Explore the Adventure: Merrivale Model Village

Great Yarmouth is a popular holiday destination on the Norfolk coast. There's a real buzz about the Victorian pier and the lively promenades. There is plenty to do with the family in this seaside town, from the beautiful sandy shores, ice cream parlours and incredible attractions to discovering the local heritage and taking action-packed adventures. You won't be short of things to do in Great Yarmouth.

We have partnered up with Visit Great Yarmouth this summer as a Great Yarmouth Ambassador to go and explore all the fun and exciting placed to explore. It is going to be an amazing summer. Its so important for families to go and explore as much as they possibly can, and the seaside is the perfect place to explore the adventure. Visit Great Yarmouth really want to encourage friends and family to enjoy time with loved ones by this incredible seaside town. There is some much to explore and discover that will be great for those whole family, even if you have a young family or your trying to find ways to distract your tweens and teens.

We have always loved Great Yarmouth and we made it a habit to make a couple of trips a year to spend some time together as a family in this seaside town. This weekend we continued our adventures along the sea front and visited the Merrivale Model Village. In case you've never visited Merrivale Model Village, there's nothing quite like it. Its a remarkable miniature model attraction that is full of life that's suitable for everyone, including young children.

Merrivale is not just another model village – it's just like a typical English countryside but in miniature. It has it’s own busy town centre, school, church as well as its perfectly kept village inn, rocket, air ship, stadium, travel lodge, castle and an abundance of cute cottages. You will see different types of models set against an attractive scenic background. You may even spot an original BANSKY art display inside the Merrivale Model Village too.

We were welcomed by a friendly member of staff as we entered the attraction who asked us to get in position for some crazy snaps of our miniature adventure. After our visit, we were able to purchase our photos in the gift shop, choosing from a range of different setups.

Our first stop at Merrivale Model Village was the Royal Exhibition that was under shelter. As you go through, you will see a life-sized model of a beefeater, which makes a great photo opportunity. The royal replicas on display inside were a fun way for visitors to learn more about the history of the British monarchy. One of the best features of this exhibition was the spectacular model of Buckingham Palace with cars, soldiers, and corgis.

When you exit the exhibit, you will see a model village trail on your left and a mini golf course on your right. Whenever we go to the seaside, we always play mini golf, so we grabbed a club and ball and made our way around the course. Can you guess who won?

It was time to begin the model village trail, and we couldn't wait to get started. The view from the golf course was amazing, so we knew we would have a great afternoon exploring. There were lots of buttons to press as we made our way around the attraction. The train, rocket and fairground were a really big hit with our daughter and she really enjoyed pressing all the different buttons to make them move.

The Famous Railway Garden that has been running in the garden for the best part of 40 years was definitely something to remember. Merrivale Model Village boasts approximately 350 metres of track running throughout the garden. There are 28 different types and styles of locomotive, tram, novelty vehicle and associated rolling stock with carriages, ensuring a wonderful range of train-spotting opportunities for visitors who never know which section might be running from one day to the next.

As you make your way around you will come to a sensory garden that is filled with colourful flowers and plants complete with a stunning water feature display. It is nice to sit on the bench and take a moment to enjoy all the wonders around you. While wandering around the model village, we spotted a beautiful, brightly coloured pond in the centre filled with fish of all colours. We were able to purchase food for a small fee from the automatic fish feeder. It was fun feeding the fish and watching them come to the surface with their mouths open.

Merrivale Model Village had a wide variety of wonderful displays. All the models that depicted attractions and locations in Great Yarmouth like the big wheel, caravan parks, and fairground were a lot of fun to spot. There are many amazing displays, but our favourites included the trains, the MASA Rocket, a stunning church that showed a different story on each side, a huge castle, and the BANKSY art hidden in one of the displays.

Williamson’s Old Penny Arcade

As you leave Merrivale Model Village, you'll walk through an old-fashioned penny arcade which was a fantastic end to our trip. The Williamson's End of the Pier old penny arcade has an extensive collection of vintage amusement machines that will take you back to the good old days. For a real authentic experience, visitors could change £1 into 12 old fashioned pennies.

Some of the amusements included Grand Nationals, Fortune Tellers, One Arm Bandits, Wheels of Fortune, Strength Testers, Working Models, and Allwins. It was really fascinating to see the working models. Many of them surprised me, such as the Jack the Ripper exhibit, which showed miniatures of the White Chapel.

We had the best afternoon at the Merrivale Model Village. There were many fascinating displays to discover with lots of surprises along the way. Our favourites included the trains, the MASA Rocket, the stunning church that showed a different story on each side, and the BANKSY art hidden in one of the displays. There was an incredible amount of work and detail put into the models. We noticed that newer displays were being set up and will undoubtedly be just as amazing. 

However, finding an old penny arcade at the end was an great surprise. We enjoyed testing using old pennies to our strength and skills on these vintage machines. It was great watching my daughter have the best time with the One Arm Bandits where she gave me and her dad a good run for our money. If you like model village to want to slower the pace on you seaside adventure, then Merrivale Model Village is a great place to explore with your family.

**We have been kindly gifted our tickets from Visit Great Yarmouth as part of the ambassador program but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**