I thought I would challenge myself in not committing to notes but
relying totally on memory for my review of the Beaulieu visit. I had
made a recce visit two weeks before the trip so felt reasonably
comfortable about doing this. The recce was extremely wet and
depressing but the property was packed with visitors. The NT visit
itself had excellent weather but there were not so many people there;
strange but good as we had time to see everything without being
crowded when we did it. The trip down was smooth and took exactly the
expected time. Entry into the property was smooth and we filed in to
start with a coffee and decide our plans for the day.

We had two guided Palace tours booked but otherwise it was a free flow
visit making our own decisions on what we wanted to see during the
day. The grounds are quite extensive so it was a good walk from the
entrance cafe to the Palace house. The first group assembled on time
and enjoyed a super guided tour. The guide was dressed as a nursery
maid and was incredibly knowledgeable about the family and the
property, taking us from the very early days of establishment to the
present day and the newly installed present day duke and his family.
I also had an excellent guide on my recce visit. They’ve obviously
been well trained but more to the point, they obviously relish the
job they do. Well done Beaulieu. The Palace was certainly my

favourite part but the National Motor Museum was also first class.

The Abbey ruins, the barn exhibition, Abbey church and Secret Army
exhibition were also well worth a visit. The monorail also worked
well as did the vintage London double decker bus. The local
icecreams were also superb with one scoop being the size of a bucket,
worth the entrance money for that alone. They don’t do anything by

half down there!

Roger Smith