See ancient shipbuilding skills come to life as the shipwright school returns to Buckler’s Hard for may bank holiday weekend

Watch hands-on shipwrightry at Buckler’s Hard when the Shipwright School returns to the maritime village on the banks of the Beaulieu River for the late May bank holiday weekend.

From Sunday 28th May – Thursday 1st June, see 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.

The University of Southampton students will take a step back in time – shaping oak timbers from the Beaulieu Estate, working with the tools of 18th century shipbuilders, discovering the challenges they faced and how to overcome them.

Enter Buckler’s Hard for free and explore the historic village which featured in the new BBC and Disney FX adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

n the Shipwrights Workshop see the recently opened HMS Agamemnon – Navigating the Legend exhibition, which shows how nations are working together to preserve the world’s only surviving wreck of a ship built at Buckler’s Hard. See a film of the story, model of the 64-gun ship and artefacts from Nelson’s favourite vessel, affectionately known as ‘Eggs and Bacon’ by her crew.

Step inside the original Shipwright’s Cottage and charming St Mary’s Chapel, with a smugglers’ cellar under the altar, then pass preserved cottages which line the gently sloping street on its way to the water’s edge. Or simply enjoy a riverside stroll in the picturesque village where time flows differently.

Then with an admission ticket to Buckler’s Hard Museum – which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year – discover more about the maritime history of the village. See fascinating exhibits including Nelson’s original baby clothes, listen in on conversations between villagers of the past and follow residents’ stories in the exhibition of village life.

Be amongst the first to enjoy the first River Cruises of the season along Beaulieu River’s meandering saltmarshes. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where you can spot waders and wildfowl and even a seal, if you’re lucky!

Drop anchor and find refreshments with the new menu at The Captain’s Table, where you can tuck into a delicious cooked breakfast, tasty lunch or sumptuous afternoon tea.

To stay overnight, book a room named after Master Shipbuilder Henry Adams at the Master Builder’s House. For dog-friendly lodgings, choose a room in their new wing or rent one of three holiday cottages.

See blossom on the trees in the Apple Orchard. Its apples, along with fruit from the rest of the Beaulieu Estate, are picked in the autumn to make Beaulieu Apple Juice – which is available in Buckler’s Hard gift shop.

Buckler’s Hard in the New Forest, Hampshire is accessible by foot, car, motorbike – or boat! A parking charge contributes to the upkeep of the historic village. For details click here.

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