Take the kids to … Bekonscot Model Village, Buckinghamshire | Travel
In a nutshell
The world’s oldest model village, loosely capturing nearby Beaconsfield between the wars. It was opened in 1929 and its little inhabitants and fixtures mainly stay true to that period.
Best things about it?
Everyone will love its mini-ness and the many moving exhibits. For train fans, there’s an impressive model rail network snaking its way around the site, stopping at tiny stations. And the landscaping and planting are beautiful.
Anything else to do?
There’s a decent play park for smaller children, plus a smattering of pay-for extras such as narrow-gauge train rides, remote-control boats and a water-shooting game.
It has a wealth of literary connections – Enid Blyton, The Borrowers creator Mary Norton and even Will Self have all been inspired by its vintage charms.
What about lunch?
A decent cafe serves reasonably priced drinks, ice-creams and basic hot and cold food, including kids’ meals. There’s also a large picnic area with some sheltered tables, and a conservatory to sit in should the heavens open.
Exit through the gift shop?
No – but there is a cute one in an old train carriage.
Value for money?
Not bad – adult £10, child 2-15 £6, family £28 (2 adults, 2 children) or £19 (1 adult, 2 children) – extra child with family ticket £5.
Easy from London – three trains an hour from Marylebone to Beaconsfield station (a five-minute walk away) or a 10-minute drive from Junction 2 of the M40. Visitors can use the free car park next to the church opposite, or there’s pay and display up the road.
10am-5.30pm daily, mid-February to November, plus a few weekends in the run-up up to Christmas.
9 out of 10 – great for small children but over-10s might soon be bored, unless they’re budding train spotters.