Bank holiday shipwrightry and art for half-term visits to Buckler’s Hard

Watch hands-on shipbuilding on Bank Holiday Monday and see the free art exhibition at beautiful Buckler’s Hard for family half-term visits.

Get out on the water to spot the wildlife on a River Cruise, then drop anchor for a bite to eat at the popular tea rooms and pub. It’s now free to enter the maritime village – and the ideal beauty spot to meet with friends. See our top tips for your visit.

Hands-on shipbuilding skills come to life

The Shipwright School returns to Buckler’s Hard on Bank Holiday Monday, as maritime archaeology students bring to life ancient shipbuilding techniques which would have been used at Buckler’s Hard when ships for Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar were built there.

Step back in time as they shape oak timbers from the Beaulieu Estate, working with the tools of 18th century shipbuilders and discovering the challenges they faced and how to overcome them.

Last chance to enter art for great prizes

It’s the last chance to capture the natural charm of picturesque Buckler’s Hard and its maritime past, then enter your drawing, painting, print, sculpture, ceramic or textile before the deadline on May 31st.

Entries are welcome under the themes of ‘Sailing by’, ‘Where time flows differently’ or ‘Step back in history’. Great prizes for the winners include a hotel stay and meal at the Master Builder’s House and Henry’s pub, New Forest Activities and Captain’s Table vouchers, plus tickets to Beaulieu, the River Cruise, Buckler’s Hard Museum and an annual Buckler’s Hard parking pass.

For more details click here.

Visit our free art exhibition

See the original paintings by Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year semi-finalists and collection artworks from the Montagu family archives in our art exhibition.

The Art of Buckler’s Hard is now open in the Shipyard Office on the High Street – and entry is free!

Win a ride in Chitty

Children are welcome to use our art materials in The Art of Buckler’s Hard and get creative for a chance to win a family ticket to Beaulieu and a ride in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Visit The Art of Buckler’s Hard and follow the on-site details to submit your entry . . . good luck!

See a smugglers’ cellar 

See a smugglers’ cellar under the altar at charming St Mary’s Chapel, then step inside an original Shipwright’s Cottage to discover how the shipbuilders lived. There’s free access for all visitors to the village where time flows differently.

Discover Nelson’s ship

See our HMS AgamemnonNavigating the Legend exhibition in the Shipwrights Workshop, showing how nations are working together to preserve the world’s only surviving wreck of a ship built at Buckler’s Hard. Watch a film of the story, alongside a model of the 64-gun ship and artefacts from Nelson’s favourite vessel. Entry is free!

Hop on the River Cruise

Feel the breeze in your hair and explore an unspoilt New Forest haven while the River Cruise is running for the spring and summer season. All the family will love looking for wildlife and hearing fascinating tales about Buckler’s Hard and the Beaulieu River.

River cruises run daily, sailing from the jetty at the bottom of the High Street, from 11am – 4.30pm. Tickets can be bought on board. For details and prices, click here. 

D-Day anniversary

Look out for the Spitfire Fly Past after 9am on Tuesday 4th June as part of commemorations to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Find out about the important role that Buckler’s Hard played in the D-Day landings with a ticket to Buckler’s Hard Museum.

Outdoor Shakespeare

Book your ticket for Shakespeare’s As You Like It in the garden of the Master Builder’s House on Sunday 9th June. For details of the acclaimed performance by the Duke’s Theatre Company click here.

Call in for a bite

Henry’s pub is now open at the Master Builder’s House and The Captain’s Table is serving delicious brunch, lunch and afternoon cream tea. Entry to the village is free, making it an ideal place to meet family and friends.

Keep in the loop

While the sun is shining, it’s the perfect time to walk two riverside loops with stunning riverside views. There is even a bird hide along the way at Keeping Marsh. Dogs are welcome on a lead at Buckler’s Hard, so the bring the whole family along.

See our preview.

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