Beaulieu Motor Museum

Situated in the heart of the New Forest in the village of Beaulieu, The National Motor Museum is one of the most well known attractions in the area and beyond. The idyllic setting itself will set you up for a wonderful family day out.

As you arrive, you will find plenty of free car parking and a short walk from the car park will bring you to the start of your Beaulieu adventure.

There are many attractions to discover, with all members of the family sure to find something to entertain & enthral.

The main attraction must be the Motor Museum itself. From the earliest motor carriages to classic family saloons, the National Motor Museum has one of the finest collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia in the world.

There is something for everyone, from legendary F1 cars and land speed record breakers for the speed freaks, incredible examples of pioneering motoring for the history-buffs, motorbikes from past eras and novel vehicles such as the Outspan Orange and a small caravan made of Lego!  If you time it right you'll even hear vehicles starting up with an interesting talk to accompany the cars bursting into life! The oldest car dates back to 1875 and you can move through the ages to view and marvel at the engineering feats of car manufacturers of days gone by right up to the present day.

The museum is set out in areas of interest which includes the following:

The Luxury of Motoring.

The speed, the style... see some of the most desirable cars ever built in this display which brings together luxury motors from across the National Motor Museum's collection. They were some of the most luxurious cars ever built. Discover the stories of the people who owned them, the chauffeurs who drove them, and the designers & mechanics who made them.

Included within this section is:

The Lalique Collection

You will find a glittering collection of 28 Lalique glass car mascots.

Designed to be lit from below, the display allows you to illuminate these glass masterpieces to see them at their sparkling best.

Treasures from the Collections.

From elegant clothes to splendid vanity cases, decadent accessories were an integral part of a luxury lifestyle. Explore the costumes and accessories which accompanied the cars with a special display of rarely seen objects, films and images from the National Motor Museum Trust's collections.

Driving Changes.

Ever wondered how engines work? Curious about car safety? Discover how automotive technology has developed since the dawn of motoring. Learn how innovations have changed what goes on underneath the bonnet of your favourite vehicles. Plus find out where technology might take us in the future. In this section there is also a chance to meet the Beaulieu Test Dummy! Push a button to hear him talk about the safety development of the car.

Jack Tucker’s Garage

I have to say this garage is excellent! Our children love it! Every time I visit I spot something else! You can really explore a rustic 1930s garage, packed full of artefacts, fixtures, fittings, tools and ephemera from a bygone age.

The Motorcycle Story

My Father in Law loves this section! Brings back memories of his motorcycling days and it’s lovely to see him enthuse over some of the exhibits. From the early days of motor sport to urban culture, see motorcycles displayed with unique backdrops, each giving a hint to their cultural context.

Leaving the Motor Museum and heading out around the grounds you will not be disappointed with the choice of other places to explore.

Palace House is a must see. It’s beautiful and packed full of interesting rooms, all fully furnished to highlight life at Beaulieu. It has been in the Montagu family since 1538 and was once the gatehouse to Beaulieu Abbey. In an idyllic New Forest setting, overlooking the picturesque Beaulieu River millpond, Palace House was remodeled and extended during the 1800s and is now a fine example of a Victorian country house. Inside, its ecclesiastical heritage sets the grand gothic tone for a home bristling with character and adorned with family treasures, portraits, and memorabilia.

The restored Victorian kitchen provides a wonderful insight into how the Victorians cook and what they ate. There are costumed guides on hand to answer your questions and our children were delighted to get hands on in the kitchen using the rolling pin and pastry cutters! Alongside the kitchen there is a small gift shop selling items that may not be available in the main gift shop.

Wandering around the house you get a true feeling of life with the Montagu’s. It’s a true honour to be allowed to walk through Palace House & imagine the family gatherings around the huge dining table or the Late Lord Montagu reading in his library. It provides a lovely contrast to the motoring scene within the museum.

One of my favourite parts of visiting Beaulieu Motor Museum is the Abbey. The 800 year old Abbey was founded by King John in the 13th Century before being destroyed on the orders of King Henry VIII in 1538.

Owing to the efforts of the Montagu family ancestors, distant relations of these former kings, the now tranquil Abbey is a conserved ruin where generations of visitors have enjoyed its peaceful setting and appreciated the achievements of its medieval builders.

The Abbey ruins are wonderful to walk around and packed full of history. Walking through the preserved foundations of the Abbey Church provides an impression of the vast scale of what once stood on the site. The Cloister remains an oasis of calm and an ideal place to pause for a while. It is also home to an aromatic herb garden once worked by monks for use in medicine and cooking. I am fascinated with this particular part of the Abbey and it is very interesting to see and imagine how this herb garden was a vital part of the monastery’s working life.

The parish church is worth a visit too. Once the Monks' Refectory, it has been the Beaulieu village parish church since shortly after the Abbey was destroyed. It is now a popular venue for weddings and visitors are welcome to enter when services are not taking place.

Elsewhere you will find:

World of Top Gear.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the cars that were battered, modified and generally ruined by the BBC's Top Gear team? World of Top Gear features vehicles from every era of the Top Gear challenges, including old favourites like the Reliant Robin Space Shuttle, as well as fresh, new exhibits from filming with Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid.

On Screen Cars.

Visit this wonderful exhibition to view cars used in television and films. You will certainly find a few you recognise but here’s a few to try and spot:

  • Mr Bean's Mini
  • Del Boy's Reliant Van
  • The Jaguar XKR from the Bond film Die Another Day
  • The `flying` Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Doctor Who's much-loved car Bessie
  • Barbara's pink taxi from The League of Gentlemen

Monorail & Veteran Bus

The mile-long monorail is the oldest in England! It will take you on a sedate tour of the attraction from above, offering sweeping views of the grounds and gardens before passing right through the roof of the National Motor Museum! Informative commentary tells the stories behind the many things you will see on your journey. With a North and South station, the Monorail runs at frequent intervals throughout the day, and is a fun way to explore the attraction.

Making regular journeys between the Brabazon Restaurant and Palace House, this replica 1912 open-topped London bus invites you to climb aboard for a gentle and nostalgic ride through the grounds between the two on-site bus stops.

So how much does all this cost and when can you visit?

TICKET PRICES:

You have 2 choices to buy tickets, either on the day or in advance. Please note in advance tickets cannot be bought online to be used the same day. My advice is to organise your holidays beforehand and buy tickets in advance as they are considerably cheaper.  Here are the prices:

ON THE DAY:

ADULT:                                        £24.75

SENIOR 60+ / STUDENT:                £23.75

CHILD 5 -16:                                 £12.50

UNDER 5s:                                    FREE

FAMILY:                                       £64.00   This can be 2 adults and up to 3 children or 1 adult and up to 4 children

IN ADVANCE

ADULT:                                        £19.50

SENIOR 60+ / STUDENT:                £18.50

CHILD 5 – 16:                                £9.50

UNDER 5s:                                     FREE

FAMILY :                                       £49.00

There are special rates for disabled visitors and carers:

ADULT                                          £15.50

60+ / STUDENT:                            £14.25

CHILD 5 – 16:                                £7.90

REGISTERED CARER                        FREE

Please see the Motor Museum’s website for more details.

OPENING TIMES:

The motor museum is open at the following times:

Summer opening: 10am - 6pm (26 May - 23 Sept)

Winter opening: 10am - 5pm* (24 Sept - 24 May) *closing at 4pm on the following dates due to the Christmas at Beaulieu evening event: 23 - 25 Nov, 29 Nov - 2 Dec, 6 - 9 Dec, 12 - 24 Dec, 26 - 30 Dec.

The last admission each day is 30 minutes prior to closing time. Don't worry if you can't fit everything into your first visit - visitors with an attraction ticket can return for free within six days!

ADDRESS & SAT NAV INFO:

 

Beaulieu Motor Museum

Beaulieu,
New Forest,
Hampshire,
United Kingdom,
SO42 7ZN

For more information please visit: https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/