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Winter Wonderland at the Babbacombe Model Village

Visit Babbacombe's Model Village during the Christmas period & you’ll think you have stumbled into a community in the middle of their Christmas celebrations.
Babbacombe Model Village is a great place to revisit your childhood. When it is decked out as a Christmas Winter Wonderland from the second Saturday in December until early January, it is something extra special.

Babbacombe Model Village Winter Wonderland

Like many attractions in the area, Babbacombe Model Village has been around for years, but instead of falling by the wayside and being a sad reflection of times gone by, it just goes from strength to strength. Located just outside Torquay in South Devon, the Winter Wonderland Snow Spectacular is not only unique but also a great deal of winter fun.

Babbacombe is only a 5 minute drive from and the Model Village can be found just along from Babbacombe Downs which is basically the sea front. At this time of the year Babbacombe is obviously very quiet but on entering the model village it really does feel like you are entering another world completely.

To give you an idea of how big the model village is, it runs to around 4 acres and contains over 13,000 miniature people and some beautiful landscaped gardens.

During the Winter Wonderland in December, is lit up with illuminations. The Christmas music makes it a lovely experience, and not just for the children. An hour spent walking around the village will probably be enough to take everything in, but a family with younger children will probably want to stay for longer as there are also a variety of other Christmas activities going on which will keep them amused.

Magical snow effect at Babbacombe’s Winter Wonderland

The realistic snow effects and thousands of twinkling miniature fairy lights really create a stunning Christmas atmosphere. The best time to visit is definitely late afternoon to get the best effect of the delightful coloured lights.

Picture postcard thatched cottages are dusted in pristine white snow and there are even mini snowdrifts recreated on the tiny streets. From time to time during the day real snow flurries are recreated in the air to make your visit even more magical.

As well as mini characters on skis and toboggans dotted throughout the Model Village, the Winter Wonderland event actually provides skiing and tobogganing for youngsters as part of the fun.

Admission to Winter Wonderland includes a pantomime and tobogganing

Another feature of the event is to hunt for Christmas characters snowed in around the village. Little ones will love looking for mini people half-buried in snowdrifts. Another family favourite is the 10-minute Christmas pantomime. There are shows in the afternoons on weekends and Christmas Eve.

Of course Santa takes up residence in his own Winter Wonderland on certain dates and children up to the age of 10 can pay him a visit, afternoons only. I guess he has other things to do in the mornings! The 4D virtual Sleigh Ride is a fun film about riding on Santa’s Sleigh with some very realistic bumps and special effects.

Apart from the visit to Santa, all the activities are included in the admission price, making it great value for money.

You may want to finish off your visit with refreshments at just a short drive from the Model Village down Oddicombe Beach Hill. It is within walking distance from the Babbacombe Model Village, but the walk back up is steep, so be warned!

Completely refurbished by entrepreneur, Peter de Savary, this gastropub is one classy place but families are very welcome. Known as The Inn on the Beach, the bar is the perfect place to warm up by the roaring log fire and rest your weary legs after walking around the model village.

Do you know of any other attraction which transforms into something quite wonderful over the Christmas period? If so please don’t keep it a secret, why not share it with us.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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