History and horsepower at Beaulieu

Motors on display this summer.
Motors on display this summer.
Kieran's son Louie is now on his fourth photoshoot - at just 21 months                                                         (Shutterstock)

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If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids that will also keep the grown-ups entertained, Beaulieu has lots of family activities this summer.

Set in the heart of the New Forest National Park and voted best large visitor attraction 2013 by VisitEngland, Beaulieu is a lot more than just home to the world-famous National Motor Museum, which tells the story of motoring from early machines to F1 racers.

There’s also Palace House, home of the Montagu family, historic Beaulieu Abbey which was founded in 1204 by Cistercian monks, the World of Top Gear featuring vehicles from some of the TV series’ most ambitious challenges and On Screen Cars , where the car is the star and includes TV and film favourites.

An extra attraction that opened recently is the Motorcycle Story, where you can see more than 50 motorcycles on display.

Beaulieu has also introduced the Living History programme that brings to life more than 800 years of history.

At the exhibition you will be able to meet characters from the past and explore the grounds.

The event will also give you the opportunity to watch veteran and vintage vehicles in a parade – and in some cases you will be able to take a ride in one of the historic cars.

Once you have looked at the cars on display, be sure to join in with the Victorian house party in Palace House.

Here you will find music and singing in the Lower Drawing Room and children’s games on the lawn.

You can also take a tour of the Kitchen Garden with the Victorian gardener – this is where Palace House grows its produce.

On the tour you will hear a talk from Brother William, the Cistercian monk, on the folk law of herbs and the life of the monks who once lived there.

Aside from the history tours you can watch falconry displays as the birds of prey fly above the museum grounds.

Paul Manning, a local falconer with more than 20 years’ experience, will provide the bird displays in the Abbey Cloisters from 1pm-3pm.

There he will explain the history of these birds as well as fly them. There will also be hawks and owls on display during the event.

Admission to the museum is £21 for adults and children’s tickets range from £10.50-£12.50. Open daily from 10am-6pm. Call 01590 612345 or visit beaulieu.co.uk .