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Holidays in Beaulieu

A historic riverside village with a variety of attractions

UK | South Coast | New Forest | Beaulieu
Palace House

Built around an abbey dating back to the 13th century, Beaulieu and its neighbouring village, Buckler’s Hard, is part of the sprawling Montagu Estate. It sits on the banks of the River Beaulieu, within the New Forest National Park.

Over the centuries the village has grown around the Cistercian abbey, the ruins of which can still be seen today, with the notorious King John also having had a hunting lodge here. The Montagu family came to own Beaulieu in the 1530s and have helped the village to grow from strength to strength. In 1952, they opened the Palace House and Gardens, one of the ‘Treasure Houses of England’, and amongst the first stately homes to open to the public. It once acted as the gatehouse to the abbey, and nowadays offers guided tours, exhibits and an art gallery dedicated to Soviet Russian art.

The National Motor Museum

Beaulieu is also home to the National Motor Museum, which was started by Lord Montagu as a display of five cars. The collection continued to grow substantially, and was named the National Motor Museum in 1972. The Museum spans the entire spectrum of motoring, from vehicles dating back to 1875 to exhibits on motorcycles, Formula 1 and breaking the land speed record. Cars from both the silver and the small screen, including the Trotters’ Reliant Regal, can also be seen at the museum, while the World of Top Gear pays homage to the much-loved show.

If you’re looking for a faster way to take in the village, why not try taking the monorail? The mile-long monorail is the oldest in England, passing over the grounds of Palace House as well as through the National Motor Museum. For a touch of nostalgia, there is also a replica 1912 open-topped London bus which offers gentle journeys between Palace House and the Brabazon Restaurant.

Bring back a souvenir with the selection of small shops found in the village, including a gift shop and a traditional kitchen shop. There are also a couple of places to eat in Beaulieu, including the Montagu Arms Hotel’s Terrace Restaurant. This 3 AA Rosette restaurant offers an exciting fine dining menu over either five or seven courses. For a choice of heartier meals as well as some light bites, try the Brabazon Restaurant.

“Part of the sprawling Montagu Estate, it sits on the banks of the River Beaulieu…”

Slightly further down the Beaulieu river is the hamlet of Buckler’s Hard, which was once a historic shipbuilding village. Its maritime past can still be seen throughout the village today, especially in the main street which is lined with shipbuilders’ cottages. At the centre of the village is the Buckler’s Hard Story and Maritime Museum, giving a glimpse into a shipbuilding village’s life in the 18th century.

Our Beaulieu cottages make for an ideal base to explore the New Forest from – why not visit our collection and get inspired?

While you’re there

Buckler’s Hard

A pretty hamlet with a shipbuilding past, located just down the river

National Motor Museum

Home to more than 250 vehicles, this museum spans the whole history of motoring and includes many classic cars from film and TV

Palace House and Gardens

Part of the historic abbey and one of the ‘Treasure Houses of England’

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