Bucklers Hard

On the banks of the Beaulieu River, you will find the peaceful haven of Buckler's Hard which remains untouched by the passage of time.

Once a thriving shipbuilding village where ships for Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar were built, now Buckler's Hard is a tranquil haven, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Discover the history of the village in the Maritime Museum, take a step inside a historic shipwright's cottage, or simply amble down the high street to watch the boats sailing by on the Beaulieu River, where you can catch a river cruise from Easter to October.

You will also find the Apple Orchard. Why not take a gentle stroll, where apple trees are in full blossom in the spring. The fruit is picked each autumn and used with apples from other orchards on the Beaulieu Estate to make Beaulieu Apple Juice. Or if you prefer make your way down to the water. One of the few privately owned estuaries in the world, the Beaulieu River has been in the careful custodianship of the Montagu family for over four centuries, creating a river which is unspoilt and rich with wildlife. There are riverside paths to discover or  river cruises to while away your time in such a wonderful location.

The Maritime Museum is a fascinating place, where you can discover the history of this unique 18th century shipbuilding village and the Buckler's Hard Story.

Originally founded as a free port for the trading of sugar, Buckler’s Hard actually flourished as a naval shipbuilding centre and has become famous for building warships for Nelson’s Navy, including three vessels that took part in the Battle of Trafalgar.

Visit the Maritime Museum and Buckler’s Hard Story to follow the development of this fascinating village, the story of its ships, and the residents who lived and worked there. Learn how warships were built for Nelson’s Navy, including his favourite, Agamemnon. See models of the Buckler’s Hard ships which took part in the Battle of Trafalgar and view Nelson artefacts, including his baby clothes. Read all about the activity on the river during WWII, including the important role Buckler’s Hard played in the D-Day landings. Plus watch a film presentation to discover the story of Buckler’s Hard at war. See how villagers would have lived and worked in the early 1800s and compare the cramped home of a labourer’s family with the more spacious shipwright’s cottage in the village. Listen to local gossip in The New Inn. How did Buckler’s Hard change from thriving shipbuilding village to sleepy rural hamlet and finally to popular visitor destination? Follow the changes that occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries and learn about some of the residents who lived here.

There’s plenty for the children to do too. Get stuck in with the hands on activities, talk to the costumed living history characters around the village or take part in the family fun quiz trail. I have already mentioned the River Cruises, so why not step aboard the river cruise boat for a peaceful 30 minute boat trip along one of the few privately owned rivers in the world.

The village is a wonderful place to explore too. Pop in to Shipwright’s Cottage and be transported back in time. Once home to shipwright Thomas Burlace and his family, you can explore this charming cottage to see how Thomas and his family would have lived.

Further down the High Street, you will see the replica timber framed 18th century shipwrights’ workshop overlooking the Beaulieu River.

Constructed using hand hewn timber from the Beaulieu Estate, the replica workshop was hand-raised on 2nd August 2014. It now blends perfectly into the historical surroundings of Buckler’s Hard.

Tucked away in one of the terraces you will also find St Mary’s Chapel. Once a residence and then the village school, this quiet chapel seats only 40 people but has a surprising history…

Half-hidden in the middle of the west terrace, only a bell, sign and statue provide clues to what lies behind the door of number 82.

Now a place of quiet contemplation, the building was originally set up as an infant school in 1846 and was occasionally used to hold services. When the school closed in the 1880s a proper altar was installed and the room dedicated to St Mary.

With everything Bucklers Hard has for you to discover you are sure to work up an appetite. Visit the Captain’s Cabin Tearooms and treat yourself to a delicious cream tea or tuck into a light lunch. They also serve all-day snacks and hot drinks. The tea rooms are open daily from 10am or if you prefer a pub lunch overlooking the River then head to the end of the Buckler’s Hard high street where you’ll find The Master Builder's House Hotel.

Enjoy a meal in their Yachtsman's Bar and garden, with dedicated table service from their Breton-clad shipmates or treat yourself to a fine dining experience in their River View Restaurant.

You are of course welcome to bring a picnic! Don’t forget to bring a blanket and find a grassy spot or grab one of the picnic benches with views of the Beaulieu River.


Buckler's Hard is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.


10am - 5pm
(25 March - 30 Sept)


10am - 4.30pm
(1 Oct -  onward)

The last admission each day is 30 minutes prior to closing time.


Your ticket to Buckler’s Hard includes entrance to the historic village and waterfront, Maritime Museum and Buckler’s Hard Story, the Shipwright's Cottage and all day car parking.







Senior (60+)



Child (5-16)






* Family = 1 adult + 4 children or 2 adults + 3 children

Buy your tickets online at least one day in advance to benefit from the advance discount price.

Your advance e-ticket is valid for one visit in the twelve months from the day after purchase. Your ticket will be sent direct to your email address. Simply print the e-ticket out and take it with you to Buckler’s Hard. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can show your e-ticket on your phone or quote the reference number upon arrival.


River Cruise tickets are valid for one trip during the 2018 season (30 March - 28 October).







Senior (60+)



Child (5-16)






* Family = 1 adult + 4 children or 2 adults + 3 children


Buckler's Hard,
New Forest,
United Kingdom
SO42 7XB

Tel: 01590 616203

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