An award-winning Cornish attraction has unveiled a new accessible adventure golf course enabling visitors of all abilities to be fully included in a day out with their family and friends.
Since acquiring Lappa Valley in 2014, owners Keith & Sarah Southwell have continually invested in improving the facilities, including enhancing accessibility for visitors with physical disabilities and those with neurodiversity.
The latest update has seen the old crazy golf area replaced by a brand-new, larger adventure golf course specially designed to be accessible by wheelchair users. It is the first fully accessible facility of this type in Cornwall and one of only a small number currently available in the UK.
Each hole on the new golf course has a separate wheelchair-friendly, step-free entrance and exit and the fairways are wide enough to facilitate ease of movement while participants strive to get the ball into the elusive hole.
Six-year-old Teddy from Perranporth was invited to be the first person to try out the new facility.
Daisy, Teddy’s Mum, said: “To be able to take part in activities like this is great. Sadly, there are not many places where we feel welcome, and Teddy often feels left out. With all the facilities and accessible activities at Lappa Valley, this is somewhere that we feel very welcome and included.”
The Engine Shed, home to Lappa Valley’s indoor soft play area, café and party rooms was opened in 2021, it also features a full-size Changing Places toilet enables visitors with severe disabilities to access the much-loved attraction by providing them with a facility that they can use in safety, comfort, and dignity.
The other toilets provided in The Engine Shed were designed with touch-free operation of taps, lights and flushes and equipped with the quietest hand dryers available to make them as comfortable as possible for visitors with sensory issues to use.
The attraction’s principal railway that transports guests to and from the heart of the action can currently accommodate two wheelchair users per trip. However, plans are afoot to increase that to five later this year in the business’s next improvement project.
Keith Southwell from Lappa Valley, which was named the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the recent Cornwall Tourism Awards, said:
“Generations of families have enjoyed making special memories and having great fun at Lappa Valley over the past five decades. We’re passionate about ensuring that this continues and, importantly, everybody, irrespective of ability or challenges they may face can also be part of that. We want all our visitors to feel welcome at Cornwall’s secret world of play and trains.”
For information, please visit www.lappavalley.co.uk