Visiting with special needs
Factors to take into account for your visit

Access and admission rates

Concessionary admission prices are at the bottom, read on for some essential information below....

GENERAL VISIT INFORMATION

 A visit to the Model Village is self-guided and involves viewing the miniature exhibits from the pathway. The park is 4 acres and the visit typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.  There are a few indoor displays but it is 90% outdoors.

The village is bigger than many first-time visitors anticipate - the path around the gardens is 0.6 mile (1km) - more if including indoor areas. There are seating areas at intervals around the garden. It is essential that you allow plenty of time.

The 4D Theatre is an optional extra experience.  It uses special effects with jolting seats and flashing lights and is not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions SEE HERE for full details.  There is one space available for manual wheelchairs.

IMPORTANT ACCESS CONSIDERATIONS

The Model Village is built in a natural valley very near to the Devon coastline. Whilst this adds to its charm, as a consequence there are steep slopes, entering and leaving the gardens. The slopes are about 50 metres long with gradients up to 1-in-4 (25%).

For Motorised Vehicles/Mobility Scooters –

Due to the steep pathways there could be traction issues and a skidding risk (especially in wet weather), so good tyres and brakes are essential.  You need to be certain that you and your vehicle can handle 1-in-4 gradients on winding pathways - It will certainly need to be a powerful 4-wheel vehicle.

For Manual Wheelchairs –

Access is possible and many visitors do manage it with adequate assistance, but it is difficult and does depend on the strength and ability of the person helping. For your safety, due to the steep slopes it will be essential to have a strong & fit helper wearing sturdy, good-gripping, footwear and vital that the wheelchair is in good working order. Please allow plenty of time

Please bear in mind that our staff members are not available to assist manoeuvring wheelchairs & mobility scooters!

VISITING TIPS

We often get asked what are the quieter times to visit -

During school holidays, it's usually a bit quieter at weekends and also Fridays, with mid week - Tuesdays to Thursdays - being the busiest days.

Outside school holidays it is a lot quieter with the days more even across the week, but Friday is the quietest day. During the winter it is much quieter. 

On any day, the busiest time tends to be in the morning 10.00-2.00pm, so arriving after 2.00pm will generally give you a quieter visit (please take a note of latest entry times, especially in the winter). 

Weather - Rainy days are always the quietest, following by hot sunny days, with dry cloudier days being the busiest.

If visiting on a day when we are open in the evening, late afternoon/early evening, around 4.30-7.00pm (before the lights come on), is usually very quiet and tranquil - even in the summer. See opening times for evening dates.

CAR PARKING

There are two disabled parking bays outside the Model Village entrance. However, this is a local authority owned pay & display car park that serves all amenities in the area, the Model Village has no ownership or control of it.  The council does not offer concessions at this car park.

ASSISTANCE DOGS

Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the park.

(all other dogs are welcome in the park too, except for the 4D cinema and tearoom, as long as they are kept on a lead)

FACILITIES

Refreshments and an accessible toilets are available at the top of the gardens (at the start and end of the visit), so you may wish to consider using these at the start of your visit.

NOT SURE?

See if access if OK for you....

Levels of disability and ability vary greatly from person to person and everyone's situation is different. If you are still unsure, the best thing we can suggest is to come visit and see for yourself.

You can make your own assessment with regards to access from the viewing terrace just inside the park, and you need to be certain that you are comfortable managing the slopes in and out of the gardens. If you find it is not possible for you then anyone in your party, deciding to leave, can request an appropriate refund within 10 minutes of admission.

Please help us to help you! If you have any further questions or concerns, please drop us an email or speak with our admissions staff when you arrive. Bear in mind that everyone's situation is different and we can only offer the best advice if we are made aware of your situation.

For any additional queries please email us - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

REDUCED ADMISSION PRICES

Rates apply to both the disabled person and an accompanying registered carer

(Some form of proof / ID will be required - Disability living allowance letter, Blue badge, PIP payment documentation)

2019 Season: Adult £8.95, Senior £7.95, Child £6.95

EXCEPT, For manual wheelchair users and required helper:-

Due to the difficulty of access for manual wheelchairs on the steep slopes, a little more discount is available - Admission is half price (50%) of the current full Adult/Senior/Child rates (see opening & prices).  Applies to both the wheelchair user and one helper pushing.

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