Trains, cars and memories

Living where we do, we are really lucky to have access to some amazing places. Canterbury is 15mins away with its beautiful Cathedral, we have Whitstable and its variety of sea food (my favourite) and we are also close to Thanet, home of the Hornby visitor centre. 

As Lily and I have got a lot of time together now over Christmas, I really want to make the most of it. We’ve been baking a lot, watched movies, colouring in and I thought it was time for a mummy/daughter day out. We’ve actually visited Hornby before and Lily loved it. Her dad and I love it as it full of trains and Scalextric sets, something we both group up playing with and loving and sharing that with Lily is something we both enjoy.

It’s a small place, but it’s really sweet and easy for a day out with an under 5. The problem with some places is the amount of walking between the different activities and most children will be exhausted after half an hour. At Hornby, there is something just around the corner and you can easily get to the toilets in under a minute (always useful!).


As we went in, Lily realised where we were and became so excited! I was really pleased she had remembered it from before. We raced off to the first section and found Thomas the tank engine and his friends. The centre has lots of different tracks laid out and this one had a plastic dome so that your child could pop up and become a part of the scene, perfect photo opportunity!

It’s easy to know where you’re going here, it’s a simple ‘juts keep walking’ and I like that, no maps or thinking required really. Lily and I literally bounced from display to display. It makes you realise how many of these toys you had growing up or what memories they trigger. We did finally get to our favourite (and possibly the best part) the Scaletric room!

One of my best memories is receiving one as a gift. It came with two F1 cars; my beautiful Ferrari and a Mclaren (#TeamFerrari guys). Everyone played with it. I raced against my grandad, my uncle, my mum, dad everyone. I love that Lily and I spent so long in here. She was really enthusiastic about it.


They had two tables set up with one involving making the car yourself our of Lego-type pieces. We went for this, even though I’m not fabulous at it. After 20-25 minutes, we finally built the cops and robbers set and had a race around the track, the car even had a siren! We raced the cars around until the controller became a touch warm.

We wandered around more, looking at the collector train displays, some of the model cars and villages and just generally had a relaxing afternoon together. There is something so special about spending one on one time with your child. I’m really wishing this is one of those afternoons that she always remembers growing up.  Finally, we had a cup of coffee and juice, a small play with the toy out in the cafe and headed home.

Safe to say we both slept well!


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