New Forest
 - Explorers
New Forest
Explorers Guide
days out in the New Forest composite image
Pony near Hampton Ridge
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
***** For information about New Forest access restrictions and related matters, check out the Forestry England website and the websites of the individual venues you wish to visit. *****

Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and Gardens, and the National Motor Museum - a great day out

Palace House, Beaulieu
Palace House, Beaulieu
Beaulieu Abbey - an 1878 view produced by Edward Walford
Beaulieu Abbey - an 1878 view (little changed to this
day) of the cloisters with, in the background, the
parish church (produced by Edward Walford)

Beaulieu Abbey

Beaulieu Abbey is a must-see attraction for many New Forest visitors with an interest in the history of this fascinating area.

Although much of the Abbey was demolished following the Dissolution of the Monasteries - during the reign of Henry VIII, a visit to what remains provides an opportunity to learn about and experience the way of life of the Cistercian monks who founded the Abbey in the early 13th century, and to visit the cloisters and the monks' herb garden.

Nearby Beaulieu parish church, too, is another reminder of monastic times, for this still-imposing building was originally the monks' refectory.

Palace House and Gardens

Palace House is surely one of the New Forest's most impressive historic treasures. Formerly the 13th century Great Gatehouse of Beaulieu Abbey but considerably modified and extended in later years, Palace House has been in the family ownership of Lord Montagu since 1538 when Sir Thomas Wriothesley bought the estate after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

And here's how the good folks at Beaulieu describe the gardens: 'Lose yourself in Beaulieu's serene grounds and gardens, from the wild nature of the Millpond Walk to the beautifully designed flower gardens and topiary. The gardens were originally the grounds of ancient Beaulieu Abbey and later Palace House. They are now carefully managed by Beaulieu's green-fingered team'.

All are certainly well worth a visit.

The National Motor Museum

Part of the same complex as Beaulieu Abbey and Palace House, the award winning National Motor Museum houses over 250 automobiles and motor cycles that tell the story of motoring from the earliest days up to the present time. From Formula 1 cars and land speed record breakers to historic vehicles dating back to 1875, there is so much to see for motoring enthusiasts.

Displays include an exploration of the golden age of luxury motoring; an examination of the evolution of the motor car; and a look at motor sport, from Grand Prix racing to Road, Race and Rallying. There's the Motorcycle Story, too, and a rustic 1930s garage packed full of artefacts and memorabilia.

And more .....

Look back to the days of World War Two when Beaulieu was home to a finishing school for Special Operations Executive (SOE) Agents; step into the world of TV's Top Gear programme with a range of cars used in the series and a chance to take a look at the studio layout; and ride the monorail and open top, veteran bus.

Further information

Be sure to check here for the latest information about Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and the National Motor Museum.

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** New Forest ponies and other animals**
The New Forest
Commoners' ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during 2019 agisters attended 159 road traffic accidents involving these animals, a small but disappointing increase on the 154 accidents attended in 2018.

Sadly, 58 animals were killed - 35 ponies, 13 cows, 8 donkeys and 2 sheep, whilst a further 32 were injured - 3 pigs, 9 donkeys, 11 cows and 9 ponies.

(Forty-three accidents occurred in daylight, 15 at twilight and 101 in the dark. Twenty-seven accidents were not reported by the driver involved).

Here's just one horrific example - Three donkeys killed in collision with van at notorious New Forest blackspot (Advertiser and Times)
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley