Babbacombe Model Village – Review for families

What's the deal with this mini village in Devon? Use our family day out guide to help you figure it out

babbacombe-model-village-review-for-families_59361

What is it?

Advertisement

It’s a miniature village and also a miniature railway, which first opened in 1963. Find it in Torquay, South Devon – 2.5 miles from the harbor. The Sat Nav post code is TQ1 3LA.

Best for:

9 – 12 / 12 +

OK for:

5 – 8

Cost

£££ – An adult ticket costs approximately £11.95 and a child (aged between 3 to 14) around £9.95 (as of June 2018).

You’ll find up to date costs, including group rates, and any concessions on the Babbacombe Model Village website, as they can vary.

babbacombe-model-village-review-for-families_59362

What’s on offer

The Babbacombe Model Village offers families the opportunity to explore their 4 acre gardens, which contains over 400 models featuring animation and sound effects to create their impressive model village. Along with the effects, the village contains some cheeky, typically British humour that parents can silently chuckle to whilst the children enjoy the miniature settlement.

Children can also get crazy in the mini golf (at no extra charge – unlike some places) and follow along some exciting character trails through the village. It’s an outdoor attraction first and foremost, but even the Babbacombe Model Village aren’t immune to the English weather and have provided some indoor displays for duller days, such as an Eastenders recreation called ‘LittleEnders’, a Victorian winter wonderland village model. They also have an interesting display about the world of ‘mini’ movies and the indoor area features the history of the main, outdoor village.

Check the website for details of events on throughout the year, especially if you want to see the village illuminated at night, during a a special evening event. On site, there is a lovely tea room and a gift shop. There’s no parking owned by the company, but a local authority pay & display is available just across the road.

babbacombe-model-village-review-for-families_59363

Highlights

Parents and children will love visiting Stonehenge, The Dragon Castle and The Shard. Each model has excellent detail and is well maintained, which can’t be easy in an attraction with over 400 of them.

Adults always have a cheeky smirk at the subtle humour thrown in around the village, which will make the day a lot more entertaining for mum and dad. In summer months and evening, the village is open until half ten and the main attractions in the village, like The Shard, are illuminated at night.

What to watch out for

– The Sat Nav postcode will lead you to the Hampton Avenue side of the local car park, through which you cannot enter. When you get close enough, just follow the brown signs and you’ll find them.

– The Village is built on a steep valley and is therefore very difficult to maneuver or to visit for those with mobility issues, wheelchairs and pushchairs. If you are unfit or unable to walk, or have a little one unsteady on their feet, we suggest considering another South Devon attraction like South Devon RailwayPlymouth AquariumSea Tractor and the Miniature Pony Centre.

– It’s not ideal for little children, who can’t stretch their legs and go wild in the gardens as I’m sure they’d like to. More energetic, less fragile attractions in South Devon include Woodlands Leisure Park and Crealy’s Great Adventure Park. These are well suited for youngsters.

– The 4D cinema experience costs an extra £1 per person.

– Dogs aren’t allowed in the 4D cinema or the café.  You must keep your dog on a short lead and be prepared to pick up their business.

– It’s a mostly outdoor attraction, with just a small few indoor displays.

– If it’s hot and sunny, bring some sunscreen as you’ll be walking outside all day! Fortunately, MFM has already picked out the best children’s sunscreens so you don’t have to.

– If you want the free return attached to your admission ticket, make sure you collect the photo pass before you leave the park. Don’t lose it, either, because it’s non-replaceable.

babbacombe-model-village-review-for-families_59364

MFM tips:

– Plan for a minimum of 1.5 hours here. In the summer, you’re more likely to spend around 2 – 3 hours here.

– If you want avoid the big crowds, don’t go on a dry, cloudy summers day. A warm sunny day is described as ‘medium busy’ and rainy days are the quietest. If it’s open on an evening (check the website for details) and on a weekend, it’s much less busy.

– The Model Village is ‘down the road’ from Babbacombe Downs and Oddicombe Beach, according to the website. So, you can enjoy the sun in the sand and inside the attraction.

– Torquay is a 30 minute ferry ride from the gorgeous town of Brixham, which has some of the nicest restaurants in South Devon!

What the owners say

“Babbacombe Model Village is Torquay’s most popular and visited attraction. Representing British life and culture over the last five decades all in miniature. Animated scenes, along with touches of very English humour bring it all to life.

Taking you on a fun, informative and nostalgic trip through the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s to present day, it has appeal for all ages. Famous for its lovely setting in 4 acres of award-winning gardens that are a delight to experience all year round.”

Advertisement

Visit the official Babbacombe Model Village website

Comments ()

Please read our Chat guidelines.