Saturday, 7 September 2019

Family Day Out at Blackpool Model Village, Lancashire

Hmm, I think this is going to be my first negative post about a trip. 

Don't get me wrong the model village was nice enough, the models were sweet and it was a pleasant place to walk around.  

I was expecting the models to be a bit more accurate and informative.  Such as models of iconic buildings in the area along with information about them, like a micro tour of the area.  Or a mini trip through the history of the area or the country in general.  But the models appeared to be quite random with no information about them at all, not even how old they are or who built them and why.  

The vehicles were entirely toys as were most of the props.  I appreciate it takes a huge amount of skill to build these accurately and it may be necessary to cut some corners but in my opinion they cut a few too many.

The plants were really badly chosen too, either that or they haven't been as well maintained as needed.  The scale of the plants was totally off and it ruined the effect.

They did a little quiz in the way of a guided tour.  Some of the questions were clearly about parts of the models that weren't there any more.   Or maybe they intended to test their visitors general knowledge.  

For younger visitors there was a gnome hunt.  12 little gnomes to find hidden in and around the models.  Little Miss really enjoyed this.  They were the perfect mix of obvious and tricky.  

My main bug bear with this place was the price.  We got a discount voucher from the tourist information centre but it still cost £18 for our family of 4.  Full price was £23.  Had it been a few pounds a person my expectations would have been lower and I wouldn't have been disappointed.  Parking was an extra £2.50 which really bugged me on top of the high entry fee.  We took a picnic and stretched the visit out to about 2 hours but even Little Miss was bored.  We had planned to spend the whole day here.  Thankfully there was a park next door with a large playground and a cafe which rounded our day off nicely.  

I feel really bad criticising the Blackpool Model Village.  It's a family owned business not a big company and I know from personal experience how tough that can be.  I have no doubt that the family work their butts off to make the village the best it can be.  

I felt the place needed more investment but more importantly more skill and enthusiasm.  Perhaps sponsorship from local businesses to have their buildings modelled.   Some places like this have volunteer groups who help maintain the site and exhibits.  The model village has been there for decades and should be a real asset to the area.  

The Blackpool Model Village could and should be a wonderful day out for a young family or pensioners.  I really hope they are able to turn it around and find a way to make the models more interesting and upgrade the facilities whilst bringing the price down to something more realistic.  I do understand that this is incredibly difficult to achieve.  Even more so when the business has been handed down through the generations along with problems and a lack of innovation.  

It's such a shame to say that we won't be coming back.  The tickets are available as part of the Blackpool Resort Pass perhaps that brings the cost down enough to make it worth a visit.  But I'm afraid I can't recommend it at the current price.

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