Laura’s London: 50 Years of James Bond – Beaulieu National Motor Museum

Bond in Motion

2012 marks the 50th anniversary since the first James Bond movie, Dr No, in 1962. England’s best loved spy has featured in 22 films, with the 23rd, Skyfall, due to be released (in the UK) on 26 October 2012.

Aston Martin D85 used in Skyfall

Aston Martin used, and damaged, during filming of ‘Skyfall’. Yes, there’s is lots of damage but now everything is saved. There’s an undamaged car on display too.

This is the largest official collection of original Bond vehicles the world has ever seen and includes a range of vehicles from cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds and jets. The exhibition of 50 vehicles is spread over two floors and you can hear Bond theme music and film action all around you helping to immerse you and get the adrenalin going. This is a one-off exhibition as this collection won’t be together again until the next major anniversary so this is a rare opportunity for Bond fans. When I visited the National Motor Museum it was busy with families and everyone was enjoying the opportunity to get close to these vehicles and to take plenty of photographs.

Rolls Royce Phantom III used in 'Goldfinger'

Rolls Royce Phantom III used in ‘Goldfinger’

Beaulieu National Motor Museum

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2012. There are over 250 vehicles and it tells the story of motoring in Britain. Look out for the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, land speed record holders, vintage vehicles and modern F1 racing cars, plus dressing up as a Victorian motorist for a photo.

National Motor Museum at Beaulieu

National Motor Museum at Beaulieu

Beaulieu is so much more than just the National Motor Museum. You can visit the Palace House which has been home to the Montagu family since 1538, as well as the Palace Gardens. The Beaulieu Abbey, founded by Cistercian monks, is a good spot for some quiet time then head over to the rides and drives and do some go-karting or try a simulator.

Monorail at Beaulieu

There’s a monorail system at Beaulieu which tours around the grounds and even goes through the roof and inside the National Motor Museum!

I really enjoyed the ten minute monorail ride as it brought back happy childhood memories of holiday parks with these high railways. There’s also a replica 1912 open-topped London bus that takes you around Beaulieu’s sights.

If you have more time to explore the area, do head to Buckler’s Hard, a nearby 18th century village next to the river. There’s an excellent hotel there too.

Indigenous Boat used in 'Quantum of Solace'. Seen at Buckler's Hard.

Indigenous Boat used in ‘Quantum of Solace’. Seen at Buckler’s Hard.

Photo Gallery

Key Info about Bond in Motion Exhibition


Time: October-May: 10am-5pm / June-September: 10am-6pm

Bond in Motion exhibition on until 6 January 2013.

Address: Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire SO42 7ZN

Phone: +44 (0)1590 612345

Costs: Adult £20.00 / Senior: £18.50 / Youth (13-17 years) £12 / Child £9.95 (aged 5-12 years) / Family ticket: £52.50

(Covers all the attractions at Beaulieu)

Getting there: Train from London to Brockenhurst is about 1.5 hours, then taxi to Beaulieu for £20 approx. Driving from London will take around 2 hours.


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