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Beaulieu - Abbey, Palace and National Motor Museum

The beautiful Abbey of Beaulieu is situated at the heart of the New Forest and was founded back in 1204 by a grant from King John to an Order of Cistercian monks. It grew to wield huge power and influence until Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538. Today, it is open to the public, along with Beaulieu's Palace House and Gardens and the renowned National Motor Museum.

Visitors can enjoy a tour of the Abbey refectory, where the monks dined, and walk through the tranquil cloisters, fragrant with herbs. The size of the Abbey's church is hard to imagine now as it was destroyed by Henry VIII, but in its day it was the largest of the Cistercian churches in England.

Beaulieu's Palace House is next door, home to Lord Montagu and beautifully situated on the banks of Beaulieu River. Originally the 14th-century gatehouse to the Abbey, it is a medley of Victorian Gothic, medieval Gothic and 18th-century fortification styles.

The third (and some would argue most important) reason to visit Beaulieu is the National Motor Museum. Cars, motorbikes, motoring eccentricities and memorabilia pack this lively attraction in which 250 examples of motoring magic are exhibited. From some of the earliest examples of motoring to legendary World Record Breakers like Bluebird and Golden Arrow, there is something guaranteed to fascinate all ages.

Beaulieu Motor Museum - Motorworks

Beaulieu - Abbey, Palace and National Motor Museum Information

When: Daily

Where: Beaulieu

Cost: £14.50; seniors £13.50; child £7.50; family £40

Opening Hours: Daily 10am-6pm (until 5pm Oct-Apr)

Address: Beaulieu, SO42 7ZN

Hotels near Palace and National Motor Museum

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