Montagu Family Beaulieu

The Montagu Family & Beaulieu

Given the history of Great Britain, it is no wonder that one of the things we are especially good at is heritage.

We do it very well: From pageants to parades, parks and gardens, stately homes, archaeological centres and even theme parks where you can pay hard-earned money to terrify yourself on scary rides.

The UK has it all and is the ideal place to explore, especially when you can rent a classic car to do it in.

Luxury car interior

Lord Montagu

When it comes to the matter of classic cars and preserving our motoring heritage the UK is spoilt for choice.

We have many excellent car museums but possibly the best of all is Beaulieu.

Nestling in the New Forest and very handy for the south coast of England on the family estate, the museum was founded in 1952 by the late Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, the 3rd Baron Montagu (who put so much of his life into it), in honour of his father who himself was one of the pioneers of motoring in the UK.

When it became clear to the 3rd Baron that the running of the Montagu Estate in the 20th Century was becoming prohibitively expensive (as it did for so many) he decided to open the grounds to the paying public, adding those first few cars as an extra attraction.

It proved to be an inspired idea.

Very ably run today by the family, it has become a lauded institution to all who love cars and is packed with vehicles and memorabilia of all descriptions.

In Spring and Summer, especially the Montagu Estate is a picture.

The grounds and formal gardens are beautiful with some quiet corners to spend some time taking the weight off.

There's even a monorail!

Retro car fragment

Beaulieu National Motor Museum

When founded the display consisted of just five cars and a small collection of automobilia, displayed in the front hall of the house.

Soon though, as the exhibits expanded and popularity grew, the display had to be moved to outbuildings, gradually expanding to the large exhibition spaces of today as it became the National Motor Museum.

The attraction is compact and well laid out. With the oldest dating from 1875, the National Motor Museum possesses a collection of 285 vehicles from throughout the history of the automobile, up to and including cars of the 21st Century.

Additionally, there are interesting displays of general automotive memorabilia from road and track plus informed commentary. There’s even currently a display of glass car mascots by Lalique.

All motoring history is here with classic cars from around the world as well as Formula One racers and supercars, both of today and yesteryear.

Names we are familiar with today are mixed with motoring names lost to history.

Back of vintage car in sepia tone

A Year Round Venue

Open all year round, this year, 2018, for the first time, the Museum will feature a mile-long illuminated path with festive installations along the way.

Created with Beaulieu’s unique historic past as its inspiration, visitors can expect to be immersed in the sights and sounds of the festive season.

The New Forest makes an excellent base for a driving tour of Hampshire and the South Coast. With views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, the area has plenty to explore and at its heart, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

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Montagu Family Beaulieu

This article has 2 comments

  1. Kara

    We love visiting Beaulieu and over the summer they had a fascinating exhibition about the family and how they lived. The kids were laughing at all the fashion changes

  2. Melanie williams

    The motor museum would make for a super great day out with the family. We love car related things, so Beaulieu sounds perfect x

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