Martyn Raybould

Martyn Raybould

Beaulieu gets playful in 2020 as it throws open the doors to magical new adventure play area ‘Little Beaulieu’. Playtime continues with ‘Motoring in Miniature’ – the Toys of Your Childhood that you loved in a new exhibition at the National Motor Museum.

Beaulieu - Museum
The museum that is so much more then just a car museum! With interactive displays, Top Gear and TV cars display. See James Boond 007 cars and now ‘Little Beaulieu’ to provide even more for children and parents..

There will be a buzz of excitement as two new events look to the future, with Simply Electric  as well as Blue Light Day showcasing emergency services vehicles. Looking to the past, Art Russe at the Clock House revives Beaulieu’s rich heritage amongst the ruins of Beaulieu Abbey by becoming the new home to Russian art. The award-winning attraction in the heart of the New Forest offers a great family day out, where memories can be made all together.

Big fun at Little Beaulieu
Playtime is coming to Beaulieu with the opening of the enchanting £½m adventure play area Little Beaulieu this spring. If you’re a small or big kid, let your imagination run wild as you storm up the bridge of the magical wooden palace, which draws on the heritage of Lord Montagu’s ancestral home of Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey.

The fun fantasy play area is crammed with quirky features to try out and secret passageways to discover. Slide through grand fireplaces, peek out from behind portraits and crawl through a trick bookcase to explore every nook and cranny, from his Lordship’s library up to the clock tower lookout and turrets. Keep your eyes peeled for the secret staircase and change the time on the old-style clock faces, then take the easy way down through a giant spiral tube slide or fireman’s pole. Let off steam on the epic climbing wall or for a brain-teaser, match up pairs of pictures in a giant wooden game. Don’t get in a tangle as you tackle the tricky rope maze room, then follow the treetop boardwalk to the observation tower for a bird’s-eye view as the ‘Skytrain’ monorail rumbles past.

Crawl through a garden hedge in the secret tunnel and feel the wind in your hair as you ride along the zip wire on your marvellous day out. A roadway surrounding Little Beaulieu will keep you on track, as you get behind the wheel of a wooden car in the grounds of the National Motor Museum.

Younger tots will have their own zone of Little Beaulieu, packed with a sand pit for excavations as well as the wooden play bus, modelled on Beaulieu’s Veteran Bus which drives visitors around the leading visitor attraction. Then when you are all played out, settle down in a family-friendly seating area for a picnic from the cafe.

Little Beaulieu will be part of a ticket to Beaulieu from March 15th. A ticket also includes entry to the National Motor Museum with its world-famous collection of more than 250 vehicles which tell the story of British motoring, the World of Top GearOn Screen Cars, Palace House, the Secret Army exhibition, Beaulieu Abbey and its grounds and gardens. Tickets can be bought in advance online. For tickets and details see or call 01590 612345.

Motoring in Miniature – the Toys of Your Childhood
Play continues inside the National Motor Museum as the fun-filled family exhibition Motoring in Miniature – the Toys of Your Childhood opens for Easter.

Our favourite toys, Tri-ang, Dinky and Corgi car sets and more to stir those long forgotten and much loved memories..

Most of us have early motoring memories from before we learned to drive – and that’s the shiny toys we gazed at in the toy shop window and spent hours ‘driving’ across the living room carpet or in the garden outside. These were the toys you were told to clear up, the toys you were proud of and the toys that you loved.

From tin plate and wooden toys to die-cast and slot cars. See pull-alongs and pedal cars, radio control cars and scale models. Spot familiar car jigsaws, board games and computer games  . . . these are the toys of your childhood.

Recollections of the Tufty Club road safety campaign are bound to make you nostalgic and the memories will come flooding back as you share stories of your motoring history with the exhibition that all of the family will enjoy.  

Two new events for 2020 calendar
Two brand new events have been announced as tickets for Beaulieu’s 2020 calendar go on sale this December.

Get up-close to the real life, full-size versions of the latest emergency services vehicles as they gather in the grounds of the National Motor Museum for the brand new event Blue Light Day on Sunday 26th April.

From fully kitted-out fire engines and ambulances, to the purposeful motors of the police, Coastguard, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and more, you’ll be amazed by the sights and sounds of these machines which are used to save lives.

Clamber inside the hi-tech machines used by the Fire and Rescue Service and South Central Ambulance Service, then see their vintage counterparts in the impressive display. You may even spot a 1950s Green Goddess fire engine or maybe a 1960s police ‘panda’ car.

Become a big kid for the day and see feature displays, before meeting the incredible crew who drive and ride in the fast response vehicles and learn about their work. The action-packed event takes place on National Drive It Day, as historic vehicles take to the road up and down the country – so why not make Beaulieu your destination!

Also buzzing with excitement will be Simply Electric, sparking into life for the first time on Sunday 24th May at the start of May half-term.

Enthusiasts will be at the heart of the event as owners of electric and plug-in hybrids, electric motorcycles and e-bikes are invited to park in the grounds of the National Motor Museum and talk technology.

From the latest high-performance Tesla, through cutting-edge family cars the Jaguar I-PACE and Audi e-tron, the popular Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius and even the Sinclair C5 design classic, all electric vehicles and their owners are welcome. If it runs on battery power, then silently motor your way across the New Forest to join in.

Simply Electric is the latest addition to Beaulieu’s successful range of Simply rallies. With record-breaking turn-outs for no less than four of this year’s ten rallies, the Simply range continues to expand next season.

Also new for 2020 is the introduction of a Retro Village at Spring Autojumble on May 16th-17th, where vintage and retro traders will offer fashion, accessories, homewares and collectables for the first time. They will join more than 1,000 stands which are a treasure trove of classic car parts, motoring literature and automobilia.

Tickets for Beaulieu’s 2020 events go on sale from Monday 2nd December. For tickets and details see or call 01590 612888

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