Natural, unspoiled and idyllic, the Beaulieu River remains much as it was centuries ago. Indeed, this timeless quality is perhaps its greatest attraction. That's why, when MGM wanted a backdrop that resembled the 16th Century River Thames for the Oscar winning film 'A Man For All Seasons', they came here to Beaulieu. By far the greatest credit for this responsible stewardship goes to the owner of the river and its surrounding estate Edward, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who claims the river to be the only privately-owned tidal river in the country.
For such a peaceful river of outstanding beauty, it offers the visiting yachtsman the most diverse range of attractions in the country. At the head of the river, is the National Motor Museum which is located within the grounds of Lord Montagu's home - also open to the public. Half way up the river, is Bucklars Hard - a private village and a living model of an 18th century community with a maritime museum reflecting upon its origins in building wooden ships of the line - including Nelson's favourite ship HMS Agamemnon, and today this private village is preserved and trapped in time.
Bucklers Hard and its adjoining marina is arguably the jewel of Beaulieu Estate and hence the prime destination for most visiting yachtsman. The marina has an expensive reputation, but the visiting piles to the north and south of the marina offers a cheaper alternative. His Lordship is keen to protect his revenue so be warned that the Harbour master’s approach to collecting the berthing fees is ‘enthusiastic’. Berthing here, gives you free access to the private village and its amenities and the walk along the Beaulieu River footpath is very worthwhile.
The Beaulieu Spit Dolphin Fl R5s marks the entrance to the river. The sands around the entrance and adjacent waters continuously shift, and consequently created a bar, thus entering the river should not be attempted between 2hrs before and 2hrs after low water springs. For the safest water over the bar and adjacent shoaling waters use the leading line No.2 red pile in line with the eastern side of Lepe House, approx 324°T, or use the sector light of the Millennium Beacon Occ WRG 4s.
Note: No. 2 pile used to have an orange and white day glow top mark, this fell off last season and subsequently both the Harbour Office and Trinity House have no intention of replacing it.
There is NO VHF WATCH either in the Harbour Office or on the river apart from Ch16.