Nanny Pat’s days out: Lappa Valley

Two children posing for the camera next to a train at Lappa Valley in Cornwall

Nanny Pat’s been out and about exploring again with Wilf and Megs – this time to Lappa Valley. Here’s what she thought about their trip.

Lappa Valley is a great day out for the under 5s. It has all the ingredients for toddler paradise, including miniature steam train rides, great outdoor play, mini golf, canoeing on the lake and a mini tractor and bike circuit.


The attraction is based around the old railway lines which originally served Treffry’s horse- drawn line which ferried ore in 1849 from the East Wheal Rose mine to Newquay for shipping. This was replaced in 1874 by the Cornwall Minerals railway, when the horses gave way to steam locomotives. After mining declined, the line was upgraded to carry passengers in the early 1900s. It thrived with the growth of tourism in Newquay from the 1930s to the 1950s, but unfortunately the line fell victim to Beeching’s axe and closed in 1963. However, this wasn’t the end for Lappa Valley, as it was bought in 1973 and reborn as a tourist attraction. East Wheal Rose Mine’s engine house stands at the centre of the site and is a remarkable reminder of its history.


There’s plenty of parking at Benny Holt where you pay your admission and board the steam train heading for East Wheal Rose. Wilf and Meg loved having a compartment all to ourselves and whilst it was perfect for them it was a bit of a squeeze for me! Wilf gazed longingly at the steam engine and I think he would have loved to drive it – but not shovelled the coal methinks. What’s so nice about this journey that it only last a mile but it seems as if you’re being transported to another world – one that isn’t accessible any other way – which adds to the sense of adventure! The smell and the odd smut in my eye reminded me of my train journey to school and made me nostalgic for the good old days of steam!

When you reach East Wheal Rose there’s so much to do – we canoed on the lake, played on all the great wooden play structures, took another two or three train rides to secret destinations and more… After a picnic it was time for pedalling around the cart track, which the children loved. All too soon it was time to head for home – but we’ll definitely be back again soon!


Useful information

Lappa Valley is open every day from 10am.

Admission is £12 for adults, £9.50 for children aged 3-15 (under 3s go free) and £10 for over 60s. You can also buy a family saver ticket – see the website for details. The ticket price includes all activities except coin-operated cars.

There’s a café and ice cream shop, plenty of grassy areas for picnics and a good set of toilets with baby changing facilities.

When to visit

Lappa Valley is great year-round attraction, however, there isn’t much under cover so it’s not recommended for a wet day.


Getting there

Lappa Valley is located between Newquay and St Newlyn East and is approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Bosinver. It’s a little tricky to find so I suggest downloading the map from their website. Postcode for SatNavs: TR8 5LX.

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