Beaulieu National Motor Museum

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Beaulieu, Beaulieu, United Kingdom
www.beaulieu.co.uk - 01590 612345

Beaulieu National Motor Museum Reviews

austin37335 austin37…
62 reviews
Petrolhead heaven Jul 20, 2012
Beaulieu National Motor Museum is situated in the grounds of Beaulieu House, the 13th century stately home of the Montague family. This is in the beautiful village of Beaulieu (pronounced Bewley) which is in the heart of the New Forest in Hampshire.

The motor museum was started by the present Lord Beaulieu as a tribute to his father who was a motoring pioneer. The collection began with a few exhibits in the foyer of the home when it was opened to the public in 1952. They proved to be very popular and the exhibition grew to such an extent that the motor museum was named as the UK’s National Motor Museum in 1972.

The museum is now home to over 250 cars and motorcycles and includes some priceless vehicles. The vehicles on display date from the dawn of motoring to the present day and the collection tells the story of motoring history.

As well as a wide range of cars and bikes from every era of motoring, there are also many racing vehicles, record breakers, and famous vehicles from television and the movies. These wide ranging exhibits include an 1898 Daimler, a 1962 Isetta ‘bubble car’ and the Donald Campbell’s land speed record holding ‘Bluebird’, as well as ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. There are free themed tours of the museum conducted by guides that tell the story of selected exhibits in detail.

The museum also features additional specialist displays. When I was there these were ‘Bond in Motion’ celebrating 50 years of Bond with 50 famous vehicles from the movies. This includes exhibits such as the 1977 Lotus Esprit that Roger Moore drove out of the sea in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’. There is also a ‘Top Gear’ section to the museum which features a number of vehicles used in the popular UK TV show along with a dedicated video production from the presenters of the show.

There is a ride in the museum called ‘Wheels’ which transports riders through the history of motoring in pods which run along a track. There is also a Formula 1 simulator (at extra cost).

The entrance fee of £20 includes entrance to all the motor museum display areas as well as to the stately home and gardens. This charge includes a free second day in the museum to be taken within 12 months. I thought this represented very good value as there is plenty to see and a second day is necessary to see everything in detail.

There is a monorail that transports visitors in a loop through the beautiful grounds from the motor museum to the stately home and a vintage open top bus that provides the same service. There is also a self service restaurant on site serving everything from snacks to full meals.

My observation was that, just as many of them did for me, the exhibits brought back memories for young and old alike. I overheard many people of all ages discussing vehicles that they had owned, travelled in or aspired to.

As a petrolhead I loved this place and spent the whole day completely awestruck studying every exhibit in detail. There is so much for car and bike lovers to see and in fact I spent the whole day in the motor museum and didn’t see the stately home at all. Everyone will have their favourites but I was totally taken by a beautiful 1909 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost which I kept returning to time after time to admire, and a 1979 Honda CBX motorcycle which I always wanted to own in my youth but never quite made it.

Anyone that has any interest in cars or motorcycles will really enjoy their day here and I will be definitely be taking advantage my second free day. Even if cars aren’t of interest the stately home and its grounds surely will be so there is something for everyone. For this reason I have given Beaulieu 5 stars - highly recommended.
The motor museum entrance
1904 De Dion Bouton
1900 Royal Enfield
View of the exhibition area
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austin37335 says:
Oh, I'm sure both you and your son would love this place Jutta.
Posted on: Jul 19, 2012
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photo by: Sam