The big joy of small villages
From meta models of models to fantastical landscapes and replicas of much-loved locations, the UK's quaint and quirky miniature villages continue to be a big draw.
The UK is home to more than 30 miniature villages, ranging from hobbyists to full-blown tourist attractions employing professional engineers.
They can be found in weather-beaten coastal resorts, picturesque villages nestled in rolling hills or as complements to major tourist attractions such as Land's End or Blenheim Palace.
Or even just an enthusiast's garden.
Brian Salter, author of Models Towns and Villages, said: "People love going to model villages because we like things in miniatures, we all had toys and there is a nostalgia and old worldliness to them.
"And people like making models because it is a way to build and own something you love when you could never have the real thing."
Generally accepted as the world's first model village, Bekonscot in Beaconsfield opened in August 1929 when Roland Callingham - under instruction from his wife - moved his model railway from his home to a neighbouring garden.
About 160,000 people a year visit the 1930s-styled village, which has around 200 buildings, including a house on fire and operational coal mine.
And one of its hidden gems is a replica of Green Hedges, the home of Enid Blyton who lived next door to the Callinghams.
Brian Newman-Smith, managing director of Bekonscot, said: "What we have here is unique and different, we don't have white knuckle rides, it is quite peaceful and depicts England. People leave their world and worries behind when they enter the gates."
To experience meta on an epically small scale, visit Bourton-on-the-Water's 75-year-old model village.
Found in the back garden of the Old New Inn, the attraction is modelled on the Cotswold village with its streets, shops, River Windrush, houses and churches recreated from the mustard-coloured stone in 1:9 scale.
The River Windrush which flows through Bourton also flows through the model village
Church of St Lawrence×
The Church of St Lawrence's medieval nave and Georgian tower have been recreated in model form along with its interior
The Model Village×
The model village in the grounds of the Old New Inn was completed in 1941 after the landlord and his wife meticulously measured Bourton to ensure their version was accurate
Changing shop fronts×
The only things that change in the village are the shop fronts which are kept up to date with the real retailers' alterations
The model village was granted Grade II Listed status in 2012, much like many of the real buildings the oldest of which was built in the 17th Century
One of the highlights is the model of the model village in the model pub's model garden. And it goes on, with a model in that model, and then a painted model in the model's model's model.
Owner Vicki Atherton said: "People do get really excited about the model in the model, they are quite surprised by it which surprises me because, as it is a model of Bourton, you would expect to see it."
Brian Salter said the challenge facing villages is not a lack of interest but rather their mere maintenance.
Mr Salter said: "Everybody loves these villages but the maintenance of them is like a treadmill, both the buildings need attention and the grounds need to be well kept."
Home to what was the world's smallest working television, Babbacombe in Torquay also has fishing villages, Stonehenge and a fire-breathing dragon.
The attraction opened in 1963 with the models originally made from timber, but the coastal wind and salt took their toll so fibre glass is now used.
It attracts 150,000 visitors a year and general manager Simon Wills said he has noticed a particular interest from Chinese tourists.
He said: "I've been trying to figure out why it is so popular for the last 40 years.
"People are fascinated with things in miniature, perhaps it dates back to their childhood with model trains or doll houses."
Edward Robinson started making models 23 years ago after an ME diagnosis forced him to end his career as a builder.
He and his wife Kathleen have converted a paddock behind their home in Flookburgh near Grange-over-Sands into a display area for his models.
His latest creation is the unusual but eye-catching Bridge House in Ambleside built, like most of his creations, from locally quarried slate.
The model has now been moved to the Honister Slate Mine, but visitors to Lakeland can still see dozens of his creations all modelled on real Lake District buildings, albeit their original states as barns and farms rather than their modern-day conversions.
He said: "I find it therapeutic, it can take three months to make a model but it is time well spent."
Mr Robinson said his models were particularly popular with visitors from India although he cannot explain why.
He said: "They seem to be crazy for them and are really bowled over when they come in, which is nice to see."
Bondville, East Yorkshire
Bondville in Bridlington was created by Geoff and Carol Cooper in 1988, their third model village.
Although it is now owned by Jan Whitehead, Mr Cooper still makes and maintains the models and figures while Mrs Cooper helps with the gardening.
What's unusual about Bondville is its total adherence to the 1:12 scale (plus its picturesque harbour and miniatures of characters from Last of the Summer Wine).
Ms Whitehead said: "Geoff is very strict on the scale and while many other villages have variances we simply don't.
"Geoff will adapt things to make sure they fit properly, vehicles in particular are very difficult to buy in 1:12 scale, especially things like ambulances and fire engines, so Geoff will make them himself.
"The maintenance is a huge task but we are all committed to it. Our buildings are made from concrete with brickwork scribed by hand, it would be much easier to use fibre glass but we don't want to go down that route because then we would lose the realism which is the real charm.
"People say to us it looks exactly like a real village only in miniature, that's what we strive for."