Since moving to South Devon, we’ve tried to get out as much as we can and explore our new local area. South Devon is full of pretty coastline, quaint market towns and stunning countryside walks but I’ve never really visited these areas! I’ve always lived in East Devon. I grew up in a little village just outside of Exeter and then moved into the city itself when I returned from university. I know East Devon like the back of my hand and now it’s time to discover all that South Devon has to offer. I’m hoping to start sharing all these places plus photos on my blog. So, I’ll start with the beautiful area of Babbacombe.
A district of Torquay, Babbacombe is most notable for its amazing model village, its cliff top green and Oddicombe Beach that can be accessed by the cliff railway. I remember visiting Babbacombe Model village as a child and absolutely loving it! Ollie’s never been so we thought we’d start with a trip to this unique family attraction.
There’s a car park right outside the model village but beware as it’s council owned so it is pay and display. Tickets to the village itself are £11.95 per adult, £9.95 per child and £10.95 for seniors. We found it a little pricey however, your ticket does allow you to return for free within 7 days. This is definitely worth it if you’d like to come back and see the village all lit up at night!
Walking in, we immediately went to the viewing veranda that gives you an amazing view of the whole village. You feel like a giant looking down on these intricate models and tiny people. First opening in 1963, the village has continued to expand and the creators are always adding new scenes to it. I think this is great as it keeps people coming back again and again. There are so many new scenes since I visited as a child like the Paignton Zoo scene and the Great British Bake Off complete with model versions of Prue, Paul, Sandy and Noel!
What I loved about the model village is that it really is an attraction for all ages. I thought Ollie and I would be the oldest ones there but actually, there were plenty of older people strolling around and enjoying the displays. You also don’t feel like you need to rush around the village. Each scene is carefully thought out with so many hidden jokes and puns that you need to spend a good few minutes at each scene just to appreciate everything!
One of my favourite scenes was Paignton Zoo. Added in 2015, the model village teamed up with the Devon zoo to bring to life a miniature version of this top family attraction. Being a fan of Paignton Zoo myself, it was fun to spot all the landmarks of the zoo including the famous Baboon Rock and the giraffe house. I also loved the beach scene, which was complete with real koi in the “sea” and a nudist beach!
I loved re-visiting the model village. I came over all nostalgic and it was lovely going back there and showing Ollie. Enjoying the last little bit of sunshine before it was hidden by the clouds, we indulged in an ice cream before we left to explore the rest of Babbacombe.
The cliff railway is a five-minute walk down the road and will take you down to Oddicombe Beach. Alternatively, you can walk down the hill which is what we did but be careful, it’s quite steep. The shingle beach itself isn’t anything too special but it’s a nice place to sit and stare out to sea and there’s a café and gift shop down there which you can explore.
When you’re ready to head back up to the top, I would 100% recommend taking the cliff railway. We decided to walk so that we could get a good bit of exercise in but oh no, big mistake. I think it would have been ok if we stuck to the road but Ollie decided to take a shortcut through the trees and we ended up pretty much scaling the cliff face! So there’s a good tip for you to save you from muddy hands and knees!
Babbacombe is definitely worth a visit, particularly for the model village. Try and visit on a sunny day as the sea views from the cliff top green are beautiful.
Look out for further blogs like this as we gradually start to explore South Devon!