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 favourite with local families and visitors to Cornwall since it opened nearly 50 years ago in 1974.
Trebah Garden took home a well-deserved Silver Award in the same category and renowned museum of global communications PK Porthcurno won two awards – sweeping up a Gold Award for Small Visitor Attraction of the Year and winning the gong for Accessibility and Inclusivity.
Hangloose Adventure at the Eden Project received the silver award in Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – meaning members of Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions took both gold and silver in both tourist attraction categories.
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, which sits at the heart of Lappa Valley’s facilities and attractions.
The former mine engine house and chimney tower above a lake which is home to a fleet of swan pedalos and where two further railways, a crazy golf course and other outdoor activities and play areas are found.
Just a year ago the biggest development in the attraction’s history saw The Engine Shed open. This new building was built at a cost of more than £1.5m and is home to a large soft play area, café, party rooms and a Changing Places toilet for visitors with disabilities.
Keith & Sara Southwell took over the reins at Lappa Valley in 2014 from the founder’s family. They began their tenure with a clear vision to sensitively improve the attraction whilst retaining everything that has led generations of families to fall in love with Cornwall’s secret world of play and trains.
Keith said: “Cornwall is blessed with numerous top visitor attractions, and we are truly humbled to be recognised in this way. We must 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 does set us apart.
“We listen to our visitors and have invested in creating the facilities they require; 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.”
It’s not the first award that Lappa Valley has won in 2022. Earlier this year it was given a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award, an accolade bestowed to only a small percentage of tourism businesses each year that secure consistently high levels of visitor feedback on the online review platform.