Posted on February 4th, 2017 - Fiona
Coombe Mill is set just off Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall. It is nestled at the base of a valley with the river Camel running through the middle. The Camel’s source is high in the moor and it reaches the sea at Padstow. It struck me when looking through a few comments on my Pinterest just what a beautiful part of the country we live in and how it resembles parts of the world many miles away. My countryside sunset photos have been likened to Africa while our rugged coast and turquoise waters likened to Hawaii. Winter harbour photos have been mistaken for summer in Padstow and I see New Zealand’s south Island in much of our North Cornwall landscape.
Postcards from North Cornwall
I thought I’d share a few of the recent contrasting photos that have generated these global comparisons.
Padstow Summer or Winter?
I always maintain that the coast is timeless and seasons melt into one. But for the temperature which is hard to convey in a photo, this photo in Padstow was mistaken for summer but is in fact from a visit over the Christmas holidays
Cornish Coast or Hawaii?
I have taken to running the coast path this winter after dropping the kids into school in the mornings. There is a beautiful loop covering the coast and veering inland that covers about 6 miles. One of my favourite views is coming round the headland from Polzeath and seeing The Rumps stretching ahead. This photo was a quick I phone capture last week that was likened to Hawaii.
North Cornwall Countryside or Africa
I do love to chase a sunset. With my long lens looking out from our lane towards the sea the orange glow reflecting back has been likened to the African plains.
Coombe Mill or New Zealand
I have never visited the African planes or Hawaii, however I have been to New Zealand and parts of this remind me so much of home here in North Cornwall. This next photo is taken along our ravine and is typical of the waterfalls and streams of New Zealand.
If you fancy an exotic holiday without the cost, North Cornwall is a pretty good compromise! For everyday bargains Marks and Spenser have some savings you may like and a little careful shopping with find you plenty of other deals from well known companies. Grab your bargain whether it is a holiday or a new look for the home.
My thanks to A Modern Mother, Mummy from the Heart, Lets pack our Bags Blog for inspiring this post through their comments on my Instagram photos.
Disclosure: Sponsored links included.
Posted on February 3rd, 2017 - Fiona
Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky designed to:
“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”
Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the National Trust 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
Make the most of family time outdoors.
I hope you’ve had a good week. It has been a warm and wet one here, not my favourite type, but February is here and the days are lengthening. I hope it has given you a chance of a little outdoor adventure to share on the link up below.
Guidelines for Joining in:
- Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
- Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
- Unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
- Please comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
- If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
- Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
- Linked posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
- I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
- By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
- There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.
A Massive welcome to all our new fab outdoor fun bloggers; Jonny from The Adventures of Daisy the Bus, Sarah from Tammymum, Annette from Four Acorns and Sonia from Mamma’s School.
My top commenters from 28th January:
1st Clare from Mudpie Fridays with 22 comments
2nd Karen from Would Like to Be with 15 comments
3rd Louise from Little Hearts Big Love with 13 comments
We have one guilty bloggers linking up again and not commenting on any posts (as of Thursday pm when counted). Come on you know who you are please go back to be fair to others.
Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids
Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly
I am delighted to have Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish quality wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.
Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here, will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. Keep your posts coming, it could be you winning next!
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
January Rockfish Welly Winner
|Congratulations to Two Tiny Hands who is this months winner with a lovely write up of their family Christmas here at Coombe Mill. |
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the February Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter : Clare from Mudpie Fridays.
Daisy the Bus went exploring the caves in the Mullerthal region in Luxembourg’s beautiful landscape.
My wanderlust was sparked for a trip to Yellowstone after reading about Right from the Start‘s adventures.
Country Kids Communities
I’d love you to join me:
Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too.
Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.
Join the growing Country Kids Instagram Community with #CountryKidsFun.
I'll like and comment on all and share my favourites from the week with a tag on a Friday on Instagram and Twitter. With over 1000 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @n4mummy, @becomingasahm, @wouldliketobe & @mammasschool Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following.
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Posted on February 3rd, 2017 - Fiona
Parts of Cornwall can feel sleepy and close down in winter yet this can never be said of Padstow. At less than half an hour from Coombe Mill it is a great day out for the family. Over the Christmas holidays the Harbour was buzzing with life, the surf style shops open for business and the smell of fish and chips filled the air. If you visit before Christmas the lights are beautiful, when our children were younger fish and chips watching the Christmas lights was an annual event. This year I took my mother and mother in law together with two of my 12 year old children between Christmas and New Year on a glorious sunny day and it unexpectedly turned into one of the happiest days of the winter holidays.
We parked along the end of the camel trail; this begins just a mile from Coombe Mill and finishes at Padstow along the old railway line. It is about a half mile walk from here to the centre. I love to see the boats moored up and the view across the estuary which was simply stunning in the winter sun.
Jed couldn’t resist reliving the few childhood memories of climbing on the giant sand digger, which was parked up for the holidays. His dare devil antics had diminished none with age as he leapt from the top to the soft sand below.
We perused a few shops and ate pasties on the Harbour front like real tourists in our local town.
A few more heart stopping moments for me as Jed climbed down the inner Harbour wall to peer into boats and holes within the wall which I assume were some form of high tide defense.
There is the beautiful walk from the Harbour up over the cliffs and down to a collection of sandy coves. It is under a mile to the first of these and easy terrain to the first too if you have buggies or the elderly, and open fields to the side if you have boisterous tweens playing football along way.
We wandered on to the second beach cove which opens up into a beautiful Sandy Bay at low tide. The kids were in there element running around with Jed’s new Christmas football while the mums and I soaked up the sun.
Did I mention how warm it was? Jed, hot from his football playing, stripped down to his boxers and went for a swim.
Guy and I had been in the sea the previous day, but with full wetsuits. This was the gutsiest swim I have seen in a while, you could be mistaken for thinking it was midsummer, though I’m sure the water temperature said otherwise!
Every good walk needs a little adventure. Jed and Clio ran ahead on the way back exploring hidden pathways. They came across a disused bunker and couldn’t wait to explore inside. With the help of phone torches the clambered in and looked around. Clearly they weren’t the first to discover this judging by the graffiti; however to them it was a secret discovery and a highlight of their day.
If you are staying at Coombe Mill I can thoroughly recommend a day trip to Padstow, even in the winter holidays it has plenty to offer for families of all ages. Our visit is one we will all remember fondly.
Tips for visiting Padstow with children
- Parking is tight and limited in the town centre; we turn down by Tesco on the approach to Padstow where parking is free and walking in safe along the end of the camel trail.
- Hiring bicycles from Wadebridge and cycling to Padstow is a great option with 5 miles of flat estuary cycle path.
- Padstow Harbour is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs, but watch out with young children as the Harbour edge has no wall.
- There are plenty of public toilets in the town that are well maintained and currently still free to use.
- Treat yourself to lunch out you are spoilt for choice from pasties and fish and chips to luxury restaurants. Rick Stein is the big name in food with many resultants and food shops for every budget.
- All the big name surf fashion shops can be found around the Harbour and will be open even on bank holidays; the same cannot be said for much of Cornwall.
- If walking to the beaches, take a towel, kids will get wet even in the winter holidays. Jed ended up using my scarf to dry off!
Posted on January 30th, 2017 - Fiona
We all know how little kids like to be big kids. Toytastic have made that possible with the coolest looking toddler foot to floor motorbike around. Those go faster bad boy tyres on the real deal translate onto wide plastic wheels for stability and handling for toddlers. There is a parental handle ideal for carrying when little legs are tired or helping to push off on those first few goes. Themed, not in grown up black gloss but, in kids character favourites, these bikes are a winner. At just £54.99 from Toytastic they are affordable fun for active kids everywhere.
Toytastic kindly sent me the lovely Spiderman version to test at Coombe Mill. With our purpose built ride on play area I knew this foot to floor bike would fit into the range perfectly.
Over the Christmas holidays it was put to the test by children as young as 1 and as old as 9! This little tot wasn’t too sure, but thanks to the stability of the big fat wheels, climbing off was easy.
Then my nieces came to stay. One of them had the Frozen Foot to floor for Christmas and had brought it with her. They are light and easy to carry so perfect for taking away. The other quickly grabbed our Spiderman bike and together the fun began.
They spent hours racing up and down the Coombe mill paths, climbing the grassy hills and generally wearing themselves out. These bikes are so sturdy I had no fear they would survive the challenge.
Win your Toytastic Frozen Foot to Floor Motorbike with Coombe Mill
If you know a little one age 1 – 4 that would enjoy riding around on one of these bikes why not enter to win a Disney Frozen bike with oversized wheels for stability and Frozen character graphics of Elsa, Anna, Krisoff and Olaf.
Good luck to all taking part.
Foot to Floor Frozen Motorbike
We were sent our Spiderman foot to floor bike for the purpose of this review. All thoughts expressed here are my own. My confidence in the product is evident by welcoming the bike for holiday makers to use in the Coombe Mill ride on under 5’s play area.
Posted on January 29th, 2017 - Fiona
When the government’s chief vet announced in December that all birds should be kept indoors for at least the next 30 days my heart sank. We have the most amazing “Jurassic Park” for keeping chickens and ducks safe at Coombe Mill with fresh water pond, fox safety fencing, shelter and all mod cons – well if you are a chicken or duck that is.
In theory we could move everything indoors for a period, but we knew the birds wouldn’t enjoy it and neither would we enjoy the resulting smell from having them all cooped up! We had no choice but to do as advised. The risk to humans from bird flu is still extremely small but it would be churlish to ignore the advice. Over the coming week we gradually captured the chickens and moved them to our old peacock enclosure. It had been a makeshift home last winter for a month when the field became too slippery and wet for the guests to enter. This winter they would have to return even though their field was still lovely and dry.
The ducks and geese were harder. An even older Avery has now become their home with much help needed from Guy, our resident geese catcher in moving them. On the plus side the space for them is much better than for the chickens, so long as the structure actually survives another year!
Farmer Nick had a premonition that the 30 day indoor ruling was likely to be extended and set to work creating his very own chicken world for keeping chickens safe behind his farm shed. Being such a handy man really comes into its own at times like this. He spent every spare moment over the Christmas holidays taking advantage of the older two boys being home from college and university to put his plan into action.
Beginning with a proper concrete floor and building up with solid wooden walls and doors, a patch of scrubland was transformed into a luxury chicken coop. Nesting boxes, perches and lighting will hopefully mean even our winter guests will be able to find an egg for breakfast!
The chickens certainly looked happy to be leaving their old quarters and scratching round in the fresh sawdust of Chicken world. I was mighty pleased for an opportunity to give the old home a good hose down!
Because my clever husband always thinks one step ahead, he made the new housing extra large; sectioning off a second room that can be used for other any other animals that need to be moved indoors. A poorly animal, new struggling mother or even all the goats or donkeys in prolonged periods of wet weather can now be housed indoors as well as keeping chickens safe.
It will still be good to let the birds back out into Jurassic Park again, but for now at least we know they have a comfortable indoor home.
Do you know anyone keeping chickens? Are they indoors now too?