The last time we went to Beaulieu was when we were about 11 years old. Heading to Beaulieu was a great family day out. It was either that or Thorpe Park, anyway. And the Magic Carpet ride at Thorpe Park always made us feel ill, and Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks scared the living daylights out of us. And we were too cool and grown up to be seen at Paultons Park anymore...
The Outspan Orange Mini is still a classic
It was a simpler time when car prices were low... Highlights included Wheels, which was edutainment at its finest. An on-rails ride of sorts, you’d sit in a pod and get a guided, tongue-in-cheek tour of the history of automobiles, featuring waxworks, model cars and such. There were some brilliant cars at Beaulieu (the Outspan Orange springs to mind), and my sister bumped into Nick Berry one time and gave him her phone number. Much like his later career though, nothing came of it in the end. Aaaah, memories...
There is a point to this, of course. Speaking of the living daylights, all our Beaulieu memories came flooding back when we learned that they were hosting a ‘Bond in Motion’ exhibition over the Easter period. Amazingly, Beaulieu has managed to secure 50 original cars from the James Bond films, some of which have never been seen in a public exhibition before. These monsters of movie magic will be accompanied by exclusive clips of the cars in action, facts and more.
Bond cars of all shapes and sizes will be at Bond in Motion
Slated for display are the Lotus Esprit S1, codenamed ‘Wet Nellie’ from The Spy Who Loved Me, which realistically turned into a submarine and kept Ringo Starr’s wife in pristine condition. The Bede Acrostar Jet from Octopussy will also be exhibited, as will the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish (complete with adaptive ‘invisibility’ camouflage) from Die Another Day. It’s an absolute must for Bond fans and classic car lovers.
Beaulieu also has a multitude of other things to do over the Easter period, including the Hare-Brained Easter Trail which is a maze of complex clues and sweet rewards. The new On Screen Cars Exhibition has loads of recognisable television and film cars to spot, including Del Boy’s Reliant Regal and the Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter. Keep an eye out for Mr. Bean’s mini, too.
No Del Boy and Rodney at the exhibit though
All the usual suspects are there alongside Beaulieu's huge collection of used cars, of course. The monorail (where Nick Berry’s been known to hang out), the Mini Car Driving Circuit, the Secret Army Exhibition and more are still incredibly fascinating, while strange people that don’t like cars can also enjoy the well-kept grounds of Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. If we plan ahead and book the day off, come and say hi (we don’t bite).
Beaulieu’s Easter Egg-stravaganza is available to all from 31st March – 15th April. Take it from us, it’s a great day out and a brilliant way to get a younger generation into the joys of motoring!
Thankfully you dont have to dress like this for admittance
Have you got any stories of your time at Beaulieu? Maybe you got stung by a wasp one day when on the Veteran Bus Climbing Frame, or drove around the grounds in the Bluebird. Whatever the tale, tweet our @Askaprice Twitter account or leave us a message on our Facebook page. We’ll include the best ones!