Top 5 Model Villages Of All Time

We take a look at some of the biggest model villages ever made

We will soon be approaching the Christmas period where we will see enthusiasts readily preparing their Christmas model villages. In anticipation of the tradition, we take some time to look at some of the most popular model villages from around the world, which will hopefully inspire those Christmas model villages to become even more grand projects this year.

Model villages have been popular tourist attractions since they were first conceived. Visitors love to look at the intricate detail in the buildings which often replicate actual places around the world and children have always enjoyed playing at being a giant by walking through the tiny streets and roads created with painstaking detail.

There are many model villages around the world, but there are some which are feats of engineering and patience which stand head and shoulders (to scale obviously) above all the others.

Babbacombe, Devon, UK

To give yourself time to visit all parts of Babbacombe, you’ll need at least 3-4 hours as it is an incredibly large site to walk around!

What makes Babbacombe really stand out is the attention to detail and the real-life elements which you can see in various parts of the village; there are smoking chimneys on the houses, a wind farm, a fire-breathing dragon complete with special effects, and even a replica car accident for the mini-emergency services to deal with. You’ll see miniature families such as those made by Lemax and really get a sense of being part of a real community.

The village holds lots of secrets to be discovered by those who wander around and a tip is to read all the miniature road signs and shop names to share the humor of those who created this 4-acre wonder.

Bekonscot, Buckinghamshire, UK

For any model village enthusiast, Bekonscot is the location to start any replica village pilgrimage. It’s the oldest in the world and has had over 14 million visitors since it opened in the 1930s.

The site stretches over 2 acres and includes complete towns built in different architectural styles which have been added over time to reflect current construction fashions. There are many parts of the village that date back to when it first opened. Recent additions include moving models which include walking horses at a cider center and a lady cleaning a window.

Tiny Town, Colorado, USA

Tiny Town is close on the heels of Bekonscot with regards to age as it is the oldest model village in America with over 100 buildings and a fully operational model railway.

The project started when a father made a village for his daughter in the 1920s and nearby neighbors came to visit. It was called Turnerville but was destroyed by fire. One rebuild later and the addition of a train in 1939 and Tiny Town was born.

Legoland Windsor, Berkshire, UK

Legoland Windsor changed the idea of a model village forever. Instead of buildings made from natural materials or concrete, Legoland uses the childhood favorite building bricks to create towns and cities using 40 million colored plastic bricks. The interactive system is run on 14 computers and there is 300km of underground cabling operating cars, boats, trains, and bridges.

Image Courtesy of The Guardian

Tobu World Square, Tochigi, Japan

Tobu World Square not only holds over 100 buildings – some of which are replicas of UNESCO World Heritage sites but there are 140,000 miniature people there themselves taking in the 1:25 scale models.

History was made on  24 April 2010 at the unveiling of the tallest miniature village model. The scaled-down version of the Tokyo Skytree is 26 meters tall, even at 1:25 scale, and pushed the 19.95-meter replica World Trade Centre – also on-site – into second place.

Model villages are modern wonders of the world and stand to show the history of the community, building styles and are ingenious innovators of engineering and technology in how the interactivity of the buildings and features are now coming to life. This is just a selection of the amazing model villages worldwide. This winter we will be excited to take a look at more Christmas model villages and see which of those compare to these mentioned in the article.