Country Kids from Coombe Mill

July 25, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Strawberries, Play and Enterprise

Every summer we love to go fruit picking at Pencarrow House and Gardens. It is only 15 minutes drive from us and we all love the raspberries there.  However this year they are not tending the fruit or opening for PYO to the public. I have loved all the strawberry picking posts coming in each week on Country Kids and felt we were missing out. Then I remembered Trevathon Strawberry Farm which we pass on our way to the beach. Nick was keen to visit here too as we knew the owners breed wallabies and Nick was after some companions for our Bruce and Shelia. We set off with the triplets and one of Clio's friends after an early lunch to give ourselves a few hours before the afternoon train ride.

We had no idea what to expect having never visited before and were delighted to discover free parking, a busy shop with farm goodies and gifts and a lovely looking restaurant where you could eat inside or out and which lead  onto a play area and open meadows.

The children each took a punnet and listened to directions to the PYO fields. However it took us a while to get there as they ran off to play first.


Listening to the Directions

The zip wire was huge and left Nick wondering how on earth they had passed this with their insurance company as it was bordering on dangerous with the huge spring back at the end. Thankfully there was sand and tyre chippings underneath as the triplets did fall, partly as they had ignored the instructions to go one at a time and all bundled on together!

The tunnel slide was equally popular; I rather fancy one of these for Coombe Mill

 Fun on the Park

Finally we picked up our punnets and headed passed ripening fields of wheat to the strawberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries. We sampled them all before the children all opted for strawberries and Nick for gooseberries. There were plenty of strawberries to go round as the field stretched out for acres and each row was teaming with fruit.


Gooseberries, Stawberries and Blackcurrants

Nick and I had time for a coffee in the sun and a look at the wallabies while the children continued to fill their punnets.  

Finally they returned and we loaded our haul onto the shop counter. It came to £25 but we had a full afternoon's entertainment and a lot of fruit to show for it so it felt like good value.

Picking Strawberries

Back at Coombe Mill we set to work making strawberry muffins.

Designing creative posters in the sun the children planned to take these with the muffins to sell them at the train ride and round the properties after. Three trays of tempting warm muffins sold in no time.

Cake Making 2

The children stopped along the path for their own little feast, just to make sure they were as delicious as they looked. The strawberry chunks in the cake mixture tasted like chunks of the finest strawberry jam.

They happily shared their profits and requested the remaining punnets be made into another batch just for our family the following day.


Cakes for sale

I think we may just be returning to Trevathon farm next year.

Joining in with Country Kids

Please come and join me with your outdoor fun here on the linky. I set Country Kids up to share ideas for enjoying screen free active time with children in the fresh air. 146 posts later I still love sharing our weekly antics and learning from your posts too. Thank you for supporting the linky and inspiring me and others who join. Please keep the fun going, anywhere from the town to the beach so long as it is outside it is welcome here. Just grab the badge and link away. Remember to check out some of the other posts too, there are always some great ideas and plenty of creative family fun to inspire your next adventure. 

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A few of my favourite posts from last week

Mummy Pink Wellies shares her first few days on holiday here at Coombe Mill

Sophie Is totally had me sold on doing a festival with the family from the photos here 

Dining In made me smile with Grandad who is a big kid at heart

Let's Talk Mommy has plenty of family fun in the sand and sea 

Adventures of Jack  discovers the magic of sun and water in the garden 

Mummy vs Daddy make a picnic in the park so much more with a little improvising and props

Would Like to be always makes me smile with beautiful photos of her country girls 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

July 18, 2014 at 11:10 PMCoombeMill

Village Carnival

Every year we enter the village carnival. It is a real feature of life in Cornwall and the villages and towns all run one each Saturday throughout July and August. St Breward is our local village and first to begin the festivities on the 1st Saturday of the month. Last year we won 1st prize with our Tour de France float and were keen to come up with something as eye catching and fun for the children again this year.

Float building is one of Nick's specialities, we discussed themes over dinner, coming up with a popular theme and one we could create is never easy. Steadily Minor Injuries grew as an idea and in the Aladdin's den of Nick's shed we found all kinds of suitable cast offs to make our hospital cubicle.

Building the Float

With a registration time on the night of 5.30 we knew it would be hard to finish changeover in time to change and drive up, however this was the first year the eldest two boys opted out and agreed to stay behind to show in the late arriving guests and Amber our apprentice was also there to help. This meant we were able to arrive in good time and certainly for me made a huge difference. We even had time for a team photo in the Coombe Mill car park before we left. I will just clarify that Farmer Nick bought my outfit much to the disgust of my older boys who I'm sure refused to come with us on the back of it!


Team Photo Op

Up at the village Green there was time to register, for the judges and photographers to come round and for us to peruse the carnival program where the children delighted in seeing a photo of us from last year.

Meeting friends and admiring the other entries soon takes up the time till the band strikes up and the procession through the village sets off.


Carnival Brochure


I was handed a Carnival collecting bucket by the committee and asked if I wouldn't mind walking and collecting money en route while the children were on the float. I always seem to be asked and quite enjoy it as it is a great chance to catch up with so many friends along the way.

The floats travel though the village a good mile very slowly behind the marching band to the cheers of the crowd, yet still I managed to get left behind as I rattled my bucket either side of the street and stopped to have a chat, listen to the band and stroke a snake!


Carnival Floats

I caught them up on the last leg as we entered the football fields proud of my brimming full bucket if not my garter which had worked its way down my leg. The village really are so generous and this will help fund many community events throughout the year.

The children were quick to jump down and join in the fun at the football field. It was a wonderful summer fate atmosphere with entertainment for the children, food for all and a bar.  Having such a lovely summer's evening enabled everyone to enjoy the outdoors before entering the marquee to hear the judging.


Fun at the Carnival


We thought we hadn't come anywhere as our category was called and our names omitted from the winning places. The children all vacated their seats and were heading out with their heads low only to hear "and the winner is Coombe Mill with Minor injuries"

We had been moved to another category. The excitement after the disappointment was almost too much; they quite literally ran to the front for their trophies and prize money before I could focus the camera. Squeals of delight and a winning photo shoot by our float before we headed home. The children would have played there all night but Nick and I were flagging on the back of a busy Saturday at Coombe Mill. I wonder what we will come up with next year.





Carnival Celebrations


Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been enjoying some outdoor summer fun please come and join the linky. The only criteria is that your post is outside and with children. It can be anywhere from the garden to the beach and cover play, learning, crafting or an adventure. Leaving the comfort of the indoors, screens and sofas for some active outdoor fun in the fresh air is good for us adults and the kids so take your camera  with you and have some fun. Please grab the badge or link to this post and do check out the other entries here, there are always some great ideas to inspire your next activity. 


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A few of my favourite posts from last week

Mummy M's Memories enjoys a country walk hunting for geocaches

Clarina's Contemplations takes full advantage of their new National Trust membership

Lakes Single Mum takes the kids to a great country gala 

A Bavarian Sojourn goes glamping in the beautiful mountains of Austria 

Mothering with Mindfulness connects with nature

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

July 11, 2014 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

Pirates and Fairies

Quick DIY Pirate & Fairy Crafts


We had one of the great British downpours just before our Coombe Mill activity hour began. Everything was drenched even though it had actually stopped raining by the time everyone had assembled by our reception. Given the soggy state of my garden bench and table we headed in to the kitchen leaving the doors open as it was still muggy and warm. Thankfully my kitchen table is big and there was plenty of space for everyone. Here we delved into the land of make believe creating simple pirate swords cut from card and covered in silver foil,  eye patches from black card and string and for the younger girls they chose to raid the dressing up box for fairy costumes and make simple wands from sticks and cardboard stars covered in silver foil. Kym had cut the templates out in advance to make it easier so the children just had the fun task of coating and assembling their play props.


Fairy wands and Pirate eyepatches


By the time they finished the sun was out and the ground drying up enough for us to head back outside. We handed out tick sheets and pens in preparation for a little hunting challenge for our pirates and fairies.


Tick Sheet


Excitedly we trooped off to the fairy garden to see if we could find the lovely decorated stones from Lisa Bailey Brown marked on their sheet of paper.


Off to the Fairy Garden


Each animal on the stone had the corresponding hoof / paw / foot print associated with it. The children took the task very seriously shouting in delight whenever they spotted an animal print stone from their list, I think the parents quite enjoyed joining in too. Kym had rearranged the stones in advance so no one knew where to look and as I had just added some new items into the gardens that day there was plenty to discover along the way.


Finding the stones


Once everyone had found the stones we headed over the road to our pirate play ship to hang out some Cornish Flags in preparation for a spot of play before Guy arrived to run the afternoon train.


Hanging out the flags

It was lovely to watch the children continue in their make believe world clutching their swords and still wearing eye patches and fairy dresses as they sailed down the slides and steered the ship.


Play Time Fun


Another successful activity hour making the most of what we have here at Coombe Mill.


Joining in with Country Kids    

Country Kids is all about enjoying time spent outdoors. It can be going on an adventure, a day out, holiday, craft activity, playing in the garden or anything else that inspires you. There are so many health benefits from a little fresh air and time out of our busy daily lives with our children. I hope you will share your fun here on the linky. Please grab the badge or link back here and remember to check out some of the other posts too. There are always some great ideas to inspire your next outdoor adventure. 

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

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A few of my favourite posts from last week

Chocolate is not the only fruit explores Cornwall from a holiday base here at Coombe Mill

Joys of the journey discover an exciting national forest far away while Over there to here enjoy the woods of England 

Over 40 and Mum to One takes some amazing photos on a most successful nature walk

RollerCoaster Mum treads in the footsteps of Winnie the Pooh

Lets Talk Mommy tells of no place like home and makes me want to visit too. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

June 27, 2014 at 11:39 PMCoombeMill

Water free nature fishing

For Activity Hour at Coombe Mill this week I wanted to try something linked to nature and the seasons. My age group averaged at two so I was conscious that whatever we did would need to be easy for little ones to understand and enjoy. It was whilst walking round the farm for inspiration that I found myself faced with sticky weed on the bottom of my leggings. That was where the idea began. I picked up a long stick and wrapped some sticky weed around the end and then I tried to see if it would have enough stickiness to collect a leaf from the ground. If they were textured leaves it worked. From there everything fell into place.

On the afternoon with help from Farmer Kym and Amber our new Coombe Mill apprentice we set up a rug under the shade of the trees and I handed out some activity sheets to the parents so they knew what we were trying to achieve. 


 Sticky weed Fishing Game instruction sheet


To help the children with the notion of imagination we brought out the dressing up boxes and invited them to choose an outfit, I even found a tutu to go round me! Sitting under the trees we read a lovely story about colour and things we might find on the farm from our Parragon Books collection. 


 Dressing up clothes and story time


Then we set off on a nature hunt to find sticky weed in the hedges, some ferns which were the perfect texture and shape to be our fish and the essential ingredient: a good long stick for everyone. 


 Finding nature for a fishing game


Back at our activity centre under the trees the rug became our blue lake and we made our fishing lines and set out the fish & flowers. It was such a simple activity but one that kept everyone happy. A few triumphant faces on catching a fish and even the parents couldn't resist a turn.


Fishing for Leaves and Flowers in a pretend lake


With time to spare and the sun losing its heat we played ring a ring a roses in the sunshine.



Ring a ring a Roses

A lovely end to a holiday at Coombe Mill.



This was a perfect activity for tots, just enough to create the pretend, but not too fiddly that they couldn't do it themselves with a little help attaching the sticky weed.

Joining in with Country Kids 

Country Kids is all about enjoying the outdoors. Whether you are playing in the park, out on an adventure, enjoying a family day at the beach or the woods or learning and crafting as we were here please do come and join me. There are only a few restrictions namely to please include at least one photo of your activity and that it should be outside. From there anything goes, the more ideas we share for enjoying screen free fresh air time the better. Please do take time to comment on others linked up, there are always some wonderful ideas which might just inspire your next adventure.  

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:

Would like to be shares Rosie's love of scooting with some adorable photos

Time to Craft shows how to make a fantastic Teepee. I really want to try this in our Coombe Mill Fairy Garden

Mommy Loves plays an educational Tree Game that could be done anywhere from the woods to a park

I love this biking challenge from A Family Day Out and the cakes at the end look well deserved.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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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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