Beaulieu (Pronunciation /ˈbjuːlɨ/) is a small village located on the south eastern edge of the New Forest national park in Hampshire, England and home to both Palace House and the British National Motor Museum.
In the late 1950s Beaulieu was the surprising location for one of Britain's first experiments in pop festival culture, with the annual Beaulieu Jazz Festival, which quickly expanded to become a significant event in the burgeoning jazz and youth pop music scene of the period. Camping overnight, a rural invasion, eccentric dress, wild music and sometimes wilder behaviour — these now familiar features of pop festival happened at Beaulieu each summer, culminating in the so-called 'Battle of Beaulieu' at the 1960 festival, when rival gangs of modern and traditional jazz fans indluged in a spot of what sociologists went on to call 'subcultural contestation'.
Beaulieu village has remained largely unspoilt by progress, and is a favourite tourist stop for visitors to the New Forest, and also for birders seeking local specialities like Dartford Warbler, Honey Buzzard and Hobby.
The nearest railway station is Beaulieu Road, which is located several miles away on the London-Weymouth main line, and has a notoriously infrequent service (3 trains per day being typical - 1 per hour, Sundays), timed to be of use to locals working elsewhere, but consequently being unhelpful to those wanting to visit the area by train; visitors should use the stations at Brockenhurst or Ashurst instead. Brockenhurst is on the same line as Beaulieu Road Station but the next stop west. Brockenhurst is six miles away from Beaulieu, but The New Forest Tour runs daily summers only hourly to Beaulieu as opposed to Beaulieu Road Station, which is four miles away. which The New Forest Tour also connects
Palace House (not to be confused with the Palace of Beaulieu in Essex), which overlooks the village from across Beaulieu River, began in 1204 as the gatehouse to Beaulieu Abbey, and has been the ancestral home of a branch of the Montagu family since 1538, when it was bought from the crown following the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII. The house was extended in the 16th century, and again in the 19th century, and is today a fine example of a Gothic country house. Although still home to the current Lord and Lady Montagu, parts of the house and gardens are open daily to the public. It is a member of the Treasure Houses of England consortium.
The village is also home to the British National Motor Museum. The museum, opened as the Montagu Motor Museum in 1952, becoming a charitable trust in 1972, contains an important collection of historic motor vehicles, including four world land speed record holders: Sir Malcolm Campbell's 1924 Blue-Bird and son Donald Campbell's 1964 Bluebird CN7, plus the 1927 Sunbeam 1000HP (the first motor car to reach 200 miles per hour) and the 1929 Irving-Napier Special 'Golden Arrow', both driven by Major Henry Segrave.