It has to be said that where we live here on the south-coast, we are very fortunate with all of the attractions and days out we have available to us and I am really enjoying introducing Alyssa to all of them. I can remember some of the visits I made to these places as a child and the fact I get to share a piece of them with my own little girl years later is wonderful. Many years ago I was taken to Beaulieu Motor Museum and grounds for the day and I can remember little bits and pieces of what I saw. A few years later, I was fortunate enough to perform in the Beaulieu Abbey with South Coast Junior singers and then last week I was fortunate enough to be invited back to Beaulieu for a wonderful family day out. So, we hopped in the car and headed to Hampshire for a day out together…
When you step out of the reception building you are greeted by a small slope down into the world of Beaulieu. There is so much to see to see and do we weren’t sure which way to go first. There is a brilliant monorail which goes all around the grounds and has a station at both ends of the attraction. This is great for seeing everything from up high and seeing where perhaps you might like to visit.
They also had a couple of special attractions including a display of famous cars where we were able to spot Brum and the car from Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets. There is also a Top Gear dome where there are shows at special times. We actually visited this area last on our way out and enjoyed this last look round before we left.
We decided that first we had to look around the motor museum itself. There are some amazing motors to be seen and from every era too. We really enjoyed seeing the formula one cars, the orangina car (which is literally in the shape and colour of an orange) and of course the bluebird. However, the highlight for me had to be seeing the amazing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – what can I say, I’m a sucker for musicals!
The kids really needed a run around after being inside and being so good so we headed outside to let them go around the children’s park – lovely big and small wooden playground items as well as cars and tractors to climb in and pretend to drive. Alyssa then got the chance to actually drive in one of the their children’s electronic cars! She crashed her way round and I felt a little sorry for the attendant, but she was very happy.
After this, we were delighted to be invited to enjoy some of the food from the on site cafe and restaurant, The Brabazon. There is both hot and cold served as well as a lunchbox option for children where they can pick and choose. There are soft drinks, hot drinks and alcoholic drinks as well as cakes and ice cream. The kids lunch boxes were brilliant and exactly what you’d be looking for and one of us had a pizza which as it’s simply a frozen pizza cooked in the oven is absolutely fine. There are some vegetarian options available though that isn’t glaringly obvious when you look at the menu. The food does taste a lot better than it looks – well, the vegetarian lasagna does which is what the rest of us had. We didn’t choose the Macaroni cheese because it looked like dried pasta with no sauce which was unfortunate. There was an event on so I think the staff were a little overwhelmed as it was very busy.
After lunch, we decided to take a wander around the rest of the grounds. We walked down to the beautiful abbey and looked around the ruins – there is so much to see and it just feels so calm and peaceful.
There is also an old military museum which Bear and Uncle Ollie had a look round whilst the ladies walked through the daffodils.
There is also the house, which has staff dressed as original members of the household but by this point the children were a little tired so we didn’t take them inside and instead let them look at the swans down in the river.
I took a look around the kitchen gardens which are definitely worth a look as there are some hidden gems – fountains, topiaries and a beautiful tree of love locks. I look forward to returning in the summer when the garden is in bloom.
We sat down for some delicious ice-cream before taking the old-style open top red bus back to the top stop by the entrance. You should note (and it really isn’t clear anywhere) that you cannot take prams on the bus, even folded up. You are asked to just leave it in an unlocked, “pram-park” and collect it later so some may not feel comfortable with this.
If you go like we did during a school holiday then there will often be extra activities that you can get up to as well. We had a wonderful time and bought a few mementos in the gift shop as well. It was a wonderful day out and we really look forward to going again. There is something for all ages and it doesn’t even matter really if the weather isn’t great because there is plenty to do under cover too!
Book a day out at Beaulieu here.
*We were gifted entrance in return for the review – all opinions are our own.