Beaulieu is a small village located on the southeastern edge of the New Forest national park in Hampshire, England, and home to both Palace House and the British National Motor Museum.
Situated at the head of the tidal Beaulieu River, the village dates back to the 13th century.
The village of Beaulieu initially grew up around the abbey which was founded in 1204 by Cistercian monks on land given to them by King John, who had a royal hunting lodge at Beaulieu. It was given the name of ‘Bellus Locus Regis’, or the beautiful place of the King.
Beaulieu is probably best known as the home of the world-famous National Motor Museum. The museum houses more than 280 vehicles and includes legendary motor vehicles from all over the world, including the record-braking Bluebird. Permanent and temporary exhibitions add to your visit including the World of Top Gear, featuring vehicles from the popular BBC show.
Entry to the Motor Museum also gives you access to Beaulieu Abbey, where you can step back in history to the times of the monks and not forgetting Palace House, the home of the Montagu family. Here, costumed guides are on hand to give you the flavour of what life was like in Victorian times. Make sure you allow time to wander through the gardens and grounds including the colourful Victorian Kitchen Garden.
If you enjoy walking then why not follow the Beaulieu River path from the village down to Buckler’s Hard, you may even be lucky enough to spot a kingfisher on the way! This two mile walk (each way) takes in some of the tranquil scenery and wooded glades along the way. Buckler’s Hard is a pretty shipbuilding village which is well worth a visit in its own right. In the village you will find a pub, Maritime Museum and seasonal boat trips along the Beaulieu River.