Palace House, which overlooks the village from across Beaulieu river, began life in 1204 as the gatehouse to Beaulieu Abbey, and has been the ancestral home of the Montagu family since 1538, when it was purchased from the crown following the disolution of the monastries 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.
The village is also home to the British National Motor Museum. The museum, which first opened as the Montagu Motor Museum in 1952, and which became a charitable trust in 1972, contains one of the world's finest and most important collections 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 1000hp Sunbeam (the first motor car to break 200 miles per hour) and the 1929 Irving-Napier Special 'Golden Arrow', both driven by Major Henry Segrave.
The hamlet of Bucklers Hard, situated on Beaulieu river and part of the 9000 acre Beaulieu Estate was the birthplace of many British naval vessels, including many of Admiral Nelson's fleet, and today houses a small maritime museum, plus a modern yachting marina.
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.