The tranquil beauty of the Beaulieu River is the perfect place for a winter getaway as excitement builds for the festive season.
It is the time when river mooring holders can make the most of sub-lets to bring their boats into the marina for walk-ashore visits during the winter. Or visitors can take advantage of greatly reduced rates on overnight berthing or day-trip short stays*.
Nature and bird watching
Winter is the ideal time to spot some of the 125,000 wildfowl and wading birds which visit the Solent each winter.
The Beaulieu River is the gateway to an unspoilt haven and its unique habitats are home to more than 200 species of birdlife. See breeding pairs of ringed plover and oystercatchers in the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The Beaulieu River has remained protected as one of the few privately owned rivers in the world – and meandering out through its salt marshes is like entering a world of pure escapism and relaxation, before joining the modern-day bustle of the Solent.
Cosy nights in
To stay tucked up in your boat, the well-equipped chandlery at Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour has everything you need for a cosy night in.
Stock up on essentials, New Forest produce and even a special bottle of wine, while the chandlery stays open from 8.15am – 4.30pm throughout the winter.
For a taste of elegance, new Chateau Beaulieu Provence Rose Wine has been added to its shelves, from a family-run vineyard at Rognes in the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence. It’s perfect for unwinding with a taste of luxury on the water.
From hearty pub classics to fine dining in a stunning maritime location, they offer a cosy bolthole to sink into during long winter evenings. Tuck into a delicious Sunday lunch, browse their Christmas menu or enjoy carols with afternoon tea at 3pm on Sunday 17 December.
If you are feeling festive, The Captain’s Table at Buckler’s Hard is serving its new winter menu. Who could resist their Hot Chocolate Orange winter warmers, topped with cream and marshmallows, Pumpkin Spice Latte or a sugar-free option with Gingerbread Latte?
Get Christmas started with their Turkey Club Baguette, garnished with cranberry sauce (just £5.95), or try their panini with a twist – served with turkey, sweetcure bacon, mozzarella and cranberry. Or start the day with a Pigs in Blankets Breakfast Bap.
For stress-free shopping, you can get Christmas gift inspiration at Buckler’s Hard Gift Shop from its selection of local artisan crafts and nautical themed keepsakes. Or look at the range of gifts on sale in the chandlery.
Festive trips on your doorstep
Once you are feeling less bah-humbug, the timeless Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol is being performed from December 14 – 24 only minutes away at Beaulieu. Set in the atmospheric ruins of Beaulieu Abbey, the outdoor production boasts a cast of West End actors who promise to bring Christmas spirit alive. Book tickets here.
Or for daytime visits to Beaulieu, step back in time to a Victorian Christmas at Palace House, where pantomime rehearsals will take place in the Montagu Theatre for Jack and the Beanstalk on weekends during early December and daily from December 16 – January 1 (except Christmas Day). Listen to carols next to warming log fires, marvel at one of the New Forest’s largest Christmas trees and look out for Father Christmas in a vehicle from the National Motor Museum, as you make your way around the attraction.
Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour offers full marina services, an open policy boatyard and a range of benefits. For moorings and berths see www.beaulieuriver.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01590 616200.
*Overnight marina stays are at the reduced rate of £3.50 per metre, with day trip short stays at £1.75 per metre. For the river, overnight stays are £1.50 per metre and short stays are just £1 per metre from now until February 28.
Mooring holder sub-lets are charged at an additional fee of £1.50 per metre, per night, for a one-month minimum stay until February 28.