Aston Martin, Monks and Monorails – The National Motor Museum Beaulieu

The National Motor Museum in the village of Beaulieu sits in the beautiful surroundings of The New Forest National Park, Hampshire, England. It is home to over 250 vehicles dating back from the early days of motoring through to the high tech supercars of today.

Luckily our visit also coincided with the Simply Aston event, a meet up of the Aston Martin owners club. As an Aston Martin is on our fantasy shopping list, we were looking forward to browsing some future purchases. It would be nice to drive away in a Vanquish S at the end of the day.

Simply Aston
Aston Martin AM10 Red

The Aston Martin AM10 RED

Our first stop was the arena where the Aston Martins were gathering, despite the rain these iconic luxury British sports cars were drawing the crowds. One of the most popular cars was the Vanquish S Red Arrows, one of only 10 cars created as a tribute to the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team. The lucky owner of this car had recently won it in the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund raffle.

Aston Martin GT8

An Aston Martin GT8

As well as Simply Aston, Beaulieu also hosts other events throughout the year including Simply Porshe, Simply Jaguar, Supercar weekend and many more.

After drooling over the Astons and realising that no careless owners had left the keys in their car we headed over to the main attraction, the National Motor Museum building.

The National Motor Museum
Senna Toleman 1984

Ayrton Senna’s 1984 Toleman

The main museum takes you from the worlds earliest cars including steam carriages to the luxury of the latest Rolls Royce Phantom. We were surprised how many immaculate cars and motorbikes there were, definitely something for everyone. Whether it’s simply the car you remember your dad driving when you were a kid, the insane 1980’s group B rally cars or even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The highlights for us were Ayrton Senna Toleman, the car he drove in the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix and the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

Spirit of Ecstasy Rolls Royce

The Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstasy

We also really enjoyed the ‘For Britain & For The Hell Of It‘ display. This featured some of the iconic land speed record cars including Malcolm Campbell’s 350HP V12 Sunbeam and his son, Donald Campbell’s Bluebird CN7.


Donald Campbell’s Bluebird-Proteus CN7

The World Of Top Gear
Top Gear

One of Top Gear’s creations

For a bit of fun and nonsense head over to the World of Top Gear where you can see some of the team’s strange and bizarre creations including the Snowbine Harvester, the Fiat Panda limousine and the Robin Reliant Space Shuttle. They also have the famous Toyota Hilux pickup which they repeatedly tried to kill!

The Beaulieu Monorail

The Beaulieu Monorail

For the kids, small and big alike, take the monorail which actually runs through the motor museum in part. This takes you from near the main entrance to the gardens. Judging by the screaming the kids onboard really liked it but just be warned, if you are six foot or over it can be a bit of a squeeze to get on.

If you don’t want to ride the monorail then try the 1912 open-topped London bus instead. Don’t worry, you won’t need your Oyster card.

The Secret Army Exhibition
Special Operations Executive

The Special Operations Executive – SOE

In Beaulieu gardens, you can find the Secret Army Exhibition which tells the story of the wartime Special Operations Executive (SOE). During WWII and in total secrecy, Beaulieu was home to the Special Operations ‘Finishing’ School. Agents were trained here before being sent to Europe to work with the various Resistance groups.

Palace House
Beaulieu Palace House

Beaulieu Palace House

Due to the rain, we couldn’t really spend more time exploring the gardens so we headed to the warm and dry of Beaulieu Palace House, yes they did have the fires lit. Palace House has been the home of the Montagu family since 1538.

Victorian costumed guides helped show you around the house as they described their daily routine in the house during the Victorian era. The staff also included a Victorian cook working in the kitchen, unfortunately, we weren’t invited to stay for dinner with the gentry.

We really enjoyed our day at Beaulieu National Motor Museum, we were surprised how much there was to do and it’s not just for petrolheads. You can definitely spend a full day there, especially if it’s dry!

For more information, directions, upcomimg events and prices check out the Beaulieu website.


The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, England

The National Motor Museum Beaulieu – Pin For Later

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  • Jenn and Ed Coleman
    April 21, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    What a fun place. My two favorite were actually bird themed. First, the Robin Reliant Space craft looks like a LEGO creation I made as a kid, probably with equal chances of reaching Mars (something saved for a Tesla apparently). I also thought the Bluebird concept car was pretty neat, but I couldn’t understand what the wings were supposed to do.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      April 22, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Amazingly, the Bluebird was actually a real car, it reached a speed of over 400mph in the early 1960’s.

  • amit
    April 22, 2018 at 1:42 am

    Oh how cool it must have been here with all those Aston Martins around, haha glad that you checked to see if any keys were left behind ๐Ÿ˜› – I’m sure guys had fun seeing all the weird an wonderful things the top gear team have come up with over the years too ๐Ÿ˜€ All in all seems like a great day out, despite the rain ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Mr and Mrs W
      April 22, 2018 at 8:18 am

      Yes, it was good fun, most of the activities apart from the arena are indoors so you can still visit even if it’s raining. Which is quite fortunate with the amount of rain we do get in the UK

  • Fiona Maclean
    April 22, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    LOL, my dad would have loved to see the Aston Martins at Beaulieu while my mum would have been there at Beaulieu Palace House. Definitely something for everyone there!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      April 22, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Yes, we were surprised how much there was to do there apart from the cars and motorbikes.

  • Dorene
    April 22, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    That is a very extensive motor museum! Love the line up of the old Aston Martin’s We’re fans of F1 so nice to see Jenson Button’s old car (from his good old day). Great way to spend a wet afternoon in England!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      April 23, 2018 at 8:05 am

      The motorsport section had a lot of classic cars from F1, very impressive.

  • Karla
    April 23, 2018 at 5:56 am

    This is so cool, you got to see all those motors and all those Aston Martins! I love gardens too it’s a pity it was raining but then again hey, you seem to have seen a lot more anyway so that should be good. I love discovering places like this.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      April 23, 2018 at 8:06 am

      The gardens and old abbey would be really good to visit on a dry day.

  • Efthimis Kragaris
    April 23, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Beaulieu National Motor Museum exhibits cars that definitely turn heads. Donald Campbellโ€™s Bluebird-Proteus CN7 seems extraordinary! I will keep this museum in mind while in Hampshire.

  • Kathleen
    April 23, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    How fun!! My dad and I like to visit car museums and shows together. It’s so much fun to pick out the car we want to buy the most. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of money. Also, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one of our family’s favorite movies, although the Candy Man freaked my kids out.

  • Siddhartha Joshi
    April 24, 2018 at 4:38 am

    Damn! I love The National Motor Museum…I can never have enough of those cars! I love gazing at the luxurious steam carriages of the bygone era…would want to travel in one someday ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Indrani
    April 24, 2018 at 5:05 am

    Cool vintage vehicles. Love the hood decoration of Rolls Royce.
    The look of Bluebird-Proteus CN7 is interesting. Such a good photo opportunity! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Medha Verma
    April 25, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Its a pity that the weather was not very good for you to be able to explore properly. I am not a car enthusiast but many of my family members are and I can imagine how cool this museum with vintage and luxury cars would be for someone who loves cars. Personally, I am more intrigued by the Beaulieu Palace House ๐Ÿ˜€