FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are the questions we are asked most frequently. If you cannot find an answer for your question then please contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

  • Do we need to book?

    It is no longer necessary to book your visit, you can just turn up.  However, bookings give us a good idea how many people are visiting at any given day or time.  This helps us to manage and spread out numbers during the busier school holidays, making the visit more enjoyable.  As a thank you for booking you will receive a voucher for discounted admission tickets.   No advance payment is taken, but you do have to book a timed arrival window, and  then purchase your tickets at the gate as normal.  Subject to available booking spaces you can book your visit for any day up to 31st August, but it will need to be booked at least 1 to 2 hours before your visit, you cannot book on arrival at the gate!.

  • Are dogs allowed in the Model Village?

    Yes, well behaved dogs are allowed, with some restrictions - 

    Dogs are welcome throughout the gardens, indoor displays and gift shop

    They strictly cannot go into the coffee shop, except for guide/assistance dogs  This is partially due to its limited size and restricted space. We do have seating outdoors on the terrace with a few sheltered tables.  This is a no exceptions rule, so if you are planning to use the coffee shop takeaway we would advise visiting us on a dry day!

    They must be kept on a short lead and you must stay with them the whole time.

    Please come prepared to pick up any doggy dos!

     

  • Accessibility and visiting with additional needs?

    The Model Village is built in a steep valley. For people with any mobility difficulties, wheelchair and mobility scooter users, it is important to allow plenty of time and bear in mind there are very steep slopes (gradients up to 1-in-4, 25%) entering and leaving the gardens, and you need to be certain this is manageable for you. It is important to read on for full details, photos and prices...

    Please Click here for FULL details.

  • How long to allow - Can we make it a full day out?

    The Model Village is set in 4 acres of beautiful gardens and much bigger than many first-time visitors anticipate. We recommend you allow at least 2 hours.

    Based on customer feedback the typical visit length is between 1.5 to 2.5 hours, but a significant number of visitors are with us 3 hours and more. 

    Important: As everything is in miniature and there are lots of 'hidden' gems and animated scenes at time intervals, a quick visit will certainly miss a lot. Allow time to take a slower pace and go around twice, you will have a greatly enhanced experience if you do!

    MAKE IT A FULL DAY OUT - The Model Village is set in the beautiful Babbacombe bay area. Within an easy 5 minute walking distance are the Babbacombe Downs with spectacular, not-to-be-missed, views and the cliff railway to the beautiful Oddicombe beach (if it's a hot sunny day, why not spend some time on the beach and visit us!). Also, the famous Babbacombe theatre is at the other end of the downs. There are also a wide variety of pubs and restaurants on the Downs, some suggestions here. There is also the pedestrianised St Marychurch shopping precinct with a range of individual shops, just 3 or 4 min walk the other way.

    Bygones Victorian Street & Museum offers a totally immersive step back in time and is just around the corner.

    All of these attractions/sights can be accessed from the same local authority car park as the Model Village, though there are smaller closer car parks (Princes street off the Downs, St Marychurch car park near Bygones and Chilcote close next to the shopping precinct). If you arrive early you may get free street parking on Higher Downs Road.

    NEW FOR AUTUMN 2022 – If you’re into walking then why not visit the English Riviera between 15th – 22nd October for the brand-new English Riviera Walking Festival. Full details can be found here.  The Model Village is right next to the South West Coast Path.

    NOTE: The above are just suggestions,  check individual sites for details and opening dates.

     

     

  • Who is the Model Village suitable for?

    Our visitor profile is about 55% families with children and 45% adults only.

    Children enjoy the miniature scenes, animation and fun character hunt trails. Adults also enjoy the character hunts, but the gardens and detailed models, representing English life through the last 6 decades, offering a touch of nostalgia and some very English humour, have a special appeal.

  • Do you have a car park?

    The main car park adjacent to the Model Village is a council owned and operated pay and display car park, we have no control over it. The machine nearest our entrance takes coins (we don't carry change), cards or using the 'RingGo' app.  We'd recommend using the App as it operates start/stop so you are not pondering how much time to put in (remember to stop it when you leave).

    Our postcode is TQ1 3LA, however this will lead you to the Hampton Avenue side of the local authority car park which is no entry.  The car park is accessed from St Marychurch Road (A379).  You can follow the brown traffic signs when you get very close.

    A second car park (if the main one is full) is down Chilcote Close, across the main road, just 2 or 3 mins walk.

    Free street parking may be found in Higher Downs road, but this is limited and you would need to arrive early to have any chance.

     

  • What are the quieter/busier days & times?

    Weather - wet days will always be the quietest, on a wet day out of season you will pretty much have the place to yourself.   During the summer, hot sunny days are medium busy and the busiest days tend to be dry cloudier days.

    School holidays - these will always be the busiest periods by far. It tends to be busiest mid-week and usually Fridays are the quietest day, followed by weekends.

    Day of week - outside schools holidays, days are pretty much even across the week, but Friday is nearly always a bit quieter. During school holidays it is always busiest mid-week (Tue to Thu).

    Time of day - Mornings are always significantly busier than afternoons. From about 1.30-2.00pm onwards it does get increasingly queter.  This is a useful tip for school holidays. Keep an eye on latest entry times though.

    Evenings - On Tue, Wed & Thu in August, when we are open later for illuminations, if you are not planning on visiting late for the lights, late afternoon and early evening (between about 4.30-7.00pm) it is usually very quiet. In August this will be the quietest time to visit by far.

  • Can we bring in a picnic?

    You are more than welcome to bring a packed-lunch/small picnic. These can be consumed on the outdoor terrace area with picnic tables.  All we ask is that the picnic table is left clear and clean afterwards. 

    Large carry picnic boxes, with full spreads/layouts, along with BBQs & stoves etc. are not permitted.

    Please bring it in with you when you arrive. 

    They cannot be consumed in the coffee shop. Please be aware that during school holidays at peak times (approx 12-2.30) picnic table availability may be limited and we would suggest an earlier or later lunch.

  • LOCAL RESIDENT DISCOUNT?

    LOCAL RESIDENT - 25% DISCOUNT

    We have a special discount for local residents - Get 25% off admission tickets. It is available any day to anyone permanently living in a TQ, PL or EX postcode.

    How it Works (T&Cs) - You need to ask on arrival and show proof of permanent TQ, EX or PL address (i.e utility bill, driving license etc.), everyone in your group/family will get the discount. Valid against full gate prices.  NOT VALID in conjunction with any other discounts or pre-booking discount.  You can use this discount to purchase gift vouchers on-site.

    IMPORTANT: To avoid confusing the vast majority of our visitors who are not local residents, our admissions staff do not ask customers if they are local - You must ask on arrival for this special discount. This cannot be applied after your visit. 

    Note that we only take card payments on-site - no cash!

  • Do you offer prize tickets for charity events & raffles?

    Every year we get thousands of requests for complimentary and prize tickets to be handed out at local charity events, special occasions and raffles for a variety of local causes. We do our best to help as many as we can and hand out around 2000 tickets every year. 

    Unfortunately, due to the volume, we can't help and support every request we get.

    TO PUT IN A REQUEST:-

    - We can only process requests by email - mail@model-village.co.uk  or letter, we cannot help with requests over the phone.

    - It will need to be a local event and, to allow time for processing, at least 3 or 4 weeks before the event date, to have any chance.

    - Please give the event date and some details about what the tickets will be used for and where any monies raised will be going.

    - We will need a postal address for where to send the tickets if your application is successful

    ONCE YOU HAVE PUT IN A REQUEST:-

    - We cannot reply to requests, or give information on the status of a request.  You will only hear from us if successful (generally within 3 to 4 weeks).

    - Entries, with the correct information as above, are picked at random once a month

    - Please bear with us if you are not successful on this occasion.

  • Do you sell GIFT VOUCHERS?

    We do sell gift vouchers, however these are currently only available for purchase on site.  You don't have to be visiting, you can purchase them at the entrance.

    We sell single visit Adult & Child admission ticket vouchers at the regular full gate price at the time of purchase.  They cannot be purchased using any discount vouchers, except you can use Local Resdient Discount to purchase them

    They are valid for use within 12 months of the date of purchase.