Silent Sunday / Project 52

May 17, 2014 at 11:20 PMCoombeMill

 Tree Roots Cottage from behind for Silent Sunday

 

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

May 17, 2014 at 12:40 AMCoombeMill

Bluebell Woods

Some afternoons are just meant to be perfect. This was one of them. We have the most wonderful woods just over the style from our deer field. It is a regular retreat for my kids and I love to join then when I can. This time of year is my absolute favourite as it is a carpet of bluebells. I have been watching so many wonderful bluebell posts over the past few weeks on Country Kids, like this one last week from Karen at Would Like to be a Yummy Mummy, and waiting patiently for ours to bloom. Finally they did and the kids had a great idea. Following the amazing fun with water guns round our house at their birthday part, they suggested we take them into the woods for a hide and seek style water fight amidst the trees and bluebells. I worried that it would all be over in minutes without an outside tap to refill their weapons, however Guy sensibly pointed out that the woods back onto our river and they could just fill up there. There was no arguing with that one so we set off purposely across the farm.

 

Trekking across the farm

I never tire of the beautiful sight of the bluebells and spring green growth in the woods at this time of year.

 

Bluebell woods in May

 

The children were much less interested in the beauty of their surroundings, which they take totally for granted, and impatiently asked me for a countdown to race off and hide. 

Let battle commence!

Round trees they hid then dashing for cover in a natural dip or simply lying low in the bluebells. There were shrieks of shock and surprise when they were hit by a water gun. This was such a perfect natural playground to host their game.

 

 Hiding in Bluebell Woods

A truce was called as they refuelled down by the river.

River refils for the Water Guns

Then it was back into full scale attack mode.

 Water Fight Fun in the Bluebells

 

Clio hid in a den they made earlier in the week, however it proved to be no cover against the might of the boys water guns!

 

Den Building in Bluebell Woods

 

Up a tree riding her imaginary horse she had her own back on them as they ran by below not noticing her there!

 

Clio riding a wooden horse

 

Finally Jed was shivering in his t shirt and wandered back while Clio, Guy and me stayed for a bit of fun on the rope swing.


Swinging on a forest rope swing  

Even the poor old Peacock was squirted off his perch on the way back by Guy while Clio wrote her name on the bridge & skipped off to have a quick twirl on our swing rope.

 

Water Gun fun all the way home

 

A simple afternoon enjoying what we have right here on and around the farm, but one we all enjoyed. 

If you have a wood near you check out to see if it has bluebells at the moment or better still look on the Forestry Commission site for one with a Gruffalo hiding celebrating 15 years of the famous Julia Donaldson book. Liz from Me and My Shadow and Vanessa from HPMcQ went to see them being made. They will be out in selected forests for you to find from now till September and look well worth a visit for an exciting adventure for anyone with young children.

My woodland kids arrived back at the house to find our new hot tub from Ruggles Leisure was up to temperature. In no time they were showered and their swimwear to soak their aching limbs. The tub was such a novelty they returned after dinner just for the fun of a night dip under the magical coloured pool lights. If the guests staying in Tree Roots this week enjoy it half as much as my children they will have an awesome holiday. 

 

Hot Tub at Coombe Mill in May

 

 Highlights from our day 

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been enjoying the outdoors please come and share your fun here on the linky. Country Kids is all about screen free family time out in the fresh air. Crafting, exploring, learning and playing all welcome. Grab the badge and remember to visit the others liked up too, there are always some wonderful ideas for your next day out.

A few of my favourites from last week.

Ruby Plus Lottie enjoyed a fun packed Feed run here on holiday at Coombe Mill

Mum on the Brink took the family on an organised Badger Hunting evening

Playing in the rain was not a problem for Adventures Adam or Twice a Mummy Double the Fun

Wild Family Fun made forest medals that look wonderful

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Choo Choo Little Train

May 14, 2014 at 1:54 PMCoombeMill

Anyone with toddler boys upwards will know the fascination with all things train and tractor related. Here on the Farm we have that covered with our afternoon Train rides. It has only been up and running for a year and there are still so many plans to make it even more fun and entertaining for little ones here on holiday. Guy our resident driver takes his job very seriously and always has a smile and a warm welcome for everyone each afternoon. 

 

Train fun at Coombe Mill

All our latest properties and refits are being made with specific playrooms or dens. These we fill with toys for our guests and parents tell us it is much appreciated giving them a little freedom each day whilst packing to go out or make the supper. Our latest cottage called Tree Roots will be rented this month and has a super new play room with a very special train.

 

Tree Roots Cottage Play Room

Knowing how popular the farm train ride was I knew a train set would be important. I discovered Bigjigs Toys through Twitter and saw that they made delightful wooden train sets including original carriage letters. They kindly offered to send me this lovely unique Coombe Mill train which I love. Each letter is a separate quality wooden carriage that can be arranged in any order. At just £2.29 per carriage it makes a great bespoke present and an affordable treat. 

 

 Bigjigs Toy Train set at Coombe Mill

Clio was quick to realise it would make her name too!

 

Clio with a Clio Train

I am thrilled to have this as part of the play room for Tree Roots Cottage and can't recommend a peep at the Bigjigs web site highly enough. Letters are just the start of what they offer. There is a whole magical world of train fun there from table sets to accessories that can be added to extend any set. The pieces are a good quality that will last for hours of play and still be in good condition to pass on to siblings in years to come and the prices are very reasonable. there is even free delivery on orders over £50. We are very excited to have our set here at Coombe Mill and I am already scouring the Bigjigs website for some new track to accompany it. 

Disclosure

I was sent my Coombe Mill Train as a gift. I was not required to write this review I just wanted to share a product I really like.

 

Life on the receiving end of Tripadvisor

May 12, 2014 at 7:30 AMCoombeMill

Everyone has heard of Tripadvisor and most of us have probably used it sometimes, if not regularly to investigate somewhere before committing to visit. You may even have put your own comments up there. It is a handy website and can give you a good idea of what you might expect but it is also worth remembering that it is subjective, personal and only a guide. 

Comments can Hurt

As a small business I cannot tell you how upset I get by a few of the comments on Tripadvisor about Coombe Mill. People can pick up on the smallest imperfection and blow it all out of proportion. There is one so nasty from an anonymous entry that it nearly put a family off visiting. I only know this because during their stay they told me about the post and how angry it made them feel when, like many, they had the best holiday ever and their view of Coombe Mill couldn't have been more different. It saddens me that people can visit us, be unhappy about something, not say anything to Nick or I whilst here but then anonymously tell the world about a fault they found with their holiday. I know I need to put this in perspective and remember that there are so many outstanding entries to every poor one but it doesn't stop them hurting me, especially as some are directly pointed at me, Nick or worse still our children. As a family we put so much into making every single person's holiday special which makes these comments feel like a real kick in the teeth. If you want to see what I mean this is the comment feed on Trip Advisor for Coombe Mill

Making Changes

There are always improvements going on here and those returning year on year comment on the positive changes. Over the past 12 months we have invested in the Coombe Mill Railway, introduced new animals and improved field fencing, built Tree Roots Cottage and dredged the fishing lakes together with ongoing maintenance.

 Improvements & Investment at Coombe Mill 2013 / 4

However much I would love to we can't afford to change and add everything all at once; I wish I could, there is always something that is work in progress and something that needs updating.  I have a growing Pinterest Board of things I would love to change or add if money were no object!

About the Farm 

We are a holiday farm. Our farm is a working farm but on a very small scale. It is not a petting zoo, the animals are not zoo animals and neither can we or would we want to expose you to all the real machinery and life cycle of a true working farm. We do our utmost to educate and develop confidence with the animals within safe guidelines but to some I guess we will always be too much of a farm and to others not enough.

 

Too farm like for little helpers?

 

We Act on all Comments

If someone takes the time to mention to us that something is not right in their property whilst staying at Coombe Mill we will do everything we can to rectify the problem at the earliest opportunity. We live here on the farm and are available to talk to at any time of the day or night. An uncomfortable mattress or a squeaky door are not always picked up on our weekly changeover checks, but tell us and we will sort it. Just two weeks ago a guest left us mentioning, very nicely, that there was an unacceptable damp smell in the downstairs bedroom in Willow Cottage. We aired the property as best as we could that day for the following guests, provided an alternative property for the parents using the room, and identified the chimney as the issue. This was not something we could sort instantly, however we were straight onto the builders to book them in for our first free week and they have now rebuilt the chimney from our emergency funds and also replaced the back door which families were having trouble locking as it had become stiff over the winter period. 

 

Replacing Willow ChimneyNew back doors to Willow Cottage

Please tell us of issues before venting on line, we do care and we will act. Just for the record I have chosen not to respond to comments on Tripadvisor to avoid becoming entangled in a public discussion there, but we do address every issue arising, it would just be so much more helpful if these comments could be directed to us here at the time of inconvenience so that we can sort them out before they spoil a holiday. 

Next time you go to add a poor review about a family business on Tripadvisor please remember there is someone who may really care receiving your complaint. Please consider approaching them directly about your concerns first, they may be only too happy to help.

My pleas to you before you visit Coombe Mill and during your stay

 
Do Don't
Read the web site and see what is included and excluded. It is very clear Don't book a riverside lodge because it is cheap and then complain it s small and basic when the web site clearly states this is the case.
If you visit us and are not happy please, please tell us at the time. Don't let something we can help with like an uncomfortable mattress ruin your sleep, we will happily replace it that day if we possibly can.
Do be aware this is a working farm with real farm animals and natural dangers. Children need to be supervised Don't expect the river and lakes to be fenced. They are natural features that our insurance prohibits us from fencing and signing.
Do use our safe play areas as somewhere to let the children run free and meet others  Don't expect us to find a damaged play item immediately. It really helps if you can tell us so we can fix it.
Do take advantage of our honesty shop and leave us a note in the book of purchases Don't expect us to stand in the shop all day, there is a door bell if you need us
Do take part on the activities provided. The morning tractor rides are fun and educational for parents and children and the train rides a great way to meet with others at the end of the day. Don't expect us to anticipate your every need. We try to ensure all children take turns at tractor driving and train turns but please speak up if we miss someone, or something is scaring them.
Do plan for all weathers. This is England and it can rain as hard in summer as in winter.  Don't book your holiday dates based on what you think the weather will be; it is very unpredictable in England for good and for bad!
Do enjoy the freedom and peace of the farm, appreciate the nature around you and respect it. Don't allow your children to run riot on the farm, leave gates open, terrorise the rabbits then complain they have been bitten or the play equipment is broken.

 

We work hard as a family to provide happy holidays for your family with plenty to keep children learning and enjoying from tots to teens. However if the outdoors, mud, wellies and animals in a beautiful 30 acre estate doesn't appeal and evenings by the log burner listening to the river babbling in the background is not your idea of entertainment then we may not be the holiday for you.

Still interested? Here is the link to our availability page.  We look forward to welcoming you to our farm and making your holiday one to remember for all the right reasons. 

 Tractor, trailer and animals at Coombe Mill Farm

I'm linking up with What's the Story over at Podcast

Silent Sunday / Project 52

May 11, 2014 at 12:00 AMCoombeMill

Tractor race tug of war

Posted in: On the Farm

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