For mini trainspotters Bekonscot is great! However when we visited a couple of months ago after it first reopened I felt on reflection that it was far too busy and the narrow paths made it very difficult to social distance. So we’ve kept away since then but as there was a break in the awful weather this afternoon we decided to give it another go and it was so much better.
What is Bekonscot
It’s the world’s oldest original model village and first opened in 1929. Running around the village is a large model railway which winds round, stops at stations, goes under bridges and through tunnels. This is without doubt the main attraction for my little one who’s 2 and completely train mad! Whilst I don’t find model villages particularly exciting myself, I absolutely love seeing how excited she gets by it all.
Coming in at a close second favourite at Bekonscot is the ride on miniature railway. This costs an extra £1.50pp (under 2’s free) and takes you on a short journey around gardens and a pond to the side of the model village.
On our first post lock down visit to Bekonscot it was very busy and at points very hard to social distance. They have limited numbers and put a one way system in place but there’s nothing you can do to get round the fact that it’s full of narrow paths. Since this visit I’ve learned a few tips to avoid the crowds.
- Book last minute – when you book it tells you how many tickets are left in the session. Today there were still 79 tickets available for our session so I knew it wouldn’t be too busy.
- Don’t arrive at the start of your booking window – there’s a one way system and everyone starts in the same place. If you arrive later in your 30 minute slot then you’ll be more likely to have some space.
- Book the last slot of the day – this slot allows entry from 3.30-4pm, so we arrived at 3.55pm and had until 5.30pm to explore the village. The benefit of this slot is that you have no more people arriving after you.
Today our visit was so much better. It was quiet, we didn’t have many people behind us so there was no one trying to squeeze past and we could stay as long as we wanted at each point without feeling pressure to keep moving.
Food and Drink
There’s a cafe that serves hot snacks, sandwiches, paninis, cakes, etc. and there’s a meal deal option available for children. They also have an ice cream kiosk that serves amazing ice cream! For more information on the food and a sample menu visit their website.
They are not currently permitting you to take your own picnics.
Unfortunately the playground is still closed. This is such a shame as it’s a great little playground.
They also remote controlled boats and pirate blast water cannons but these are also closed. On their website it says the decision to keep all of the play areas closed will be reviewed again in September, so fingers crossed these will reopen soon.
Best bits: The model railway is our highlight! She gets so excited seeing the trains racing round the tracks.
Worst bits: The narrow paths. It’s very hard to social distance if it’s busy.
Cost: Adults £12.50, Child (aged 2-15) £8, Under 2’s free. They also offer discounted family tickets for £36 (2 adults and 2 children) and £25.60 (1 adult and 2 children). These are the ticket prices with Gift Aid, it’s slightly cheaper without.
Tickets: They ask for tickets to be purchased in advance. However if there is availability you can pay on the door (we did today).
Pram friendly: Yes. I never both with ours as she’s too busy running round exploring.
Bike & scooter friendly: No
Social Distancing: See section above. It is tricky when busy.
Location & parking: Warwick Road, Beaconsfield. Free parking is available at St Teresa’s Church, which is opposite the entrance.
Sat nav: HP9 2PL
Baby in Bucks Top Tips
Follow our tips on how to book quieter sessions. You’ll have a much better time if it’s not busy.