Beaulieu gets playful.

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

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 Gear, On 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 or call 01590 612345.

Christopher Macgowan


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Beaulieu’s 50th Fireworks Spectacular.

Beaulieu’s 50th Fireworks Spectacular will take you Out of this World on Saturday 26th October when the event celebrates the anniversary of the first moon landing.

Beaulieu’s first fireworks event was held in the same year as the lunar landing of Apollo 11 and so the half-centenary event will be choreographed to an impressive space-themed playlist.

In association with Wave 105, Fireworks Spectacular will start half-term holidays with a bang, with entertainment for all of the family at one of the biggest fireworks displays in the south. 

Event-goers can arrive early from 3pm to enjoy all of the features of the Beaulieu attraction, including the National Motor Museum, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. Traditional fairground rides will include a big wheel and popular gallopers, children’s swing boats and a coconut shy, while rides on the Monorail will be offered into the evening.*

From 7pm on the Wave 105 stage, radio presenters will get the evening off to a dynamic start with live entertainment running before and after the fireworks. The fireworks display will get underway at approximately 7.30pm and hot food and drinks are available inside and out.

Tickets can be bought in advance online before 5pm on October 24, at £13.50 an adult, £8.75 a child and £38 a family. Tickets can also be bought on arrival from 3pm on October 26. For tickets or more details see or call 01590 612888.

Visitors with general attraction Beaulieu tickets who arrive earlier in the day are welcome to stay and enjoy the fireworks, while entry with event tickets is from 3pm.

Event admission also includes entry to the Beaulieu attraction until 5pm, with the exception of World of Top Gear which closes at 3pm. The National Motor Museum, with its Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50 years exhibition, will stay open until 9.30pm.

* Old time fairground and monorail rides are subject to availability and will be offered at good-value extra charges.

Christopher Macgowan


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Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard join TripAdvisor Hall of Fame.

Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard have earned places in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame after both being awarded a coveted Certificate of Excellence for the eighth year running for consistently high visitor ratings.

Both have earned TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence every year since 2012 and, in recognition of glowing visitor feedback, have joined the review website’s Hall of Fame as shining examples of family days out.

Award-winning Beaulieu is one of the south’s leading visitor attractions and is home to the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, the Montagu ancestral home of Palace House, the Secret Army exhibition, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and its gardens and grounds. Buckler’s Hard’s Maritime Museum tells the story of the unique village on the banks of the Beaulieu River during its shipbuilding heyday, when ships for Nelson’s Trafalgar fleet were built there in the 18th century.

Beaulieu’s Visitor Services Manager Jon Tee said: “Being awarded the certificate for eight years running is a huge achievement and one that we are very proud of. Receiving feedback is essential to providing the best experience for our visitors and we are delighted that they continue to share their experiences of a great day out in the New Forest.”

The Certificate of Excellence represents a benchmark for the country’s leading visitor attractions, highlighting visitor satisfaction and feedback ratings through its customer reviews.

TripAdvisor’s Brand Vice-president Neela Pal said: “For nearly a decade, the Certificate of Excellence has celebrated businesses that have consistently received positive ratings from travellers and diners on the world’s largest travel platform. This recognition allows us to publicly recognise businesses that are actively taking into account customer feedback to help travellers confidently experience the most highly reviewed places to eat, stay and explore.”

Tickets to Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard can be bought in advance online. For tickets and details:



Christopher Macgowan


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Beaulieu is the Home of Motoring for new car series filming.

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is the perfect backdrop for new prime-time car show The Car Years which begins broadcasting its first series on Tuesdays from May 7th.

The museum – with its world-famous collection of more than 250 vehicles telling the story of motoring history – was the natural choice for presenters Vicki Butler-Henderson and Alex Riley to go head-to-head with their favourite cars from chosen years. The Montagu ancestral home of Palace House and its stunning grounds and gardens are also featured during the six-episode series.

Starting with an ITV4 double-bill from 8pm, Vicki will pitch the iconic Porsche 911 sports car against Alex with his Ford Mustang original muscle car from 1964. Then for 1984, Vicky chooses the turbo powered Ford RS200 while Alex picks Miami Vice favourite, the Ferrari Testarossa.

Winners of the car battles are picked by judges including former F1 drivers and broadcasters Tiff Needell and Karun Chandhok, motoring writers and presenters Erin Baker and Quentin Willson, former Top Gear Stig and stunt driver Ben Collins, motoring author and vlogger Richard Porter and world-renowned motoring auctioneer Chris Routledge.

Later in the series, the British MGA sports car driven by the likes of Elvis Presley is pitted against the Hollywood favourite Mercedes 190SL from 1955, while the world-beating Audi Quattro is set against Alex’s childhood hero the Renault 5 Turbo from 1980, the Porsche Boxster competes against its sports car rival the Lotus Elise from 1996 and four-seater performance cars the Golf GTi hot hatch and Saab 99 Turbo go head-to-head for 1976.

Beaulieu’s Commercial Director Steve Munn said: “We have been pleased to host The Car Years filming and look forward to working with the production team on future series. As the home of British motoring, Beaulieu is the perfect setting for the new show which celebrates some of the most popular cars in automotive history.”

The Car Years is also a perfect fit for its sponsors, Beaulieu’s partners and classic vehicle insurance specialists Footman James. The show’s celebrities recently appeared at Beaulieu’s media partners’ Practical Classic’s Classic Car & Restoration Show at the NEC.

To see the backdrops used in filming, a ticket to Beaulieu includes entry to the National Motor Museum with its Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50 years exhibition, World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, Palace House, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and the grounds and gardens. Tickets can be bought in advance online. For tickets and details see or call 01590 612345.

Christopher Macgowan


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Nissan LEAF’s drivetrain achieves highest driver satisfaction in 2019 Driver Power study

  • Steve Fowler, editor-in-chief of Auto Express and Carbuyer: “Owners love the car’s quiet, smooth and rapid acceleration”
  • Organised by Dennis Publishing, the company behind Auto Express and Carbuyer, Driver Power is one of the UK’s most respected customer satisfaction studies

Continuing the success of the previous generation model, owners have named the Nissan LEAF’s drivetrain as the most enjoyable in the annual 2019 Driver Power study of more than 80,000 new car customers.

The Nissan LEAF came top in the ‘Best Engine & Gearbox’ award, as well as fifth in the ‘Best MPG & Running Costs’ category. 2019 will be the third year in a row that the Nissan LEAF has been named best for the satisfaction given by its drivetrain.

Steve Fowler, editor-in-chief of Auto Express and Carbuyer commented; “The original LEAF took top honours in our engine and gearbox category in 2017 and 2018, and that torch has been passed to the second-generation version in 2019.”

Steve continued; “Owners love the car’s quiet, smooth and rapid acceleration, and its score beat some pretty sporty models from premium brands. It’s not just great to drive though; a fifth place for MPG and running costs shows the LEAF remains easy on the wallet.”

Kalyana Sivagnanam, Managing Director, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd. Commented: “The Nissan LEAF is a fantastic car to drive delivering instant power, rapid acceleration, and refinement thanks to its 100% electric drive train. We are delighted to see our customers have recognised this by highly praising its driving performance.”

First published in 2002, the Driver Power automotive customer satisfaction study is now in its 17th year and is the UK’s biggest new car ownership survey.

Christopher Macgowan


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Simply Jaguar at Beaulieu.

Beaulieu will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the iconic Jaguar MkII at Simply Jaguar on Sunday July 14th with a special display area dedicated to this legendary sporting saloon.

Christopher Macgowan


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Anglian Water has introduced 10 new electric vans to its fleet as part of its strategy to reduce fleet emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The company currently spends more than £4.5m on diesel every year, with vans covering 22 million miles annually.

The new Nissan e-NV200s can travel 100 miles before they need recharging, so will be used for Anglian Water employees who conduct more localised visits.

The company has installed electric charging stations across a number of its sites to facilitate recharging. With less maintenance and cleaner carbon footprints, the new vans will provide an opportunity for the company to cut its energy usage and become even more efficient.

Stewart Lightbody, head of fleet Services at Anglian Water, (pictured) said: “Reducing both fleet emissions and our carbon footprint are key for us. We were one of the first companies to sign up to the Clean Van Commitment which has been created by Global Action Plan, to speed up the switch to zero emissions vans. Our first 10 vans are another key step forward towards our ambition to be completely carbon neutral by 2050 and we are excited to see how quickly we might be able to expand their use in our fleet.”

Stewart Lightbody wins 2019 Fleet News Award for Fleet Manager of the Year.

Air pollution is a major public issue with 44 cities in the UK having air pollution that exceeds the World Health Organisation guidelines. There are four million vans on the road but only 4,400 of them are electric.

Recent research demonstrates that pollution from older diesel vans has a significant impact on health, costing the NHS and society an additional £2.2 billion per annum. This problem is only set to increase as vans are the fastest growing vehicle type in the UK. Vans contribute 75 billion miles driven each year, a staggering 30% of the UK’s road transport emissions, and cost three times more per vehicle to the UK’s health than cars.

Christopher Macgowan


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