Nanny Pat’s days out: Lappa Valley

Small boy dressed as an engine driver on a train at Lappa Valley.

Lappa Valley has been one our favourite days out over the years and it just gets better…

This attraction has a magic about it that never disappoints. It is based around the old railway lines which originally served Treffry’s horse-drawn line which ferried ore in from the East Wheal Rose mine to Newquay for shipping. The mine’s engine house stands at the centre of the site and is a remarkable reminder of its history.

Lappa Valley is popular attraction for families visiting Cornwall
Nanny Pat, Sam and Jaz enjoy a trip on the train

There’s a good size car park alongside Benny Halt where you buy your tickets and board the miniature steam train. The train departs every half an hour so it’s worth checking the times on their website beforehand so you can plan to arrive on time.

Lappa Valley has lots of activities ideal for a family day out with under 5s

The tiny carriages are perfect for the children – a bit of a squash for grown ups but it’s all part of the fun. There’s even a spare open carriage to transport prams and pushchairs.

I loved watching the children’s wide-eyed faces as they heard the hissing steam and the clatter of the wheels on the rails and watching the scenery pass by as we chugged the mile or so to the centre of the activities around East Rose mine.

There are lots of activities to choose from here, including mini golf, canoeing on the lake, two more train rides, country walks, plus indoor and outdoor play. The Whistle Stop Cafe serves good homemade food, and there are indoor spaces where you can eat a packed lunch or just picnic on the grass.

Mini golf at Lappa Valley is a big hit with preschool age children
Sam and Jaz loved mini golf at Lappa Valley

On the day we went, the weather was showery, but we had light waterproofs and could dive into the play carriages in the rain. However, there is no large indoor soft play so I would not recommend this venue on a rainy day.

We took advantage of all the activities except the canoeing (managing a two and four year old on the water on my own was a bit too risky) and the children enjoyed every minute.

The return trip back to Benny Halt was just as exciting and Sam was full of questions about how the coal made the steam and drove the engine along. We cornered the friendly engine driver who happily answered his questions and let him sit in the driver’s seat. What a treat for a four year old wearing his own engine driver’s hat! Precious moments indeed.

Lappa Valley's miniature steam train has kids spellbound
Sam learns how to drive the steam train at Lappa Valley

Nanny Pat’s verdict
Lappa Valley is great for a family day out with under-fives – you can expect to stay here happily for four or five hours. The toilets are clean with good baby changing facilities.

Useful information
Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome and can travel on the steam railway, the Newlyn Downs Branch Line and the canoe boats.

Lappa Valley is open March – October, plus selected weekends during the winter. You can find full details of opening times, admission prices and full details of all the activities on the Lappa Valley website together with a lovely video too.

Getting there
Lappa Valley Steam Railway is just outside Newquay and is approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Bosinver. Postcode for SatNavs: TR8 5LX.

Have you visited Lappa Valley with your children? We’d love to hear about your adventures – why not leave a comment below, post on our Facebook page or tweet @bosinver?

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