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Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 18 April 2014 23:45

The Coombe Mill Annual Raft Race

This is the 5th annual Easter Raft race at Coombe Mill spearheaded by a group of lovely guests who have been returning each Easter for as many years. Every year the newcomers join the regulars for this annual tradition. Word filters round during the day and everyone sets to work building, construction, taping and painting from the ornate to the practical. I snuck round with my camera to capture the work in progress outside various properties, our house included.

 Easter Raft Building

Guy's train ride with our newly returned train was a chance for the 1 hour warning for anyone still unaware. (More about the train from Guy next week).

New Train & Raft Race notice

At 6pm everyone and their crafts made their way towards the starting line, the footbridge to the farm. The race was to be from here to Coombe Bridge downstream, not far but with a river that meanders and plenty of river banks to cause obstruction it is not every vessel that will cross the finishing line. As always there were some real masterpieces and some proud raft builders, parents included!

 Rafts Ready to Race

In the past we have waded into the water for a start line but this year we decided on a launch from the bridge with a countdown to start.

 Launching the Easter Raft Race


The anticipation and excitement reached fever point as the count ran down from ten back to zero and launch. No sooner were they in the water than everyone was dashing down the river bank cheering on their creation. A few tears along the way as some ran aground early, but there was always someone to free them and set them on their way again.


 Easter Raft Race, chasing the rafts along the bank


Long before the rafts arrived people were gathering on the finishing bridge seeking out and cheering on their own creations. To watch the finish line you would swear you were standing on the line at the grand National, such was the noise!


Rafts over the finishing bridge


The oldest raft that is loving kept and returned each year by our guests came second with Team Guy coming in first place. Everyone was still in high spirits and raft races turned into jumping in the river. Round and round they they squelched, jumping off the bridge and splashing into the freezing water while Guy surfed up and down collecting passing rafts.


Jumping off Coombe Bridge & Rast Rescue


Dinner was late in every household that night, but sometimes having fun takes precedence. 


Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is live every Saturday to Thursday and is about leaving sofas and screens and enjoying time outdoors in any way you like. Playing, crafting, day trips and learning can all become an adventure in the great outdoors. Every week here on the linky there are some wonderful posts of families taking time out together. If you have a post to share please grab the badge and link up. Do please check out the others here too, it might just inspire your next activity.

Just a few of my favourite posts from last week:

I am a huge cycling fan and loved the posts by Lakes Single Mum and Belle Du Brighton  

Geocaching is one I am yet to try but Fun as a Gran makes it into an adventure

The freedom of mud play by Family Fever and Mummy to Boyz is so very Country Kids

Remember you can join Country Kids here on the linky as well as:

Pin on the Pinterest board

Join the Google Plus community page for Country Kids

Share your posts on Instagram & Twitter with #CountryKids 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 13 December 2013 11:50

Christmas Reindeer

Here at Coombe Mill we have a wonderful herd of fallow deer. They are on extra rations now just in case Santa needs them for Christmas.

 Coombe Mill Deer at eating breakfast

However everyone knows Santa's first choice is for Reindeer; not something we plan to move into on the farm but, thanks to a post I was copied in on via twitter from The Un Cheshire Wife, we have reindeer of sorts. Lolly, who writes the Un Cheshire Wife, collected some homemade reindeer from The Walton Lea Project, to sell on at a Charity Christmas fair and kindly thought what fun they would be for us. All it took was a quick look at the simple design and we were all off on a mission to make a Coombe Mill reindeer family for Christmas. 

Our first task was to find suitable bodies from the log pile.


Reindeer body hunting


Then we needed limbs and antlers from around the farm. This gave the boys a chance to try out Dad's saws under my watchful eye.

Sawing branches on the farm


I did try to take us on a short cut back to the shed past where the lake had been dredged in the autumn and came a cropper in the mud! At times like this having teenage boys to tug me out really does help, meanwhile Guy kindly took my camera to protect it from the bog and proceeded to take copies photos of my stuck position complete with my bum in the air as I tugged at my boots! When asked why he didn't take any from the front he wisely pointed out that would have involved him being stuck too!


Stuck in the mud


Safely back at the shed and Nick was busy drilling holes into bodies for the legs to be attached. It was really a very slick operation leaving the rest of us watching in awe. Felix was allowed a turn and said it was much harder than it looked!


 Making Reindeer at Coombe Mill


The triplets had a bit of fun with the antlers and making snow storms from the sawdust generated from Dad's work.


 Kids at play



Working as a team, with a little play in between, we managed 3 adult reindeer and a baby one which the children carefully clung onto for the bumpy journey from Dad's shed to the lawn where they finished up looking impressive over the lane for all to see.




Clio even experimented with blinging one of them up with Tinsel. 

 Coombe Mill Reindeer Family


Then inspiration struck. We had a set of solar lights which we carefully removed from their hedge location and wrapped them round the reindeer. There weren't quite enough to fully define the reindeer but it still made a fun Christmas decoration. 

 Christmas lighting Reindeer


I think these reindeer might become an annual craft for us; certainly cheaper than and just as effective as the expensive designer decorations sold in the shops!

Remembering Kerry aka Multiple Mummy

Kerry is a wonderful lady I never managed to meet, yet tweeted with often. She was at the heart of the Mummy blogging world just eighteen months ago before a terrible brain haemorrhage. Kerry lost her brave fight for life a year ago today leaving a wonderful husband and 3 tiny children. The blogging world thought it would be fitting to remember her today through her linky Family Frolics which was born at the same time as Country Kids; Kerry and I both laughed at how similar our ideas were. Country Kids is now in its 114th week and I know if Kerry were here we would still be linking up and supporting each other. My Christmas Reindeer family fun this week doubles up as a Family Frolics post as it would have in past times.  RIP Kerry x


Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is simply about outdoor fun for kids. Please come and join in and share your adventures whether they be crafting, learning, playing or discovering the great outdoors. From an urban park to the quiet of the woods, make the most of your family time out then grab the badge and share your fun here. Remember to pop back and see what others have been doing too; my inspiration often comes from reading your posts.

A few of my favourites from last week were: 

Can I walk Mummy? Shares a wonderful family day out full of Christmas cheer

Maris World has totally inspired me with this Reindeer Trail, which I now want to create at Coombe Mill 

Right from the Start has some great ice play ideas for Christmas fun and makes it educational too

Just for this week, in remembrance of Kerry, any indoor or outdoor family fun posts carrying the Family Frolics logo are most welcome to join this Linky. There is also a Blog Hop for Family Frolics organised by The Boy and Me 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 22 November 2013 23:30

We are preparing for Christmas

I love everything about Christmas, the build up, shopping for presents, wrapping presents, planning all the fun of the farm for our holiday guests and a little bit of crafting with the children. I stumbled over this idea while I was fiddling with an old newspaper recalling making seat cushions as a Girl Guide and waiting for a cake to come out of the oven. The most unlikely but true start to our advent calendars this year.  The rest evolved as ever with help from the children.

Homemade Advent Calendars

I showed them how to fold and weave the sheets of newspaper to make a grid of 25 squares and they all soon grasped the idea and joined in. The corners are then tucked in to make a neat square shape on both sides. It is important to have a good overhang of newspaper for the tucking in as this helps give the shape structure.


Weaving Newspaper for a Christmas calendar

We threaded a wooden BBQ skewer and string through the top section to hold the shape and provide a way to hang the calendar. 

Calendar Ready to Decorate for Christmas

Then for the fun part: The children each choose a colour and painted their square helped by Penguin our cat who was lucky not to end up with paint on her paws.


Christmas Calendar making

Next an excuse for some farm fun as we set off in search of some festive ivy to make our decorations.


 Hunting on the farm for Christmas Ivy

Guy and Jed stuck their ivy onto the wet paint along with some icing sugar for a Christmassy effect. Clio chose to use the ivy leaf as a print to paint onto her dried square later on. The children then wrote the numbers one to twenty five in random squares across the front face to give themselves a challenge each morning to find the number!

Decorating Christmas Calendars

Finally the part they were most excited about: threading candy sticks and chocolate pennies into the pockets. I deliberately chose this mix as some of the pockets have no bottom depending on the direction of the weave while others are secure but accessed at the side.

 Filling the Calendars with sweets


The result is three amazing home produced calendars for just £2 each, which was the price of the candy and chocolate pennies. They look wonderful on the back of their bedroom doors all ready for next weekend.

 Homemade Christmas Calendars for £2

After all that crafting there was just time for a quick kick about with the football since my Country Kids can never sit still for too long and the boys had a league match to practice for the following day.  Jed came home from the actual game with the 'Man of the Match' trophy and couldn't have been more proud.

 Garden Footie

Win Christmas with Us

Just in case you missed all my tweets this week, I have a competition up to win your family Christmas with us here at Coombe Mill. If your Christmas party has seven or less people and you fancy the idea of Christmas away why not hop on over and enter? I guarantee plenty of Country Kids moments for the winner.  

Joining In with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about enjoying outdoor activities with the kids. I know its winter, the days are short and it can be cold and wet, but still a little fresh air is good so wrap up warm, turn off the screens, leave the central heating and make time for some outdoor family fun. It can be a simple as as trip to the park, the beach or the woods, garden crafts, a family day trip, recent holiday highlights or anything else you do outdoors. If you can add the badge to your post that would be grand and please, please come back and visit a few others linked up. They may just inspire your next adventure. 

If you are short of ideas take a look at a few posts that stood out for me last week:

I love this woodland adventure brought home and used back indoors for an autumn sensory train track from Edspire

Similarly More than a Momma brings their fun at the woods home and creates a treasure tin to build up each time they visit

The Boy and Me and Shutterflies make me yearn for a beach trip with these lovely photos

Three Boys and a Cat reminds me that we need to crack on with some bird food making again this season


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 7 July 2012 03:10

Craft activity in the Garden

A little time to play alone is great for bringing out the imagination in my children. Sometimes these afternoons fall apart at the seams when an alleged injustice sparks a major fall out. Last Sunday however they teamed up, squabble free, to create parachutes for their toys. 

Dashing in and out to collect their equipment, their enthusiasm and teamwork was a delight to watch. For once I let them be with no chasing to clear up until the fun was through. 

Homemade Parachutes in Making

Cutting the Bin BagsAttaching stringLightweight teddy attached

Team work by the kids to finish the parachute



















Then it was up the fire escape to test out their invention again and again!



Country Kids June Sun Hat Winner

Every month I select a lucky winner from the previous month's posts to receive one of our lovely Kids Coombe Mill Sun Hats. Doubles up well as a rain hat too this year! Recapping over the fantastic spread of outdoor fun ideas in June my chosen post is Full steam ahead from Single Married Mum, well done on a great post. Farmer Nick has been thinking of a train for Coombe Mill and showing him how much fun your children had on their day out has just pushed the project further up our "to do" list so thank you!

Joining In

Do please keep your outdoor adventures coming in. The linky is live every Saturday till Thursday. From a single photo to tails of a great day out, if it's outdoors and with the kids I love it, just grab the badge and join the fun. If you can spare a few minutes to comment on what others are doing too, I'm sure they would appreciate it, and it could spark a new idea for you too.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Multiple Birthday Mayhem at Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 1 May 2012 11:15

Triplets Party Time 

I always feel slightly uneasy at the responsibility that comes with managing my triplets birthday parties; with 3 of them all inviting their friends we end up with quite a house full. Thankfully we have the farm, the play areas and 30 acres of fun and freedom which all their friends find absolute heaven. Never the Less keeping an eye on a class of eight year olds and focusing their energy takes all of mine and I do like to enlist a little help from some of my Mummy friends too! 

Strategic Planning for Success

I like to have a plan for birthday parties and then allow a little "go with the flow" to develop as well.  I opted for a lunch time party with a BBQ and crossed my fingers for the weather. I can't say we were lucky as it drizzled on and off all day but the children were so excited it didn't seem to matter!

The party plan:

1. Free play

2. BBQ

3. Crafts

4. Birthday Cake

5. Water play

6 Parents collect 

A Party of two halves

They are just reaching the age where the opposite sex are to be avoided at all costs and any game has to be girls versus boys. I should have guessed this really. Since most of the class were attending the party had been the talk of school for the preceding week. Right from the start my over active bunch of children wanted to dive into a water battle, all armed with water guns they had brought. However I insisted in this being the last event no earlier than 30 minutes before parent collection.  With the water game vetoed they boys disappeared off onto the farm and play areas whilst the girls tried out our new play side in the garden. Farmer Nick had bought this on e-bay hoping to embed the track into the grassy banks on the lawns and make a floor level safe natural fun slide for our guests to enjoy near the play boat. Sadly the insurers wouldn't have any of it so into the garden it came, much to the delight of my children in time for the party!

New Play slideNew Play Slide in use


Clio shows us the slide in operation:


Everyone Loves a BBQ

Farmer Nick battled against the elements to produce a perfect BBQ. The boys were still wild with excitement despite their hour of dashing around the play areas and so a BBQ was perfect. No need for plates or sitting down, just a grab and run to suit them. They almost disappeared too soon but were soon pulled back by the prospect of toasting their own marsh mellows on the BBQ under the watchful eye of Farmer Nick.

Farmer Nick's Special BBQEnjoying the BBQToasting marshmellows

Guy then had the honour of being allowed to dose the BBQ coals with water before anyone could hurt themselves.

Putting out the BBQ at Coombe Mill

Craft Time

After lunch a little down time with crafts was the plan. The girls were delighted to come in and sat down enthusiatically for home made cookie decorating. The boys just gave me that "you have to be kidding" look and dashed back off to our play boat to resume their games.

Biscuit decoratingBirthday girlBiscuits from Coombemill

Moving happily from biscuit icing to glass decorating the girls were blissful. This was such a simple idea, felt pens for glass which you then just bake in the oven to ensure the design remains in tact after washing. The best thing about party crafts is that the children design and make their own take home presents negating the need for party bags! 

Glass paintingGlass paintingFinished Glass and Biscuit

Happy Birthday

No party is complete without a good party cake. This was a giant 3 in 1 banana one side and chocolate the other all with a choice of icing for their own section. With eight candles each it took some lighting but even the boys enjoyed this one, if only because it signalled the time for the long awaited water gun bonanza!


Birthday Cake


Rabbits and Water Play

The adults sensibly split themselves between the rabbits with the girls and watching through the house window while the boys enjoyed their mad half hour in the garden with water guns. Soaked and shivering, but still laughing, the boys, and one or two girls, trooped inside to change just as their parents arrived to collect them. Pictures came back from the rabbits, but none of us were brave enough to risk the water guns in the name of a photo! 

Rabbits for the Girls


At the end of the day everyone was returned to parents safe and happy with a bag of soggy clothes or or a beautiful glass and buscuit! Managing the expectations of 3 together on their big day is definitely challenging. However they all came up to Daddy and I later that evening claiming it was the best party ever. That alone made it worth all the effort.

I am linking this post to Multiple Mayhem Carnival hosted this month by the lovely  @multiplemummy

and for the crafty section my 1st entry with Red Ted's Kids get Crafty linky with