Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Never Before Seen Exhibits Arrive for James Bond Vehicle Exhibition 17th January 2012

The opening of an exciting new exhibition of 50 James Bond vehicles, which will be unveiled to the public on 17th January 2012, is now less than a month away. The exhibition, the largest of its kind staged anywhere in the world, will showcase 50 of the best loved and most iconic James Bond vehicles in celebration of the 50th year of James Bond films. Bond in Motion will run from January to December 2012 at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

Among the vehicles now arriving for the exhibition are a number that have never before been seen in public. These include the Ford Mustang Mach 1 from Diamonds Are Forever, villain Zukovsky’s Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II from The World Is Not Enough and the vintage 1962 Rolls Royce, pushed into a lake by May Day and Zorin with Bond still inside, in A View to a Kill.

Other exhibits on public view for the first time include the ‘Burial-At-Sea Bed’ from You Only Live Twice, the Union Jack Parachute which villain Gustav Graves used when he landed on The Mall and the Surfboard with concealed weapons and ammunition, from Die Another Day. Also on display will be the Casino Royale Skyfleet S570 model, based on a Boeing 747, and original ‘Pig’ from The Living Daylights, used to smuggle Koskov across the border through the Siberian Pipe Line.

2012 also marks the 40th anniversary of Beaulieu’s world-famous National Motor Museum, a fitting year to be hosting a major new car exhibition with some of the most recognised vehicles from the Bond films.

National Motor Museum

The world-famous National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has a collection of over 250 vehicles telling the story of motoring on the roads of Britain from the dawn of motoring to the present day. There are historic racing cars, modern rally cars and the latest F1 machines as well as World Land Speed Record Breakers and family cars from every motoring era. Visitors to Beaulieu can also explore Palace House, home of the Montagu family since 1538 and 13th century Beaulieu Abbey as well as World of Top Gear. Open every day, except Christmas Day, from 10am. For more information Tel: 01590 612345 or visit

EON Productions
EON Productions Limited and Danjaq LLC are wholly owned and controlled by the Broccoli/Wilson family. Danjaqis the US based company that co-owns, with MGM, the copyright in the existing James Bond films and controls the right to produce future James Bond films as well as all worldwide merchandising. EON Productions, an affiliate of Danjaq, is the UK based production company which makes the James Bond films. The 007 franchise is the longest running in film history with twenty-two films produced since 1962. Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli took over the franchise from Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli in 1995 and have produced some of the most successful Bond films ever including CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Classic christmas stories come alive at Leeds Castle

Visit “The Loveliest Castle in the World” this Christmas to experience the glamour of a country house in the festive season.

From 5 December 2011 to 2 January 2012, traditional Christmas decoratio
ns will fill Leeds Castle and many of the rooms will be beautifully decorated with scenes inspired by classic children’s stories for the whole family to enjoy.

A selection of traditional and contemporary stories will be represented throughout the castle using colourful costumes, decorations and props.

This winter, the Queen’s Gallery will be transformed into Alice’s adventures in wonderland and the Queen’s bedroom will become tales from the Arabian Nights with inspiration taken from ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’. The Lady Baillie bedroom will be inspired by a scene from the classic ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ and the Seminar Room will become Willy Wonka’s famous Chocolate Factory.

unger children will enjoy visiting the magical world of ‘The Gruffalo’ in the Fountain Courtyard at the centre of the castle. Other classic stories will include ‘Narnia’ and ‘Twas the night before Christmas’.

On 15, 19, 20 and 22 December, winter wonderland characters will bring the castle to life with Christmas evening tours. Be guided on an entertaining and lively tour with Jack Frost and other traditional festive figu
res, who will bring the castle to life. Enjoy a glass of warm mulled wine or hot chocolate together with a delicious mince pie in the Gatehouse on arrival, before your magical tour begins. Tours last approximately 45 minutes. Entry is timed from 5pm to 7.45pm. Tickets cost £15 for adults, £12 for seniors and £10 for children (under 16 years). Tickets must be pre–booked by calling 01622 880008, open weekdays 10am to 5pm.

Children can also visit Father Christmas in the castle along with an evening tour for an extra £5 per child. Tour and visit must be booked together.

Warm up by the crackling log fires in the castle before visiting the oak–beamed 17th century Fairfax Hall Restaurant which offers an excellent choice of freshly prepared dishes and spectacular views of the castle over the moat.

Children can visit Father Christmas in his mini castle grotto in the courtyard on 10 and 11 December and daily from 16 – 24 December. As Father Christmas is very busy this time of year, pre–booking is essential to avoid disappointment. Tickets to see Father Christmas cost £8.50 per child which includes a surprise gift. A valid Key to the Castle ticket is also required. Please phone the Leeds Castle Box Office on 01622 880008, open weekdays 10am to 5pm.

For adults, come and try Christmas shopping somewhere different this year. Avoid the Christmas rush and visit Leeds Castle’s shops where you can browse at leisure and purchase unusual, quality gifts for friends, family and even find some glittering decorations for your Christmas tree. The shops will be stocked with Christmas gifts from late October. You do not need an admission ticket for the Leeds Castle Shop at the main entrance and parking is free. Key to the Castle tickets cost £18.50 for adults; £16 for seniors and visitors with disabilities (carer goes free); £11 for children (under 4s free). Tickets are valid for 12 months so you can pay once and visit all year round. Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 and only one hour’s drive from London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the castle is open from 10.30am. Last admission is 3pm and gates close at 5pm.


Elsie the Castle Train
Leeds Castle’s exciting new land train. Children and adults will enjoy riding on Elsie from the main entrance up to the castle. A charge of 50p per person each way applies.

World of Wings Shows
Exciting falconry and free–flying bird shows in a flying arena near the maze at 1.30pm (weekends only during winter opening times). Featuring an exotic collection of species from five continents, the presenters aim to inform as well as entertain visitors about the birds they fly each day. Children and adults alike will be spellbound at the sight of storks, black kites, blue and gold macaws, conures, falcons, a bald eagle and a young brown wood owl flying overhead.

Aviary Talks
Join one of the expert keepers for a guided tour of the castle’s internationally renowned aviaries at 2.15pm daily. Enjoy a fascinating glimpse into the world of modern conservation and captive breeding programmes as you learn more about the birds in the collection. Included in the castle admission price.

Go Ape!
Test your nerves and agility on the Go Ape! High wire forest adventure in the castle parkland. For further details and to book online visit or call the Go Ape! booking centre on 0845 643 9215.

Pay & Play Golf Course The castle’s scenic 9–hole, par 33 golf course offers a combination of blind tees, strategically placed bunkers and medieval moat to provide challenging and rewarding holes from start to finish. 9 holes from £9.99. Call the Golf Shop on 01622 767828 or visit

General Admission Prices:
Key to the Castle tickets Adult £18.50 Senior Citizens/Students/Visitors with Disabilities £16 (carer goes free) Children (4–15 yrs) £11 Prices from 1st April 2011 – 31st March 2012 Group and education rates available on request by contacting the Group Reservations Co–ordinator on 01622 767865.

Opening Times:
Open throughout the year. Closed 5 & 6 November and Christmas Day 2011. Please visit our website for up to date information or call: 01622 765400. April to September; Castle opens 10.30am. Last admission 4.30pm. Gates close at 6pm. Shops 10am – 5.30pm. October to March; Castle opens 10.30am. Last admission 3pm. Gates close at 5pm. Shops 10am – 4pm. Grounds open at 10am daily. Latest entry to Castle is 30 minutes after last admission time.

Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone just off Junction 8 of the M20 between London and the Channel ports, clearly signposted from the motorway with brown tourist signs. It is one hour’s drive from London, 25 miles from the Eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone and 38 miles from the port of Dover.


Beaulieu was basking in success last week at the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2011, when the New Forest visitor attraction was presented with not one, but three awards at the ceremony held at the Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey.

Despite facing fierce competition from other entrants, Beaulieu was delighted to receive a Silver Award for Outstanding Customer Service, and a Silver Award in the Tourism Event of the Year category for its world-famous International Autojumble. In addition, the attraction’s catering arm, Leith’s at Beaulieu, was Highly Commended in the Business Tourism category.

Members of the Beaulieu Events and Front of House teams, and Leith’s were present at the ceremony to collect their awards. Beaulieu has developed over the years into one of the South’s leading day visitor attractions, and prides itself on its visitor facilities and customer services. Its features now include the internationally renowned National Motor Museum, which has recently had a new mezzanine level installed to improve access to the upper floor, the World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abbey, and Palace House and gardens, plus a growing calendar of motoring related events which run throughout the year.

The annual awards, organised by Tourism South East, are now in their 21st year, and recognise businesses and destinations across the tourism industry for their exceptional levels of customer service and dedication to raising standards.

Chairman of Tourism South East, John Williams commended Beaulieu and all other award winners on their success, saying: “We offer our congratulations to all tonight’s winners. Our industry’s commitment to providing the best possible customer experience and to exceeding customer expectations is outstanding. The Award winners have shown that they are truly the best-in-class and we look forward to seeing them on the national stage at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2012.”

In addition to the success at the Beautiful South Awards, Beaulieu also received two other awards last week. Earlier on the same day Leith’s at Beaulieu received another Highly Commended award in the Best Corporate Venue category at the Hudson’s Awards, and on Tuesday last week Beaulieu’s Education Team were awarded the Sandford Award, recognising excellence in heritage education.
Next year, the attraction will be celebr
ating two anniversaries; 60 years since Palace House first opened to visitors and 40 years since the launch of the National Motor Museum. In honour of this, and to further improve the visitor experience, it will be hosting brand new exhibition, Bond In Motion, showcasing 50 original vehicles from the James Bond films. This will be the largest exhibition of Bond vehicles staged anywhere in the world and will run from mid-January to December 2012.

For more information on the Beaulieu attraction, please visit

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas House Party at "The Loveliest Castle in the World"

Celebrate the start of the festive season this year by spending a luxury evening at Leeds Castle’s ‘Christmas House Party’ on Wednesday 14 December.

On arrival, join the other guests for a cocktail reception before taking a guided tour of the beautifully decorated castle rooms, lit up at night and while closed to the public.

Take your seats in the impressive Henry VIII Banqueting Hall and be served a fine dining four course dinner with half a bottle of wine per person.

The festive feast which includes a terrine of smoked mackerel, smoked trout, celeriac and beetroot salad starter followed by seared loin of venison, parsnip and sweet potato dauphinoise, kale, blueberries, shallots and Barolo wine jus – will be accompanied by live opera music.

Retire to the Drawing Rooms after your meal and relax to the sound of the piano being played whilst you enjoy coffee with the other guests.

This evening costs £150 per person and numbers are limited to 80 guests so book now to guarantee this special experience.

Complete your evening of glamour by staying overnight in one of the castle’s bedrooms. Accommodation including full English breakfast costs £275 per room for State bedrooms and £225 per room for a newly refurbished Battlement bedroom.

Staying overnight at “The Loveliest Castle in the World” is a luxurious end to the perfect evening.

Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 and only one hour’s drive from London.


Leeds Castle Holiday Cottages
Refurbished period cottages within the estate are available to book as luxury self–catering holiday cottages. Guests receive free visitor passes to the castle and grounds and get the run of the grounds after the day visitors have departed. Ideal if you have family or friends to visit and require accommodation, or to combine with special events at the castle.

The Stable Courtyard Bedrooms at Leeds Castle
Come and stay in the grounds of “The Loveliest Castle in the World”. The Stable Courtyard bed and breakfast rooms at Leeds Castle are luxury en–suite bedrooms refurbished to the highest standard offering indulgence and comfort. A full English or continental breakfast made with fresh local produce, is served in the 17th Century oak–beamed Fairfax Hall Restaurant between 8.30am and 9.30am. All bedrooms are equipped with tea trays, white towelling robes and digital flat screen televisions. During your stay you can enjoy a stroll around the castle grounds and gardens, beautiful at any time of the year.

For further information and bookings call 01622 767823 or visit

Festive Family Fest at Leeds Castle

Friday 23 December 2011

Experience the magic of Christmas at “the loveliest castle in the world” this year. 
Due to popular demand, this year Leeds Castle invites you to the return of our seasonal Festive Family Feast evening.

Celebrate Christmas with your friends and family in Leeds Castle’s 17th century oak beamed Fairfax Hall on Friday 23rd December. 

On arrival, be greeted with a glass of festive punch and sing along to traditional Christmas music performed by carol singers.    

Feast on a delicious two course buffet dinner whilst enjoying seasonal music with your meal.
Take your pick from three main course options including traditional roast turkey, pork, sage and onion stuffing and mini sausages wrapped in bacon followed by a choice of delicious seasonal desserts including traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, Yule log with cinnamon Chantilly cream or mini mince pies with brandy butter. 

For younger guests, Father Christmas will be visiting the Fairfax Hall and giving chocolates to those children who have been good this year.

Tickets for this evening event cost £20 for adults, £15 for children aged between 4-12 years and £10 for under 4’s. Bookings are available from 5.30pm. 

This event has been extremely popular in the past and spaces are limited. Call the Box Office on 01622 880008 to guarantee your place.

Complete your evening and stay overnight in the new Stable Courtyard Bedrooms, available at £120 per room per night and including full local English breakfast served on Christmas Eve morning.

Please contact the Hospitality team on 01622 767823 for more information and to book your accommodation. 

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sandford Awards 2011 - Beaulieu Wins Award For Excellent Education Services

For a record sixth time, Beaulieu has been awarded the coveted Sandford Award, in recognition of the excellent Education Services it offers. The award was presented to the Beaulieu Education team at a ceremony in Durham Cathedral on Tuesday 29th November.

Susan Tomkins, Heritage / Education Archivist, Group Visits Executive, Mandy Lane and Learning & Access Officer, Chris Gutteridge were present to accept the award, which was granted to Beaulieu by the Heritage Education Trust and Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln, in recognition of Beaulieu’s outstanding contribution to Heritage education and learning within the historic environment.

The Awards Scheme, first conceived by the Heritage Education Trust in 1975, was established to raise the profile of the educational use of historic properties, and annually presents Awards in recognition of excellence in the provision of Educational Services. Beaulieu received its first Sandford Award in 1978, and since then has continued to develop the quality and range of services on offer for Educational Groups.

Jaguar XKR Die Another Day James Bond
The 2011 Sandford Award commendation for Beaulieu reads: “Beaulieu offers schools some excellent facilities and resources, and an outstanding range of carefully planned educational programmes and activities. Delivered by some highly talented and well-trained staff, these are closely linked to the needs of the National Curriculum and are stimulating, informative and fun.”
Beaulieu boasts a wealth of resources for the study of Heritage Education and in programmes offering something for every age group, it spans the 800 year history of the Beaulieu Estate.

The 2012 Education programme will include a number of curriculum-based activities themed on the National Motor Museum’s exciting new exhibition for 2012, Bond In Motion, which will showcase 50 vehicles from the James Bond films.

Beaulieu also offers a number of Educational trips to its sister attraction, Buckler’s Hard. This 18th century shipbuilding village is situated on the banks of the Beaulieu River, and was used to build the ships for Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar. The Maritime Museum at Buckler’s Hard has recently been re-displayed to offer a new interpretation of Buckler’s Hard and the Beaulieu River, which has helped greatly to improve the quality of its educational programmes.

For further information on educational visits to Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard, please visit