Friday, 25 March 2016

Lappa Valley Steam Railway & Leisure Park

We were very lucky to be invited to spend the day here at Lappa Valley Steam Railway!

We have never visited Lappa Valley before so I had no idea what to expect, but I'm very pleased to say we had an amazing time! 
There is a huge variety of activities that kept us busy for an entire day, it's not just riding on a train! The whole park is clean and tidy, the staff friendly, and Lappa Valley is very suitable for toddlers. 

When we arrived, the grounds looked very clean and neat, and we could see a glimpse of a fun play park as well as a steam train.

On first impressions it looked small. Teeny tiny. But how wrong I was - when we went into the ticket office, we found out this is just where we catch the train to the leisure park...

The train was ready to depart, so we quickly ran past the initial park and took our seats. The Zebra was so happy on the train, copying all the different noises and waving at everything and anything!

After the journey through the countryside, we pass a lake and arrive at the park. There is so much more to do here than just ride about on trains and we didn't know where to start...

The park is set around old Cornish mine works so there are some spectacular building to see. 

There is lots to do here, but first we really wanted to ride the other trains! The Zebra made a bee-line for the electric engine...

All aboard and we are away. I was worried the Zebra would try and stand up or jump out, but she loved it so much she sat transfixed in her seat the whole time. For such an active, wiggly toddler this is nothing short of a miracle.

All change!! After doing a couple of laps on the electric train, it was over to platform two and another train carriage ride!

We went down another beautiful country track, and ended up in a big grassy area with a funky looking play park.

The train makes a short stop to allow us to have a play. Once here, you have the options of jumping back on after 5 minutes, waiting an hour for the next train, or there is a short nature trail that winds back to the platforms.

Once we returned it was time to get our crazy golf on! It's great to see no extra charge or deposits needed - just baskets to grabs balls and clubs from.

The Zebra may be too young to really get the hang of the game, but she gave it a good go!! The scenery here is amazing, and we got to wave at the trains as they passed by.

Next to the crazy golf is the boating lake. Again, I was unsure if I should trust a toddler, but the Zebra adored sailing around the lake and I'm so glad we used the canoe.

There's a little island in the middle which we sailed around. In amongst the reeds are some clear water patches where we saw lots of tadpoles! The Zebra was very pleased to see so many "Fisssssssh"

Back on dry land, and we swap our oars for wheels. Again, it's free to use the tractors and the track. In fact, the only activity in the whole park that had an additional fee was the eclectic ride on cars by the platform. 

One of the Zebras favourite things was the merry-go-round style swings - she never normally sits in a swing for more than 30 seconds but she would have happily stayed all day in this one.

And how cute is this playhouse?

The majority of the park is outside, but there is a small wooden building filled with toddler friendly soft play and toys. 

There are two main options for food and drinks - The Whistle Stop Cafe serving drinks, cakes and cold lunches, and the Carriage Cafe serving hot lunches.

The Whistle Stop had lots of very yummy looking home made treats on offer.  We did try some Victoria sponge cake in the afternoon and it was delish!

As the Whistle Stop sells no warm food,  we had to buy the Zebras lunch bag and then walk over to the Carrage Cafe. 

Unfortunately the food was the only minor disappointment of the day. As well as the food being split half way across the park, the menu was rather limited. 

The Zebra had a great selection inside her bag with good, tasty treats, and also a lovely pack of crayons for colouring. However, the only option for the sandwich was a cheap white roll and she ended up just picking the cheese out and leaving the bread.

I know I can be fussy with food due to my clean foods lifestyle, but there wasn't anything on the menu I felt I really wanted. I went with the tuna melt, which was okay, but was served with a very sad looking salad. 

As the name would suggest, the Carriage Cafe is set inside an old train carriage - it was fun to eat lunch feeling like we were on a train. Outside is a very smart decking area with great furniture, and although it didn't rain, I didn't quite trust the weather enough to eat outside...  

Other than the trains, my favourite thing about Lappa Valley is the huge variety of playground activities. I lost count of how many slides there was, and the Zebra spent a good couple hours of the day running, climbing and playing. 
Nowhere felt crowed either, with lots of space to just run and enjoy. There really was a cornish countryside feel to the whole park. 

In fact, the Zebra spent so much time running about, she was barely able to stay awake on the train home...

Although she did manage to perk up for a quick play in the park at the ticket office before heading back to the car!

A totally enjoyable day, very toddler friendly and big approval from mum. 
We had such a good time that we actually returned a couple days later with a friend and her little boy... 

If you are looking to go more than once, there are annual passes available, as well as special offers on return visits.

To book your visit, or find out more about the park, please visit their website or Facebook page:

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