Monday, August 20, 2012

Kids' Stuff in UK: Model Railway Village, Southport

Our most recent family trip to the UK included a day out at the Model Railway Village in Southport.  Southport is a 20-minute drive away from the family home in Liverpool.  I'd found out about it after Dear Hubby's cousin posted on Facebook a picture of his son at the Village.  

Check the weather before you go as the place is not open during bad weather.  We met the man who ran the village and he told us that they couldn't open the model village when it was bad weather as the trains would keep slipping off the tracks.  The model village is fully outdoors, there is no shelter anywhere so it wouldn't make sense to keep the place open if there was rain/snow/gales.  Please remember that the usual drizzle you get all year round in the UK doesn't qualify as bad weather.  :))  If in doubt, just ring them up to check.

Here we are!  

 Connor admiring one of the trains.   I fear he's going to grow up and be one of those weird anorak-wearing Englishmen who do trainspotting!  *pipiak self* 

The train station!

Guess who was waiting for a train to arrive?

The train going past the little houses in the village

And yes, there's one that looks just like Thomas!

A model family's little model home

That's the model firemen at work!

The train picks up some cargo at the yards

Connor loved this bit most of all.  There is a working signal light (hidden behind the little cream shed) that fascinated our young man.  The trains passing this line come to a stop when the signal light is red and only blow their whistles and chug off when it turns green.  Just like the real thing!

It looks just like real life England.

Connor was in seventh heaven.  It's not a very big place but I suppose it was enormous to our three year old.  It's really a labour of love, I don't think the man in charge gets any pay from it.  The engines cost quite a bit of money... as a mum of a train-loving boy, I know quite a bit about the cost of toy trains!

The buildings and people all need regular maintenance - painting, repairing of the buildings - and the ground itself needs looking after as well.  The trains need looking after too - oiling, replacement of worn parts.   So I was happy to pay the admission fee that I knew would go towards the maintenance of the place.

The trains don't just look like the real thing, they sound like them too!  They chug and whistle and huff and puff as they run along the tracks.  Big thumbs up to the two-person team behind this.

Here are ticket prices - Adults pay £4, children £3.50 (under 12 months free) and they also offer family and group tickets.  The place itself is stroller-friendly with wide walkways to accomodate strollers.  Walking in Southport is easy too as there are ramps everywhere.  You can get to Southport by Merseyrail or by car.  We drove and parked at the nearby Morrisons which is a short walk away.  Bring a brolly or wear showerproofs as you never know when it's going to pitter-patter and when it does, there is no shelter at the place.

There is a vendor selling ice-creams and snacks at the place so you can get some ice-creams after your visit.  We didn't though.  We walked on down to Lord's Street and stopped for an ice-cream there.

Go on a nice day, take some snacks and relax on the benches as you watch your little ones run after the trains.  We probably spent an hour and a half there.  The man told us their biggest customers were boys aged surprises there!

All in all, an enjoyable day out and we'll definitely come back.   

Click HERE for more information.


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