Andy and I both remember visiting Beaulieu when we were children and when we were invited to come along this summer, we couldn’t wait to take the girls and see how it had changed.
When we arrived Alice spotted the monorail straight away and when we looked at the map and saw it took us over to the other side, we thought it was a good idea to start there.
The monorail was exactly as Andy and I remember it from our own childhood and the girls loved it. During part of the journey you go inside the National Motor museum and can look down at the cars. The girls thought this was brilliant.
Unfortunately when we got to the second station at the other side of the gardens, we were not able to get off. Which meant we came all the way back to where we started and had to get off and then walk. This was a bit frustrating, but the girls loved the monorail, so they didn’t complain.
It wasn’t long until we arrived at the play area and the girls of course couldn’t wait to have a play.
Just next to the play area, are some cars you can drive. These are for 7 years and younger. My girls were the only ones on there and they were having great fun, once Holly got the hang of the pedal.
We then headed to see the Beaulieu Abbey, which was beautiful. You’re able to have your own wedding there.
The gardens in Beaulieu are beautiful and we spent quite a bit of time walking around them.
We found a Lock Tree, which was made of copper and it had hundreds of padlocks hanging of it. The girls were really fasciated by it and we explained that every couple that had got married here at Beaulieu were allowed to add their padlock.
Alice was very excited when we came across Alice in Wonderland. The real Alice that Carroll Lewis based the story on lived in Lyndhurst. She made several visits to Beaulieu with her husband.
Of course she had to have her photo taken with Alice!
Everywhere we turned there was something to see and we had a lovely walk around.
We then went inside the Palace, which was a beautiful building from the outside.
When we walked in we were greeted by a maid, which the girls thought was brilliant to see her in costume.
Alice always loves to look around, she is really fascinated by life before she was born and asks lots of questions. In one of the room they had some old fashion toys that the girls could play with.
Outside on the Palace gardens were some lawn games and this brilliant gold photo frame that you could have your photo taken with.
Alice was quite good at the croquet. Holly found the hats in the tent that you could try on and she loved them.
It was then time for lunch and we found some picnic benches to have our picnic on. There is plenty of grass and benches all over Beaulieu if you decide to take a picnic.
As you wander around Beaulieu you will see old cars drive past with people dressed in costume and riding on a penny farthing, which the girls thought was really funny.
We were right next to the bus stop of the replica 1912 open top London bus and we thought we would have a ride to take us back to the other side of Beaulieu. After we had sat there for a while and it hadn’t arrived, we popped into the ice cream shop next to it to find out if it was running. He thought it was and hadn’t been told any different. In the end we decided to give up and walk back.
Then we spotted the monorail was coming and raced to the station and we were pleased to see that it was now stopping at this station and we could hop on.
As we were riding back we spotted the open top bus in the garage and it looked like they were trying to mend it. Which explains why it didn’t arrive at the bus stop. It would’ve been good for a sign to be put up for people to know.
Once we arrived back we headed to the National Motor Museum to look around.
The girls were really interested to see all the old cars and what they were like. They kept asking me if I had cars like them, I told them I’m not that old 🙂
After a lovely time at Beaulieu, we then jumped in the car and drove 10 minutes down the road to Buckler’s Hard to take a trip on the Beaulieu river cruise.
Bucker’s Hard is an 18th century ship building village and it is where you can get the Beaulieu River Cruise and sail down the beautiful Beaulieu River. It is also the home of the Maritime Museum. You have to pay to get into Buckler’s Hard and then you pay for the Beaulieu Cruise once you’re on board. Its worth noting that the cruise only accepts cash, but you can book online in advance which also saves you money.
The girls were excited to go on the boat. It is one of the few privately owned river and its really peaceful and tranquil. The cruise trip lasts 30 minutes and the captain gives you commentary telling you the fascinating history as you ride along.
It was a lovely way to end our day. Back on dry land we walked around the village of Buckler’s Hard and stopped for an ice cream.
We had a lovely day out, Beaulieu was still just like we remembered and it was a fun day out for the girls and we loved finishing it with the Beaulieu river cruise.
Disclosure: We were kindly invited to both Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard River Cruise. All views, opinions and photos are my own.