Recently, we paid a visit to the estate of Lord Montagu, and his home, the Palace House and Gardens at Beaulieu. There is so much to see here, and indeed we did see it all. The house itself can be walked around inside, and houses a collection of treasures built up by the family. Although the grounds themselves are quite large, the gardens surrounding the house a rather modest for such a house, but a pleasure to explore nonetheless. I was so tempted to make this post a tour of everything we did at Beaulieu, what with the house, the ancient abbey, the victorian kitchen garden, monorail and such like, but as with most people. we had also gone to see the famous motor museum. And it was here that I wanted to focus this post on particularly, for reasons that will soon become apparent.
The collection that Lord Montagu has built up over the years is really very special indeed, and I can really only give you a feel of what it is like to visit here, for more, well then you will just have to pay a visit next time you are in the area. Malcomb Campbell's 'Bluebird' is awesome....
....and takes one back to the pioneering day's of land speed records.
There are vehicles from every age, from the very first to the latest, and all are fully restored, running and roadworthy. Most are even road taxed and ready to drive at a moments notice. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stood out bold and brazen, and took us back to it's wonderful adventures on screen.
And of course the famous song remained in my mind for the rest of the day!
Amanda spied her favourite car of all time, a pristene Morris Minor Traveller, a car that I think will no doubt belong to us at some point in the near future, if I know my wife!
There were Bugatti's, Jaguar's, Rolls Royce's. Name's such as Lotus, Ferrari, Model T Ford and Daimler. The actual car from 'Back to the Future', and Derek Trotter's Reliant Robin from the series 'Only Fools and Horses'
But for me there was one main reasons for going here today, and a subject that always excites!
It's no secret in our family that I am a huge James Bond fan. Not in the way that 'trekkies' are about Star Trek though. Don't get me wrong, although I cannot for the life of me understand why one would don a pair of plastic pointed ears or such like, and gather with others to discuss which Klingon dialect is the most real, I would however enjoy wearing a dinner jacket to a 007 premiere. At Beaulieu they are presently showing a display of pretty much all of the genuine Bond vehicles, from 'Little Nellie' to the Mustang Mach 1 used in the famous 'Diamonds Are Forever' car chase.
I was in my element, and imagined myself behind the wheel of most of the exhibits on display.
The cars from the ice chase scene in 'Die Another Day', accompanied by clips from the movie, greet us as we enter the exhibition.
Giant iconic photographs adorn the walls, this one of Sean Connery is in my mind one of THE best pictures of all time, the other being the classic Steve McQueen motorbike shot from 'The Great Escape'
Vehicles, long since forgotten, were once again brought back to life. Not just cars, but jet skis, parachutes, floating crocodiles and motorcycles.
The original Aston Martin DB5, pure power, elegance and class!
And although the DB5 apparently appears in the latest film 'Skyfall', there was also the more modern DBS also used, with clips from the movie on the screen behind (although I tried not to look as I have yet to see it).
A BMW with missiles.....Nice!
'Little Nellie' from 'You Only Live Twice'. How can you not want to be 007 and take a ride in this?
One of the all terrain bikes from 'Diamonds Are Forever'. Although I love all of the 007 films with Sean Connery, this is perhaps my favourite, or maybe 'Dr. No'....or 'Goldfinger'.......oh heck!
Aston Martin DBS's used in 'Quantum of Solace', both before and after the high speed chase.
And of course Ernst Blofeld's mini submarine, again from 'Diamond's are Forever'.
Who is my favourite James Bond? Well, it was once Sean Connery (and he will probably remain the greatest of the original formats). Now though, it can only be Daniel Craig. That does it, I am off to Bournemouth to buy a dinner jacket for when I see 'Skyfall'. I was gutted to not get tickets to the premiere in London this time, and so our local cinema shall have to suffice.
Bye for now!