Blackpool Model Village & Gardens, Blackpool
Blackpool is usually associated with gaudy delights such as the Pleasure Beach and Golden Mile, but away from the coast on the edge of Stanley Park lives a quieter attraction – Blackpool Model Village & Gardens. It’s hard to explain the joy that comes from seeing real things on a smaller scale, but if that’s your bag, head down here quickly. Established in the late 1960s or early 1970s (the owner was a little hazy about actual dates) by a local landscape gardener, the village is set in two and a half acres of park and is unique because of the beautiful (real size) flowers and shrubs that surround the more miniature exhibits.
And it’s all here – the village church with a wedding party outside, the local tea room, a caravan park, a fun fair and cricket match on the village green as well as plenty of things that let’s face it, few villages have – a huge prison, an airstrip and an enormous Scottish castle complete with Scots guards and piped bagpipe music.
As you enter the village you are given an instruction sheet that directs you along the labyrinthine paths with I-Spy style questions to keep the younger members of the party paying attention to detail. And the more you pay attention the more you get as there are little jokes throughout. Eagle-eyed visitors may spot that the proprietors of the garage are Messrs Hugh Crashum and W.E. Mendum. And although it’s a model village it’s not all perfect with an escapee making his way out of the prison, and oh no! a punch-up at the local caff.