A Tent for All Seasons

Posted on May 31st, 2015

Tenting but not Camping

Here at Coombe Mill all our properties are stone cottages or Scandinavian style lodges. I am often asked about camping, but seriously when you see the slope of many of our fields and the steep lane to approach us it isn’t hard to see that we have the perfect fields for mountain goats but that tenting isn’t really an option. However I did spot a wonderful marquee style tent at Trago back in the winter and persuaded Farmer Nick it was just what we needed; not as accommodation but as a base for my Activity Hour which has been growing in popularity and threatening to overwhelm my kitchen on rainy afternoons!

Activity Hour in the House


Locating & Constructing our Tent


We agreed that the cottage car park was the perfect place being flat and on tarmac and right next to the train which runs immediately after. Even with the tent marked out we agreed there was still space for 2 cars per cottage. Putting up the tent took a few weeks as the pegs securing the frame down were concreted into the tarmac to ensure it would withstand any winter storms. The children helped Nick with the project as step by step it began to take shape.


Setting up the Tent

Multi functional

Nick had a genius idea for the tent to ensure it was put to good use all week. After all Activity hour was only at the end of the week and half the time we were out and about on the farm for this anyway if the weather permitted. Table Tennis was the idea and we purchased an outdoor game which fitted perfectly inside with plenty of space to move around too. It soon proved an instant hit with children and adults all enjoying a match.


Playing Ping Pong

There is even the option to turn half the table up to play solo.

Guy Playing Solo Ping Pong

At the end of the week we simply remove the net, cover the table with old curtains and draw up Nick’s specially designed benches to make the perfect base for our Activity hour crafts.

Ping Pong Table Read for Activity Hour


We left the tent completely open on one side so it is always light and airy yet provides the protection we need against the wind and rain on our crafts not to mention preventing a gust ruining a crucial ping pong point and I’m sure the tent sides have saved the nearby bushes from being littered with lost balls!


A Tent for All Seasons


Thanks to a YouTube tutorial from the wonderfully creative Maggie of Red Ted Art I managed to combine ping pong and crafting in the tent during half term. Like so many parents we are left with a huge bag of loom bands since the craze fizzled out. Maggie had a simple yet effective idea to turn them into colourful bouncy balls; it was a short step from there to use them as ping pong balls. We had a lovely craft hour making our bouncy balls and testing them out on a ping pong challenge.

Loom Band Ping Pong Balls


If you are coming to Coombe Mill this summer I hope you will join us for Activity hour in the tent and enjoy a family ping pong game at  your leisure too.