Outdoors at The Gallery

July 9, 2014 at 12:30 PMCoombeMill

The Theme on the Gallery over at Sticky Fingers this week is The Outdoors.

How could I miss this? Every week I post about having fun outdoors with my Country Kids linky. The outdoors is a passion of mine, not only is it the essence of our farm lifestyle at Coombe Mill, but it is what we all enjoy as a family and what those who visit us come here for. Fresh air is good for the soul and makes me feel healthier and happier at any time of the year which in turn makes me a better parent. All the children will agree that I am a grumpy mummy if I have been in the office all day and equally a day of indoor play at school from wet weather leaves my children with far too much pent up energy such that they will come home and bounce on the trampoline in the pouring rain with my blessing. Thankfully we are having an amazing summer this year here in Cornwall with plenty of sunshine. Here are just a few of our everyday highlights of outdoor life taken largely on my phone this week on and around the farm.


Coombe Mill Animal Feed Run in July

Talking to the guests on our feed run each morning is a joy and watching the children interact with the animals. It is always interesting to see what appeals to them, the questions they ask and the imaginative things they find to do along the way.


 Bunny Grooming


I've been playing on my phone apps while I've been outside and found some fun effects. Farmer Nick is less certain of the merits of being captured in a giant bubble!


Bubble magic on Farmer Nick


 Our play areas and train rides are always a popular throughout the day or to return to after a day out exploring Cornwall.


 Playtime at Coombe Mill Farm Holidays


And for those who enjoy fishing or an evening walk the scenery around Coombe Mill is stunning. 


Carp Lake at Coombe Mill


This doesn't leave much time for getting out and about for us as a family but we always do something fun together on a Sunday, then every Tuesday after school Farmer Nick runs the train and I take the children to the beach for surf club. We all adore the beach and look forward to this time with fun in the waves for the kids while I either join them or jog the coast path as I did this week. It always takes me longer than it ought as I find the views spectacular and can't help myself from stopping to catch my breath and take photos. The coastline is so stunning that even a phone snap is beautiful.


 Along the coast path in North Cornwall

Picture post card perfect in fact!


From Polzeath around the coast path


I wouldn't swap my outdoor lifestyle for the world, just don't ask me to sleep outdoors at night, the thought of the biting insects and 4am light streaming through a tent puts me off, I do appreciate my super king size bed and a good night's sleep then I am ready to enjoy the outdoors again. Incidentally five of our properties now boast super king beds too so if a big bed and a good nights sleep help your outdoor fun too do please look us up.

Joining in with Point and Shoot


Fairy Gardens

July 7, 2014 at 7:00 AMCoombeMill

I have had the idea of a fairy garden lurking at the back of my mind for sometime now and even covered the subject in a post last year on creating the Coombe Mill Dream with this image:



Fairy Kingdom ideas


I wanted a space the children here could explore and discover. A place of mystery and intrigue to inspire imaginative play and the very best of childhood memories. It had to be somewhere not too far away in our rambling 30 acres as this is one our youngest holiday makers would enjoy and return to day after day. A long tour of the farm on a beautiful summers day and I found just the place I was after; a neglected wilderness wedged between the car park, ride on play area, the river and the lane. It would be the perfect place if only I could find a way in!

Farmer Nick really wasn't following me on this one, talk to him about animal fields, shelter building or fixing a washing machine and he is on the case but a fairy garden left him clueless. Never the less he trusted my judgement and began to clear an entrance into the wilderness.


clearing the fairy garden


It turned into quite a task as this area had been neglected for years. The further Nick cleared, the more secret gardens began to emerge. I asked him to leave the natural bush divides to create gardens with in gardens and also to leave the lower hanging branches so that we could use them to hang things from. The space we finished up with was so much bigger than I anticipated, opening up from the entrance into a real enchanted wonderland that filled me with excitement.


 Creating Enchanted Gardens


In no time I was busy populating the different areas we had uncovered with bits and bobs from nature and creating ideas with Farmer Kym for activity hour at Coombe Mill.


Nature in the Fairy Garden


Poor Nick still didn't really understand what I was up to but I left for Brit Mums hinting that a doorway to the gardens would be wonderful. Secretly I knew he would have it done by the time I returned and I wasn't disappointed returning to a perfect entrance with signs and solar fairy lights just as I had described. Being married to a handy man really does have some huge advantages.


 Fairy Garden Entrance from the Fairy Father


I started a Pinterest Board for Fairy garden inspiration and found so many wonderful ideas across the net. I know this is going to be an ongoing project and one I will return to time and time again with new creative additions to the gardens. 

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays's board Fairy Garden on Pinterest.


A bike ride through the village had me stop outside a gorgeous garden with painted stones for sale. I hopped off my bike after sharing my find on instagram and facebook and knocked on the door only to discover it was Lisa Bailey Brown who I'd been chatting to on twitter. Within the week I had commissioned a series of bespoke stones on the back of the enthusiastic response on facebook.

Ten Coombe Mill animal prints and ten fairy stones arrived within a fortnight. The colours and beauty of the stones are vibrant and striking and I keep moving them round the gardens to keep the interest and magic going.

 Bespoke painted stones for our Fairy Gardens


To these I have added some more treasures I have stumbled upon whenever I am out. Even Nick found some windmills and wind chimes for me, I knew he would warm to the concept when he saw how popular it was. Now I feel my Fairy Garden is really coming to life and not just a wish list on a Pinterest board.

 Fairy Garden Trinkets of magic

I think it is already not far off the original idea I had a year ago.


Fairy Garden with enchanted fairy goodies


The fairy garden is now open and free to explore at any time. I love how things keep moving in there as children play and arrange the movable items.  

There is so much more I want to do. Mushroom stools from the next fallen tree, fairy doors on trees and more besides. However there is no rush, it is a joy to build it gradually and already we are reaping the benefits with our weekly activity afternoons for the children here on holiday. They love to get involved from dressing up, to garden tours, making wands, adding to the wishing tree, making fairy food and so much more that I plan to develop. 


 Children enjoying the Fairy Garden


I might just have the best job in the world here at Coombe Mill.   


 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg  

Silent Sunday / Project 52

July 6, 2014 at 12:01 AMCoombeMill





  TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   Love All Blogs Better Photos Project

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

July 4, 2014 at 11:00 PMCoombeMill

Time with my big kids

A very different Country Kids from me this week. Ally, our eldest child has just finished his GCSE's and we wanted to do something special to mark the occasion. Ever since our honeymoon in 1995 we have been returning to our favourite hotel in Devon and dreaming that one day we might take our children when they were old enough to appreciate all that is on offer. This felt like the perfect time and we gave Ally a free choice of who to take with him. We fully expected him to choose a school friend but in fact he chose his brother Felix which both surprised and delighted us. Neither of the boys have ever been to a smart hotel before and had no idea what to expect. The innocence of their reaction to everything was both endearing and funny to Nick and me from the disbelief of not being allowed in the restaurant without a jacket to the novelty of an outdoor pool with heated water. As parents it was truly special to share our memories of nineteen years with our boys.

The sports facilities at the hotel were something we knew the boys would love. They both showed promise in golf and were easily a match for me if not Nick. I am always too preoccupied with the stunning views out to sea and not my golf swing and revelling in the competitive banter we shared throughout!


Golf at Thurlestone

We were there for the last of the glorious June heat wave and the outdoor pool was most welcome. With heated water jumping in was a pleasure. The boys challenged us to numerous swimming races which they won hands down. 


 Outdoor Pool At Thurlestone

Watching the boys dressed up in their jackets and enjoying a shandy before dinner was a real highlight for Nick and I, we felt so proud of them both and despite finding dressing for dinner a strange concept they both admitted after that they enjoyed the "theatre" of the occasion as they called it and the interesting mix of meals they tried which forced them away from the traditional steaks and burgers at the local pub and my family meal repertoire.


 Dressed for Dinner on holiday


Living in a valley at Coombe Mill we benefit from a beautiful mild micro climate but do lose the sun early in the evening and miss it setting. Here we had the beach just yards away and with the long light evenings and clear skies I was keen to enjoy an after dinner beach walk. The boys and I ended up with our shoes off and paddling out as the light fell away. To me this was a magical moment to share and even the water felt warm.

Sunset at Thurlestone Beach




Sunset at Thurlestone Beach

We played hours of badminton and squash together and after dinner snooker. My legs and arms ached for my efforts but it was all so worth it. I'd like to think this will become a tradition now for all the children when they finish their exams. It was a great way to spend time with just the two of them, a perfect opportunity to put their best table manners to the test and for them to experience something totally different to life on the farm for a couple of nights.

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been enjoying some fresh air with the children please come and share with me here. Country Kids is for all outdoor fun whether crafting, learning playing or an adventure from the garden to the park or even an urban day, as long as it is outdoors with at least one photo it qualifies for the linky. Do please grab the badge code to make it easy to follow the linky and comment on some of the other entries. There are always some great ideas to gain from someone else's post.  

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me there:

Pin on the Pinterest Board

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids 


A few of my favourite posts from last week:

Chocolate is not the only fruit has been staying down with us at Coombe Mill and shares her first impressions here on the farm

Madhouse Family Reviews stumbles on an unexpected village fate out Geocaching

What Elsa Wears shares a first glamping experience

Adventures of Adam shares an amazing Mud Kitchen that was so cheap to create.

Chelsea Mamma goes fossil hunting & more with the family down at the beach


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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The Rabbit and the Squirrel

June 29, 2014 at 8:59 PMCoombeMill

By Guy Cambouropoulos

It's a while since I did a post but I had a story I wanted to share. It is all about setting out to catch a rabbit and ending up with a squirrel! Okay so I need to explain this a bit.


We had lots of older children staying on the farm over half term which was great for me as they were more my age and had the freedom to explore the farm without their parents. They had a great time and are coming back again next year. Anyway while they were here there were a few problems. First of all one evening someone called 999 from our red phone box and the police came over. It wasn't any of us and Dad was very cross, he had stern words with everyone on the tractor ride the next morning. I must say me and my brothers were rather disappointed with the police car, it was very ordinary looking inside but the police man had a taser which was pretty awesome and exciting. Anyway, that was only one incident, the other one was that Dad bought a new rabbit. The children playing up at the rabbits thought it was being bullied by the others and decided to let it out. Dad thinks it was actually the boy rabbit doing....well you know, what boy rabbits do to girl rabbits, but it was all too late the rabbit was out. We managed to catch it again and made a home for it in Dad's shed as it had to be separated from the others in case of myxomatosis; this is a nasty disease wild rabbits can catch. We looked up the incubation period and saw that if we kept the rabbit separate for 7 days and there were no signs of sight loss and confusion she could return. However she escaped from Dad's shed!

Dad made a trap which he set near the lake where she had gone and we all tried to catch her with a fishing net too but failed!


Ready to catch a rabbit

Not a total fail though as we caught a squirrel in our trap. I took it back to the house and Dad wanted to shoot it as there are so many on the farm and they eat all the animals' food. It looked so pretty and harmless though Mum warned us not to get our fingers near or it would bite. Jed wanted to keep it as a pet but Mum was having none of it but we did agree to take it up to the woods behind our house and let it free before Dad came back with his gun!

 Squirrel in the rabbit trap


Up through the pony field to our camp in the woods we went. We opened the trap door and he darted out quicker than anything. I think he had a lucky escape, Jed was still cross Mum wouldn't let us keep him, but we were soon distracted by remaking our tree swing while we were there.

Tree Swing at Coombe Mill Woods


The rabbit was loose on the farm for over a week and managed to dodge the fox and all our attempts to catch her with a fishing net. She would peep out at us each day near the lake but run away so fast when we came too close.


Chasing our escapped rabbit


Finally our missing rabbit fell for Dad's trap with tempting food inside and was rescued on the morning tractor ride. She went back in Dad's shed in a stronger house made from an old wooden cot dong her 7 days all over again. We were delighted to have her back and popped some fresh grass in whenever we passed.


 isolation for an escaped rabbit


Sadly on day 6 she died. Mum says it was probably all the stress of being moved, escaping being captured again, Dad thinks she probably caught something nasty while she was out. I'm not sure which is right but I will be making sure none of my friends are tempted to let any of the rabbits out over the summer holidays which are nearly here now. Rest in peace little baby rabbit, I will miss you.

I hope our squirrel has found himself a new home up in the woods and hasn't been frightened by his capture too.   


Thanks for reading xxx

I'm linking up Guy's post to Magic Moments  What's The Story and Point and Shoot 

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Coombe Mill

"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. 

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