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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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Kids Perspective from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 19 April 2014 00:45

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 lovingly kept and returned each year by our guests came second with Team Guy coming in first place. Everyone was still in high spirits as raft races turned into jumping in the river. Round and round 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 11 April 2014 23:54

A little sun and my kids go wild

We had a weekend with some wonderful sunshine. It puts everyone in high spirits and brings out the adventurous side in the children. We were hard at work on the farm preparing for the Easter holidays, the children had been working hard on the farm and deserved some free play. Thank goodness for a ready made playground here at coombe Mill, except that they declared it too hot to be running around. I'm not sure how they will cope when summer really arrives! In true Coombe Kids style they took matters into their own hands. I followed the sounds of shouting and laughter this is what I found:


By the Lake


I looked up and smiled at my adventure seekers who were cooling off in their own way. 

Fun in the Lake

Needless to say it lasted just minutes before they were frozen and made a dash for home. However the idea had inspired the others and I suggested if they wanted to play on the lake wearing their wet suits might be a good idea. This prospect appealed to Guy and Clio too. Jed ran off to collect the quad bike having struggled carrying the surfboard back and forth and they all suited up.

 Of to play in the lake


The island at the far end of the lake became the target with the surfboard acting as a Ferry. Quite a lot of teamwork and a few squabbles along the way and a plan was hatched. 



Still keen to continue their adventure they all piled aboard the surfboard. There were a few man overboard episodes along the way. Their destination was the Coombe Mill crocodile for more imaginary play and fun.


Crocodile play


Finally chilled to the bone I pealed their wet suits off on the doorstep and ushered them all into a hot bath while I rinsed off their suits. Another happy day here on the farm and a hungry bunch for dinner. 


Chiiled after fun in the lake


It turns out their adventures had not gone unnoticed by our guests who were quick to follow their example the following day borrowing our wetsutis from the shop and playing in the river. My own soon joined in with the surf board and laughter and shouting reached epic proportions as they jumped, surfed and dared one another until well into the evening, cementing some great Easter holidays friendships.  


River fun with friends 

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about enjoying some fresh air in any shape or form and giving children time away from screens and sofas. Keeping active is good for mind and body and the outdoors gives the freedom and space that children need. Please join me here on the linky with family days out, crafting, playing or any other outdoor adventure. There are some wonderful posts each week and a thriving community on Pinterest and Google Plus. If you are not already part of these please join me there.  Please grab the badge and showcase your fun here on the linky, be sure to stop by others, it could inspire your next adventure.

Just a few of my favourite posts from last week

The Reading Residence share a Coombe Mill Feed Run.

City girl gone coastal shares some stunning photos of a beach walk at sunset while Mummys Memories shares holiday day time fun.

Redpeffer show how much fun at day at a National Trust property can be while and then the fun began shared a great family day out at Hobbledown.

For preschool adventure this trip to the forest has it all going on by Takoma Park school


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 4 April 2014 23:55

Logs of Fun

Back in the storms of winter I mentioned that we lost several trees. Nick has been gradually chain sawing these into manageable chunks ready to be dried and chopped for firewood. However I was keen to divert a few to the play area after seeing a Country Kids post from Misplaced Brit a few weeks ago and thinking how perfect this would be for Coombe Mill.


 Farmer Nick Making Logs

The older boys loaded Dad's chopped logs into the trailer and drove them to the far play area while I supervised. I was very glad of their help as they were way too heavy for me.  Farmer Nick looked on in dismay as his future log store supplies disappeared before his eyes!


Logs to play area

Once at the play area we decided on a stepping stone path around the perimeter of the chippings. The teens made it look so easy throwing them out of the trailer.

Teens making stepping stones for the play area


The heavy work done it was time for big kids to be small kids as they tested out their work. Ally had a wobble and when they challenged me I fell right over much to their amusement.

Our little play demonstrated the logs were spaced perfectly for lanky agile teens but too far apart, too tall and too unstable for our younger guests and so Theo and I began operation stabilise. We dug each one down to a stable base and trod the chippings back around, which I was much happier about.

 Toddler Friendly Stepping Logs



The triplets during this time had been at the village football match. I collected them with the usual crushing defeat from the away team but Guy was happy being crowned Man of the Match for saving one of their opponents nine goals!

 Guy as Man of the Match

When I told them about the stepping stones they were quick to give it a try. They added planks from the builder's leftovers at Tree Roots cottage and made a course to race around.


Kids with initiative

Theo led the way on the stepping stones before the triplets added their planks and created their own timed races. Then their imaginations were away; Clio practiced her gymnastics using a plank as a beam replacement, they swivelled a plank on a beam to create a see saw and Guy made a catapult for his foot ball kit by jumping on one end of the beam and sending his kit flying high in the sky.


Watching children make their own entertainment from something so simple is always a delight.  There is imagination in every child, give them the opportunity to use it and you will be surprised what they come up with.


Joining in with Country Kids 

Country Kids is open to everyone. There is a new linky every Saturday which remains open till Thursday. It is all about leaving technology and sofas behind and finding a little time for some family fun outdoors. Everyone feels better for a breath of fresh air and the freedom offered from outdoor spaces. The linky is all about sharing that fun and being inspired by the activities of others. Whether it is a family day trip, a crafting activity, learning, exploring or playing please grab the badge and share your love of outdoor fun here on the linky. 

There is a Pinterest Board and Google Plus community too to share your posts as well as here. Every week I gain inspiration from all the wonderful posts I read, here are just a few of my favourites from last week:

The Reading Residence who stayed with us here at Coombe Mill

Dairy of the Evans Crittens and Chelsea Mamma both spent a perfect Mother's Day on the beach with family 

Over here to there for the most exciting looking night time Salamander hunt

I would love to be able to see the frozen waterfall The Usual Mayhem shares

The simple things in life are often best as Keep up Jones Family show on their day in the woods.

Charlie Moos joins an inspiring Sea School day.

The Mummy Diary had a double trip of weekend fun making the most of some great local attractions.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 28 March 2014 23:23

Hunting for Frogspawn & finding so much more

I had been taken with a post from Time to Craft a few weeks back who had been night hunting for toads. I realised we must be behind on our annual tour of the farm for frogspawn. It was a sunny day and I suggested to the children that we go exploring. Theo piped up that he had already seen lots across Coombe Bridge close to their new *secret den*. I asked if we could all look and he was more than happy, but there was to be no sharing of the den location. Agreeing not to 'pry' on their den whereabouts we donned our wellies and set off. The floods from the winter had made the going much easier on the far river bank than I remember in previous years and I could see why the children had chosen to play over here. They each grabbed a stick en route; the essential aid to any woodland walk!


Hunting with sticks


Soon we were in some still marshy waters close to the river bank and there were massive clumps of frogspawn. Clio reached down to touch it but was not keen on the jelly like texture.

Finding Frogspawn

We waded across the bog careful not to disturb the frogspawn and I could sense we were close to the boys den. I didn't have to look too far before I found a tell tale sign by way of an old spade head and a bamboo cane from our greenhouse embedded into the ground.


Kids den uncovered


This had to be the entrance. It opened up inside to a sheltered natural den beneath the leaves with some lovely low branches which the kids all claimed as their seats and had engraved their names on a previous visit. They now proudly showed me round since I had rumbled their special place. 

Kids in their den


Having shown off their den we decided to continue our forest walk. This side of the river is not on Coombe Mill land and usually quite inaccessible, but post the storms, floods and before the summer growth had really taken off we found it quite easy to walk. We headed towards a clearing and saw a caravan and old cars in the distance. "I wonder who lives there?" asked the children. They hid behind trees and crept slowly closer. I was quite unaware what we would find but knew that years ago a bee keeper had his bee hives near here and we used to sell his honey in our shop.


Finding Adventure


When we came close it was obviously deserted but the children were fascinated. I think they thought they were like the famous five and stumbling over some hidden bars of gold. Guy knocked carefully on the caravan door, then opened it and peeped inside. Curiosity got the better of them and they all had a timid poke around the rotting caravan and surrounding vehicles taking in all they saw with wide eyes.

 Exploring the abandoned vehicles

Then the wooden padlocked shed caught their attention, the only place they hadn't been able to look inside. Guy found some rotting panels on one side and they all squinted to see inside.

Explorers at an old shed


Then he noticed the door only looked locked with a padlock but was in fact open, they were amazed by the old lights, left sleeping bags and old books. I skimmed the titles quickly to ensure there was nothing unsuitable!


Inside the mystery shed


They noticed an old ladder, a washing line and a small fire clearing for cooking and began to imagine themselves as explorers staying here before replacing the padlock on the door to leave everything as they found it and head homeward leaving their mystery world behind.


Examining all signs of occupancy


We glanced back from Coombe Bridge but there was no sign from here of the secret life we had uncovered.


Coombe Bridge

It clearly inspired the children as they then decided to get the tent out and pitch up on the trampoline for the night. I left the outside light on and door unlocked for them in case they changed their minds but they stayed the night and Nick found them bouncing on the trampoline early in the morning in their onesies. I wonder what adventure stories they told each other over night?

Camping on the Trampoline


Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about fun in the outdoors, escaping technology, screens and sofas and enjoying some family time in the fresh air. Posts on days out to the beach, woods, park or even just enjoying the garden are welcome and urban trips too. Whether it is play, crafting, learning or exploring I'd love you to get out there, have some fun, grab the badge and come and share those smiling faces and rosy cheeks here on the linky. There is a wonderful community of support for outdoor ideas building here each week and I urge you to join in by checking out the other posts too. 

A few of my favourite posts from last week

An educational school trip from Rollercoaster Mum & Nature walk from The Tiger Chronicle

I shall miss the Team Honk Adventures on Country Kids, this one brought from Brinabird & Son

I would love to visit the Maritime Forest that Mothering with Mindfulness came across. It looks so peaceful 

An evening at the beach from Mum of 3 boys & fun during the day from Us three by the sea makes me yearn for a visit too

There is some great advice from Circus Queen on making a first campfire with a toddler.

Daisy Broomfield explores the benefits of gross motor skills 


And finally I was thrilled to see so many Country Kids supporters as finalists in the MAD Blog Awards. If you haven't already voted please do, it only takes a minute and there are so many familiar names there who would love your vote, me included.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

by CoombeMill 21 March 2014 23:35

A Day at the Races

On our recent visit to Yia Yia I was ever so slightly worried how our Country Kids would manage their down time with no wi fi, so no Facebook or i-pod games. I needn't have worried, they became old fashioned kids and revelled in board games and cards together. It was a delight to watch, so much so it made me wonder about the merits of modern day technology! 


wi fi free kids

After a visit to Brighton and fun on the pier they each changed up a pound into two pence pieces. They frittered a few in the slot machines and came back with a plan. Poker was the card game that had gripped them all this holiday. When we weren't outdoors having fun they were gathered in Yia Yia's conservatory gambling away with their two pence pieces. It was all good fun and when someone was out, they would receive a sub from a brother and the odds would soon swing back again; amazing use of a pound.

Family Poker at Yia Yia's House

We decided to indulge their gambling interest just a little further after noticing the local races at Lingfield Park were having a family fun day. It was a beautiful day so we packed a picnic and arranged to meet the kid's cousins there.


Lingfield Racecourse


None of the children had any idea what to expect which made it all the more exciting. We only played with some small bets but the children thought it was great fun dashing around with their cousins amidst the fun of the day. They took delight in the bouncy castles and free face painting whilst waiting for the racing to begin.


Bouncy Castle & Face Painting Fun for Kids

Then Dad helped them study the form in the race book guide.


Lingfield Race Course: Studying the race form


We all pretended to be very knowledgeable as the horses paraded round, eventually choosing on name and the colours we liked!

 Lingfield Races - the parade ring

Going to the tote to place our bets and watching the crowds gather built up excitement for the race ahead.


 Lingfield Races Placing bets at the Tote

Then it was over to the racing line to watch them go with much jostling with each other for a good view of the finish line.


 Lingfield Races watching the action

They were thrilled when on the second race our horse came in first. 


 Lingfield Races Winning Ticket

Sadly our luck didn't last and we were down on the day. However we didn't invest much and it was a good lesson in gambling and a fun day out. I think we might try the Exeter races at home next or point to point at Wadebridge. I was delighted to have this very light hearted go at gambling, and to chat to the older ones about the more serious dangers of gambling and talk about the online sites they have seen. It was a perfect chance to cover an important topic which may not otherwise have come up in conversation not to mention a fun family day out.

Hogwarts we found you!

On the way back we passed Nick's old boarding school. It is a fascinating building and I suggested we went and had a peep. The children were astonished. "Dad went to Hogwarts" was all they could say. I must say I can see exactly what they mean. It is the most impressive building with a distinctly spooky feel that really did look like the setting to the Harry Potter films. Sadly we were not allowed in but it was still fun listening to Nick telling tales of all the funny and naughty things that went on around these grounds.


 Hogwarts School

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is about enjoying the outdoors by grabbing yourselves a little family time out away from sofas, central heating and technology. Rosy cheeks and happy healthy kids put a smile on everyone's face so go out and have some fun, come back, grab the badge and share here on the linky. Anything outdoors goes from crafting to learning, playing to exploring so long as it involves fun and fresh air. Remember to check out the other posts here, it could be your inspiration for a new adventure.

Remember the linky goes up every Saturday through to Thursday and you can also join Country Kids on Pinterest and Google Plus. Hashtag on Twitter & Instagram with #CountryKids

A few of my favourite posts from last week:

Three beach posts I loved which were all so different were dinosaurs from The Princess & the Pickle, exploring wartime bunkers with Madhouse Family Reviews and Fun as a Gran who combines the Park and the beach.

So many of you headed to the park to enjoy the beautiful weather, I loved seeing all the happy laughing faces deep in play. City Girl Gone Coastal is one such post.

Family days out in the sunshine always inspire me. This farm adventure from Laura Side Street and an afternoon at Blenheim Palace from Katie Radomnest look perfect. 

Finally Adventures of homeschooling go off to investigate pond water and enjoy learning so much more besides.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall