Pecorama – Review for families

Trains, games and gorgeous gardens - but what else is in sore for families at East Devon attraction Pecorama?

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What is it?

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It’s a family attraction boasting “gardens, games and trains”. Find it in Beer, East Devon.  The Sat Nav post code is EX12 3NA.

Best for:

Toddlers & Preschool (if they’re good walkers) / 5 – 8 / 9  – 12

OK for:

Babies / 12+

Cost

£££ – There are a variety of tickets and discounts, but to access everything Pecorama has to offer, it will cost £10.90 per adult ticket and £8.30 per child (4 – 15 years) ticket. Under 4’s go free

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What’s on offer

Located in the beautiful old fishing village of Beer, on the East Devon Jurassic Coast, lies popular family attraction Pecorama. Advertised as an attraction of “gardens, games and trains”, it really lives up to its own promise. There are gardens, there are games and there are indeed trains.

Firstly, enjoy the famous PECO model railway exhibition upon entering this unusual attraction. If the model exhibit has got you in the mood for a train ride, all aboard a real steam train called the Beer Heights Light Railway and enjoy a mile-long ride above Wildway Park  – with killer views.

Pecorama has two lovely gardens, its flower-filled gardens and the Millennium Garden, which was finished in the year 2000 and is a ”celestially-themed” set of garden rooms linked by stonework and scented walkways.

Energetic families can challenge each other to a tense game of crazy golf and young children can go wild and enjoy playtime in the Play Station. Not to be confused with the Sony games console, the Play Station is Pecorama’s soft play area for little ones. Other children’s entertainment includes face painting and entertainment shows at the Top Shop Garden Theatre.

There are numerous places to eat and drink, including the real Orion Pullman Carriage, which now the venue for afternoon tea for Pecorama’s visitors. There’s nearby parking available and toilets on site.

Highlights

There are lots of indoor and outdoor activities to explore, so it’s an ideal place to come if the weather is on edge. Children really like the Play Station. It’s got parental approval all over TripAdvisor comments. The crazy golf should be a hit with everyone in the family. Little ones will also love the steam train ride! The gardens are incredibly beautiful and ideal for a picnic. The whole place is on a hill, so despite the walking, you do get some sensational views of East Devon.

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What to watch out for

– The premium ticket (priced above) allows “entry to the Model Railway Exhibition, Gardens, 2 train rides on the Beer Heights Light Railway, one round of Crazy Golf, entry to the Play Station and entertainment when operating.”

– Alternative tickets include bargain tickets (no crazy golf and only one train ride), access to the gardens only, access to the exhibition only. Visit the pricing page.

– Extra train rides cost £2 per person per ride, even for under 4’s.

– Pecorama is built on the side of a valley, perhaps better known as a MASSIVE hill. Therefore, some paths are quite steep. Prepare to walk and make sure everyone is wearing comfy walking shoes. Don’t worry, it is manageable with young children but it’s not very pushchair friendly.

– Only guide dogs are allowed in the gardens.

– You aren’t allowed to litter, yet there aren’t a lot of bins. Bit of a conundrum there, Pecorama.

– The Play Station has a few rules regarding age limits and who is allowed to play on what. Make sure you follow them. Also, everyone in the Play Station (including adults) must wear socks at all times.

– There are clowns and jesters scheduled to perform the entertainment shows at the theatre on various occasions. If your child is scared of clowns or jesters, please consult this dates table for a more appropriate show to watch together on a different day.

MFM tips:

– Buy One Get One Free vouchers are out there, so keep an eye out in Visit Devon Magazine (at the front desk), online and in brochures found on train lines and in hotels!

– Plan for no more than 3 hours here.

– Since you won’t need long, you can always visit more of East Devon’s family attractions, like:

The Donkey Sanctuary
Escot Park   
World of Country Life
Seaton Tramway

– If you fancy venturing to more Devonshire Gardens suitable for family visits, explore:

Knightshayes Court (Mid Devon)
Arlington Court (North Devon) 
Buckland Abbey (North Devon)

What the owners say

“Pecorama, one of Devon’s leading tourist attractions is set on the hillside above the picturesque fishing village of Beer and is home to the world’s foremost manufacturer of model railway track. PECO Streamline and PECO Setrack.”

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Visit the official Pecorama website

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