Historic wooden boats, skirmishes with 18th century soldiers, shipwrightry demonstrations, New Forest artwork and the return of the River Cruise will make an unmissable new season at Buckler’s Hard.
Getting the new season underway will be the return of the popular River Cruise at the start of the Easter holidays, from 4 April. Get a close-up view of the wildlife that lives along the banks of the beautiful Beaulieu River.
Over the bank holiday weekend, 23 – 25 May, watch Southampton University students in the Shipwrights’ Workshop as they practice traditional woodworking and ancient shipbuilding techniques that would have been used at Buckler’s Hard when ships for Nelson’s Trafalgar fleet were built there in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Then, on 1 and 2 August, appreciate some of the amazing wooden boats of the past as they tie up at Buckler’s Hard for a gathering of the newly-formed Beaulieu River Wooden Boat Association. Visitors can see these stylish vessels from a vantage point on the shoreline.
On the same dates, Art by the River will gather New Forest arts and crafts at a pop-up gallery in the Shipwrights’ Workshop at the water’s edge.
Then, history fans are in for a treat with Soldiers & Skirmishes: 18th Century Weekend on 22 and 23 August, as costumed re-enactors bring soldiers of the past to life and recreate skirmishes from the Seven Years War of 1755-63, a global conflict which involved Buckler’s Hard-built ship HMS Kennington.
To get an understanding of HMS Kennington’s role, see a scale model of this naval vessel on show in the attraction’s Maritime Museum – which tells the remarkable story of the historic village and the ships that were built there during its heyday.
Buckler’s Hard is a place for relaxation as well as exploration, so do not forget to leave time for a cream tea or light refreshments at the Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms. For tickets and details see bucklershard.co.uk or call 01590 616203.