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“Fantastic family visit”

The Hornby Visitor Centre
Ranked #6 of 53 things to do in Margate
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic family visit”
Reviewed February 24, 2014

This is a great place to take the kids if you like Hornby trains, scalextrix, meccano, corgi or any of the other brands that now come under the Hornby banner. There's a lot to see and a few interactive exhibits including some model railway and a scalextrix set. There's a nice shop with plenty to buy including some sale items that were excelllent value when we went.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank davebbwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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310 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Margate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“underestimated.....A gem for Thanet”
Reviewed February 21, 2014

Attended a make and paint day with my 2 and a half year old son, a less enthusiastic greeting from a young member of staff set the alarm bells ring and I though 'here we go'! I assumed we were going to go straight through to the work shop, however the young lady said ' do you want to look around first? I assumed the shop and she went onto clarify that she meant the visitor centre which I completely forgot about.
So we was handed a ticket for the make and paint and pointed to visitor centre entrance, WOW! Talk about trip back down memory lane, there were trains, Die cast cars, Model areoplans, Model Diaramas, working trains sets and of course every boys favourite....scalalectrix!
My son absolutley melted when he saw the full size 'Thomas' train set, which could be controlled, with simple stop start and sounder- he loved it! there was also a scalectrix room with 1 full size track to race and a smaller one, again this was a winner with my son as was many of the other children. When we went to go into the make and paint we were told there would be a short waiting list (It was half term) but was assured would'nt be long. We went for a quick drink and snack on the onsite cafe, which was spacious, clean and reasonably priced. The make and paint was very good. Kids are offered a choice of models, from soldiers and small animals for younger kids to full airfix aeroplanes. Once built, painted they can be taken home free of charge. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the visit and will definetley be going back with my son.

Visited February 2014
Thank Luke B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“worth a visit”
Reviewed February 21, 2014

My 3 year old is a transport fanatic so this museum was perfect for him. There are quite a number of large and small model train displays set out inventively with push buttons, my son was in heaven! There are also two large scalextric tracks with cars, and again this is just great for kids. The rest of the museum has loads of displays of all their toys from their brands corgi, hornby, scalextric, etc and other things such as Thomas the Tank Engine. We spent a couple of hours here and could easily have spent longer (my son loved it that much.) The only downside was the cafe, which has a very poor selection of food (they are really missing a trick.) The shop was large and well stocked. I really recommend a visit to anyone with kids that love trains, cars etc etc etc and it the ticket price seemed very reasonable.

Visited February 2014
Thank c e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Dont bother!”
Reviewed February 20, 2014

Went today with a 1,5&8yr old. Arrived in the sauna of a shop n baby screaming straight away.

Staff looked bored n uninterested so nice welcome!
dont expect to be directed to the entrance or activity area.

The display well It's tiny and utterly boring for kids and adults, one train set and scalextric to play with. All set around a maze of tiny glass displays which took about 10 minutes to walk round n round twice!
Nice to see Thomas an Wallace n gromit and the big car display was good.
There's no flow an its all mish mash and u have no idea what your looking at really!
Bored we searched our way to the activity room which STUNK of paint glue and whatever else which was nice to breath in for my 1 year old!
Not greeted jus met with a grumpy looking girl!
Horses and cars are cheap n nasty cracker type kids seemed to like it tho.
Play area at back of room was alright could be better for age ranges.
All plug sockets weren't covered which being a child environment u expect.
RUDE staff member (boy)came over and nearly wacked my kid with a chair pushin past her!!!!


I will never go back save ur money and go somewhere else's
an if management read these reviews sort it out or ul lose custom forever!

Wat a great day!

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Kaitchyheu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2014

i cannot speak highly enough of what they have done here, it is great to see the old buildings in good use! a really fun trip round with loads to do and see, a beautiful lil cafe and a fab gift shop!

Visited December 2013
Thank Josh_Woodcock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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