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The South Sights


  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

Fodor's Review

With a ruined 13th-century abbey, a stately home, and an automobile museum, Beaulieu appeals to several different interests. Beaulieu Abbey was founded in 1204 by Cistercian monks on land given to them by King John (the name means "beautiful place" in French.) You can still see the ruins of the cloister and the herb garden, as well as two remaining buildings, one containing an exhibition re-creating daily life in the monastery. Palace House incorporates the abbey's original 14th-century gatehouse and has been the home of the Montagu family since they purchased it in 1538, after the dissolution of the monasteries, when the abbey was badly damaged. You can explore the drawing rooms, dining halls, fine family portraits, and the beautiful grounds. The present Lord Montagu established the National Motor Museum, which traces the history of British motoring. The collection contains more than 250 classic cars and motorcycles, from late 19th-century vehicles to futuristic F1 racing cars, plus galleries devoted to popular British TV show Top Gear (complete with test track) and famous film cars like Mr. Bean's Mini. Other museum attractions include interactive experiences, audiovisual displays, and rides in vehicles ranging from a monorail to a 1912 London bus.

Sight Information


Beaulieu, SO42 7ZN, England



Sight Details:

  • Abbey, Palace House, and Motor Museum £24
  • Late May–late Sept., daily 10–6; late Sept.–late May, daily 10–5


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