Beaulieu 001Forget the cars, go for the grounds, the gardens and the lovely house.

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There was plenty to see outside even in February.

I really liked the padlock tree sculpture and the Alice in Wonderland topiary - probably even better for photographing had there been a few more visitors around.

The house is one of the cosiest stately homes I've ever been in. It was big without being grand and you could see that it had been a happy family home in its time, for many generations of the Montagues.

The ticket price is steep at £25 but if you are an HHA member it's free! And that's for everything.