The Kent Website since 1999
Welcome to our Hornby Visitor Centre page, it's one of the most popular attractions in Thanet and it's popularity seems to be growing all the time. If you've visited the Centre or have feedback about Thanet's tourist attractions in general let us know, we welcome your comments. Our contact details are at the bottom of the page. For more places to visit in and around the area check out our Discover Kent page.
Hornby Railways is an iconic British brand of model railway, first produced in the 1920s by Frank Hornby. Hornby started his toy dynasty by patenting the Meccano construction system in 1901. By 1938 the train product range had developed into the '00' gauge series. The Hornby group was taken over by Triang in the mid 1960's, but the Hornby brand eventually became independent in the 1980s.
The Margate visitor centre features rare and unusual products from; Hornby, Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi. The centre piece of the attraction is without doubt the range of Hornby model trains, from the first sheet metal toys through the ‘00’ gauge and including many of the the technical innovation brought to the range over the years. There are spectacular model railway setups, and some example of Hornby on film.
Visitors of a certain age may be eager to see the history of the 'slot' car system Scalextric, there's also an opportunity to test yourself on the Scalextric Digital circuit and to see the spiral layout featured in 'Toy Stories’.
The exhibition also encompasses the history of Airfix and Corgi, reviewing the development of the products and unmasking some of the technology behind their manufacture.
You may not know that Hornby had international products, reflecting the tastes of its overseas customers, these included trains made for European manufacturers like: Jouef, Lima, Arnold, Rivarossi and Electrotren.
If you'd like to arrange for a group to visit call 01843 233524. The centre has a well stocked shop where you can browse the latest releases.
There are regular 'make and paint' days where visitors can put together their own Airfix models, there is no extra charge for these events. There is a cafe on site and it is possible to hire the venue for events like birthday parties.
You'll find this attraction on the A254 Ramsgate Road between the Westwood Cross Shopping Centre and Margate.
Our content is checked regularly but if you find information or links in need of alteration please let us know. This page is under constant improvement. We welcome feedback, If you'd like to recommend an attraction not included in our Discover Kent index drop us a line with 'Discover Kent' in the email title.
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Something for everyone
Kent is as beautiful as it is diverse, within its boundaries there exists a rich range of things to do and places to see. Outstanding natural beauty, a rich history, sites of world wide cultural and religious importance, sensational beaches, ancient woodlands, the list is endless. The point being; if you are looking for a day out Kent can offer something to suit every pocket and taste.
Disclaimer & feedback
This feature has been checked and edited but if you feel there is an error or omission let us know. In common with all our pages, this is a feature under development, changes will occur from time to time. We take care over our content but we're happy to correct errors, please see our disclaimer. If you wish to suggest somewhere worth visiting in Kent please let us know.
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This is a website formed, produced and published in Kent. By endorsing any one of the features in this section you will draw the attention of our audience to somewhere well worth a visit. In this way you can play a part in promoting the best Kent has to offer. We welcome feedback on all local tourism issues not just those connected to places to visit.