Local birds, fast cars, beautiful surroundings, parties and champagne for lunch - Beaulieu can deceptively sound more like a fast-paced action movie than the tranquil, olde-worlde delight it actually is.

Deriving from old French, Beaulieu is a term that translates to "beautiful place". Monasterium Belli loci Regis is the latin name for the monastery from Medieval times, translating as "Beautiful Place of King".

The Cistercian order's mother house was the abbey of Cîteaux in France, from which 30 monks were sent to populate Beaulieu Abbey.

In the 2005 comedy-drama film Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont starring Joan Plowright and Rupert Friend, viewers got to see the grandeur of the iconic building, known as "Palace House".

Bournemouth Echo: Beaulieu village fete 2010 at Palace House.Palace House stock.

Originally established in 1204 as the gatehouse to Beaulieu Abbey. It wasn't until 1538 that Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries led to it being seized from the monks and sold on. Since then it has been held by the Montagus

When Lord Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, opened up his ancestral home to the public in 1952, he underestimated interest in the property.

Lord Montagu promised himself champagne for supper should the house attract more than 100 visitors by 6pm. He actually achieved his target by 12.30pm, resulting in champagne for lunch instead.

Occupying a special place in the village of Beaulieu is the British National Motor Museum. Established in 1952 as Montagu Motor Museum, it was dedicated to the memory of John Montagu who persuaded parliament to abolish a 12-mph speed limit.

Bournemouth Echo: Beaulieu Motor Museum 50th Anniversary.

The museum has been operating as a charitable trust since 1972 and offers an impressive collection of vintage motor vehicles. Four world land speed record holders stand proudly among them.

With more than 250 cars on display, the museum attracts more visitors than any other forest location.

Vehicles from James Bond films and Top Gear television shows are a big draw to people across the country and from overseas.

A monorail was built at the museum to help visitors get around easier and stretches for around a mile.

During the late 1950s, Beaulieu House was home to one of Britain's earliest attempts at a pop festival: the Beaulieu Jazz Festival. This annual event grew rapidly and became a major player within the flourishing jazz and pop music landscape of the time.

Bournemouth Echo: Heritage. Beaulieu Jazz 
Festival 196?

Each summer, the sleepy hamlet of Beaulieu was transformed with the arrival of the rather unique invasion - bringing with it campers, unusual fashion and music both wacky and wonderful.

In July 1960 a riot at the festival made the headlines when 39 people were injured.

A fight broke out during a set from Acker Bilk's band while jazz fans clambered over the scaffolding platform built for television arc-lamps.

Three people were hospitalised; two boys who sustained injuries when the scaffolding collapsed and a girl who was hit by a thrown bottle.

During the Second World War, Lord Montagu's Beaulieu Estate hosted schools run by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) for training agents.

Bournemouth Echo: Beaulieu Palace House opened to the public. 4th April 1952. © THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARCHIVES.  Ref - 1103a

Among the many trainers was a man named Kim Philby, who eventually became notorious for his involvement in a Soviet espionage network. The spy ring he was part of provided secret information to the Russians.

At the Beaulieu Estate, a unique exhibition was established in 2005. This display featured a video that showed photographs from that period as well as voice recordings of people who had been trainers and spies for the SOE during the Second World War.

Tucked away in a corner of the New Forest, the picturesque village of Beaulieu has been left relatively untouched by modernity. As a result, the area has become a haven for twitchers looking for local specialities such as the Dartford warbler, European honey buzzard and hobby.

A unique sight to be seen in Beaulieu is eight giant concrete letters, arranged to spell out its name. These enormous characters are cut into a grassy field and create an impressive display.

Bournemouth Echo: Large letters at Beaulieu. CC BY-SA 4.0

This feature has a total area of 170 metres squared, approximately 5 metres in width and 34 metres in length.

Early planes utilised the letters to identify the aerodrome when they were approaching from above.

The old letters are believed to have been written more than a century ago, during the early days of aviation and the foundation of the Flying School in East Boldre in 1910.

As the Beaulieu airfield wound down after the conclusion of the First World War, it was left to be overtaken by nature, and soon the letters mostly faded.

A little more than 10 years ago, a team of volunteers restored the letters to their former glory.