New Lappa Valley soft play in Cornwall hopes to be year round

A new purpose-built indoor soft play centre and café will open in time for the October half term school holidays as part of a significant investment that hopes to transform a much-loved Cornish attraction into a year-round, all-weather destination.

Lappa Valley at St Newlyn East, between Truro and Newquay, was founded in 1974 and visitors still begin their visit by enjoying a trip on a narrow-gauge steam train from Benny Halt to the site of the former lead and silver mine at East Wheal Rose, complete with its imposing 1830s engine house and chimney.

For nearly 50 years families have enjoyed fun filled days with further train rides, outdoor play areas and attractions set on and around the picturesque boating lake.

Keith & Sara Southwell acquired Lappa Valley in 2014 and The Engine Shed, which is central to their plans to improve the attraction, will open to visitors on Saturday October 23.

At the heart of the new state of the art, energy efficient building will be an exciting multi-level soft play area which has been designed with two play zones, one specifically for children under five and the other for those aged five to twelve.

The new structure also includes n indoor café that will feature a new and expanded food and drink offering.

The café flows onto a large, decked area immediately outside that overlooks the picturesque lake.

Falmouth Packet: Keith & Sara Southwell from Lappa Valley in front of The Engine Shed Keith & Sara Southwell from Lappa Valley in front of The Engine Shed

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Keith said: “It has always been our ambition to become the number one tourist attraction for under tens in Cornwall, but without a wet weather facility this could not be achieved.

“The Engine Shed turns Lappa Valley into an all-weather destination and we’re excited that we will now be open all year round.”

The new development includes two dedicated party rooms with direct access to the soft play areas, so young partygoers can get straight into the action.

There are also unisex toilets with touch free taps and flushes and a Changing Places toilet to cater for visitors with disabilities.

Keith added: “One of our core values is to ensure everybody can enjoy a day out with us so we’re particularly pleased to be able to upgrade our facilities with everyone in mind.

“The Engine Shed lays the foundation stones of our vision of the next 50 years of Lappa Valley.”

The half term holiday will also see Peppa Pig visiting on Tuesday October 26 and Wednesday 27 and a grand firework display taking place on Saturday October 30.

For more information and book tickets in advance visit:

Falmouth Packet | News