On a whim, yesterday we decided to visit one of the BBC website’s 20 hidden tourist attractions, namely Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield. It turned out to be only about a 40 minute drive away, parking was free, and the entry price was pretty reasonable.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and thought it might be more of a kids’ attraction. It certainly is a great place to take kids, from the whoops of delight that we were hearing from the youngsters, but it also has an amazing amount for adults to enjoy.
Bekonscot was the world’s first model village, and it dates from the late 1920s. It actually comprises 6 separate towns / villages, each with its own character. The place is frozen in the 1930s, so there are no modern touches here. Locomotives and steam trains run around a miniature railway that links the 6 villages; there are huge lakes, boats, working cable cars; a burning cottage that smokes and has fireman squirt water on it periodically; a coal village which has a moving conveyor belt… all kinds of marvellous tiny details. The shops and businesses are particularly fun, since most of them have names which are puns on the business in question: the woodcutter is called Ivan Acks, the solicitors are Argue and Twist, and the tutor at the golf club is I. Hackett 🙂
Although I don’t have a macro lens, I was able to get some splendid shots using Canon EOS 50mm f/1.8 and 28mm f/2.8 lenses. I managed to fill a 1Gb memory card, only to find that I didn’t have another one with me! I’ll be uploading a selection of the ~120 shots slowly over the next few days as time allows.
Check out the Flickr set for more, and make sure that you view the images at full (original) size to get an appreciation of the detail that has gone into creating the place.
Incidentally, for real close-up views of the residents of Bekonscot, there’s a fantastic little book of photographs by Liam Bailey called Forever England, that gets right down to ground level.
To learn more, look at the official website, or see what these other bloggers had to say about it:
- Review of Forever England
- More on Forever England and Bekonscot
- Bekonscot Model Village, what a fab place!
… and I’d also encourage you to visit 🙂