This isn't the conventional day out with a toddler, but therein lies its USP. A visit to the Bekonscot Model Village and Railway is a fun (and educational) day out for toddlers and older children, while also being an interesting one for Mum and Dad.
It is the world's oldest model village, having opened way back in 1929. So that's your history quotient sorted for your inquisitive five-year-old. The village navigates through a miniature model of Beaconsfield town as it was in the 1930s, complete with a train, bus and fire station, a baker and a butcher, church, castle, circus, dairy farm, yacht club, golf course, racecourse and more, giving a graphic picture of how England was in that era.
The extremely detailed miniature village is a picturesque sight for grown-ups too, who can better appreciate the detail, time and effort that has gone into the making of this historic model village.
Fun for kids
A model railway intersects you at every few steps, with trains that carry everything from passengers to goods to coal. And stop at stations. And wait at railway crossings. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the village for toddlers, who try and race the train to the next station or run alongside it.
There's also a toy train that takes toddlers on a short ride, a play area for when they need to run, and Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat, Noddy in his yellow car and Bob the Builder – the kids LOVE them! I overheard one mum telling another that her four-year-old obediently does the round of the village just because he knows Thomas is waiting for him later!
Little Man enjoying himself on Thomas
Attention to detail
There's plenty to see and take in, but make sure not to miss the attention to detail in everything, like for instance, the man swimming in the pool, the echoes of a choir singing as you pass the church, the cable cars that run over a valley and the real smoke that emits from the roof of a house, as a fireman tries to extinguish the fire – all in miniature, of course. Brilliant.
The Church with the singing choir
Don't miss the man swimming in the pool!
After a stroll around, you can enjoy lunch or tea at the Tea Room, while the kids can feast on delicious Beechdean Farmhouse Dairy Icecream. If the weather permits, sit outside and take in the beautifully landscaped gardens that intersperse the village.
Situated in the town centre of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, it's not too far out from London. Connect to the M25 in 10 minutes and the M40 in 5 minutes, or if you're visiting by train, Beaconsfield train station is just a short walk away.
Visit http://www.bekonscot.co.uk/ for more details.
A view from the top of the village
Enjoy! And do share your experience/ pictures when you visit!
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