Family farm holidays in Cornwall magical for children, toddlers and babies.
Coombe Mill Blog
"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.
We have decided to move from the monthy newsletter to a seasonal newsletter. Therefore you will be recieving updates from Coombe Mill in the Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. This way we can keep you up to date with all the developments on the farm. Welcome to our Christmas Newsletter!
Whilst we were away for a few days visiting Penzance, Lands End and the Lizard Peninsula, storm Arwen decided to hit. We returned to quite a site……fallen trees in the deer field and huge branches which were blocking the bridge over the tributary to the Camel. Luckily, Farmer Emma had just been on a chain-sawing course. So set to work on sawing up and clearing the wood from the bridge. Farmer Anya also pulled on her waders and helped haul heavy logs and fallen branches that were blocking the flow of water out of the river. We now have a healthy supply of logs for all our future guests to enjoy burning in their log burners whilst cosying up in their lodges together.
Sadly our old billy goat ‘Billy’ passed away during the Autumn months. He had a happy life on the farm and we will remember him well as he fathered ‘Merlin’ and ‘Arthur’, our two kid goats this year. We now have a new billy goat ‘Ozzie’ who is a Pigmy/Saanen cross. He is a real character who climbs the gate when we feed him. He also enjoys bouncing on his goat trampoline! We are hopeful that he will serve our nanny goats so we may have some more kids next year
Our two saddleback pigs ‘Peppa’ and ‘Peanuts’ have moved onto a new farm in Devon to meet their new man and hopefully have a family of their own. We are now getting everything ready for our new micro-pigs arrival. The whole family went to visit them last weekend and we selected two sows who we have named ‘Dotty’ and ‘Lottie’. One is a gorgeous girl who is white with black spots and the other is a sweet ginger haired girl. We hope to welcome them to Coombe Mill Farm on January 9th 2022.
September marked the beginning of a new school year for our three children, Millie now in year 6 and the twins in year 4. Whilst we enjoyed the last few weeks of the warmer drier weather, we took advantage of yet another opportunity to improve our lodges. The outside decking in Pencarrow and Trebah had been looking somewhat tired. So we made the decision to get rid of the old wooden decking and replace it with the smarter composite decking which is already down in Heligan. Committed to a two week timescale which would involve breaking up and dismantling the old flooring, as well as replacing some of the old joists etc and then cutting and laying all the new decking, we knew we had our work cut out! Despite a few real ‘wash out’ days, we managed to complete both Trebah and Pencarrow in time for our ‘half term’ guests arriving.
After a failed attempt during the Summer months trying to incubate our duck eggs, we decided a new incubator was in order. Success at last!!! Our first Runner duck hatched as well as 5 Keets (Guinea fowl chicks). We were over the moon…they have gone from strength to strength over the last couple of months. The aim is to move them out of their brooder box and into a larger area so they can practise spreading their wings a bit more.
We moved into Coombe Mill a Year ago and have achieved so much despite a National Lockdown for four months. Over the year we have upgraded the Games Room and Gym so facilities on the Farm can be enjoyed by all and continually work on upgrading the lodges. Wow what a fantastic first year we have had.
We would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and amazing New Year. We hope to see many of you here at Coombe Mill in 2022. Lodges are filling up fast especially for the school holidays so please check out our availability at https://www.coombemill.com/availability-prices/ . Please remember if you would like to book give us a ring on 01208850344 or drop us an email at mail@coombe mill.com.Y ou will not have to pay the booking fee by coming direct to us.
As this is our first summer at the farm we thought we would post about a number of activities we have taken part in over the summer to give you inspiration for your holidays next year. Despite the lack of consistent Summer weather this month, when the sun has been shinning we have tried to take full advantage of it.
August has seen us exploring a bit more of our coastline, really looking for the best places for surfing and swimming.
Our nearest local beach is Trebarwith Strand only 20 min away, which is a must if you like body–boarding, surfing or just playing and having fun in the waves. Make sure you come at low tide though, otherwise the beach will have disappeared if you arrive at high tide. At low tide the sea reveals a truly picturesque beach which even has small natural swimming
areas for the younger children, along with rock pooling and lots of rocks to climb and jump off into
the sea for those who are a bit more adventurous!
If waves aren’t really your thing and you are seeking out slightly calmer waters where you can enjoy
a peaceful swim, then just around the corner from Port Isaac is a lovely sheltered narrow cove by the
name of Port Gaverne. This is a National Trust owned beach which has remained almost unchanged
in hundreds of years and is popular with families, as it has for the main part much calmer waters and
has plenty of rock pools.
Millie turned ten this month and her birthday treat was a trip out to the ‘Adrenalin
Quarry’ in Liskeard, Cornwall. If you like lots of active fun, then this is the place for you. This once
disused quarry has been turned into not only an Aquapark where we were heading, but it has an
800m all weather track for Go-Karting, the Uk’s maddest and most beautiful 490m long, 50m high zip
wire experience and the Uk’s tallest Giant Swing. If that’s not enough for you, then you can also try
Axe Throwing and get in touch with you inner savage! We had terrific fun on the no-holds barred
madness colossal inflatable playground. There were oversized trampolines, monkey bars, slides and
just lots of hilarious shananigans! We would highly recommend this as a great day out with 6-8 year
old children minimum.
Slip and Slide
We have posted alot over the summer about Slip and Slide. We have loved every trip there and with a stunning view over the sea at Port Issac it is in a beautiful setting as well. A 100m slide in a field is a MUST for all families. The minimum age is 3 and with rings and boards for you to use there is a thrill for all ages. We challenge all our guests to beat our 8 person slide on a double ring. A magical day out.
River Fowey Kayaking
Kayaking on the River Fowey, a slightly quieter day, but still just as fun. We hired kayaks from Fowey River Hire and spent two hours Kayaking down the estury. We visited spectacular coves and historic landmarks along the route as well as a pirates cove. A fun filled day out exploring the south coast.
The North Coast of Cornwall is renouned for its rugged coast line and hidden caves and coves. Tintagel is only 20 min from the farm and is known for its castle and King Arthur and Merlin. There is no castle anymore, just the ruins, but a great day crossing the spectacular bridge and understanding the history of King Arthur. Our children have loved watching Merlin on TV and this was a great way to bring history to life visiting the ruins itself.
We are always very busy in the summer and are already taking bookings for next year. Our smaller 4 person lodges are neary full for July and August 2022. We dont want anyone to miss out and know that Staycations in 2022 are still going to be very popular. If you are interested in booking please look at our website for availability and remember if you book direct with us through an email or by phoning us you will not have to pay a booking fee. https://www.coombemill.com/availability-prices/
We hope you all had a lovely summer and are looking forward to Autumn and Christmas
Summer time on the farm meant sunshine and the ever increasing temperatures meant our sheep were looking a little bit uncomfortable in their thick Winter coats. Fortunately, Owen our Sheep shearer was booked in on one of the hottest days of the month so far. Despite a bit of reluctance at first, our eleven ewes and ‘Rambo’ the ram seemed to enjoy having their thick coats removed and trotting off into pastures new looking a little bit like goats from a distance!
We open the New gym to All Guests
This month we were extremely proud to open up our newly refurbished Gym. The process was a
challenging one, as it meant converting two of the old lodges into one open plan space. After weeks
of ripping out the old bathrooms and kitchens, laying a new floor, replacing windows and installing
Wifi and CCTV cameras, the space was starting to look like a gym. Anew lick of paint on the walls,
new lights and new equipment and we were ready to open. Our guests have now been enjoying
some great workouts. As qualified P.E teachers, we spent a lot of time ensuring we invested in some
of the best C.V equipment. Our guests now have access to two spin bikes, a treadmill and water
rower, as well as a designated rubber floor area for those who want to hit the weights or use the TRX
band for a bit of cross training.
The Fawns are hiding in the Fern
Summer time on the farm – June is an exciting month for our deer herd as they prepare to give birth to their young. Our rescued
deer ‘Friendly’ has been looking extremely pregnant and along with the guests, we have enjoyed
watching her tummy move as her fawn was kicking inside her. During the second week of June, her
beautiful fawn was born, which we only just found, as it was so well camouflaged in the ever
growing bracken. A few days later another fawn sprang out of her hiding place. Friendlies fawn has
just started to follow the rest of the herd now whilst we leave food for them during our morning
feed run. We hope the other fawn will follow suit soon.
Camel trail bike rides & tea rooms
If the gym isn’t really your cup of tea, then the Camel trail is on our doorstep. Short, medium or long
distance, it’s entirely up to you how far you wish to cycle along it’s path. Wendford bridge to
Padstow is 17miles, but there are options for a lovely stop at the Camel trail tea rooms or
Wadebridge town enroute.
New goats at the Farm – Buttercup and Daisy
We are delighted to introduce two new residents to the farm, ‘Daisy and Buttercup’. When our
sheep shearer said he could no longer look after them, we jumped at the chance to rehome them.
They are such lovely natured goats, slightly different to our pygmy goats, they are a cross between a
pygmy and an Alpine breed. At just five months old they are a little young for breeding, but we do
hope to breed from them in the future and as they are dairy goats, enjoy milking them too. The
other advantage is that they are now lead trained and so they love going out for walks, especially
where their favourite ‘Brambles’ might be growing along the way!
Guinea Fowl eggs
The guinea fowl have also been busy laying a clutch of 15 eggs and making a cosy nest in our
creeping thistles. As the whether is warmer and mostly dry, we are hopeful that we may have some
new ‘keets’ in the future.
We are fully bhooked for the Summer Holidays but know many of you are thinking about Christmas on the Farm and next Years Holidays. We have availability and are taking bookings. Contact us directly if you are interested https://www.coombemill.com/availability-prices/
The month of May has been an exciting time as Spring turns to Summer. We have started our biggest project since arriving on the farm. We made the decision not to just give the old gym a ‘facelift’, but to completely rip out kitchens and bathrooms in one of the larger old lodges and convert this much larger space into our New ‘Gym’. It will also be a space we can use for some of our wellbeing and painting weekends we hope to launch soon. We hit a few hurdles on the way. In order to make the gym fully operational and safe, the electrics needed some serious updating. This involved us having to hire a digger to dig a 20 metre long trench to lay new cable. After this slight set back, the gym is now starting to take shape. We now have a new grey floor, new skirting boards, a fresh lick of paint and a super reinforced rubber floor area. Our guests can use the cardio equipment, ‘hit the weights’ or alternatively try out our new TRX band which extends down from the ceiling. The full gym will be ready at the end of this week, so look out for updates on our social media pages.
Highs and Lows on the farm
On the farm we have had some highs and lows. Sadly, our two goslings that hatched didn’t make it this time. We are hopeful that we may have some more ‘poults’ on the way. Our three ponies, Skippy, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo enjoyed a bit of TLC when we had a visit from the local farrier. After their hooves had been trimmed, they seemed to have a new lease of life, chasing and galloping around the fields after each other.
Fishes are starting to bite
The increasing temperature has meant the lakes have been warming up nicely. Our guests have enjoyed watching the water come alive with swimming tadpoles, which are now just beginning to grow their legs. The carp are now fully awake and can be seen much more readily on the surface. Many more guests are now enjoying the fishing, with successful catches from both the adults and the children.
As Spring turns to Summer the warmer water temperatures have encouraged some of our braver guests to join us for a swim and a play in our river. This has been lots of fun for all those involved.
One of the best things about Coombe Mill is the freedom and exploration the children can have. Whilst exploring further up the lane, we found a beautiful hidden away waterfall…..
BBQ and Surfing Weather
Transitioning from Spring through to the Summer months, it has been lovely to see our guests starting to enjoy using our outdoor barbecue areas. As well as the children making full use of the outdoor play areas too. Many more wet suits are now being hung up on the line after a good day’s surfing in the warmer sea too! The flowers are starting to bloom, the bees are buzzing and we are very much looking forward to being allowed to open our new gym very soon.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Emma and our children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.