New exhibition, Motopia? Past Future Visions launches in the National Motor Museum for May half-term

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New exhibition, Motopia? Past Future Visions launches in the National Motor Museum for May half-term Lord Montagu's falconer in Beaulieu Abbey

Get set for an action-packed May half-term at Beaulieu with family fun for everyone, including the launch of a brand-new exhibition taking centre stage in the National Motor Museum.

Take a trip through time at Beaulieu, with over 800 years of history to explore as you meet Living History characters around the attraction. Plus delve into 130 years of past and future thinking with the National Motor Museum’s new headline exhibition, Motopia? Past Future Visions. Those visiting over the May half-term will be one of the first to see an exhibition which gives a fascinating look at how the future of the motor car was imagined in the past. Concepts and ideas that have become reality, and future visions about automobility still to be realised will feature in Motopia? Past Future Visions, sponsored by Select Car Leasing.

Motopia? – are we nearly there yet? – will offer a week of activities and pop-up events from 29 May – 2 June. Experience some new and not-so-new concepts on how to get from A to C via B at the National Motor Museum. There will be a chance to try out transport ideas you may not have experienced, heard of, or thought to be worthwhile with a series of demonstrations and activities held in our outdoor arena and in the National Motor Museum.

While exploring the National Motor Museum, leave time say hello to our friendly mechanic and get your hands with nuts and bolts as you put your own skills to the test!

Next head back in time to the turbulent Tudor era, when Beaulieu Abbey was destroyed in 1538 on the orders of King Henry VIII, and watch age-old falconry skills in action with Lord Montagu’s falconer in the Beaulieu Abbey Cloister and Palace House Lawns.  Falconry was once the practice of royals and nobles and was practised by some of the most powerful people in Beaulieu’s history. Even William Shakespeare, whose patron was Montagu’s ancestor Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, referenced falconry many times in his works.

The next stop in your journey through time is the Victorian era, as you step inside Palace House, the historic home of the Montagu family. Chat to costumed house servants about their duties upstairs and downstairs in this grand country house, which was originally built as the Beaulieu Abbey gatehouse but grew to become a bustling Victorian family home.

Don’t miss the Victorian Kitchen Garden of 1872, packed with seasonal vegetables and fruit – how many can you spot as you wander through the garden and peer through the windows of the Vinehouse?

Be sure to leave time to climb aboard Beaulieu’s 1912 Veteran Bus. Meet the bus driver and discover what public transport was like over a century ago as you enjoy a gentle, nostalgic trundle around the attraction grounds.  Be sure to collect character cards from all the other living history characters as you meet them during your day out.

And when you’re finished time travelling, families can enjoy letting off steam in Beaulieu’s enchanting adventure play area Little Beaulieu. Accessible in all weathers, parents can enjoy a hot drink or tasty snack in the family-friendly outdoor seating area while kids wear themselves out.

Plus, over Spring Bank Holiday Weekend, cinema with a festival feel comes to Beaulieu. Go to the movies and see your favourite film in a picture-perfect backdrop, as Beaulieu hosts Adventure Cinema,  the UK’s largest touring outdoor cinema from Friday 26th – Monday 29th May.*

Beaulieu, where marvellous days out are enjoyed together, is the perfect place to share a family day out. Visit for more information and to book your tickets now.


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