19. The Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water

The Model Village is a one-ninth-scale replica of the heart of Bourton-on-the-Water, containing all the buildings from the Old Water Mill (now the Motor Museum) to the Old New Inn and the ford. Located in Rissington Road, the Model Village was created by a previous landlord of the Old New Inn.

It took local artisans five years to build and was officially opened on the Coronation Day of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the late Queen Mother) in 1937.

The Model Village also includes a running River Windrush, the stone bridges for which Bourton is famous, and, of course, the model of the Model Village sits behind the Old New Inn.

Both of Bourton’s beautiful churches are reproduced in the Model Village. Standing close to each church, you will hear the choir singing.

As a replica of Bourton, the Model Village is of particular interest to historians and craftspeople. There are no trains, aeroplanes, or gimmicks—it is a perfect replica of the buildings that existed in the 1930s and demonstrates how they are used today, for example, the shops, bank, and Victoria Hall.

Bourton Model Village has always been famous for its miniature bonsai-type trees, which are carefully pruned to keep them to scale, and the village now features a large range of both deciduous and evergreen miniature trees.

The Model Village is particularly interesting to amateur and professional photographers when covered in snow. During recent winters when there has been the occasional large snowfall, although efforts are made to keep it open at all times, if the snowfall is higher than the Model Village’s garden walls, it has to be closed for health & safety reasons until it can be cleared.

On the same site as the Model Village is Miniature World, a unique exhibition of highly detailed miniature scenes and room sets, including several moving miniatures. Over 100 of England’s leading miniaturist craftsmen and women were involved in creating this exhibition.