“The must puzzliest place in Cornwall”
Pimentel They say: Hidden Valley opened in 1994, with a garden shed in the field, with a Scavenger trail and a small display of chocolate bars for sale, a small woodland play area soon saw a tea room and array of tin sheds, garden railway, cottage, telephone box and walk in mine tunnel. A few years later saw the introduction of the Vault and a miniature railway taking guests around the park. The theme of treasure hunts and detective trails has continued throughout. 2013 saw the opening of the new visitor centre and Forbidden Mansion with further enhancements; gardens, maze and railway tunnel in the latter years. 2019 our 25th year sees the opening of Tibbohton.
We Say: What a great day out with the kids. Something a bit different that kept them and us entertained throughout the day. If you’re looking for things to plan on your campervan hire in Cornwall with kids, you should definitely check this one out.
This summer, our friends (and seasoned Cornish campervan hirers!), Ben and Stef, introduced us to one of Cornwall’s lesser known attractions, the Hidden Valley Discovery Park in Launceston. A beautiful site, set amongst gorgeous trees and planting, designed with kids and imagination at the forefront of their minds and run by a friendly, welcoming team. We had lots of fun!
I need to tell you about this place without giving too much away, so here goes… Basically, there are an array of different activities to try throughout the day – all engaging and fun for the whole family. At the start you are given an electronic card that will record your scores in various activities as you progress through the park so that at the end of the day you upload it into the quirky score machine and you find out how you all did. It’s one per family, so it’s all about teamwork. You can choose which order to do things, it’s all very relaxed. As I said, I don’t want to go into too much detail as a lot of the fun is in the discovery of it all, so apologies if I’m a bit vague, but you’ll thank me when you arrive! The park contains a visitor centre with a lovely gift shop and cafe, a good quality playground and lots of picnic tables and chairs around to take a break or have lunch. HVDP is a big place and even during peak holiday time, it didn’t feel crowded at all. You could easily navigate around it at your own pace. We were in the overflow parking (still very close) so there were a lot of people there, it just didn’t feel like it as it’s all so stretched out and well organised.
The first thing we tried was the Forbidden Mansion. A Crystal-Maze type experience with various timed challenges and puzzles, secret doorways, wonky floors, upside-down rooms and lots more to discover. You make your way around and it really is quite a magical experience. There’s lots to do outside too, with imaginative trails and treasure hunts that keep you moving around the whole site. A well-kept maze, miniature railway, cottage and gardens and their new hobbit-like village – the kids absolutely loved it!
So, sorry it’s a bit of a short one, but as I said, you wouldn’t want too many spoilers of this place – it really is a charming site and a unique day out and you just have to try it for yourself. I’ve been dying to go here since I first heard about it and we definitely weren’t disappointed. We thought the prices were reasonable and affordable and the food and drink was good quality too. Lots of teamwork and laughing through the whole day – this place really brings the family together and you can properly forget all about phones and devices for the day. So, if you’re looking for great ideas for places to visit on your classic or modern campervan hire in Cornwall, seriously consider giving the Hidden Valley Discovery Park a look. They have a great rating on trip advisor and here are a few comments left by visitors there:
Our daughter loved the good quality play areas and we all had fun completing the Indiana Jones trail (for children) and even more fun (although most of it was head-scratching fun!) doing the Sherlock Holmes trail!
From the warm welcome from the excellent staff, to the mansion with all its surprises, riding on the miniature train and then the completing the Indiana trail with our 4 year old – the whole day was fantastic.
Some other useful links to further info and reviews on the Hidden Valley Discovery Park:
As ever, any comments, questions or suggestions always welcome and if you want us to come and visit your attraction or campsite and write it up – just let us know!
Happy Campering! X