year Beaulieu is holding a very special exhibition - BOND IN MOTION. The exhibition, the largest of its kind staged anywhere in the world, showcases 50 of the best loved and most iconic Bond vehicles – some never before seen in public - in celebration of the 50th year of James Bond films.
BOND IN MOTION features a whole range of vehicles which have appeared in Bond films over the years including cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds, jets and many more. This collection of iconic movie vehicles will include the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye and the 1937 Phantom lll Rolls-Royce from Goldfinger, the Lotus Esprit S1 affectionately nicknamed ‘Wet Nellie’ from The Spy Who Loved Me, the Bede Acrostar jet famously flown in Octopussy, and the BMW 750iL from Tomorrow Never Dies. plus iconic vehicle action clips from the James Bond films.
Currently wowing Beaulieu’s visitors is ‘World of Top Gear’, featuring actual vehicles created by presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May for some of their most ambitious challenges on the TV show over the years including the latest arrivals, all four vehicles from the presenters’ India Challenge 2011 Christmas Special.
Fans of the show will experience the Top Gear ‘Enormodrome’ which aims to recreate the feel of the Top Gear studio. As well as regular features from the programme including the Cool Wall and Celebrity ‘Lap Time’ boards, visitors can watch an exclusive video presentation from behind-the-scenes at the Top Gear HQ with Jeremy, Richard and James plus clips from the show featuring the cars on display.
The motor vehicle collection in the National Motor Museum remains one of Beaulieu’s most famous attractions with more than 250 on show from the earliest examples of motoring and family cars of the 30s and 40s through to classic cars of the 70s and 80s and rare motoring oddities such as a giant orange on wheels. There are historic racing cars, F1 and rally cars from the earliest examples of road racers to the latest F1 machines and World Land Speed Record Breakers including Donald Campbell’s ‘Bluebird’.
In the museum, Jack Tucker’s Garage recreates the sights, sounds and smells of a typical country garage from the 1930s while ‘Wheels’ - a space-age pod ride - is a fascinating voyage through 100 years of motoring.
On Screen Cars has a display of TV and film favourites including Del Boy’s Reliant Regal as featured in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, Mr Bean’s lime green Mini and the De Lorean as featured in Back to the Future. Also on display are the flying Ford Anglia, used during the filming of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and, possibly the most famous of all screen cars, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Visitors can see the magnificent rooms and treasures of Palace House - Lord Montagu’s family home since 1538. History comes alive with real Victorian characters, tales from the Butler, Cook and Housemaids give a fascinating insight into the workings of a Victorian household, showing their life ‘Upstairs and Downstairs’.
During the summer, join the Victorian house party with music in the Drawing Room and Victorian playlets and games outside on the lawns. See veteran and vintage cars as they motor around the grounds.
A new exhibition on display in Palace House, Beaulieu Estate: a year in pictures portrays every aspect of life on the Estate during 2011, captured by the cameras of the Beaulieu Camera Club.
The Secret Army exhibition tells the story of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) which trained secret agents at the Beaulieu ‘Finishing School’ during WWll. The agents were trained at a number of large country houses scattered across the Beaulieu Estate before returning to occupied Europe to work with Resistance groups. Many paid the final sacrifice and did not return. The exhibition introduces visitors to the training schools, instructors, secret agents and unsung heroes of the SOE, their training and secret missions. A Film Presentation shows how the ‘Finishing School’ operated in total secrecy for four years.
The 13th century Beaulieu Abbey features a Film Presentation and an Exhibition of the daily life of its Cistercian Monk founders, leading into the picturesque serenity of the Cloisters and Herb Garden. Upstairs in the Abbey’s Domus, impressive Wall Hangings depict scenes from the history of the Abbey.
Gardens to enjoy include the fragrant Victorian Flower Garden, the informal Wilderness Garden, dating back to the 1770s and the Ornamental Kitchen Garden laid out on the site of the original 1872 Palace House kitchen garden. Visitors can also take a leisurely stroll along the meandering pathways beside Beaulieu River and Monks’ Mill Pond.
An exhibition of the Surrey Sculpture Society’s stunning traditional and contemporary artwork is on display until 2nd September in Palace House and surrounding grounds and gardens.
Visitors have a birds-eye view of the grounds when they ride the high-level, mile long Monorail. The only one in England, it travels between its north and south terminals and even passes through the roof of the Motor Museum. Alternatively, the replica 1912 open-topped London Bus is a fun way to seek out Beaulieu’s sights.
Budding drivers can get in the driving seat on Dipstick’s Driving Circuit, with its twists and turns, in fun mini motorised vehicles or test their skill with The Stig Driving Challenge, remote controlled cars. Younger visitors can get physical on the Mini Motor PlayTrail with its Veteran Bus climbing frame, swings and Little Tykes ride-on-cars.
Beaulieu is open every day except Christmas Day, from 10am to 5pm. Current admission prices are; adult £20, child (5-12) £9.95 and (13-17) £12, senior citizens and students £18.50, or a family ticket (for 2 adults and up to 3 children or 1 adult and up to 4 children) £52.50. If you can’t get to see everything in one day – you can return within 6 days for FREE. Travelling to Beaulieu is easy by road, approx. 2 hours from London (M3, M27 West and A326). The nearest train station is Brockenhurst.
Tel: 01590 612345, 01590 612123 (24 hrs)