Win a Discovery Pass & Enjoy Our Forests

March 19, 2013 at 12:09 PMCoombeMill

Outdoor Fun for All the Family

We all know how being outdoors in the fresh air is good for us, but sometimes thinking where to go for the children can run free, you feel safe and that won't cost the earth is not so easy. Did you know that the Forestry Commission have some well kept woods with nature trails, things to do, play areas and beautiful cafes with log fires and plenty of car parking? It doesn't take much for children to make the most of the outdoors and a walk along one of these trails can be quite an adventure when little minds get to work. Our local forest is Cardinham Woods and when we went to check it out back in the autumn we had a wonderful afternoon of fun parking for free with our discovery pass and looking out for wildlife along the way in our specially provided collecting bags.


 Enjoying Cardinham Woods

The Forestry Commission have teamed up with Coombe Mill to offer you a chance to win your own discovery pass for a specified forest of your choice. You can find your local one here

The pass is valid for 12 months and gives free parking for one car at the designated location.
There are additional benefits to the pass including: 
  • A seasonal e-newsletter, with forest news and events.
  • Generous discount vouchers for shops and activities on and off site.  Benefits differ from site to site.

The offer is open for UK residents only and the winner must claim their prize within 2 weeks of being notified.
Closing Date 02/04/2013 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Even if you don't win a discovery pass, car parking is very reasonable for an afternoon of healthy outdoor fun, hope you can grab your coat and wellies and get on out to enjoy your local forest.  21st March each year is officially World Forestry Day so why not check out what's going on in your local woods?

Forestry Commission Badge

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

November 23, 2012 at 11:57 PMCoombeMill

Cardinham Woods 

7 children, 1 dog and 2 Mums, a recipe for fun in the woods! We left the Dads working on the building site at Coombe Mill and set off for Cardinham Woods. Not a popular move at first with complaints of " but we have woods here Mum" but I had been given a discovery pass from the Forestry Commission and was keen to visit as my friend has guest posted about it before as one of their favourite family days out. Needless to say our children had a wonderful time creating plenty of adventures which were further embellished on their return.


The car parking is ample and cheap at £2 per vehicle (or free for 1 named vehicle with a discovery pass) and signage from the main roads made it very easy to find. Just off the car park are toilets, a gorgeous cottage tea room with delicious looking food and a roaring log fire. I was impressed right from the start.

Facilities at Cardinham Woods

Seven Go On An Adventure

We were sent information leaflets and bags with our pass to encourage the children to collect and identify the trees and foot prints along the walk.


Signs and activities to inspire Kids


Living on a 30 acre wooded farm I didn't think my children would be interested in doing this, but actually they loved hunting for the tree leaves and took it all very seriously, or perhaps that was just the excuse to abandon the Mums, and go "off piste" along the lesser know paths on their own adventure leaving Benji the dog unsure who to follow!


7 Go On An Adventure


The trails are in fact all clearly marked up with distances and difficulty with the flatter ones being wheelchair and buggy friendly. Scenic picnic stops with bench tables are located along the way making it easy to stop and just take in the stunning scenery. The clearly marked paths did help our young explorers find their way back when their 'short cut' in search of the missing birch leaf and rabbit print had them quite lost! Then it wouldn't have been an adventure if they didn't lose us grownups!  


Wide paths and picnic tables at Cardinham Woods


By the time we all met up back at the car park the light was fading fast and we were pleased to see them all back safely. My friend and her daughter headed home; they had one filthy long haired quite exhausted dog to clean up, while mine headed over to play in the dark on the now deserted play area. All the equipment is wooden and tastefully carved into animals, another idea to add to my long list for Coombe Mill! 



Play Area at Cardinham Woods

If you fancy checking out your nearest Forestry Commission woods, they have a handy app for i-phone or android free to download as well as the website. The woods are free for everyone (just car parking to pay without a pass) and make for a healthy fun day out for children from babies to teenagers.  

Inspired to craft

Back at home the children emptied their haul of forest goodies on to the table and spent all evening creating from a leaf identification table to fir cone animals, leaf pictures and finally I made them up some flour and water dough to make modelling clay for 3D animals! I was thrilled with their interest and creativity and they were happy to create and rest their tired legs.


Woodland Crafts

Joining In with Country Kids

How have you been enjoying the outdoors with the children this week? Please grab the badge and come and join me on the linky. From the garden to the park and beyond, rosy cheeks and a healthy glow is what Country Kids is all about.  The Linky is open each week from Saturday to Thursday.

Whilst linking here you might also like to pop over this week to Thinly Spread where your Country Kids post will also make a great entry for Christine's Festive Friday Back to Basics Photo competition.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

If you go down in the Woods Today....

October 18, 2011 at 2:38 AMCoombeMill

Cardinham Woods by Julie BermanChildren in a Tunnel of Trees


Recommended by a friend, as well as being on our list of new places to visit this year, we finally made it to Cardinham Woods last week.  Firstly, it’s very easy to find, a few minutes outside Bodmin (head towards the A38/Liskeard direction and take the first turning off the roundabout – follow the brown tourist signs).  There is lots of parking (£2 flat fee all day).  Straight away, the girls were in awe of the variety of dog breeds jumping out of the back of their owners’ cars (it is a dog-walking heaven). We donned wellies and waterproof jackets and set off armed with a map of all the trails. The day was overcast and it was threatening to rain, so we decided on the easiest 3km circular route.  It was flat for the most part so very accessible to wheelchairs or pushchairs.  I can’t vouch for the other routes but the one we took would also have been perfect for cyclists of all abilities.  There are in fact 5 different walking trails through the Woods ranging from 3km to 5 ½ km. Some of them apparently are steep in places but you are then rewarded by stunning views over the forest and (on one of the trails) of an old lead and silver mine.

 Stunning Views in the Woods

Our timing was perfect and the heavens opened just as we reached the end of the walk which brought us back to our starting point of the car park.  If, like me, you need hot liquid refreshment and something sweet to munch on at the end of a walk, then Woods Café will be right up your street.  It’s not massive inside but very welcoming, with comfy sofas, piles of magazines to flick through and toys and books to keep children occupied. It also has outside seating if the weather’s right.  The coffee was excellent and the enormous slab of cake was delicious and nearly (!) too much for one person.


I can see on a dry, sunny day that you could pack a picnic and spend the whole day exploring the forest.  There are a couple of picnic and barbeque areas along the trails and a very well equipped play area ideal for smaller children back near the car park.


Next time, we will come prepared and try one of the longer walks – and hope for better weather! 

Cardinham Woods BridgeGirls Enjoying the Woodland PathsBeautiful Old Bridge

A bit about Julie

After many years of city life, Julie moved to North Cornwall 9 years ago. In between helping with her husband's business and acting as taxi driver to their 2 beautiful daughters, she now spends as much time as possible on the beach. I love Julie's writing style and am hoping for more guest blogs in the future, perhaps one on our lovely Cornish beaches!

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"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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Here at Muddy Puddles we believe ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kit!’. We’re on a quest for all children to be fit for adventure, and to embrace the outdoors.

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