Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Heartbeat’s Land Rover Is The Latest Star To Join Beaulieu’s On Screen Cars Exhibition

Heartbeat 1967 Land Rover Series IIA
The 1967 Series IIA Land Rover, which took a starring role in ITV’s popular police drama, Heartbeat, is the latest exhibit to arrive in Beaulieu’s On Screen Cars display.

The TV series, with 360 hour-long episodes, ran for 18 years between 1992 and 2010 and in 2009, a Times Online poll placed it in the Top 10 Most Watched Programmes of the Decade.

The Heartbeat title refers to an English bobby ‘on the beat’ in the 1960s, the medical stories that are woven into each episode and the way each programme puts a finger on the pulse of the rural Yorkshire community of Aidensfield.

District Nurse Carol Cassidy
(Lisa Kay) with the Land Rover
The Land Rover was driven by district nurse Carol Cassidy, played by Lisa Kay, in 69 episodes between 2006 and 2010. It still has its original 1967 issued registration and, amazingly, shows very few signs of wear. As well as its starring role, the vehicle was used as a camera car and for towing a trailer full of props and filming equipment around the set, keeping the Land Rover working spirit very much alive!

The Land Rover, which has been loaned to Beaulieu following a call-out for new vehicles for the exhibition, joins a host of other star vehicles.

The ‘flying’ Ford Anglia on display was used during the making of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In the film, the enchanted flying car is stolen a number of times by Ron Weasley, on one occasion to rescue his friend Harry Potter from the Dursleys’ house, and on another to return to Hogwarts after the gate to Platform 9¾ is sealed by house elf Dobby.

Sharing the spotlight with the Anglia is TV favourite, Mr Bean’s lime green mini. This particular car was used in the character's third series and made its first television appearance on 1st January 1991.

Another TV favourite on display is Del Boy’s beloved Trotter Van. Possibly the nation's most famous three-wheel vehicle, this Regal van (often mistakenly referred to as a Robin) featured in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. It was the sole transport for the Trotter family of Del, Rodney, Grandad and Uncle Albert, until Del Boy later went ‘upmarket’ and purchased a Capri Ghia.

On Screen Cars can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction, which also includes the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abbey, and Palace House and gardens. Visit for further information.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Blenheim Palace Jousting Tournament – May Bank Holiday

Enjoy an exciting historical jousting tournament at Blenheim Palace from 3rd – 5th May. Recreating the glorious jousting matches of Britain’s 13th Century, knights will take to their noble steeds in a daring display of bravery, bravado and skill. 

Jousting Tournament
The spectacular battle is taking place on May bank holiday weekend situated on the South Lawn and featuring the noble ‘Knights of Royal England’. Gutsy, fearless and bold, the knights engage in a courageous jousting knockout. Each jousting tournament will be staged twice daily over the weekend starting at 12-noon and 3pm. Families can pick their colours and cheer on their chosen knights all hoping for victory.

As well as the gallant knights and their mighty steeds battling for glory the weekend will be packed with historic action and family friendly entertainment.

Watch a thrilling falconry display and see the birds of prey in action. As well as falcons, families will also have a chance to meet a Harris Hawk, Eagle Owl and American Kestrel with two shows daily starting at 11.30am and 2.30pm.

Jousting Tournament
Furthermore families can get stuck in and have a go at archery on Blenheim Palace’s South Lawn as well as exploring the extensive grounds and parkland and taking a ride on the miniature train to the Pleasure Gardens. Once there families can enjoy the permanent features like the Marlborough Maze, Adventure Play Area and Butterfly House.

For smaller children there will be two rather exciting Dragon Puppet Shows. Watch Alefreck the Brave, a dragon who wants to be a knight in shining armour, and The Smallest Dragon who has a special mission to rescue the Princess. There will also be an Interactive Show where children get to be the puppeteers, putting on their very own joust with 35 puppets and Yumi the 12ft long dragon.

After working up quite the appetite watching the battles and displays families can enjoy food, refreshments and tournament treats on the South Lawn or in The Oxford Pantry and explore the gift shop.

For an unforgettable day out, there is no better destination than Blenheim Palace as the thrilling battle takes place, perfect for entertaining all of the family.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

What’s On in May at Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

During May, Leeds Castle in Kent has a rich variety of daily events and attractions with activities to suit visitors of all ages. There are plenty of tours and trails to discover, many of which are included with your entrance ticket.  Annual tickets are valid for 12 months, so you can pay once and visit all year round or upgrade a day ticket before departing.

'Outrageous Fortune:
Growing Up at Leeds Castle' Book Signing: Step back in time on Saturday 10 May with The Honourable Anthony Russell, Grandson of Lady Baillie, the last private owner of Leeds Castle, for a book signing of his memoir ‘Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle'.  Join in free talks at 11am or 3pm in the Maiden’s Tower Garden.

Museums at Night: Leeds Castle will be joining other heritage properties for the Museums at Night festival on Friday 16 May with an exclusive evening at The Gatehouse showcasing the new exhibition of the history of the Castle. The event takes place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and includes a private talk with the Head Gardener in the beautiful Culpeper Garden.  Tickets are £7 bookable in advance on the Leeds Castle website.

Supercar Seige: Get up close to hundreds of iconic supercars on the Castle lawns on Sunday 18 May. The event, run in aid of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund, will include a military marching band and ‘British Motorsport’ section. A Merlin helicopter will be on static display with a chance to explore inside the cockpit (subject to aircraft availability). For a donation to charity, visitors can take a ‘dream ride’ in one of the supercars, driven by the owners.

The Chelsea Fringe: On Thursday 22 May Leeds Castle will celebrate The Chelsea Fringe.  See a ‘flower bedecked punt’ drifting gracefully on the moat featuring a colourful arrangement of seasonal flowers from the Castle grounds created by the gifted Castle Florist Louise Roots. Local school Invicta Grammar will be singing and reciting poetry in The Culpeper Garden where there will also be a special flower trail set up for children.  For garden enthusiasts, the Head Gardener will be giving specialist talks.

May Bank Holiday Fun – Saturday 24 to Monday 26 May

Circus Skills Workshops will be running on the Pavillion Lawn from Saturday 24 to Monday 26 May for children and adults of all ages. Test your balance and co-ordination with stilts and spinning plates, juggling, hula-hoops, diabolos and have-a-go on the juggling machines. On Sunday 25 May and Monday 26 May children can re-enact the legends of ‘Heroes, Heroines and Hoods’ in Hilarious History, a fun and interactive outdoor theatre event. The stories of Robin Hood and the Silver Arrow, What-ho Henry and Horatio’s Last Hurrah will keep children entertained as they take the lead roles in these hilarious short plays.

Jousting with The Knights of Royal England - 27 May 2014 to 1 June 2014

The Knights of Royal England will return on horseback ready to entertain children and adults during half term week with action packed medieval activities and entertainment. Watch displays of spectacular daredevil stunts, medieval weaponry, falls, fights and galloping horses. Meanwhile, the Knights school includes hobby horse jousting, mini battles and try‑on‑armour for younger children. There will also be a mini medieval market to explore.

Flowers, Food and Family Fun

The spring sunshine provides the ideal opportunity to enjoy a gentle stroll through the beautiful English cottage-style Culpeper Garden full of colour and variety at this time of year.  Meanwhile, newly-planted pine trees and cactus plants add variety to the exotic Lady Baillie Mediterranean Garden overlooking the Great Lake.

Float gently through the ancient arches in an elegant wooden punt for a leisurely 20 minute glide on the moat of the Castle. Suitable for all ages, available weekends and school holidays, punting at Leeds Castle is excellent value for money at £5 for adults and £3 for children. A discounted family ticket is available and there is no need to pre-book.

The whole family can enjoy the falconry demonstration, taking place daily at 2pm in the Falconry Arena, while the new-look toddlers’ playground ‘Squires’ Courtyard’ provides entertainment for children aged two to six.  For older children the Knight’s Realm adventure playground, maze and grotto are perfect for burning up some energy in Half Term.

Walk, Talk, Run and Discover

Throughout May a series of walks, talks and activities will be running including Meet the Falconer, Wildlife, Woodland and Parkland Walks, Garden Tours and the new Leeds Castle Run Club meeting every Wednesday evening at 7pm.

Behind the scenes tours give an opportunity to glimpse life at the Castle through the ages from life below stairs as a servant in the 1930s back to the colourful tales of life during the Middle Ages. Learn about the Royal and private owners of the Castle through the stories behind the paintings and tales told through the architecture of the buildings. For full details of the activities in May and to book visit

Annual tickets cost £24 for adults; £21 for seniors and visitors with disabilities (carer goes free); £16 for children (under 4’s free). Annual tickets are valid for 12 months so you can pay once and visit all year round. Day tickets are also available to purchase on the day of your visit or in advance online. Adults cost £19, concessions £16 and children £11.

Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 within easy reach of London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the Castle is open from 10.30am. Last admission is 4.30pm and gates close at 6pm.

An extra special 40th Anniversary Living Crafts at Hatfield House

Visitors will be treated to an extra special event in May when Living Crafts celebrates four decades of promoting British crafting excellence. Hundreds of designer-makers will be hosted at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th May, and Monty Don, a great admirer of our nation’s craft heritage, will be visiting the event to mark the anniversary on Friday 9th May.

Showcasing the passion of specially selected designer-makers and artists, Living Crafts gives you the opportunity to buy or commission unique, contemporary art and craft direct from the makers.  As one of the largest events of its kind in Europe, visitors will have an inspiring and creative experience, full of fantastic demonstrations, workshops and masterclasses.

Monty Don

Robin Younger, the show’s organiser says “To celebrate our 40th Anniversary we are planning a craft extravaganza with both contemporary and heritage craft of the highest quality and will welcome highly-skilled designer-makers from across the UK.  There will be plenty of new features and this year we are delighted to welcome the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, who further British craftsmanship through grants and education and The Prince’s Trust, which has inspired and changed the lives of budding craftsmen and women across the country”.

The show will be buzzing with activity and visitors will have the opportunity to get involved in the many workshops for adults and children. Why not have some hands on experience and create your own masterpiece in oils, fuse your own glass jewellery or try textile block printing, papermaking, pyrography, decoupage and origami, just some of the many workshops available. Specialist demonstrations will be taking place featuring wildlife artists, glassblowers, sculptors and watercolour artists, all leaders in their fields, who will be demonstrating their skills in pavilions around the showground.

Living Crafts takes place in matted marquees in the beautiful parkland at Hatfield House and has a lively atmosphere with entertainment, including steel and jazz bands and traditional dancing. There is a specialist food and drink tent where you can buy those tasty treats, quality refreshments and free car parking next to the showground.  Visitors will have the added bonus of complimentary admission to stunning West Gardens and ‘The Great British Sculpture Show’, featuring twenty-four leading British figurative sculptors.

Living Crafts
Living Crafts is much more than just a craft show, a perfect destination whether you are a craft connoisseur or looking for a great family day out.

Please visit or call 02392 863 871 for further details.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Step Back in Time at Bucklers Hard

River Cruise Boat
On the Bank Holiday weekend of 3rd- 5th May, visitors to the normally peaceful village of Buckler’s Hard, on the banks of the Beaulieu River, will hear the musical sounds of axes and saws on wood, just how the village would have sounded 200 years ago when it was a thriving centre for shipbuilding where ships for Nelson’s Trafalgar fleet were built.

Visitors can watch as archaeology students from the University of Southampton get hands-on experience of using tools and shipbuilding techniques from the 18th and 19th centuries, converting oak timbers from the Beaulieu Estate, into the main components of the framework of a ship, discovering the challenges faced by shipbuilders of the time, and how they overcame them.

Living History Guides will be on hand to tell visitors what life was like, living and working in the village during its shipbuilding years.  See how the humble labourer’s cottage and the shipwright’s cottage across the road would have looked in the early 1800s and in the New Inn, hear residents from the time, gossiping about local matters.

Learning Shipwright skills

The Maritime Museum reveals the story of this unique village and the ships that were built here for more than a hundred years. In its more recent history, Buckler’s Hard and the Beaulieu River played an important role during WWII. Sections of the ‘Mulberry Harbour’ were made here, and hundreds of craft sailed from the Beaulieu River in the D-Day landings.

The Beaulieu River was believed to be a major landing point for smuggled goods from the late 18th century, with the cottage that is now a chapel, a centre of operations.  A viewing window in the floor beside the altar reveals the cellar below, probably used as a store for smuggled

Following the Woodland Walk, children can learn how the local timber at Buckler’s Hard was used to construct ships in the 18th & 19th centuries and the whole family can enjoy a tranquil River Cruise*, which transports you on a journey along the river with a commentary revealing the history of the Beaulieu River and the abundant wildlife that inhabits its riverbanks.

Follow the fun family quiz trail around the village, with a daily prize to be won.

Buckler’s Hard is a place for relaxation, as well as exploration. The Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms serves a range of light refreshments and drinks throughout the day, including a delicious Towey cream tea, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Towey, the last Naval Ship to be built at Buckler’s Hard, in 1814.

Buckler’s Hard is open every day from 10am. For more information visit

* Separate charges apply

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Newly-restored Butterfly House Re-opens to Visitors

Blenheim Palace’s new Butterfly House has re-opened its doors to visitors following a £100,000 renovation project.
Restored Butterfly House

Kia Hopewell Smith, aged nine, at
Blenheim Palace's newly restored
Butterfly House

A group of youngsters helped release dozens of exotic butterfly species from Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines in to the new house.

As well as creating an entirely new structure to house the collection, the renovation programme has also increased the overall size of the butterfly area, and doubled the size of the water feature.

There is also a whole new hatchery area where visitors can see the pupae develop within their chrysalises before being released in to the main area.

Garden staff have also been hard at work planting a wide variety of nectar-rich flowers including marguerite, black eyed Susan’s, hydrangea and hibiscus. There are also sugar bowls and fruit from which the butterflies can feed.

Head of Gardens, Hilary Wood, said: “It’s been a huge amount of work to get the Butterfly House open but we’re all absolutely delighted with the results.

“The work has safeguarded the building for many years to come and has also allowed us to improve the overall visitor experience while also developing and adding to the existing facilities for the butterflies.

“It’s an amazing sight to see the house filled with exotic butterflies once again and we’re expecting many more to hatch out over the coming days” she added.

Belgian Bath Helps Restore Tapestry Masterpiece To Its Former Glory

A priceless 18th century tapestry depicting one of Britain’s most important military victories has been restored to its former glory following a major restoration project.

The Bouchain III tapestry, which is 25ft wide and almost 15 feet high, is part of a set of 10 hanging in the state rooms at Blenheim Palace, commissioned by the first Duke of Marlborough to mark his victory over Louis XIV in the War of the Spanish Succession.

Collectively, the tapestries are known as ‘The Victories of the Duke of Marlborough’ and the series took about eight years to complete (c1709-1717).

As well as being a stunning military victory it is also considered a turning point in history, signalling the end of France’s ambitions to rule Europe.

The giant wall hangings are made of wool and silk and were woven in the Brussels workshop of the Flemish weaver, Judocus de Vos. 

They are the most accurate and detailed contemporary records that exist of these of the campaign, not least because the 1st Duke, John Churchill, provided accurate battle plans and portraits of the principal characters. 

After being painstakingly removed from the walls of the Palace’s Second State Room, the tapestry was carefully rolled up before being transported back to the city it was originally created in for renovation.

Blenheim Palace’s House Manager, Kate Ballenger, who is overseeing the restoration work said: “The tapestry was taken to a team of restoration experts based in Brussels.

“After being unpacked, and following a thorough examination, it was submerged in a large bath and gently washed to remove the dirt.

“There were a number of splits in the sky as well as silk loss in several sections. These were repaired and a new support was added to the back to strengthen the wool and silk.

“The tapestry had also been previously hung on poppers but these were removed and Velcro was added. This enables quick and safe removal of the tapestries in case of emergency,” she added.

At the time the victory was hailed as the greatest British military success since Agincourt and a grateful nation built Blenheim Palace to recognise the Duke’s achievements.

The First Duke’s descendant, Sir Winston Churchill, said the ‘victory at Blenheim changed the political axis of the world’.

The latest restoration is part of an ongoing programme of work being carried out on the series which will eventually see all 10 panels being removed, cleaned and repaired.

“These tapestries are both an extraordinary record of an historic military victory which had a crucial effect both on Europe and the rest of the world as well as stunning works of art,” added Kate.

“This essential restoration work is returning them to their former glory and helping to protect them for future generations to enjoy,” she added.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Buy Your Event Tickets Before The 16th May For Fast Track Entry - Autojumble - Beaulieu


The days are motoring by to Beaulieu’s popular Spring Autojumble next month on the 17th and 18th May, so make sure you purchase your tickets before the 16th May to get Fast Track Entry to this fantastic event.

Over 1,000 Autojumble spaces will be taking over the picturesque Beaulieu parkland with traders selling all manner of motoring-related items, from parts and accessories to automobilia and literature.

On the Beaulieu Arena, up to 200 vehicles will be on sale in the Motormart, ranging from concours classics to restorable relics and in the Dealermart, a selection of quality classic cars will be on sale.

Beaulieu is offering free entry to vehicle owners who sign up to take part in a special display of cars which have won the European Car of the Year award - 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of this prestigious title. To see if your vehicle is a European Car of the Year award winner, check out the full list at To join the display and receive free entry to the event, please complete an entry form and email it, along with a photo of your car, to You will be informed if your entry has been successful.

Stop by the Practical Classics stand to see the show sponsor’s practical demonstration – the restoration, in one weekend, of the world’s first production Hillman Imp – along with a collection of magazine cars and previous restorations, including Lord Montagu’s MGB GT, restored to working order by the team during last year’s Spring and International Autojumbles.


The Morris Minor Owners’ Club display in the Grand Marquee is also a must-see, with a selection of their members’ stunning cars displayed in a workshop scene.

On Sunday, Old Sodbury’s Land Rover Sortout will be open for business, with traders selling Land Rover and 4x4 parts and accessories. Priority parking for the Sortout is available for £5 if purchased with a Spring Autojumble ticket - spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. If you want to have a Sortout stand yourself, take advantage of the half price stand offer, ending on 18th April.

Trunk Traders will also be a hive of activity on Sunday, with amateur autojumblers selling their surplus motoring bits from their car boots. Arrive early, as trading is brisk!

On Sunday afternoon, Practical Classics Editor, Danny Hopkins, will be entertaining visitors as guest auctioneer at the Walkabout Auction. For just £1, exhibitors can buy a box to fill with bits (larger items can go alongside), to be auctioned off. It’s a simple and easy way of buying or selling those last bits from the show and there are no auction fees to pay.

A free delivery service to the Beaulieu visitor car parks is available for items bought at the autojumble. Bureau de Change and cash facilities are available on-site.

The on-the-day, inclusive admission price is £9.70 for adults and £7.50 for children, even less if booked in advance on the ticket hotline 01590 612888 or online at Two day tickets are also available.

Admission to the event includes entry to all the Beaulieu attractions, including the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey.

Entry to the National Motor Museum is from 9am each morning, with the event opening to visitors 10am – 5pm on Saturday and 10am – 4.30pm on Sunday.

Don’t miss the museum’s exciting new Land Speed Record breakers display, For Britain & For The Hell Of It, featuring Beaulieu’s iconic Land Speed Record cars and a fascinating audio-visual presentation.

There is still time to book Autojumble stand spaces, with prices starting at £65 and £30 for Motormart spaces. The cost of a Sunday Trunk Trader space is just £20. For all stand bookings, please contact the Events Department, by email at or by telephone on 01590 614614.

For more information, visit or join the conversation with @Beaulieu_Hants on Twitter, using #autojumble.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Beaulieu’s International Autojumble Is A Finalist In The 2014 Visitengland Awards For Excellence

Beaulieu’s premier outdoor event, the International Autojumble has been named as a finalist in the Tourism Event of the Year category of the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2014.

As a finalist, Beaulieu now goes forward to the glittering Awards Ceremony, being held on Monday 12 May 2014 at Cheltenham Racecourse, when they will find out which award they will receive. All finalists are guaranteed to receive a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.

Judith Maddox, Beaulieu’s Events Manager, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as a finalist in the Tourism Event of the Year category at the VisitEngland Awards 2014 for our International Autojumble, particularly as the competition within the category is of a very high standard. These national awards are highly regarded within the tourism industry, so it is a great honour to have our Autojumble, now in its 48th year, recognised as one of the leading tourism events in England.”

James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, said: “I would like to congratulate all those nominated as finalists for this year’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. We receive hundreds of applications each year of an extremely high standard, so it is a tremendous achievement for Beaulieu to become a finalist and to represent the top five in their category in England. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck for the Awards Ceremony in May.”

About the International Autojumble
  • Beaulieu’s annual International Autojumble, is the largest outdoor sale of motoring items this side of the Atlantic, attracting an audience of 40,000 enthusiasts from all over the world. With over 2,000 stands selling motoring parts, accessories and memorabilia, hundreds of classic cars for sale and a Bonhams auction of collectors’ cars, motorcycles and automobilia, it is said that; “if you can’t buy it at Beaulieu – it doesn’t exist!” The name Autojumble was coined by the National Motor Museum’s former Director, Michael Ware, and the word now appears in the Oxford English Dictionary, its meaning given as ‘traders and autojumblers open for business.’
About VisitEngland
  • VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors. Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights.  You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on
  • England is a unique destination and a real powerhouse in global tourism.  It represents 84 per cent of the total UK visitor economy, is worth £106 billion, and supports 2.6 million jobs.
  • For corporate information see and for consumer information see
About the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2014
  • The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2014 celebrate the best of English tourism. They promote healthy industry competition and high standards, helping to ensure England's place as a world-class destination.
  • The 18 categories for the 2014 awards include: Access for All Tourism Award, Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year, Business Tourism Award, Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year, Large Hotel of the Year, Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, Sustainable Tourism Award, Taste of England Award, Tourism Event of the Year, Tourism Experience of the Year, Tourism Pub of the Year, Visitor Information Provider of the Year.
  • Included in the 18 categories are the additional Awards of Tourism Superstar, Travel Article of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to Tourism.  The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award will be announced on the night.  Previous winners of this award have included The Great English Pub, Michael Eavis CBE, HM The Queen, the Harry Potter films, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Paul McCartney, Liverpool, The National Trust, the English Garden and last year the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Makers.