I remember driving past the model train village when Jon and I were newly married. I wanted to stop the car but Jon, a local from Bandon, wasn’t interested in model villages featuring his hometown. So, we drove on to another destination during a lazy day driving around Ireland. Fast forward 9 years and the birth of two boys, we made sure we paid a visit to this adorable miniature village depicting the railway in West Cork during the 1940s.
The Model Railway Village in Clonakilty is the perfect start to exploring West Cork with children. This charming village is a fully scaled model of West Cork towns built in response to the creation of the railway lines between the 1930s and 1950s. The working model trains meander through the model villages of Clonakilty, Kinsale, Dunmanway and Bandon. The boys looked like giants among the miniature towns and enjoyed chasing the working model trains as they chugged along tiny villages with miniature townspeople and stations. We visited in August 2012 when the hydrangea were in full bloom and flowers were bursting from their containers. We were bundled up, as you can see in the photos, even in August. Fortunately, my lovely sisters-in-law saved clothes for the boys to wear during our visit since we don’t own very much cold weather attire. This is one perk when traveling to a visit extended family and we purposefully packed light knowing the boys had a full wardrobe waiting for them in Ireland. This saved us a lot of money in baggage fees and also helped lighten the load. It turned out to be a sweet way to bond with our family in Ireland. The boys were wearing their bigger cousin’s clothes and brought back memories of how much they have grown.
You don’t need to be traveling with children to enjoy this charming place, so do yourself a favor and carve out sometime to enjoy the Model Railway Village if you are lucky enough to be in Clonakilty!