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Beaulieu

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Looking over the mill pond at Beaulieu in Hampshire towards the famous Palace House is one of the most stunning views in the New Forest. Beaulieu village itself, at the head of the tidal Beaulieu River, is charming, with its lovely old houses, small gift and chocolate shops and ponies and donkeys wandering around.

Alongside the Beaulieu River lies the impressive Exbury Gardens, home to the Rothschild family, the Exbury steam railway and Exbury’s wonderful collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias.

Down river you’ll find Buckler’s Hard, a former shipbuilding village preserved in time, with its riverside walks, Maritime Museum and boat trips. 

The National Motor Museum is renowned for its vintage cars and motorcycles but don’t miss the World of Top Gear - with its Reliant Rocket, homemade police cars and crazy amphibious vehicles - or the Secret Army Exhibition for fascinating facts about the spies trained at Beaulieu in the Second World War. Within the museum you can visit Palace House, home to the Montagu family for 500 years, and Beaulieu Abbey, founded by King John in 1204.