An afternoon at Buckler’s Hard

On the banks of the Beaulieu River, in the heart of the New Forest National Park, you will find the peaceful haven of Buckler’s Hard.

Buckler's Hard
Buckler’s Hard

Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum offers a glimpse back into life at Buckler’s Hard, an 18th century ship building village in the New Forest. You can learn about the history of building ships for Nelson’s fleet, see the historic cottage displays of how the village would have looked in the 1800’s and find out about the exploits of the first solo world voyager, Sir Francis Chichester. For children there’s an age based quiz to take through the museum and around the village , asking questions for your children to seek out the answers.

Model of Buckler's Hard
Model of Buckler’s Hard
Labourer's Cottage reproduction
Labourer’s Cottage reproduction
Labourer's Cottage reproduction, Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum
Labourer’s Cottage reproduction, Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum
Labourer's Cottage reproduction at  Labourer's Cottage reproduction at Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum
Labourer’s Cottage reproduction at  Labourer’s Cottage reproduction at Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum

From the museum you can walk down to Shipwright’s Cottage with it’s recreated interior. Having looked at the labourers cottage in the museum, one can really see the difference in living standards between skilled and unskilled workmen.

Shipwright's Cottage interior
Shipwright’s Cottage interior
Shipwright's Cottage
Shipwright’s Cottage
Shipwright's Cottage
Shipwright’s Cottage

Shipwright's Cottage

The walk down to the  water through Buckler’s Hard is picturesque, do look out for St. Mary’s Chapel in the terrace if you visit. Many of the terraces houses you will see are lived in and if you want some good food the Master Builder’s House Hotel is right by the river at the end of the terrace.

Buckler's Hard Cottages
Buckler’s Hard Cottages

Formally a residence and then a school, this quiet contemplative Chapel is half-hidden in the middle of the west terrace at Buckler’s Hard with only a bell, sign and statue as clues to what lies behind the front door of number 82.

Master Builder's House Hotel, Buckler's Hard
Master Builder’s House Hotel, Buckler’s Hard
Buckler's Hard
Buckler’s Hard

Walk down the terrace and turn right at the bottom to find the Woodland Walk. This short walk gives some nice shade on sunny days and the informative signs help you find out more about the trees.

Woodland trail
Woodland trail

Once the children had completed the quiz and we had explored Buckler’s Hard we returned to the museum to collect their certificates and chocolate gold coin, which we took to the small orchard opposite to enjoy. Both Kitty and Ozzy enjoyed the trail, there were a couple of questions that had us all stumped but we persevered and got all the answers in the end!

Buckler's Hard kids trail certificate

Kitty & Ozzy enjoyed their trail-prize chocolate coin in the orchard
Kitty & Ozzy enjoyed their trail-prize chocolate coin in the orchard

The fruit is picked each autumn and used with apples from orchards on the Beaulieu Estate to make Beaulieu Apple Juice.

Buckler's Hard Orchard
Buckler’s Hard Orchard

We can recommend the Giant Viennese Whirl from the Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms – one of these fed all three of us! There’s seating inside for dining or outside, with a green space for little ones to run around whilst you enjoy a coffee.

Giant Vienesse Whirl
Giant Vienesse Whirl
Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms
Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms

Handy info

Buckler’s Hard website

The walk from Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard

Opening times: 

1st October-Easter, 10.00am – 4.30pm

Easter-30th September, 10.00am – 5.00pm

Entry cost:

Adult £6.50
Senior £6.00
Child £4.50
Family £19.50



Linking up with: Kid’s Days Out Reviews


0 replies on “ An afternoon at Buckler’s Hard ”
  1. I had such a long comment to type, and then I saw that GIANT VIENNESE WHIRL and I forgot it!. 😀 This is such a pretty place, love the Museum, that kind of place fascinates me. We watched How we Used to Live at school and I have been a history addict ever since! How nice to have it not too far up the road from you! 🙂

    1. How we Used to Live! Blast from the schooling past! Me too, one of my primary school highlights, all huddled round the giant tv on wheels watching what went down in the ‘old days’. Loved that!

  2. Oh it’s just so pretty! I love the quilts on the cottage beds, and is that a rope attached to the side of the crib so you can rock the baby without having to get out of bed? Because that’s a great idea sadly fallen into disuse!!

  3. I really love places that keep feed my son’s thirst for knowledge. I think my youngest would def appreciate those chocolate coins so shall have to put it on our to do list.

  4. oh give me that viennese whirl!

    looks beautiful, we are planning a new forest/dorset trip for next summer so this is sure to be added to the list as ronnie is keen to go back to beaulieu.

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