Bekonscot Model Village

I can't believe how quickly the summer holidays have passed! I was worried at the start that we wouldn't have enough to do, but I'll admit that there have been a lot of pyjama cinema days in our home.

It has been busy, we've had some great play dates, visits and more than a few hospital appointments for Lily's broken arm. Healing took less time than expected and she had the wires removed under general anaesthetic last week! Hooray!

In the meantime, Lily had her first ever trip to Selhurst Park to watch the football with Daddy, met Pete the Eagle and had Jason Puncheon sign her cast. We decided that, at 2, Ollie is still a bit young for a stadium visit and so I stayed locally with him and visited somewhere I've wanted to go for ages - Bekonscot Model Village.

I knew Ollie was going to love it there and set out to make the whole day as special for him as possible. It started by getting a 'real train' from Wycombe to Beaconsfield. Despite parking being available at Bekonscot, I don't drive and am happy to walk the very short (and well sign posted) way from the station to the village.

It was busy when we arrived - afterall, it was a bright Saturday morning in August, but the queue to the delightful railway carriage ticket booth wasn't too long and the staff were friendly and efficient. It was £10 for adults and £6 for children and there was an extra cost if you wanted to ride the train (only a £1 per person).

Ollie was off and running straight away. We left our pram in the buggy park which also had space for you to store picnic baskets if you need it. Although you can use a pram for some of the model village some paths are narrow and it's much nicer to walk around the village, getting up close to all the details at a perfect height for curious toddlers.

Of course, for my train and transport mad little man, the moving trains and stations were particularly fascinating. I wondered how long someone could really spend waiting and watching for tiny model trains to come whooshing out of a tunnel and it turns out that when it comes to 2 year old boys they will stay for ages - and be happy at the same time!

For adults, the attention to detail, hilariously bad puns and nostalgic scenes will keep you occupied. I was surprised by how big the area is - an awful lot of time went into building those models and designing the settings.

The model areas are actually split into different villages - 'Greenhaily' with it's zoo and castle, 'Southpool', 'Hanton', 'Splashyng', 'Evenlode' and 'Bekonscot Town' with a high street (including M&S) and train stations. There is loads to look at and I'm sure we missed bits that we'd find enjoyment in when we go again another time. I was amazed at how much there was to see.

As well as the models there is also a reasonably sized play park with modern equipment and frames for younger and older children. Despite it being busy it didn't feel squashed or cramped and service in the tea rooms was swift with decent food and drinks options on offer.

There was plenty of space outside to sit and enjoy the sunshine so even at lunchtime you could easily find a spot either in the tea rooms or outside. It was nice to find plenty of covered tables too - great for some shade or if the weather turns a tad miserable. Ollie insisted on sharing his lunch with Iggle Piggle, apparently he's a fan of the tea room's cheese and ham sandwiches!

As we used the toilets, I can confirm that there are plenty and they are clean. Always a bonus because I'm dreadfully fussy when it comes to public conveniences!

We obviously couldn't leave without a go on the ride on train. We didn't wait long and Ollie enjoyed watching the tiny engine be coupled with the seats for our little adventure. It is a short ride, perfect for little ones.

Ollie is still at a stage where he could do with a nap most days and so we didn't stay for long after lunch. Ollie did insist on one last walk round but he was clearly flagging by that point. I'm particularly tempted to visit again for their 'Special Price' tickets between 3:30 and 5:30. You are obviously restricted on time but for only £6.50 per adult and £4.00 per child (families £13.00-£19.00) and just one stop away by train I think that a short visit would be perfect for wrapping up a warm summer day. 

It would be a good way of being able to visit even if you were on a tighter budget or alternatively, if you live nearby and can visit throughout the year then there is also various season tickets available.

Ollie loved it so much that we'll definitely have to go back. Tired and grizzly we left with him repeating 'more trains' for all of the short walk back to Beaconsfield Station. It was the perfect activity for him, his little legs and big imagination and I loved it too - seeing his face light up with interest at all the details and screech when the train whistled round the bends.

It was lovely to explore an attraction close to home and find that we enjoyed it just as much as bigger attractions. Bekonscot Model Village has the novelty factor and judging by the other visitors we saw, it would be just as popular with adults and seniors as it was with my happy little guy! It earns a big thumbs up from us!

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