Now if you aren't into cars don't disregard Beaulieu as a place to visit as there is a lot to see, the motor museum not only has the history of the motorised vehicle including land speed record cars, F1 cars and more. The museum also currently holds the Bond in Motion exhibition featuring many of the vehicles from the films including Skyfall, and the World of Top Gear, my favourite bit.
All of the challenge vehicles were there to see in their often destroyed states, including my favourite the OAP car, and the recently on air Hovervan.
Also there was the Leana, the reasonably priced car which is still used for F1 lap times, and one of my favourites of the most ridiculous challenges, the Quaint My Ride projects. I always chuckle when the chairs in this car slide around the floor.
There is also a Stig driving experience simulator if you are so inclined.
After getting the cars out of the way we headed back for the evening, and decided to cover the rest the next day as Beaulieu kindly allows you to enter the estate again for free within six days of your visit.
On the way we stopped at a very posh garage for a chat about a car my boyfriend looks after at work which was purchased there, but found the proprietor to be very rude, so just had a look at the cars.
The next day we headed back to the estate, and explored everything else.
If you aren't into cars it is the Palace House gardens that would make this a must see. They are wonderful, and I am so glad we went back the second day to see them.
Beautiful fountains full of waterlilies and sculptures nestled amongst bushes. It felt like being in Alice in Wonderland, as I stepped through a hedge I half expected to hear "Off with their heads!"
You could wander around the gardens themselves for hours admiring all the plant varieties and pretty flowers, but it was the vegetable garden that had me fascinated.
Tunnels formed by fruit trees heavy with apples and pears, intertwined with broad beans to form a canopy overhead. And then actually in the vegetable patches pumpkins, squash, cabbages and all sorts growing well to good sizes, all labelled for when you are only used to seeing them in the supermarket.
These ginormous things (they were much taller than me) are a variety of artichoke, to me they resembled thistles.
Once in the house it felt a bit like being in Downton Abbey. As you wander around the rooms admiring the artefacts there is a very homely feel, and all of the note cards are written by Lord Montagu himself so you get a real feel for his attachment to the objects.
There was faint music playing as you move into what was originally the arches for the gatehouse that house was built around, there was a gentleman playing the piano for us to enjoy.
In the kitchen the board of bells really did remind of the opening sequence for Downton, none of them were ringing though!
All throughout our visit we spotted this car zipping around the estate giving rides to lucky visitors, reminding us of Mr Toad from Wind in the Willows every time, "Poop Poop!"
After a spot of New Forest Ice Cream it was time to head on for the rest of the day. I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this little fellow as we drove back through the New Forest itself though! They are free to roam wherever they please within the forest itself, which I found wonderful, and a real sight to see.