In the New Forest National Park lies the small village of Beaulieu, home to our luxury country house hotel but also several Beaulieu attractions that should not be left undiscovered.
A relaxing countryside break awaits you, but why not make it extra special by organising a Beaulieu attraction or two whilst you are here? There are some truly unique places you really ought to visit because Beaulieu is the hub of activity and it certainly has something for everyone: one of the world’s finest car collections, a stunning historic house and an 800-year old Abbey, a historical shipbuilding village and activities to pursue on on the Beaulieu River.
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Within walking distance of our New Forest hotel there is a place you may have heard of, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, but have you discovered all that it has to offer? Beaulieu is more than a museum, it is a part of Beaulieu’s history and an attraction everyone ought to visit at least once.
Founded by Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu in 1952 as a tribute to his father, the collection began with five cars displayed at the front of Palace House, Lord Montagu’s ancestral home, and it has been growing ever since.
You certainly do not have to have a passion for cars to enjoy perusing the now vast and fascinating collection of 285 vehicles, including motorcycles and memorabilia. But if you do, you are in for a treat. You will find fine examples of our earliest motor carriages dating back to 1875, history-making F1 cars and land speed record breakers – an impressive collection and celebration of our automotive history.
Another wonderful Beaulieu attraction and one which you may even see from your Montagu Arms bedroom window, is the once historical gatehouse to the medieval Beaulieu Abbey and the beautiful Victorian country house that has been a Montagu family home since 1538.
Overlooking the picturesque Beaulieu River, this wonderfully grand home is full of character and you can enjoy a guided tour to hear stories of its history, treasures and its very own, Montagu family.
View its restored Victorian kitchen, the hidden library and the Art Russe Gallery, the first dedicated Soviet Russian art gallery in the United Kingdom, hosting a selection of paintings and sculptures from the Art Russe Foundation.
Grounds and gardens
Lose yourself in Beaulieu’s tranquil grounds, yet another wonderful Beaulieu attraction not to be missed. With numerous beautifully maintained gardens and topiary to see around every corner, it deserves a day of exploration all to itself.
Take a walk through the Victorian Flower Garden for bursts of colourful flora and flowers and a romantic walk beside old garden roses or take in the delicious aromas of freshly grown herbs in the restored Victorian Kitchen Garden which still supplies Palace House with seasonal vegetables and fruit. Follow paths that meander past ancient oak trees and along the tidal Beaulieu River, or step into the Wilderness Garden, adored between March and April for its carpets of snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils, not to mention the abundance of wildlife and bird life.
Stroll through Beaulieu Abbey’s preserved foundations and ruins – now a conserved and serene place, this is a Beaulieu Attraction like no other. Originally founded in the 13th Century by King John, then ordered to be destroyed in 1538 by King Henry VIII, this was once a home to Cistercian monks and is still a home to their fragrant herb garden.
Whilst you are there, stop by the Domus building and learn more about this 800-year old Abbey in the Monastic Life Exhibition.
Did you know?
Beaulieu Motor Museum hosts many unique events and talks throughout the year in celebration of our favourite seasons, world-adventurers and stories of our history - find one to attend during your visit and make it the perfect break.
Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum
Like its fellow Beaulieu Museum, Buckler’s Hard is much more than a museum. This Beaulieu attraction is a peaceful haven on the bank of the Beaulieu River, inviting you to step back in time in this once a thriving shipbuilding village.
Originally founded for the sugar trade, this small 18th Century village soon became a hub of naval shipbuilding; building ships for Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar.
Today, Buckler’s Hard is a preserved as a historic escape for everyone who visits, whether you wish to learn all about its history in the maritime museum or step back in time in the reconstructed historical homes or St Mary’s Chapel. At certain times during the year you can even visit to see, and even board, the Gipsy Moth, the yacht in which Sir Francis Chichester sailed single-handedly around the world.
If it is nature you enjoy most, take a walk along the Beaulieu River watching the yachts set sail, through the apple orchard or leave the land for a while and enjoy a relaxing River Cruise. When it is time to stop and refuel, take to the Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms for a traditional cream tea or a spot of lunch, or visit the Master Builder’s House Hotel for fine dining in the River View Restaurant.
New Forest Activities
If you are seeking a Beaulieu attraction and a spot of adventure that gets you out onto the water, you really ought to book a guided canoe or kayaking tour of the Beaulieu River Nature Reserve with New Forest Activities. Fantastic any time of the year, take to the water and enjoy an exploration along one of the only privately-owned estuaries in the United Kingdom. Venture down tranquil waterways and into hidden creeks to surround yourself in wildlife and natural beauty for an unforgettable New Forest experience.
Stroll to the renowned National Motor museum, indulge in local delicacies and unwind with a good book. We've created a selection of special offer breaks to satisfy your every whim.
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