Beaulieu Motor Museum

Beaulieu Motor Museum is a place that I have fond memories of as a child. From exploring all the old cars to having space to run around and enjoy myself, it's been a place that I've wanted to take Max for ages. So when our friends Tamsin, Jamie and Rubi asked if we wanted to join them on a "last day of summer" day out, we jumped at the chance and raced over!

Beaulieu Motor Museum is set in the heart of the New Forest and is a museum dedicated to everything motoring past and present. Created on the private lands of the Beaulieu estate, the museum itself boasts hundreds of old cars, cars from tv and film and also plays host to the Top Gear experience. 

We headed there for opening time at 10am to get the most of our tickets and had no problems parking and getting in. As part of your tickets, you are eligible to return within 6 days for free. Whilst this is a great idea, it's a shame that we couldn't take them up on the offer as we are just that bit too far away to make use of it. 

We decided to start our day by checking out the cars from film and TV. Starting with the Ford Anglia that graced the screens in the Harry Potter franchise, to the Reliant Robin that Del Boy and Rodney drove around in Only Fools and Horses. It was fascinating to see these original cars in the flesh, with some fab props to go alongside them! Our favourite was by far Mr Bean's car, he's a family favourite so Max was chuffed to see it in the flesh.

We then decided to take a look at the Top Gear exhibition. What started as a temporary one, has evolved into an amazing exhibition over the years featuring some of the most famous cars from the series! Max loved one of newer sports cars, but the kids also loved looking at all the unusual series creations and getting the chance to sit on some of them!

The motor museum itself is set across two levels with a monorail running through it. Filled to the brim with cars from all across history, the kids were fascinated that cars really looked the way they did many years ago! I was in awe of the original car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (and consequently sung the song for the rest of the day.) whilst Scott loved looking at the motorbikes and race cars.

We were fortunate enough to catch a special exhibition created by Edd China all about the weird and wonderful cars including one made from a bed. The kids loved it and were were so lucky to see him drive it away from the museum and even meet the man himself. Whilst I can hold up my hands and say I'm still not too sure who he is, the men and the kids were over the moon to meet him.

One thing I love about the museum is the fact that there are so many photo opportunities. They have set up selfie areas to engage the kids and let them climb aboard some cars. The kids loved dressing up in clothing and getting stuck in and playing away. Some of there spots were in the Top Gear area and the main museum itself.

There is so much to see at Beaulieu that it really takes more than a day to get your moneys worth. But we wanted to cram as much in as possible so we headed to the palace house and gardens after lunch (via the play area) to explore and see a real life working garden and floral area. Let's just say it was sublime and I've got more than enough photos of flowers to keep me happy for months.

Whilst the house and other parts of the museum grounds itself aren't fully catered for kids as young as Max and Rubi, they still had tonnes of fun exploring and playing around. We ended up getting a bus back to the front of the grounds to finish exploring the museum.

One thing I remember from my childhood is a fab little ride called Wheels, where you go through the history of cars in a little pod. Max absolutely loved it and it's making me even more excited for Disney coming up. We also popped on the Monorail to end our day and catch a birds eye view of some of the bits that we missed.

We had a fab and exhausting day at Beaulieu, and will definitely be back with the kids. Especially when they are a bit older and have a bit more patience to look at the cars for longer!

*note: we paid for tickets, all opinions are our own.

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