Beaulieu and Salisbury



Motor Museum

Palace House

Driving to Salisbury

Okay, so we got lost–more than once–and drove around (literally) in a circle once–and got stuck in traffic going into Salisbury. But Stan was adjusting really well to driving on the left side of the road (I refuse to say “wrong side”–it’s the “left side” or the “other side” but it is definitely not “wrong”.) However, there were so many points as if it felt as if the cars were coming at us wrong and were definitely going to hit us. The strangest part is that they were coming from places that it didn’t “feel” as if a car ought to come from. That, of course, was our limitation and not theirs–but the traffic patterns were confusing to us.

One problem we found pretty quickly was that our tep pocket wifi lost signal very quickly and frequently between towns. Added to that, it was very slow, so it didn’t always respond quickly enough to be useful. I’d have the map image but was unable to zoom in or to move to the next area since I didn’t have constant enough internet connectivity. We ended up “going around the block” once–for a very big block, if you count back down around a town as a very big block. We went through the village of Lyndhurst (check) and it was a picturesque little town and if we weren’t headed for our B&B we’d have stopped.

I (as usual) was a bit worried about time. Stan suggested we could have dinner and go to our show and then check in afterwards but with a B&B, a late arrival isn’t possible–and they were expecting us about 5:00. It was closer to 5:30 when we got there, but that’s close enough for lost foreign tourists! We were lucky enough to find a parking spot on the street right in front of Cathedral View. It was residential reserved parking–but Steve gave us a temporary parking permit.

Steve gave us the warmest possible welcome–made sure we knew where everything was, how to get to Stonehenge in the morning, what restaurants he’d recommend (with a map!), what places had live music this weekend.

Steve carried our bag up to our room–and it was way too heavy. We’d managed to get everything back in to our two bags and only brought one of them in to the B&B–but that one was easily 50 pounds. (One bag was good since our room was lovely but not huge, which is expected in a home as old as this one.)

Dinner at Cloisters

Boo and Hiss

We didn’t know what to expect, since I hadn’t found any reviews on-line and Steve, our B&B host, said it was very British humor. That left me not knowing what to expect, since British humor isn’t always my thing. We arrived a bit late since we got lost (not a big surprise, as we’re very good at getting lost). We were seated all the way on the top so that we could slip in without disturbing anyone. It was a small theater and only about 1/3 full, so we took seats in the empty top row.

There was a woman singing and we discovered this was a variety show, with four performers, each of who did two acts, and a host, who told jokes and did the introductions. It was hokey but it was a lot of fun–we didn’t know all of the songs that the audience clearly did know and sang along with, but we did know some of the songs.

Singing along was part of the process and there were a couple of jokes about it–the banjo man would stop singing, the audience would continue, and he would “complain” to the master of ceremonies that he wasn’t even needed. One of the other performers–not quite sure what his labeled ‘role’ was–intentionally gave the audience the chorus singing part of a song he was creating–and we never did get those lyrics right–and that was what made it so funny. Towards the end of the show, the master of ceremonies joked that we could practice all week and then they’d come next weekend and hear us perform.

We had a great time–not “high theater” by any means, but we laughed a lot and left the theater feeling great. (And got back without getting lost, which was an improvement).

When we went by the Cloisters pub (where we’d had dinner) there was live music going on. We were tempted to go in and listen and have a drink but knew that we’d be leaving for Stonehenge at 0545 and decided sleep would be wiser!

We let ourself in at Cathedral View and went up to our room. I got everything charging–camera batteries, iPads, iPhones. Thank goodness for that multi-plug/2 USB device! The bed was softer than either of us would prefer but we slept well and I didn’t wake up stiff or with back issues or anything.

Beaulieu is in the New Forest National Park and is home to the National Motor Museum.  It even has Chitty Chitty Bang Bang there!

When we disembark, we’ll pick up our rental car (Hertz), have breakfast, and then drive to Beaulieu.  It’s only about 25 minutes between the two, although I suspect we’ll manage to make a wrong turn or two.

Beaulieu (southeast of Southampton) “has the world famous National Motor Museum, home to a stunning collection of automobiles telling the history of motoring through modern rally cars and F1 Grand Prix machines, Palace House, home of the Montagu family, historic Beaulieu Abbey which was founded in 1204 by Cistercian Monks, the world’s largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles, World of Top Gear featuring vehicles from some of the most ambitious challenges and On Screen Cars where the car is the star and includes TV and film favourites.”

There’s a daily tour at 2:30.  As of 5 weeks out, the website lists weekend tours, but says that the tours are daily.  Whatever it is, we’ll probably go–we both tend to enjoy those sorts of tours.

The Surrey Sculture Society exhibition starts the day we’re there.

Visit information

Admission is £20.00 and is open 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m.  I bought the tickets in advance on line, so saved 10%.

We’ll want to leave in time to get to Salisbury and check into our B&B and have dinner before our 7:30 theatre tickets to see The Hiss & Boo Music Hall Show.  It’s about a 45 minute drive from Beaulieu to Salisbury.

99p store

On the way from Beaulieu to Salisbury, we may stop at Totton to visit the 99p store. There’s also a PoundStretcher store, but I think that’s more discount than like a Dollar Store or a 100 Yen store.  39 Commercial Rd, Totton, Southampton, Hampshire.  The 99p store opens at 0900.