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Bygones, Torquay: Christmas with Oliver Twist!

Fed up of the consumerism of modern Christmas? Step back to Victorian times at Bygones, Torquay to discover a completely different way of Yuletide living.
Anyone who takes the time to sit down and watch some television at this time of the year will no doubt agree that they seem to be bombarded during every commercial break with adverts showing them how they can part with their hard earned cash. If young children are present, well, let’s hope that you have got deep pockets!

A winter wonderland

In these days of spend, spend spend it can be something of an eye opener to wander back in time and sample what life used to be like in Victorian times, especially at Christmas so with that in mind there is an absolute gem of a place tucked away in South Devon which is the perfect place to visit at any time of the year, but on the run up to Christmas it can only be described as wonderful.

‘ can be found in the St Marychurch area of Torquay, just a few hundred yards from Babbacombe and just before you reach the bustling shopping precinct. From the outside you could be forgiven that Bygones was some kind of shop as it is all very unassuming but as you walk through the door and into the heart of the building the sight that greets you will leave you astounded and feeling a little overwhelmed as it really is just like stepping back in time.

Lots to do

There are several attractions within Bygones with perhaps the most prominent being the life size Victorian Street. The attention to detail has gone well beyond anything that you may have seen before and from the 1st December every year the whole place is turned into a winter wonderland with the street covered with snow and people dressed up as Victorians going about their business in readiness for the Yuletide period.

It is highly recommended that you take advantage of the tours of the street which are available as opposed to just walking around by yourself. The tour guides are able to offer a wealth of information, not just about the street but also about family life in general during this period and the various traditions that the average Victorian family would be getting up to over Christmas.

A gritty reminder

Whilst in Bygones it is a imperative that you find time to visit the World War 1 trench. Not really a Christmas theme but I challenge anyone not to be moved by what they see. The attention to detail is just as brilliant as the street, and you may find that you enjoy Christmas just that little bit more this year when you see the kind of conditions that those brave men and women had to cope with during the First World War.

Bygones is open every day of the year except Christmas Day and the winter wonderland in the Victorian Street starts from 1st December. It all offers excellent value for money and it is easy to spend a few hours in there and to become completely absorbed in what life was like all of those years ago.

Are you aware of anything which is similar to Bygones, a place which has gone to extraordinary lengths to show what life was really like in times gone by?

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