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“Smaller than I thought...”

The Hornby Visitor Centre
Ranked #6 of 54 things to do in Margate
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Hornby Visitor Centre takes you on a fascinating journey through the history of Britain's best loved toys. The Visitor Centre also hosts a well stocked shop and the Just the Ticket Cafe. Pocher Model Exhibition being shown at the Centre, this exhibition features 24 rare and sought after Pocher models including the Fiat F2 130HP Racer. Please note that Spring/Summer 2016 the Visitor Centre will be relocating to its new purpose built premises in Ramsgate Harbour. Look out for facebook posting with regular updates about us.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed August 30, 2013

The museum itself was smaller than I'd imagined (not sure why?) - and I'd say there's a slight chance of getting bored if you're not a model fan... My 5-year old absolutely loved the interactive bits though - particularly the large Scalextric Digital track!

The high point of the visit was the workshop, which was included in the price - where my son got a chance to put together and paint an Airfix model of a car.

Overall, a really nicely spent couple of hours on a rainy day when there was not much else to do.. :) Can't quite picture myself going back in there though - one visit is what it takes.

Thank sezel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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245 - 249 of 328 reviews

Reviewed August 29, 2013 via mobile

We spent about sixty minutes enjoying the exhibits and shop. It would have been good to see more train and car layouts - there was too much in glass cabinets for us. But we enjoyed our visit and would recommend it for everyone. There was an attractive looking cafe but unfortunately we did not have time to test it out.

Thank kz6yx7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We visited this with our four month old son on Saturday 17th August. Although he hasn't specifically said that he wanted to visit and look at train sets, it was obvious to me that he wanted to! :-)

We thoroughly enjoyed the day. You can cover the museum in 30-60 minutes, and you will see a few model railway displays - some historic models, as well as Hornby, Tri-ang, Lima and other foreign makes that Hornby now owns. Also on display was a Scalectrix section, with a working track for the kids, as well as a roomful of amazing Pocher replica cars, and some Airfix models too.

The shop is pretty well stocked, and contains the largest amount of Hornby Skaledale scenery that I've seen in a long while. I ended up buying my son a large Thomas train set - again, it was obvious that he wanted it, as he smiled at me! :-)

We had lunch in the café, which was clean, spacious and reasonably priced. The food was good (we had two jacket potatoes with cheese, which came with a salad), and the coffee is suitably potent for those who might find such a visit a little boring.

There is a baby change and disabled toilet in the Hornby shop.

You pay only for entrance to the museum. The shop and café are free to enter.

Thank sexyjw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

The Hornby Visitors Centre is at last home of the company. The car park at the front of the building goes past the now empty former factory. All that now remains are the offices (if you are lucky, there maybe a window open and you will see new designs being created), warehouse (with Chinese stock) and the Visitors Centre.

The Visitors Centre consists of three parts. A small museum, a shop and café.
The museum provides a very comprehensive display of Hornby products past and present. Remember Hornby owns the Scalextric and Airfix brands. So you will be able to see some working displays.

The shop only sells Hornby items, but strangely it has a very small range of locomotives. For loco's you will probably get a better range at one of their agents.
At the time of my visit the shop was offering 20% discount on Hornby products to Hornby Club members. You cannot join in the shop ?

The café offers a simple, but inexpensive menu.

If you are a Hornby model fanatic, you will go once. You won't need to go again.

The Visitors Centre is near to the Westwood Shopping Centre. Great for blokes with kids whilst the Missus goes and does her important shopping ! (Mans Creche)

Thank TerrythePotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

You dont have to just like trains, there are train sets and scaletrix to have a go on. Wishs there were more things for the children to have a go as it was crowded and they didnt get much of a go. Interesting history for adults. Certain days there are actvities dduring the holidays we missed the right day! Nice cafe reasonable price. Got the bus from Margate, dropped us right outside.

Thank georgiegirl1_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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