With one-week left of the school holidays, why not pay a visit to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu – there’s plenty to keep all ages entertained and give them something to talk about on the return to school.
In the heart of the New Forest, Beaulieu National Motor Museum is a must-visit family attraction. Whether you and your family are into cars or not, there’s plenty of fun things to do. It isn’t just for car enthusiasts and for teenagers who might expect the attraction to be ‘just about cars’ there is so much more – they are sure to be pleasantly surprised.
On entry to the attraction there are a number of trails and clue hunts for all ages. From the visual “I spy” for pre-school children to the fact-hunting trails for school groups and older children which encourage them to read and explore the museum.
Hop into one of the pods of Wheels, a family friendly ride which takes you on a fascinating audio – visual journey through the history of motoring. Learn about mapping and the first sat nav through to engineering and road safety. Spot the fastest cars of Formula 1 to the oldest which dates back to 1875 and step inside a 1930’s garage. There’s also the World of Top Gear and Screen Cars which all the family are sure to recognise at least one of the vehicles.
Hop onboard the replica 1912 veteran bus for an open-top ride to Palace House and explore the home of Montagu’s since 1538. Meet costumed living history characters whilst you explore the impressive stately home – from Lord Montagu’s library to which you enter through a false bookshelf door (very Harry Potter!) to the kitchen, courtyard and family dining room.
Outside Palace House join more living history characters whilst children can play traditional Victorian Games or make use of the green open space and views across the Beaulieu River.
Before you head to explore the Abbey church ruins and exhibition, be sure to stop at the ice-cream shop for a taste of New Forest Ice-Cream to keep the young (and older) family members happy in their explorations of the Cloister remains. You might even meet a monk or a falconer during the holidays.
Explore Palace House Gardens which include topiary scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with the themed ‘thyme for tea’ herb table. See how many characters you can spot!
From the gardens you can jump onboard England’s oldest Monorail which takes you on a mile-long ride around the attraction and through the National Motor Museum. You can hop off at the museum or continue the loop back to the gardens so to visit the children’s Mini-Moto play area.
For children who want more of a hands-on experience Dipstick’s Driving Circuit (school holidays only) provides an opportunity to get behind the wheel.
There is so much to see and do at Beaulieu, National Motor Museum a day almost isn’t enough time, so if you return within 6 days, you can visit again for free. (Be sure to ask on admission for more information, terms and conditions)
Beaulieu is a great day out for all the family and to quote a thirteen year old visitor: “I thought a museum about cars would be really boring but it isn’t, and there’s so much to do and it’s fun”!