Keith & Sara Southwell with members of the Lappa Valley team with representatives from Trebah Gardens who took the silver award in the same category in this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards. (Photo: Nick Williams)
A much-loved Cornish family visitor attraction won the Gold Award in the Large Visitor Attraction of Year category at this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards.
Lappa Valley has become a firm favorite with local families and visitors to Cornwall since it opened nearly 50 years ago in 1974.
Created on the track bed of one of Cornwall’s oldest railway lines, excited visitors take a nostalgic train ride to East Wheal Rose, a former lead and silver mine, located at the heart of Lappa Valley’s amenities and attractions.
The former mining engine house and chimney tower over a lake that is home to a fleet of swan pedal boats and home to two additional railways, a crazy golf course and other outdoor activities and play areas.
Just a year ago, the biggest development in the attraction’s history opened The Engine Shed.
Built at a cost of more than £1.5m, this new building is home to a large soft play area, café, party rooms and a Changing Places toilet for disabled visitors.
Keith & Sara Southwell took over the reins of Lappa Valley in 2014 from the founder’s family.
They began their tenure with a clear vision to sensitively improve the attraction, while retaining everything that has made generations of families fall in love with Cornwall’s secret world of play and trains.
Keith said: “Cornwall is blessed with many top visitor attractions and we are truly humbled to be recognized in this way.
“We have to thank our incredible team who work so hard and are passionate about making sure our guests have a fun, enjoyable and safe visit, it really sets us apart.
“We listen to our visitors and have invested in creating the facilities they need; the Engine Shed is a big part of this ongoing project to ensure Lappa Valley continues to be a special place that families fall in love with and create wonderful memories for years to come. come.”
It is not the first award Lappa Valley has won in 2022.
Earlier this year, it was awarded a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award, an award given to only a small percentage of tourism businesses each year that ensure consistently high levels of visitor feedback on the online review platform.