Cornwall's Newest Attraction

The Boy who Wanted to be Brunel!

Growing up on his parents’ farm near Launceston, Pete Jones’s schoolboy hero wasn’t Superman or a premiership footballer but one of the world’s greatest engineers, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Obsessed by the great man’s work, in his twenties Pete took a mechanical engineering degree and later returned to work on the farm. But it wasn’t long before his mind turned to things more imaginative.

In the early 90s Pete set up a small attraction based on a treasure hunt around the farm where visitors had to solve cunning clues in order to find the treasure which became like a rural version of The Crystal Maze. Over the years the attraction called Hidden Valley added more aspects, a children’s play area, a miniature railway and as the clues became more devious, the park expanded and Pete’s hobby became one of the most unique tourist destinations in Cornwall.

On the back of the park’s success, five years ago, Pete started to formulate an idea for the ultimate treasure hunt and also a way of including Brunel’s creativeness in a new development at the site. This Whitsun, the fruits of over a year’s work and heavy investment sees the opening of The Forbidden Mansion, a unique family attraction that incorporates Pete’s love of both adventure and engineering. 

Based around a new visitor centre, an impressive red bricked building with a towering chimney inspired by a Brunel pumping station, the mansion is a deceptively large labyrinth of rooms where visitors have to solve clues to find their way out. Furnished with authentic Victorian fixtures and fittings, it’s like stepping on to a film set with secret passageways, concealed doors, upside-down rooms and exciting surprises.

The original outside treasure hunt has been updated, there’s the children’s favourite, The Hobbit House, and last year the miniature railway was extended to over a mile long so all the family will find plenty of fun things to do whatever the weather.

With staff in period costume, a new Victorian themed restaurant and well stocked gift shop, Hidden Valley is looking forward to an exciting summer entertaining visitors old and new who are going to love the exciting challenges of this unique attraction.

OPENING TIMES: Park opens on 27th May, and then 7 days a week until end of September / 10am - 5pm

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