A Week in the New Forest…….October 2019….Part 2

20191016_112119 copy.jpgAnother day, another nice thing to do. This time a gentle 2 or 3 mile walk along the river from our house to Bucklers Hard.  Board walks in some places to avoid getting wet.20191016_112522 copy.jpgAnd brilliant views of what is a very scenic river indeed.20191016_114824 copy.jpg20191016_115154 copy.jpgAt Bucklers Hard itself we enjoyed the Georgian village, once a thriving shipbuilding village where ships for Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar were built……now, as the blurb says,  ‘a tranquil haven’. At the river end of the Buckler’s Hard high street was The Master Builder’s House Hotel where we enjoyed a refreshing drink in the gardens…….20191016_123701 copy.jpgWe hadn’t been to the seaside yet on this holiday, so off we went in the afternoon to Milford on Sea, a very pleasant location with a good, noisy, shingly beach and a distant view of The Needles. 20191016_154905 copy.jpgI’m sure all these colourful beach huts will be open on a sunny day……..20191016_155431 copy.jpgBut we enjoyed ourselves ……….skimming stones amongst other things….20191016_165329-copy.jpg20191016_155113 copy.jpgand the children’s play area had some unusually good activities…20191016_162850 copy.jpgand what nicer at the seaside than to have fish and chips on the promenade?20191016_174631 copy.jpegOur cottage being in Beaulieu it would have been ridiculous to have gone home without visiting Palace House and its world-famous car museum. But a stately home, gardens and a car museum for a 5 year old? As it happens, we need not have worried. Aiisha enjoyed the visit as much as anybody, as everywhere there had been a huge attempt made to keep things family-friendly.20191017_113031 copy.jpgWe went in the car museum first, and not only was it very nostalgic for people who had themselves owned an Austin Healey, a Zephyr, and a Zodiac, and an Austin A35, but it was all incredibly interesting , and there was always something to capture our attention.20191017_120713 copy.jpg20191017_120728 copy.jpg20191017_121503 copy.jpg20191017_121454 copy.jpg20191017_121623 copy.jpgand didn’t my family look absolutely splendid in Edwardian motoring gear………20191017_121953 copy.jpgalthough the wind can play havoc with the driver’s hat!20191017_122046 copy.jpgOver 16 million Model T Fords were manufactured before production ceased in 1927 and interestingly British cars came in blue and green before black became standard in 1914. In the 1920’s grey, red and grey were offered. The first British factory had opened in my home town of Manchester in 1911. The model on show here cost £135 and did 40mph……..20191017_122750 copy.jpgAiisha loved the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car (amongst many other things aimed at children)….20191017_122907 copy.jpgand would really have loved to have had a go in this Atco junior trainer designed in the 1930’s to give children basic experience of road craft. Everything is as in a full size car but miniaturised with the exception of there being just 2 gears forward and back.20191017_123459 copy.jpgMind you we did find the interactive driving games exciting….20191017_130632-copy-2.jpgand we got to sit on an old bus…………20191017_124831 copy 2.jpgand then after a great lunch have a trip around the grounds in a replica 1912 London bus. It stopped at the house…….. 20191017_132532 copy 2.jpgso we decided to get off and have a look around the historic home of the Montagu family, and later at the ruins of the Abbey………..I can’t stress too highly how accessible everything was and how involving. The house, although stuffed with the usual expensive objets and pictures and furniture and so on, was different from any other I have been in, in that not only was photography allowed, but you could touch or get close to virtually everything. Amazing.20191017_135019 copy 2.jpg desktop-attraction_Day-Visits-Abbey_w870px_h475px.jpgOne surviving building from the Abbey – the Domus – was once the living quarters of the lay brothers………..20191017_163328.jpgAnd in here were displayed a whole series of embroideries designed by Belinda, Lady Montagu which depict the history of the Abbey. They were exquisite.20191017_163550-copy-2.jpg20191017_163511-copy-2.jpgWhat else did we do? Visit the Top Gear museum where all the old episodes were showing (of the proper Top Gear with Jeremy et al) alongside the actual vehicles featured………good fun.20191017_153256 copy 2.jpg20191017_153928 copy 2.jpg20191017_154316 copy 2.jpgThis was followed by a go for all of us on the full-scale simulator – racing round the Dunsfold Park test track in a Caterham and a Bugatti Veyron. Exciting.20191017_160527-copy-2.jpgWe then went for a trip on the mile-long monorail, the oldest in England on a sedate tour of the attraction from above, with sweeping views of the grounds and gardens before passing right through the roof of the National Motor Museum to give another take on things.20191017_155246 copy 2.jpg20191017_155652 copy 2.jpgWe just had time then to stroll round the gardens, which were lovely…..20191017_161639 copy 2.jpeg20191017_162515 copy 2.jpgA really really good time was had by all, and I can’t recommend this place enough. A fantastic week in a lovely house in a lovely part of the country.

On our way home F. and I diverted a short distance to visit the museum of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Always interesting to see how the downtrodden were able to secure basic rights due to the bravery and persistence of a few heroes. Small but worth visit.Martyrs colour_0.jpg