Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 3 ~ Beaulieu!


So far on our Epic England Road Trip we’ve visited The Big Sheep in Devon & the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil, this week we visit Beaulieu home to the National Motor Museum in New Forest National Park, Hampshire.

What is Beaulieu?


Beaulieu (pronounced bewley) is so much more than just a motor museum, there’s so much to see and do we just about got it all done in one day. Whether you’re into cars, history, architecture, the Army, Top Gear or just roaming stunning gardens Beaulieu has it all and if you can’t fit it all into one day you can return free of charge within the following 6 days.


What is there to see/do in Beaulieu?


Our first stop on our visit had to be the Top Gear challenge cars, my son Séamus (9) made a beeline for the Dampervan as that was his favourite episode of Top Gear and he was over the moon to get to see it up close. Unfortunately the Enormodrome was closed for filming so we didn’t get to feel what it would be like to be in the BBC’s famous studio.

Unlimited rides on the monorail are included in the entrance fee so we took a ride on it down to Beaulieu Abbey where we learned about the monks that lived there over 800 years ago via various audio visual displays. Then we strolled through the stunning flower gardens as we made our way to the Secret Army Exhibition where Orla (10) was thrilled to learn that during WWII Beaulieu was a secret finishing school for British special agents.


Next we paid a visit to Palace House the Montagu family home since 1538. Aoife (10) was delighted to see the guides dressed in Victorian era costumes, they were so welcoming and every one of them took the time to chat to us. Our two youngest lads Cillian (5) & Lorcan (2) loved getting a go on the open top veteran bus. 

The highlight of the tour for Orla was getting to see the screen cars; she particularly loved Elvis Presley’s Cadillac & the flying Anglia from Harry Potter. The National Motor Museum houses over 250 cars, they’ve everything from F1 cars to a car shaped like an Orange! There are some brilliant interactive displays and we even got to go on the retro pod-ride where we learned about the history of motoring in the UK.


Our visit was complimentary. Avail of a discount on door prices by buying tickets online priced at £19.50/€22.43 for adults & £9.50/€10.93 children over 5 years old, admission is free for children under 5. Discounted family tickets are also available. For further information visit HERE


Where to stay for Beaulieu:



The night before we visited Beaulieu we stayed just under a 50 minute drive away in Bournemouth Seafront Travelodge so we could bring the children for a walk along the pier. We paid £65.50/€73.35 for 1 night B&B for 2 adults & 2 children. The family rooms are very spacious and the breakfast was delicious, that coupled with the lovely staff & perfect location it’s the ideal spot to rest your head if you find yourself in Bournemouth.


When I was planning this holiday I knew we’d need as much time as possible to spend at Beaulieu so I chose a Travelodge quite close to stay after our visit. Travelodge Stoney Cross Lyndhurst cost us £57/€65.57 for 1 night room only for 2 adults & 2 kids. The hotel is located facing a dual carriageway but we didn’t hear a peep as the rooms have two sets of double glazed windows to block out the noise however the hotel could do with a revamp as it’s a bit shabby and run down in places.


Where to eat near New Forest National Park:


Luckily I had asked for recommendations of places to eat from the receptionist as I was checking into Travelodge Stoney Cross as that’s how we found out about The Swan Inn, Emery Down. It’s a traditional countryside pub located in the heart of the New forest. It was a bit on the spendy side with dinner and drinks’ costing us £110 /€126.54 for the seven of us but it was totally worth it as we all thoroughly enjoyed our meals.

Have you been to Beaulieu? Did you like it? Is there anywhere in New Forest you’d recommend we visit next time?

Check back next week where we take to the road again to visit Fort Nelson, Brighton and Hastings!

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*** Disclaimer: As advised above we received complimentary admission to Beaulieu. As usual all thoughts are my own, I was not asked to write this review. As ever neither free services nor payment would ever sway my opinion. ***
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