Thursday, 12 June 2014

Austin 7 National Rally Attracts Entries from far and Wide - National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

The fifty-second National Rally of pre-war Austin 7 motor cars, organised by the 750 Motor Club, takes place at the home of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire on Sunday 6th July.
Austin 7 special-bodied ‘Camionette’

This year’s theme is ‘Commercial Austin 7s’ and some wonderful examples will join the hundreds of vehicles coming from far and wide to join the display. The 750 Motor Club has even heard from an owner in Spain who is bringing his commercial A7 to the rally!

Austins form the core of the event, but all tax-exempt historic vehicles of all makes are invited to attend and will have a designated parking area on the rally field. Following their highly successful attendance at the 2013 event, the Tacot Club Calaisen from France will be arriving en-masse with a fascinating collection of mainly-Gallic vehicles.

For anyone contemplating ownership of a pre-war motor car, the Austin 7 is an ideal starting point. Information and advice can be readily found, the 750 Motor Club offering a free ‘mentoring’ service to those who seek guidance. The Austin 7 is relatively inexpensive to acquire, attracts free historic vehicle road tax, does not require an annual MOT, is easy to maintain, and specialist insurers provide excellent value insurance policies. A thriving network of suppliers ensures that spare parts are always available at reasonable cost.

The National Austin 7 Rally is an ideal day out for all the family. Beaulieu is home to a wide variety of attractions and the rally entry ticket also gives access to historic Palace House and Gardens as well as the National Motor Museum with its two new displays, For Britain & For The Hell Of It, featuring iconic Land Speed Record Cars and The Motorcycle Story, taking you on a journey through motorcycling history.

The event is sponsored by Warranty Direct and RH Specialist Insurance. Full details and entry forms can be found on the website:

Gates open at 10am

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Chatsworth - What’s On Summer 2014

Chatsworth’s summer season promises something for everyone this year: the highlights include the Pride & Prejudice Regency Ball; the Peak District Triathlon; Proms Spectacular; Party in the Garden; and in late August there is a performance of Romeo & Juliet in the Garden before the Chatsworth Country Fair and the Beyond Limits monumental sculpture show close the summer and take Chatsworth into the autumn.

12 July: Pride and Prejudice Regency Ball
Following the enormous success of last year’s event, Chatsworth returns with its Pride and Prejudice themed ball. As the probable inspiration behind Pemberley, Mr Darcy’s home in the Jane Austen novel, visitors will be able to experience Georgian life against the backdrop of one of England’s greatest country estates. The dinner and dance will begin with a drinks reception and canapés in the Painted Hall, followed by a regency themed 5 course dinner served in the elegant surroundings of the Carriage House restaurant with live entertainment.

13 July: The Peak District Triathlon
is a new and exciting event taking place on the grounds of Chatsworth and is already tipped to become a firm favourite on the UK triathlon calendar. Starting at the beautiful 18th century bridge, contestants will be expected to take a swim in the River Derwent, followed by a cycle route in the picturesque Peak District and a scenic run around the Chatsworth Estate. For those not taking part, there will also be a range of family friendly activities on offer including a children’s adventure playground, farmyard, the house, shops and restaurants.

1 August: Proms Spectacular is an evening of classics, playing everything from movie themes to the favourite, Nessun Dorma. Performed by the UK Philharmonic Orchestra, under conductor Jae Alexander, guests can also listen to a special tribute as the Proms Spectacular commemorates the centenary of the First World War and the heroes who fought for our freedom. The evening of music will be rounded off with fireworks and guests can also purchase pre-made picnic baskets at the event.

2 August: Party in the Garden. Chatsworth puts on its dancing shoes for a night of disco, soul and pop in this fun live music concert. In the garden, a 10-piece band comprising of London’s top session musicians will be keeping the party atmosphere alive, the likes of Stevie Wonder, Bee Gee’s and Wham will have everyone on their feet while guests can also enjoy a bite to eat with Chatsworth’s pre-made picnics.

20 August: Romeo & Juliet. Join the Lord Chamberlain’s Men this summer for the world’s greatest love story. With action from the outset, jealousy, comedy, murder, banishment and the most famous balcony in the history of theatre! Bring a picnic, settle back and be swept up in the romance, the drama and the passion of Romeo and Juliet.

29-31 August: Chatsworth Country Fair.
The famous roar of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine will herald the arrival of the legendary Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes in a thrilling display over the heads of thousands of visitors. Chatsworth hosts one of England's biggest Country Fairs, held in the beautiful parkland surrounding the house in the heart of the Peak District in Derbyshire. This year, Chatsworth Country Fair promises even better entertainment, bigger performances and more activities for the whole family to enjoy.

8 September-26 October: Beyond Limits will display the best in monumental, contemporary sculpture from around the world with artists including Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Jaume Plensa, Manolo Valdés and Thomas Heatherwick (designer of London’s Olympic Cauldron), having exhibited in recent years. Spread out across Chatsworth’s 105-acre garden, the diversity of these international artists' works represents some of the most original monumental sculpture being made today.

All tickets and further information on the events can be found at

Surrey Sculptures On Show at Beaulieu

Bluebells - Joanna Lloyd
At a special Preview evening held in the gardens of Palace House the Hon. Ralph Montagu, welcomed members of the Surrey Sculpture Society to Beaulieu where, until the 20th August, the attraction is playing host to the Society’s latest exhibition of stunning artwork.  Over 70 pieces, ranging from small to large scale works, are on display in the Montagu family home, Palace House, as well as the historic setting of 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and surrounding grounds and gardens.

Mr Montagu said: “This is the fifth year that we have hosted this popular exhibition by the Surrey Sculpture Society and we are delighted to welcome them back. There is again an excellent selection of work to discover and it is a wonderful way to bringing another element of interest for visitors to Beaulieu during the summer months. There were a high number of sales last year and I hope we can match that again this year.”

In response Sue Cundell, Chairman of the Surrey Sculpture Society, said:  The Society began with just fourteen members, twenty years ago, and now numbers over 350 members, from highly talented amateurs to professionals, working in all mediums. We are delighted to be exhibiting in this lovely venue again, Beaulieu’s beautiful gardens and house provide the perfect setting to showcase our artists’ work.”

Past Present - Eric Duggan

All the pieces in the exhibition are for sale. There is something for everyone to enjoy, in a picturesque setting where browsers as well as buyers are equally welcome.

The exhibition can be seen as part of a visit to the Beaulieu attraction which is open from 10am every day.  For further information telephone 01590 612345 or visit

For more information on the Surrey Sculpture Society visit

Monday, 9 June 2014

Bluebird CN7 50th Anniversary Celebration Evening on Saturday 19th July - National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

Donald and Tonia Campbell - Bluebird
On 17 July 1964, despite mechanical problems and unpredictable weather, Donald Campbell and his team persevered to set a new British Land Speed Record of 403.10mph in Bluebird CN7, at Lake Eyre in Southern Australia. 

Fifty years on, this iconic vehicle is an integral element of a new display, For Britain & For The Hell Of It at the National Motor Museum, telling the story of British Land Speed Record achievement.

What better way to mark the 50th anniversary than to spend an evening in the company of both the iconic Bluebird CN7, and Donald Campbell’s widow, Tonia Bern-Campbell.  The evening will include a first public screening of the digitally re-mastered film ‘How Long a Mile…’, on Donald Campbell’s world record breaking year of 1964 when he took both the land and water speed records – a unique double that has never been equalled. 

The screening will be followed by an exclusive dinner in the National Motor Museum and a talk by Tonia Bern-Campbell, recalling that magical time. There will also be an opportunity to explore the Museum including the new For Britain & For The Hell Of It display.

This evening is a must for any Campbell or Bluebird enthusiast. Tickets for the evening are now available, to book your individual tickets or a table, contact Leith’s at Beaulieu on 01590 614605 or email

For more information & ticket prices visit

Simply Alfa Romeo - Sunday 29th June 2014 at Beaulieu

Alpha Romeo

On Sunday 29 June, Beaulieu will be holding its second ever Simply Alfa Romeo rally, welcoming vehicles from one of the most stylish motoring marques into the grounds of the National Motor Museum to create a stunning display for visitors to admire.

If you own an Alfa, this event gives you the opportunity to drive your vehicle through the beautiful New Forest to Beaulieu and join the display of Alfa Romeos in the picturesque Beaulieu parkland. The rally is open to all ages and models of Alfa, from the classic HP and 6C models of the early 1900s to the modern 4C, Giulietta and MiTo models cruising on the roads today. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet other like-minded enthusiasts and enjoy all the features of the Beaulieu attraction.

See the National Motor Museum’s stunning collection of over 250 vehicles, and don’t miss the two fascinating new displays which have recently opened. For Britain & For The Hell Of It features four iconic Land Speed Record breakers and a moving multimedia presentation on British Land Speed Record achievements, alongside a temporary exhibition of vehicles with a more alternative Land Speed Record heritage. The Motorcycle Story tells the history of two-wheeled transport, with displays of bikes and memorabilia covering a range of racing disciplines, road safety and British youth culture of the 1950s and 60s.

Enter the refreshed and updated World of Top Gear to see genuine vehicles created by presenters Jeremy, Richard and James in their challenges on the BBC television show and pay a visit to On Screen Cars, showcasing star cars from the world of TV and film.

Stroll through the beautifully-kept gardens to Palace House, home of the Montagu family since 1538, visit 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and explore the grounds on the high-level Monorail or by hopping onboard the open-topped veteran London bus.

As with all Simply Rallies, visitors to Beaulieu on the day of the event will be invited to vote for their favourite vehicle in the People’s Choice Awards. The owner of the winning car will receive a Beaulieu Trophy in an afternoon presentation ceremony and will be given the opportunity to lead a cavalcade of Alfa Romeos through the attraction.

For entrants arriving in an Alfa Romeo and joining the event on the Beaulieu parkland, entry prices are adult £10 and child £5. Please telephone 01590 612888 or visit to book advance tickets. For all trade stand enquiries, telephone 01590 614614. All other visitors should enter Beaulieu via the main Reception at normal Beaulieu attraction admission prices.
Alpha Romeo

Entry into the Beaulieu parkland with your Alfa Romeo is from 9.30am with catering available. The event is open to the public from 10am. Admission to the event includes entry to the whole Beaulieu attraction; the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abbey and Palace House and gardens.

Simply Alfa Romeo is part of Beaulieu’s range of Simply rallies which includes a wide variety of themes covering many makes and models. For more information visit or join the conversation with @Beaulieu_Hants on Twitter using #simplyalfa.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Bike to Beaulieu for Motorcycle Ride-in day - Sunday 13th July 2014

Bikes on the Arena

Joining the display at the Motorcycle Ride-In Day
Bikers everywhere will be kick-starting their engines on Sunday 13th July and heading for the fifth annual Motorcycle Ride-In Day at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

Jump on your bike and take a trip through the stunning New Forest to Beaulieu. Display your bike in the attraction’s picturesque parkland, meet other like-minded enthusiasts, and enjoy the Beaulieu attraction, all for a fantastic on-the-day price of £10 rider and bike, £15 with pillion, less if purchased in advance.

Watch amazing tricks and stunts in performances from 3 times British Trials Champion, Steve Colley, as well as the incredible Solent Eagles, children’s motorcycle display team.

Don’t miss the National Motor Museum’s new permanent display, The Motorcycle Story, a journey through motorcycling history with machines displayed in their historical and cultural context, from some of the earliest examples of motorcycles to the latest racing machines. The display is accompanied by artefacts including clothing worn and trophies won by sporting greats in displays which cover varied racing disciplines as well as road safety, British ‘Mods and Rockers’ youth culture of the 1950s and 60s and the Ace Café scene.

Check out the display’s Motorcycling Icons Wall of Fame, a gallery featuring the top twenty riders, as voted for by the public in a recent poll. Has someone been missed, is your favourite there? If not - make sure you vote for the person you would like to see on the wall.

Browse a number of trade stands selling accessories, clothing, parts and all the latest biking gadgets. There will also be refreshments available all day from the Brabazon Restaurant and various catering units in the parkland.

As always, visitors to Beaulieu will be asked to vote for their favourite bike in the People’s Choice Awards and in the afternoon, the winner will be presented with a coveted Beaulieu Trophy.

Advance participant tickets are available to purchase at £6 per rider and bike, £12 with pillion, by telephone: 01590 612888 or online at

Event spectators should enter via the Main Entrance Hall at Beaulieu’s standard attraction admission rates.

Admission to the event includes entry to the whole Beaulieu Attraction. For further information, please visit

Celebrate Father's Day at the Custom and Hot Rod Festival

Custom Bikes at Beaulieu

Custom Car

1961 Allard Dragster
There is less than two weeks to go until Father’s Day, so if you are still looking for an exciting way to celebrate with Dad, why not treat him to a fantastic family day out at Beaulieu’s Custom & Hot Rod Festival on Sunday 15 June. This popular event, in association with Victory Wheelers, the South Coast’s leading Custom, American and Hot Rod club, features colourful displays with hundreds of custom cars and motorcycles, live music and entertainment, as well as all the features of the Beaulieu attraction.

Anyone owning a Hot Rod, Custom or Classic American car or motorcycle can drive to Beaulieu and display their vehicle alongside hundreds of others in the beautiful grounds of the National Motor Museum.

Take advantage of the advance discount rates for both visitor and participant tickets, available until 5pm on Saturday 14 June at

Back by popular demand, rockabilly band, Ace Trio, will be returning to the Festival to entertain visitors with live sets on the Beaulieu Arena throughout the afternoon and the much-loved Mariachi Band will be serenading visitors as they stroll around the parkland. Singing duo, The Diamonds, will also be belting out swing and rock’n’roll numbers in various pop-up locations.

Admire some of the quirky and unusual artwork that can only be found on the colourful custom scene, enjoy free rides on the fairground dodgems* and browse trade stands selling clothing, Americana memorabilia, merchandise and accessories.

In another exciting feature, the Ratcatcher Resurrection slingshot dragster and the National Motor Museum’s 1961 Allard Chrysler dragster will be on display at the Festival and will be firing up twice during the day to demonstrate their engine power. The Allard, Europe’s first dragster, was the focus of a five year restoration project by the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG). In celebration of the project’s completion, ACAG officially handed back the dragster to the museum at last year’s Festival.

Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite vehicle in the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Willydog Hotdogs, with the winner receiving a special trophy in an afternoon prize-giving ceremony. Prizes will also be awarded in four other categories – Best Custom, Best American, Best Hot Rod and Best Bike – and Victory Wheelers will be presenting their ‘Big Al’ award to one of their members.

Beaulieu is also offering Festival-goers the chance to win a prize in a special Custom & Hot Rod Festival photography competition. To enter, email your favourite photograph from the Festival to by the 17 June. A shortlist of photos will then be added to the Beaulieu Facebook page and the owner of the photo with the most ‘likes’ by midday on 25 June will win a family ticket to the Beaulieu Fireworks event on 1 November 2014. For full terms and conditions, visit

Admission to the Festival includes entry to the whole Beaulieu attraction, which features the National Motor Museum with two new displays for 2014 – For Britain & For The Hell Of It and The Motorcycle Story, the updated World of Top Gear exhibition, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House, grounds and gardens, plus unlimited rides on the high-level monorail and open-topped veteran London bus.

The show opens to the public on Sunday from 10am, with entry at 8am for those participating in the event with custom vehicles.

All-inclusive advance event admission tickets (for both visitors and participants) are available to buy at an advance discount rate until 5pm on 14 June, online at or on Ticket Hotline 01590 612888.

On the day ticket prices for participants with Custom vehicles are £10 per adult and £5 per child**. On the day ticket prices for visitors are priced at normal on the day Beaulieu attraction admission rates.

Whether you are bringing a custom car or not, you are welcome to join Beaulieu for the whole weekend, to enjoy camping on the Friday and Saturday nights, live music and entertainment. Those with custom cars can also enjoy the Saturday Cruise Out. Weekend tickets can be booked at an advance discount rate online by submitting a booking form, available to download from, by the 12 June.

For more information about the Custom and Hot Rod Festival, visit or join the conversation with @Beaulieu_Hants on Twitter using #customfestival

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Musical Drama takes Centre Stage at Holkham

Two glittering opera performances at one of Norfolk’s most prestigious and atmospheric venues will ensure opera fans can enjoy a wonderful evening of musical entertainment staged by a national production company without having to leave the county.

The elegant backdrop of the Marble Hall at Holkham will set the scene for Diva Opera’s performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni on July 4 and
The Marble Hall at Holkham
Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann on July 5.  Opera goers will be able to soak up the wonderful ambience in the magnificent backdrop of this historic venue which lends itself so well to chamber opera productions with its edifying acoustics.

The black tie evenings will commence with a champagne reception and everyone is encouraged to bring their own picnics to enjoy during a one hour interval.  Weather permitting, the beautiful terraces on the west side of Holkham Hall, with outstanding views across the lake, will be the setting for dining in style.

Diva Opera has performed all over the world including Russia, Japan and Venice and in a notable star studded performance of the party scene from Die Fledermaus at The Royal Albert Hall they were joined by José Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. 

Tickets for each performance cost £80 and can be obtained by telephoning the ticket office on 01328 713111.  Further information can be found by visiting

Holkham unveils summer season of popular adaptations for outdoor theatre productions

The open air theatre productions at Holkham Hall are a firm favourite with local people and visitors alike and this summer promises to be as popular as ever with an exciting programme of family entertainment on offer.
Holkam Theatre Productions

Set in the beautiful backdrop of the courtyard in Holkham Park each outdoor theatre production has a unique atmosphere created by theatre goers enjoying their picnics in a buzz of excitement and expectancy of what is to come.   A range of touring companies will be performing some carefully selected productions of comedy and drama with captivating and beautiful adaptations of some of our best loved traditional titles. 

The season begins on August 5 with the Chapterhouse Theatre Company performing The Jungle Book with all the favourite animal characters brought to life in an enchanting and fun-filled musical show for children of all ages.   Join Mowgli on his wonderful adventures with the loveable and wise Baloo the Bear, the powerful panther Bagheera, not to mention mischievous monkeys and the terrifying tiger Shere Khan.

On August 13 the Blunderbus Theatre Company will be performing Hugless Douglas, a new show which brings this well-known tale to life with an irresistible blend of music, puppetry and high energy storytelling.  Hugless Douglas is a huggable, lovable young brown bear who wakes up one morning in need of a hug. Little Cubs aged 3 - 7 years old will love this heart warming tale, but grown-up bears will have lots of fun too. Join Douglas in this happy show, full of laughter, sing- along songs and plenty of opportunities to join in!

On August 20 Alice will be bringing her adventures in Wonderland to Holkham with the help of the Cambridge Touring Company.  This ever -popular children’s fairy tale is presented with a lively and hilarious performance brought to life with music, dancing and a host of pranks that appeal to young and old alike.  Children are invited to come along in their best ‘wonderland’ fashion.

The final production will take place on August 27 when The Lord Chamberlain’s Men will be performing one of Shakespeare’s classic plays, Romeo and Juliet.  With action from the outset, jealousy, comedy, murder, banishment and the most famous balcony in the history of theatre, the audience can settle back and be swept up in the romance, drama and passion of the Bard’s famous tragedy.   

Further information on the productions including ticket prices can be found on the website