Beaulieu was the wartime finishing school for SOE, where secret agents learned vital espionage skills before embarking on dangerous missions. During May half-term, start your own fast-track secret agent training, inspired by tasks tackled by the real-life agents, and meet wartime characters as you explore the Beaulieu attraction.
Meet wartime characters
Adopt an authentic agent training name and follow your training journal map, to try out disguises, test your skills of observation and problem-solving, use codes to decipher secret messages, learn about rationing and graduate as a fully-trained SOE agent.
Make contact with your Commanding Officer in the SOE headquarters at Palace House
In the National Motor Museum, obtain vital information by finding the Norton 16H motorcycle as ridden by military dispatch riders in the 1940s, then see a selection of wartime vehicles being driven around the attraction as you find secret messages and locate the site of a parachute drop. Discover the astonishing true stories of the agents who trained at Beaulieu in the Secret Army Exhibition.
Head to Beaulieu Abbey – following clues and uncovering hidden messages – then watch amazing falconry demonstrations in the Abbey Cloister from May 25th - 31st, as Lord Montagu’s falconer explains the role of this ancient practice during World War II.
Watch amazing falconry demonstrations
Make contact with your Commanding Officer in the SOE headquarters at Palace House, learning more about covert espionage methods and inspecting household items that hold remarkable secrets. Learn to see through deceptive disguises, then try on 1940s-themed clothing to hide your own identity for a photo opportunity. Talk to Lord Montagu’s cook about wartime rationing and how secret agents and civilians would have lived off the land.
Special Operations Executive equipment
All of the May half-term activities are included in the general admission ticket to Beaulieu.