I am thrilled to bring to you a wonderful new game for 2019 from Orchard Toys, the masters of making learning fun. Magic Spelling combines wizardry with learning spellings in a fast paced, quick thinking game. It is aimed at age 5 – 7 years; we think it can happily extend beyond this. If you have a child who finds spellings a chore then this is the game for them. Read on to discover more and for your chance to win.


Magic Spelling Game from Orchard Toys

How to Play Magic Spelling

It’s a race against time to spell your word before the timer runs out, but this isn’t enough to make it fun so Orchard toys have added spell books to fill with gruesome ingredients and a magic wand to search for your letters. Beat the timer and you get to rub your card to reveal if your spelling was correct. Your reward is a yucky ingredient for your spell book.


Magic Spelling Game contents

What we love


Magic Spelling in play


Need to Know

Retail price £12.75
Age suitability 5 – 7 (We think it could go higher)
  • 4 spell book boards
  • 20 spell ingredient cards
  • 36 word cards
  • 36 letter tiles
  • 1 magic wand
  • 1 sand timer
  • 1 cauldron spinner
  • 1 instruction leaflet
StockistsOrchard Toys Online, amazon, Argos, The Works, John Lewis 
Player2 – 4
Educational Benefits
  • Promotes Language and Literacy Skills
  • Encourages Observational Skills
  • Develops Personal and Social Skills
Environmental impactMade from at least 80% recycled materials.


Win your game of Magic Spelling from Orchard Toys and Coombe Mill

For your chance to make spelling fun with Magic Spelling game simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.

Orchard Toys Magic Spelling Game


We were given a game for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Our copy is available for Coombe Mill guests to borrow from our Games room.  

We all know fire is dangerous, deserves respect and care, especially when children are near. However with the fear and danger comes fun and excitement. Here on the farm, we have an annual tradition on the back of our Christmas Fun, of saving all the wrapping paper for a big bonfire party. It isn’t a big activity, never the less our supervised bonfire event is one kids look forward to.


Supervised Bonfire Event for Kids

A Trailer full of Christmas Debris

All day Christmas Day and Boxing Day Farmer Nick leaves an open trailer out in the car park with a big sign inviting guests to leave their Christmas wrapping, from paper to party hats. This has the dual advantage of not overflowing our bins whilst simultaneously preparing for a fun supervised bonfire event for the kids.



Safety is Key

Over the years Farmer Nick has created some great firework events for us at both at New Year and Bonfire night. Safety is key; especially with excitable risk taking children around. For this reason, even our Christmas big burn is a supervised bonfire event. It is all carefully set up by Farmer Nick in advance, with a few clear rules:  

Only Farmer Nick starts the fire.
The fire site location is away from the farm and properties, just off the farm track.
The wind needs to be heading away from the path where people stand.
Wind strength needs to be moderate, not still or too strong.
Children are supervised by an adult at all times, as well as having Farmer Nick present.
Wrapping paper needs to be thrown from a safe distance to the fire.
Large windfall branches form the base of the bonfire. This gives substance and structure for the wrapping paper to be added.
Any near misses must be corrected by adults only.


Bonfire set up

Let the Fun Begin

Mindful of safety throughout, Farmer Nick invites the guests to join him. They can watch, or take part in, burning the collected waste wrapping paper.  

Carrying cardboard from trailer towards the fire.

Adding Christmas cardboard to the bonfire

Watching the fire with younger children.

Watching the supervised bonfire event

Throwing onto the fire from a safe distance.

Safe bonfire throw

Watching the fire die down to a safe level.

Bonfire at Coombe Mill


It is such a simple event, yet on a cold winter’s evening provides welcome warmth to the late afternoon fading light. The joy on the faces of the children joining in is clear to see. This is certainly a part of the Christmas break they will remember.  As I watched the children this year I couldn’t help but remember the fun my own children would have at this event poking at the embers with a big stick long after the flames had died down.

Join our Supervised Bonfire event in 2019

Weather permitting, we will be doing it all again this year, just a part of our Christmas program here on the farm. We’d love you to come and join us.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good journey of discovery? Here at Coombe Mill our guests love to follow the trails and maps to discover the hidden corners of our 30 acre estate with its river, meadows, animals and wild areas. People throughout history have had this same quest for adventure and discovery. Now you can uncover some of the key journeys that changed the world, since time began, through ‘Amazing Expeditions’. This wonderful resource from Ivy Kids, part of Quarto Kids, is a must have book for all budding explorers today. Read on to discover more about Amazing Expeditions: Journeys that changed the world, and how you can win yourself a copy.


Amazing Expeditions, Journeys that changed the world Book Review

 What to expect from Amazing Expeditions

Take a journey with a different explorer on each double page spread. Follow their journey on a map and through bite sized chunks of writing with corresponding illustrations. Some great voyages and some disasters are covered, but all left their mark on the world. See how we first navigated the seas, deserts, mountains and even our journey into space through 22 great explorers. Discover what motivated their exploration from science to religion, treasure to adventure.


Pages from Amazing Expeditions Book

What we love


A short video taster of Amazing Expeditions


Need to know

RSP £14.99
PublisherQuarto Kids (Ivy Kids)
AuthorAnita Ganeri
IllustratorMichael Mullan
Age suitability7 – 11
48 Pages, Illustrations: 300
Size: 9.843 in x 11.693 in / 250 mm x 297 mm
StockistsQuarto online, Amazon, Waterstones, book Depository 
ISBNISBN: 9781782407232


Win your copy of Amazing Expeditions Journeys that changed the world

For your chance to win this beautifully constructed book and follow in the footsteps of famous explorers simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.  

Amazing Expeditions Book


I was sent a copy of Amazing Expeditions, journeys that changed the world, for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and options expressed here are my own. A copy of the book can be found in the Coombe Mill library for budding explorers here to enjoy

So last weekend turned into an amazing long weekend when more snow than we’ve seen in 10 years hit us in under 2 hours. Timing is everything. Had the snow fallen overnight it would have simply been a snow day like last year of the best kind. However nature wasn’t so kind and it all fell just as the school run was beginning. Havoc and adventure ensued.   

Snow Deluge Hits Cornwall Winter 2019  

Famous last words

As I left for the school run at 2.40 rain was just turning to snow. Farmer Nick told me not to take the 4 by 4 car as it needed diesel and he needed later for another school pick up. I didn’t think any more about it and set off. It is only an 8 mile journey to school, but 5 miles in, it became clear there wouldn’t be a second school run.  Clio’s ballet wasn’t happening and I needed to get everyone home quickly. Except by the time I had rounded my triplets and Clio’s friend up it was already too late.

Let the adventure begin

It took 40 minutes to go 50 yards from the school gate as the town became gridlocked. The kids thought I’d gone mad when I parked up in a side street and told them we were walking home. I knew we needed to get up onto the dual carriageway and hitch if we could to the turn off to our village. At this stage it was all an adventure.

Leaving Wadebridge school in the snow 2019


I was shocked at the 3 or 4 cars that passed us at 10 miles an hour on the A30 and didn’t stop to offer help. We had been caught up by a group of children walking by this time. Finally we were all offered lifts in 2 groups. We were lucky enough to have locals with a 4 by 4 who dropped us at the end of our road.


Snow in Coombe Mill Lane 31st Jan 2019


Guy and Jed were with friends in a van and needed 3 lifts and a walk before meeting Farmer Nick who finally got up our 1 in 4 hill to meet them with the 4 by 4. We now had 4 children home and 2 out. It was time to appreciate the snow and take out the sledges before the dark stopped play. I grabbed my camera on the way out but it had the wrong lens on hence the ghost like photos!



Theo was stuck at Bodmin collage with 400 others, and having a wild time and happy to spend the night. I was more concerned about Ally who was making his way home with a work mate. I last spoke to him stuck on the main A30 at midnight where he had been stationary for 5 hours. The back log ran for miles and even made the national news.

A New Day, A new drama

I woke to discover our eldest made it home at 3.30am and the snow was still thick after a freezing night. However there was a commotion in our lane as a tree had fallen by our entrance trapping 3 cars behind it. Farmer Nick came to the rescue with tractors and chain saw. An hour later the lane was passable and our log store being replenished.

Tree cutting in Coombe Mill Lane

Move over technology, we have snow

While Nick headed out to Bodmin for much needed diesel and to collect Theo, the rest of us played in the snow. I was on a mission to build an igloo with Jed and Clio, there was also snow man building, rugby ball fun and some all important scenery photos of Coombe Mill in snow. Perhaps the best part of all was being outdoors with teens and no one secretly wishing they were hiding indoors on phones and gadgets. 

I’ll let the photos tell the rest.

Kids Snow Play

The Grand Igloo build

Igloo build at Coombe Mill Holidays

Scenes from Coombe Mill

Our farm animals confused by the snow




I promise not to complain about always missing out on the snow next year. I’ll also remember that when rain turns to snow it can settle, and fast!  I’m finishing with this gorgeous stylized photo taken by Felix, who was at Coombe Mill on a reading week from University, and thought to grab my camera, and my wine!  


Romantic cake and wine in snow

So January 2019 is finally through and we are enjoying the early signs of spring on the farm with lengthening days and spring flowers. If you need something to see you through to summer we may just have the answer.

anuary 2019 Holiday Highlights & Cornish Events February

Lowest Prices and Short breaks you can’t refuse

There has never been a better year to visit Coombe Mill. We lowered our weekly prices at the end of last year and to this we have extended our short break period. Give the family an instant winter pick me up with a bargain short break on the dates you choose this February half term. Our winters are warmer than most and the farm animals will be thrilled to see you.


feeding deer in winter at Coombe Mill


If it is a summer holiday you really want but just don’t have the spare days to take off or the funds for a summer week, we have extended our short breaks to the last week of June. Don’t just dream of summer, book it.

June Holiday at Coombe Mill Farm Cornwall

What we’ve been improving in January 2019.

January may be quite in terms of visitors, but it has been a busy month for us in forward bookings and holiday upgrades.

 New Sand Diggers

The sand diggers we introduced a few years ago have been so popular and well used they were falling apart, despite many ‘fix it’ attempts by Farmer Nick. On the back of their popularity we have invested in bigger, stronger, commercial equivalents, that should withstand the heavy use much better.  Head on over next time you are here and give them a try. 

Just testing Farmer Nick? 

New play sand diggers for Coombe Mill Holidays


Willow Cottage has a new Kitchen

Farmer Nick has been putting his expertise from Honeysuckle to use in Willow. It now boasts the same kitchen upgrade giving a lighter and more contemporary look together with new stylish sofas for the living area.

Colour for Trebah Lodge

Trebah has had some lovely new ruby red sofas to brighten up the living room and add a splash of colour and comfort.

On the Farm

We have been working hard to move the animals round the grazing fields and eek out the hay after last year’s long dry summer. Fingers crossed we should have enough now to see us through to spring.

The miniature ponies are now coming down to see the guests in the mornings and enjoy a piece of apple.  An all weather walk in home makes the guinea pigs a firm favourite with the children, who are encouraged to visit at any time of the day. 

Ponies and Guinea Pigs


What’s on in Cornwall to tempt you in February

While you can easily spend a full day with us on the farm it is also fun to explore Cornwall. Not all attractions are open in the winter months but these are a few of the family friendly Cornish events and attractions open in February around us.





Find out more

Distance from Coombe Mill

Ice skating

Invisible world : Oceans

Eden Project

Until 24th February

From 2nd Feb

£3.50 – £7.00 (Plus Entry to Eden Project)

Free with entry £25 child (4 – 15) £12.60

https://www.edenproject.com/40 minutes

Castle Quest

Training the Troops

Pendennis Castle

16 – 24th Feb 10am – 4pm

18 – 22nd Feb 10am – 3.30pm

£10.50 Child (2 – 17) £6.30https://www.english-heritage.org.uk1 hr 10 mins
Trains for kidsLappa ValleyOpens 16 – 24th Feb then weekends in March£7.50http://www.lappavalley.co.uk40 mins
Falconry displays Screetch Owl Wildlife ParkOpen from 16th Feb£11.50 Child (3 – 14) £9https://screechowlsanctuary.co.uk/30 mins

Winter Twig ID walk

Ranger Day Hazel Pollading

Llanhydrock Estate National Trust

9th Feb 10am – 12pm

16th Feb 10am – 3pm

£8.45 child £4.20https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lanhydrock25 mins
Meet zoo animals. Activities throughout the day.Newquay ZooOpen everydayfrom 10am – 4pm£15.50 child 3 – 15) £11.45https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/40 mins
Trampoline ParkBodmin iBounceOpen daily£9.95https://www.i-bounce.co.uk/15 mins

Nb: I have not been paid or sponsored to mention these places, they are just the events in February that I feel would be of interest to Coombe Mill Guests.


January 2019 has certainly been a productive one here on the farm but we are ready to take on the new season and welcome you to all the farm has to offer.  I hope you will be able to join us at some point and even take advantage of what’s on in Cornwall during February. No BREXIT surcharges here.

With all good wishes for a happy February