Blogs for May 2019

Lappa Valley's new £1.2m cafe and play area

Posted on Friday 10th May, 2019

Lappa Valley's new £1.2m cafe and play area

Lappa Valley Steam Railway are delighted to announce that they will be constructing a new £1.2m building on the fun park site, creating a brand-new café and indoor soft play area at the much-loved family visitor attraction.

The Engine Shed, a 7,000 square foot new building, will contain a large coffee shop and café overlooking the picturesque boating lake, with a substantial soft play area where young children can play safely. There will also be an outdoor park area, as well a beautiful decking to enjoy coffee and lunch outdoors.

The building will also allow the Lappa team an indoor space to run activities and workshops throughout the year and will see Lappa Valley opening year-round when they open for the 2020 season.

Planning permission was granted in February 2019 and, following some trial digs in the area in April, work will begin in earnest in coming weeks. The building work will commence during 2019, with The Engine Shed opening to the public in 2020.

Keith Southwell, owner at Lappa Valley Steam Railway, said: “This is a really exciting time for the whole team at Lappa Valley. The Engine Shed will provide a place for parents to refuel and for children to let off steam.

“Here at Lappa, we’ve always been at the mercy of the great Cornish weather – but this building will give us an indoor space for families to enjoy as well as all of our great outdoor fun. We are looking forward to running classes, workshops and activities in The Engine Shed too, which is a new departure for us. We can’t wait to open the new building next year, and we hope all our visitors will love it too!”

The current Whistle Stop Café will be transformed into a retro-style ice cream parlour, while the Carriage Café, a former full size railway  carriage converted into a café, will offer sandwiches and afternoon teas, as well as the traditional Cornish cream tea.

A project manager has been appointed to oversee the smooth running of the project.

Lappa Valley Steam Railway offers a steam railway ride into a family attraction – with a boating lake, crazy golf, play areas and two more railways lines, we’re the best place in Cornwall for families of under 10s. For more information, please visit


Zoo celebrates with Ring Tail Ale

Posted on Friday 10th May, 2019

Zoo celebrates with Ring Tail Ale

Newquay Zoo is fifty years old this year – and what better way to mark the anniversary than with a celebratory tipple? 

The charity zoo has teamed up with Keltek Cornish Brewery to produce Ring Tail Ale, named after one of the most iconic Newquay Zoo species, the ring-tailed lemur. Launched at the start of May, Ring Tail Ale is available in bottles and on tap at various local outlets from now until stocks last.

Richard Heath, Managing Director of Keltek Cornish Brewery, said: “Keltek Cornish Brewery is proud to have been asked to help celebrate Newquay Zoo’s 50th Anniversary by brewing Ring Tail Ale. Using only whole hop flowers and British malts, Ring Tail Ale is a 4.2% Cornish bitter in the finest tradition.”   

Pippa Craddock, Director of Marketing & Development for parent charity the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Keltek. The support that they are giving us will make a real difference to vital conservation work both at home and overseas.”

For every pint or bottle of Ring Tail Ale sold, the brewery is donating 10p to the charity zoo. So you can raise a glass to Newquay Zoo’s birthday knowing you’re raising funds for a good cause. Newquay Zoo marks its fiftieth birthday on Sunday 26th May with a day of festivities.

Newquay Zoo is a registered charity. For more information go to or ring 01637 873342.


Wheal Martyn's Success at the Cornwall Heritage Awards 2019

Posted on Thursday 9th May, 2019

Wheal Martyn's Success at the Cornwall Heritage Awards 2019

Wheal Martyn are delighted to announce that they have won the Innovation Award in the 2019 Cornwall Heritage Awards. The awards, which are organised by Cornwall Museums Partnership and South West Museums Development Programme, were this year hosted by BBC Radio Cornwall, on Thursday 21 March 2019 at Trenderway Farm, near Looe.

The museum won the award in recognition of their recent Clay Stories campaign. Clay Stories aims to unlock historic stories from Wheal Martyn’s collection, centering around various monthly themes. These stories are shared through social media, exhibitions, themed children’s activities, engagement projects, and even new café creations. The Clay Stories themes allow staff and volunteers to highlight not only the importance, but also the variety of stories around the clay industry. Focusing on different areas of the industry, such as clay landscapes, the importance of water, and local stories, the museum has relished the opportunity to promote the clay industry’s global importance, whilst reinforcing its close connection to individuals in Cornwall.

A particular highlight is Arthur’s story, a dedicated Wheal Martyn volunteer. As part of the museum’s Kettle Kids theme in summer 2018, visitors were able to discover the fascinating story of Arthur’s role in the clay industry as a Kettle Boy, from the young age of 14. The tale was brought to life through an interactive trail and quiz, children’s activities, dressing up and Kettle Kids menu in the café, in addition to information snippets and interaction on social media, and coverage on ITV news, BBC Radio Cornwall and St Austell Bay Radio.

To learn more, follow Wheal Martyn on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, visit the website or call 01726 850362.


Stepping into Eden for National Walking Month

Posted on Thursday 9th May, 2019

Stepping into Eden for National Walking Month


The Eden Project today (Wednesday May 8) marked National Walking Month by bringing together health groups for a special stroll around the garden.

Each Tuesday Eden hosts a COPD Walking Group and on Wednesdays a Diabetes and Cardiac Group.

Today they were joined by walkers from across the local network of ‘Heart of Cornwall’ Walking for Health groups.

In all, 64 walkers and one dog teamed up for some healthy exercise, including representatives from various Walking Groups such as Par Bay Big Local, Treverbyn Community Hall and Pine Lodge.

Eden has hosted inclusive health walks since 2005, with routes varying from half a mile to a mile and half, providing options for all abilities, all led by qualified volunteer Walk Leaders.

Heidi Morgan, Nature’s Way Programme Manager at Eden, said: “Today was a great opportunity for everyone who regularly takes part in any walk in the local area to come together at Eden to celebrate walking together.

“As well as the many physical benefits, walking outside in nature and in a group is a sociable activity which can help people feel more connected to each other. In our experience being connected to each other and the world around us has a really positive effect on wellbeing.”

Hayley Burgoyne, Social Prescribing Facilitator at St Austell Healthcare Group, said: “This is a fantastic way to celebrate National Walking Month by getting all of our walkers together to meet each other and to celebrate together, as well as being able to enjoy the great outdoors and physical activity.”

To find out more about any of the walks, please contact the Group Coordinator at Eden, Karen Dawkins, on 01726 818881 or


May Half Term at National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Posted on Thursday 9th May, 2019

May Half Term at National Maritime Museum Cornwall

This May half term National Maritime Museum Cornwall is packed to the gunwales with great things to do for all the family, including Ship Wreck Survivor demonstrations, craft making and survival trails.

Become a ‘Shipwreck Survivor’ with instructors from ‘Footsteps of Discovery’ and learn how to stay alive on a desert island! There will be live demonstrations and fascinating talks where intrepid explorers can discover bush craft, fire-lighting techniques and an introduction to primitive weapons. The sessions are informative and fun for children and adults of all ages.

There are two sittings of Shipwreck Survivors every weekday from 10.30am – 12.30pm and 2pm – 4pm. The sittings are led by real experts who will give four half hour demonstrations every week day, with plenty of opportunity to join in and take part.

Footsteps of Discovery, who return to National Maritime Museum Cornwall after a hugely successful visit earlier this year, specialise in extreme survival and have been sharing their skills and knowledge for over a decade.

Get hands on and join in survival craft making and complete a makeshift mini shelter and handy pair of binoculars. Find all the clues on the survival trail, dotted throughout the museum, to become a champion desert island survivor.

All the special May half term activities are included free of charge as part of the ticket price to enter the museum. Also included is access to 15 galleries, including dedicated spaces to Cornish maritime history, the Titanic Exhibition and all the usual family favourites such as the Treasure Island Play Zone, the Survival Zone where you can climb aboard the exhibits and the Tidal Zone.

Go to NMMC.CO.UK for dates, times and more information.


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