FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions but feel free to ask your own.

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.

  • Postcode (for SatNav) and Parking?

    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. Follow the brown traffic signs when you get very close.

    We do not have our own car park but adjacent to the Model Village there is a local authority owned pay & display car park that serves the area. You can pay using coins or card.

    We suggest allowing 2-3 hours for parking ( if you have any parking time left you might want to take a 5 minute walk to the Babbacombe Downs - the views are worth it). If necessary, you can pop out to top up during your visit, see a member of staff.

  • How does the FREE RETURN work?

    Our free return visit within 7 days

    How does it work? Before you leave, go into the gift shop and show your admission receipt to get a photo-pass. Everyone returning will need to be in the photo and you will be given a special photopass ticket (your original admission ticket will not enable you to return).

    How to use it? - Everyone in the photo-ticket can return once, for free, within 7 days (for example, if you get it on a Saturday, it is valid until the end of the following Saturday).  Many people use it to visit daytime, then come back during evening opening for illuminations, or the other way around.

    What if we don't get the photo pass?  Sorry, but you will not be able to return for free, you cannot use your original admission ticket. We have to have this rule because admission tickets can be passed around. You have to have a photo so we know it is the same people returning.

    Even if you are unsure you will use it, please avoid disappointment and get the return photo-pass just in case - it is strictly no free return without it.

    What if we lose our photo-pass ticket?  Please keep it safe, the return photo ticket is non-replaceable. We do not take any personal details, this avoids the need to work within GDPR laws and the associated costs of this, and enables us to keep it free of charge. Our staff can only access your photo using the special barcode on the ticket. If you lose it, we will have no records of your return ticket.

  • Are dogs allowed in the Model Village?

    Yes, with some restrictions - 

    Dogs are welcome throughout the gardens, indoor displays and the gift shop -  but are not allowed in the 4D Theatre or the Tearoom

    Our tearoom is relatively small and we do have to take into account the expectations of all of our visitors. We do have a lovely outdoor terrace with great views, but please be aware this is outside and uncovered. Alternatively, if you are looking to combine a full lunch indoors with your visit to us, there are several pubs within a few minutes walk on the beautiful Babbacombe Downs. See 'can we make it a full day out?' for more details.

    They must be kept on a short lead and you must stay with them the whole time, they cannot be left outside the tearoom or 4D cinema. 

    Please come prepared to pick up any doggy dos!

    We are one of only a few attractions that allow dogs and, to ensure that we can continue to do so, please can we politely ask for your cooperation with the above requests.

  • What is the best time for the illuminations?

    The Model Village should be seen in daylight too, either buy using our free return photo-pass to visit twice or by arriving earlier, and doing a walk around, before it gets dark.

    The village is enchanting and magical with the illuminations, but you wont see all the tiny details after dark.  During daylight, you will see the intricate details of the models and scenes set in beautiful gardens and children can enjoy doing a character hunt, following one of our spotter sheets.

    The lights are put on just as dusk starts to set in, and are best viewed just before it is completely dark. The optimum viewing time will of course depend on the time of the year and also the weather, with cloudy evenings getting dark about 30 minutes earlier than clear sunny evenings.  

    For current viewing times see our illuminations page

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

    Every year we now 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 but due to the sheer volume we can only help a very limited number of the requests we receive.

    If you would like put in a request, please bear in mind the following:-

    - 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 very local event, and at least 4 weeks before the event date, to have any chance.

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

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

    - Please give the date of your event.

    Once you have applied:-

    - We cannot reply to requests, you will only hear from us if successful (generally within 4 weeks).

    - Entries are picked at random once a month

    - We are unable to provide information on the status of a request.

    - Please bear with us if you are not successful on this occasion, it's not because we think your event is not worthy, it is purely down to the quantity of requests we receive

  • Can we make it a full day out?

    Based on customer feedback, a visit to the Model Village generally takes between 1.5 to 2.5 hours (Though some visitors are with us longer).

    The Model Village is set in the beautiful Babbacombe bay area. Within an easy 4 to 5 min 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 Babbacombe theatre is at the other end of the downs.

    There is also the St Marychurch shopping precinct with a range of individual shops, just 3 or 4 min walk the other way. Bygones Victorian street & museum is just around the corner.  All of these attractions/sights can be accessed from the same local authority car park as the Model Village.

    EVENING ILLUMINATIONS:

    On evening opening days you can visit day and evening for illuminations. Before you leave, validate your admission receipt in the gift shop to get a photo-pass that enables you to return once, for free, within 7 days (it can be later the same day or another day).

  • How accessible are the gardens and special rates?

    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.

  • Buy tickets & gift tickets online?

    We do not sell tickets online ourselves, these are not necessary and you can purchase your tickets at the gate.

    However advance booking tickets can be purchased through a third party agent - Tripadvisor or Viator (a tripadvisor company).  They sell discounted tickets but you do have to book a date at least 3 days in advance and they are non-refundable. Note: if you are visiting within the next 3 days, you will have to purchase your tickets at the gate.

    Once you have selected a date, the ticket(s) are valid for a single day use any time up to 3 months from your booked date.

    These can be used as gift tickets.

    Check out full details on Tripadvisor

     

  • Any discount for Local Residents?

    LOCAL RESIDENT'S 20% DISCOUNT

    On select days we offer 20% Admission discount, at the gate, for anyone permanently living at a TQ postcode.

    Available all day Fridays,Saturdays & Sundays. Also after 4.30pm Easter to October on Thursday evenings. Everyone in your group will get the discount, so you can bring friends and family.

    T&Cs - Proof of permanent TQ address required (i.e. utility bill or driving license). Valid against full gate prices only. You can also take up the free return within 7 days if you get a return photo-pass.  Not valid in conjunction with any discounts or vouchers. Available all year EXCEPT 21st & 22nd December 2019.

  • 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.

  • Will the weather affect my visit & winter opening?

    Without a doubt the village is mostly outdoors and is best seen in drier weather.

    However, if the weather is inclement we do have some indoor displays - Movie miniatures, 4D cinema, Victorian snowy village scene, our Little Enders soap scene, and a small 6 hole mini golf - all these could pass a bit of time if the weather turns showery. If it is hot and sunny and you want to enjoy the beach too, we are just a short walk from the beautiful Babbacombe Downs and cliff railway to Oddicombe beach.

    SEVERE WEATHER:

    It is extremely rare that we have to close, or change opening hours, due to weather, but if uncertain please phone us on 01803 315 315 (select option 2) or email us, or the fastest way could be to contact us via facebook, before making your journey. Most of the park is outdoors and during very wet/windy or extreme cold/icy conditions some of the animated features may be affected and not function and we may have to adjust opening hours. We will always do our best to keep things running, but as the real-world gets affected by extreme weather then it is fair to assume that our much more delicate miniature world will be affected too.

    Why we open shorter hours in the winter -

    We open shorter hours in the winter partially due to much smaller levels of trade, and the vast majority of our customers visit between 11-3, however weather is also a factor.  Whilst snow or ice is rare in Torquay during the day, ice is quite common earlier in the morning and later in the day.   We are built on a hillside and ensuring the 1km of pathways are clear of ice is important.  Unfortunately, using rock salt is bad for the gardens, also it gets washed into the pond which is not good for the fish, so we try to avoid using it as much as possible.  Opening shorter hours, 10.30-4.00pm (last entry 3pm), means the paths are usually naturally clear by opening and rarely start to ice up by close, and 99% of the time during the winter we do not have to use any treatment on the pathways and we can open as advertised.

     

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