A Holiday Train For All Seasons

Posted on October 1st, 2016 -

Our little holiday train has been delighting children now for several years. Each evening one of my children takes the children round the circular track. The times moves with the seasons, we are currently running the train at 6pm which works as a just before bath time treat for our toddlers this week. However when the clocks change the train time will need to move too.  By November it will be running at 4pm to catch the last of the day light.

 

Little holiday train at Coombe Halt.

 

The little holiday train draws up at Coombe Halt with a toot toot. This is the kids queue to come dashing across from the play areas or out of their cottage door.  My driver is supposed to wear a lovely train driver’s hat, however Clio claimed it wasn’t trendy enough of her and unless British Rail moved to a beanie hat she wouldn’t be wearing it. The guests did suggest I should dock her wages for non compliance which I thought was fair enough, but then remembered she was standing in for Guy who was playing rugby!

 

Little holiday train passing Water Mill Cottage

 

It only lasts around 15 minutes with 3 turns each; however our little holiday train really does keep the little ones enthralled. When they are not riding the children can blow the whistle, wave the flag or best of all man the signals and stop the train. Sometimes it can take an age to journey past the signals as the little ones endlessly have the driver stopping and starting again.

 

Operating the signals on the little holiday train

 

When the time come to wave the little holiday train goodbye for the night the children are in denial. They watch it back up fascinated as it is locked away till tomorrow.

 

Waving goodbye to the little holiday train at Coombe Mill in Cornwall

 

 

‘Tomorrow’ brought the return of Guy and the train drivers hat, much to the joy of the children.  

Last train ride of the week for a group of train enthusiasts. #train #minaturerailway #coombemill #holiday #countrykids #countrykidsfun #activity #happyholiday #kids #fun #train #happy #sunshine #fridayfun #countryfun

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

 

Coming up next for the little holiday train

I am already planning Halloween where the engine shed will be transformed into a ghost tunnel in time for our half term guests and those staying the following week for Halloween itself.

We are now full for half term but still have availability for the week of Halloween.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallPhotalife


Country Kids from Coombe Mill 1st October 16

Posted on September 30th, 2016 -

Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky designed to:

“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”

Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the National Trust 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill 1st October 16

Here at Coombe Mill the little holiday train has been the highlight of the day for the preschoolers staying with us.  There has been a different driver from my children each day as they juggle after school clubs but the children staying are happy so long as someone is there with a “toot- toot” at 6pm. 

Guidelines for Joining in: 

  • Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
    • Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
    • Large unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
  •  Please comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
    • If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
  • Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
  • Linked posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
    • I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
  • By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
  • There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.

Thank you to my top  commenters from last week:

1st Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on 30 posts this week.

2nd Cheryl from Time to Craft who commented on 28 posts this week.

3rd Hiedi from Him Me Three who commented on 25 posts this week.

Fantastic work ladies, thank you so much. Do check out their posts linked above too. 

My top commented post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.

 ‘link dump and run’ culprits was down to an amazing 1 if this was you do pop back over and share some blog love. 

Introducing Rockfish, the Country Kids Sponsor

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

You Could Win with Rockfish Wellies 

I am delighted to introduce Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish Wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.

Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here,  will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. 

For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.  

Congratulations to Sandy Heard of Mommy’s Little Princesses who is the winner of the September Wellies with a lovely post discovering a hidden cove

  • Sandy, please DM or email me your choice from the amazing Rockfish range.

Posts from last week in with a chance of winning the October Rockfish Wellies:

Merlinda is the Country Kids top commenter for this week with a fab 30 post comments last week.

Catching the Magic is over in the UK and packing in heaps of fun in North Wales

Chelsea Mamma goes behind the scenes at Moors Valley Railway

Country Kids Communities 

I’d love you to join me: 

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.

New: Join the Country Kids Instagram Community with #CountryKidsFun. I'll like and comment on all and share my favourites  from the week with a tag on a Friday on Instagram and Twitter

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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A Tree Top Adventure in France

Posted on September 30th, 2016 -

For the third in my series of posts from our holiday in France I’m sharing our Tree Top Adventure. We last tried this back in 2013. Back them, we had never been on, or seen anything like this before but it was so popular with everyone bar farmer Nick, we have been campaigning to return ever since.

A Tree Top Adventure in France

3 years ago the triplets were just nine years old and too young to complete all the adult runs. This time at twelve they were just able to do the full set including the famous black run with its scary wire bridge across the canyon.

It was an hour’s drive from our cousin’s house in Uzes and so arriving at lunchtime, the first thing on the kid’s minds was food. We found a beautiful shady bench overlooking the river Gardon for our picnic.

Picnic before starting our tree Top Adventure

 

Next to the picnic benches were some tightrope challenges. They just had to be tested and proved the perfect way to limber up and practice balance before our tree top adventure.

 

practicing ahead of our tree top adventure

 

Replenished and loosened up after our drive we checked in with the guides. I was pleased to see the safety harnesses had improved since our last visit. Back then a forgotten clip could be serious; now the clips and harnesses had a safely feature to ensure while off the ground, you always had at least one of your safety ropes attached to an overhead wire.  I was glad of the detailed explanation in English on how to use the equipment before we began.

Tree top adventure briefing

 

Even after our briefing there was a trainer trail to complete before we could be let loose on the serious course. A chance for plenty of family banter for anyone finding themselves in a muddle!  

Learning the ropes on our tree top adventure

Finally with our training complete we were ready to begin. The kids all put me last so I didn’t hold them up, cheeky I thought, but in fact they were quite right, I was the most nervous and scared of all and just thrilled to be joining them and not welching out to take the photos. Though it did mean balancing my phone precariously in my bum bag and trying not to shake as I risked letting go (harness attached) to grab the odd snap from up high. I was kicking myself for forgetting to charge the Go Pro after kayaking on the river the previous day.

Enjoying our Tree Top adventure

The Red Run began at ground level so I was able to video a clip of the boys receiving their briefing and setting off.

 

Tree top challenge with all the family today. #France #goape #holiday #countrykids #family #adventure #holiday #treetops #awesome #daring #challenge #fun #zipwire #kids #familydayout #amazing

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

By the time we finished I couldn’t have been more proud of my athletic kids and their tree top adventure. However my real star was Clio who hung back to encourage me not to quit when I really thought I couldn’t cling on. Together we completed the black run and wobbled over the final terrifying canyon to meet up with the boys.

completing our Tree Top Adventure in France

All in all this was a huge success and a real highlight of our holiday, although it did leave some of us quite exhausted.

boys-fast-asleep-after-their-tree-top-adventure

Our Tree Top Adventure on Video

Tips for attempting a Tree Top Adventure

  • We went to  Abracadabranch in the South of France
  • Prices were around 20 euros each making it an expensive day for all of us.
  • Take plenty of drinks, we ran out despite taking several litres of water and ended up investing in more there which thankfully was available to buy.
  • At Abracadabranch there is only one loo and it is a composting toilet in a B&Q style shed – be warned!
  • Road signs are pretty poor, we relied on our cousins for directions heading out of Ales, as you are almost there before you see any signs.
  • Take off any rings a they will rub when you are hanging onto the ropes.
  • I wish I’d taken cycling gloves. I ended up ripping the skin off my fingers clinging onto the wire ropes hauling myself up to ledges.
  • Wear comfy flexible clothing. I wore my running gear. Shirts and T shirt are fine so long as you have good movement.
  • You need a moderate level of fitness, my arm strength let me down and my shoulders ached the following day.
  • Allow 3 hours to complete all the runs.
  • If you are a little nervous try not to have a big crowd with you on the more tricky sections like the long wire bridge as it will make it more bendy and hard to keep your balance and grip. The boys thought this was hilarious, Clio and I crossed solo!
  • Remember the harnesses will save you if you are in trouble so never panic or it will zap your strength. Just try and you might surprise yourself. I don’t have a great head for heights but still loved the adrenaline rush of completing each stage.
  • Listen carefully to the safety briefing, it is quite straightforward when you get the hang of it but requires concentration.
  • If you try this abroad make sure you are fluent in the language or choose a venue with English speaking guides as we did.
  • Many of the UK Forestry Commission sites in the UK offer a similar tree top adventure with smaller courses for younger children too.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 


Let Tidy Skull surprise you at Halloween

Posted on September 26th, 2016 -

If you are looking for the perfect present for a quirky teenager, work colleague or friend around Halloween time then the Tidy Skull could be just the thing. A statement piece, almost shocking in its life like looks, it will transform a messy desk or shelf. Not only does it grab your attention as an unusual ornament, it is actually practical offering somewhere to house pens, keys and bits and bobs. You can even dress the tidy skull himself and give him his own personality.

Win Tidy Skull in time for Halloween

Keep your essentials in your head

When I opened our Tidy Skull I knew just who it would be for. My photo shy 14 year old suddenly forgot his camera phobia in his desire to lay claim to this new addition to the house. I have to admit it suits his room perfectly and was soon dressed in some colourful sunglasses and stashed with things formally cluttering up his desk. The gift box it comes in is so stylish he wanted to keep this too and has mounted the skull on top of the box so it really grabs your attention on entering his room. It looks perfect for this time of year, but will suit his style all year round.

Tidy Skull in Theo's Room

Key Features of the Tidy Skull:

  • Designed for things you use everyday
  • Perfect for home, office or school
  • Dimensions:5 x 16 x 21.5cm
  • Made from a quality heavyweight material
  • Beautiful gift box to reuse.
  • Currently on offer with prezzybox down from £40.00 to £29.99 (at time of posting)

Tidy Skull Desk Tidy

Win your tidy skull with Coombe Mill and Prezzybox

If you know someone who this would appeal to just follow the instructions below. Warning, it is not for the fainthearted, but perfect for the prankster!  

Tidy Skull

Disclosure

We were sent our Tidy Dry for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own and that of my 14 year old son who loves his new desk companion.

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky  Family Fever


University plucks one from the cuckoo nest

Posted on September 25th, 2016 -

I thought I was done with the emotional roller coaster of the first day of school. At age twelve to eighteen my children are all growing up and finding their independence. Their need for me and their Dad is reducing all the time and this independence is something I’ve always encouraged. However I failed to factor in just how emotional taking the first to University would be. Suddenly I felt like a parent taking my child to his first day at primary all over again; except worse, I wouldn’t be returning to collect him with a big hug in a few hours.

One flew the cockoo nest as Alistair drives to Cardiff University

Off to Cardiff University

When Alistair secured his place at Cardiff University I was so happy for him, it was an exciting new world opening up. The days closed in and as we drove up I could feel the apprehension in the car. A cocktail of nervous excitement from Alistair and a quiet dread of saying goodbye from me. Thankfully it was a beautiful day and the bridge into Wales felt very welcoming.

Hello Wales! Cardiff here we come . #uni #cardiff #freshersweek

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

Nick had driven up separately as Alistair was keeping his car with him. As we met at his new halls of residence it felt like time had stood still from 30 years ago and my own first day. That same smell, a cross between school and a hospital, the old fire doors, bike lock up and small rooms. However a friendly group of early arriving girls keenly welcomed Ally to the group on his floor and I felt things were going to work out at university. He even had a cracking view over the city and Cardiff bay from his 5th floor window.

University Halls Cardiff

We were blessed with the most amazing September weather and took Ally for brunch in Cardiff bay. I’m already looking forward to return trips and Nick is exploring the idea of hiring a boat to blast across from Padstow to Cardiff which he thinks would only take an hour.

Brunch in Cardiff Bay

With a big supermarket shop done there was no more need for us to be there. It was time for us to bid him Goodbye and let him find his feet alone. I was determined not to cry but as Nick pointed out the family photos he had secretly packed and pinned up on his notice board I almost cracked.  I walked out with a huge lump in my throat, but reassured this little cuckoo was well set up for his new university life.

So he’s in. Uni life starts here! #Cardiff #universitylife #uni #leavinghome #son

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

I had to wait a full 36 hours before I had my first Facebook message. He had been out to his first freshers party and it was “awesome” relief flooded through me. He is hopeless at staying in contact so I treasure the occasional message and I’m trying not to keep asking how he is. I don’t want to be an annoying parent, but it is so hard to just let go and not wonder how he is doing. I remember all too clearly blaming vandalised payphones when I forgot to ring home, though I guess the modern day equivalent would be ‘my phone was out of charge or credit’! 

Ally has left a big gap in our family life but we are learning to adjust, it is every bit as hard as I feared and I think about him all the time. Whoever is on dinner time table laying duty is still setting out eight places instead of seven. I can’t believe I may have to do this 5 more times over the coming years. If you have a little one just started primary, watch out, the heartache at leaving them certainly doesn’t get easier as they get older. Once a parent, always a parent, even when they fly the nest.

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