We recently discovered a truly unique place for about an hour and a bit drive from London.
Bekonscot is located in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. It’s a modal village with a miniature railway but it’s not your average, vintage little modal village form the 1970’s. Far from that. It’s a perfect day out place with the family, you can also find a great playground and food shed too. We decided to visit this cute and quirky place a few weeks ago, as now we have not only two train enthusiasts in our family but three: one of Babi’s first word was “choo-choo” and as she copies her brother in everything, she has a soft spot for trains too.
Bekonscot is world’s oldest and original model village.
The eccentric owner of Bekonscot opened his modal village and railway in 1929 and At first it only entertained friends and family then started to receive tourists soon after that. The original modal railway was initially an indoor entertainment for Roland R. Callingham, but his wife wanted to move it outside of the house – that’s how it all began.
The modal village therefore gives a glimpse into the 1930’s has actually consist of 6 different, small towns. There are different scenes and buildings: airport, tennis courts, cricket club, castle, lakeside with boats, farm – basically every very quintessentially English thing from almost a century ago. Everything from a little, detailed high street to an Art Deco factory. I’m pretty sure I even spotted the queen’s character too!
Keep your eyes open for lots of tiny little details and funny puns. Cuteness overload alert. It’s an absolute delight to walk amongst the more than 3000 inhabitants of the village and spot all the details. They are in an amazingly good condition, the charity foundation looked after the modal village very well in the past 80 years. At one point in 1992 they actually gave up with updating the. Illahe with up to date features like modern cars and removed them and they reversed everything back to the original, 1930’s look. That’s what you can see now.
The miniature railway
This was Bobcat’s favourite, needless to say. 3 lines, each over 150 meters, little trains are coming and going, stopping at stations. He actually loved it so much that he sneaked back from the playground! Without telling us. After 2 minutes of panic, I knew where to find him. Bingo.
Ride on railway
It’s a mini train you can ride criss crossing in one part of the garden. Cost an extra pound each (free for under 2’s) and runs in every few minutes.
A good family friendly attraction can’t be without a decent playground to burn all the excitement and energy. This playground is lovely and big enough to spend at least an hour there. It’s got smaller and bigger slides, a pirate boat, climbing frames for every age and a little Thomas A Tank Engine train.
Initially, we were planning to have a pizza (what else!) in town but we didn’t regret exploring the tea room instead. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating with basic, child friendly food and it’s dirt cheap. I had a veg burger which wasn’t curried! If you you’re a fellow vegetarian, you know what I mean. The staff is very friendly and helpful. There’s also plenty of high chairs for the little ones. You can bring your own picnic if you prefer that.
Bekonscot is operated by a non-profit company so the profit goes to different charities like RNLI or the Great Ormond Street Hospital. They have raised over £5.5 million for charity with over 14 million visitors since 1929.
We will be definitely back soon, as we loved it so much. In fact, we’re going to book their Meet With Santa experience in December.
Read about another day out experience in the UK: Legoland Windsor Review