Family farm holidays in Cornwall magical for children, toddlers and babies.
Coombe Mill Blog
"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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Anyone with children has a busy life. Weather you have 1 or in my case 6, they are demanding and time consuming. We cherish and adore them and want to do everything we can to make their lives the best they can be. Sometimes that can leave little time for being ourselves.
Making time for myself
Not everyone will agree with this and not everyone may feel the need, but much as I love my children I need time away from them too. A night away with my husband or a day out with girl friends, even my working time is important to me. I know I need the break when I get snappy at small things and want them in bed before they are really ready to go. It’s not that I love them any less than ever it’s just that I need some time as Fiona and not Mummy.
This Sunday I spent a night away with friends on a girls SPA break. The Bay Hotel is Just half an hour away in Newquay. http://www.newquay-hotels.co.uk/the-bay.html This has become an annual treat for us and is bliss. Not too far away, this hotel specialises in wonderful treatments and yummy food right on the famous Fistral beach. Never thought I could pack in so much exercise, chat, pampering, food and alcohol into 24 hours! A great place for a girls retreat and 24 hours is just perfect to recharge the batteries and leaving me ready for some more “mummy please can we……” and “mummy what’s for dinner?”
Our treat captured on video
Anyone for the kids?
Next time your partner, the grandparents, a friend, nanny or anyone you trust offers to have the children for a day or a night, try and take them up on their offer. Coming home to hugs all rounds is as wonderful as being away for a few hours. If your children are very young and you don’t feel ready to do this, just park the thought because as they grow older and more independent the time will one day feel right.
Since our children were toddlers, Lappa Valley has been their favourite family day out. We have been back year after year and still they love it even though they are all really too old now!
About Lappa Valley
Set in the site of an old Cornish mine, Lappa uses the original 1849 trackbed for their petrol, diesel and electric trains. It is now a conservation area of beautiful countryside. The whole park is safe and welcoming and ideal with younger children. Short train rides are perfect for children, all the excitement of climbing in and out and swapping trains and no time to get bored.
In between the train rides there is canoeing on the lake, crazy golf, play areas and a cafe and shop. Spend the whole day there till the children are all trained out. It is about a 40 minute drive from Coombe Mill and well worth it. Not cheap but once you are in it’s all included so good value for money as you can go on as many trains as many times as you like and hope in and out of boats at your leisure. http://www.lappavalley.co.uk/index.htm
A Word of Caution
This is not one for a rainy day, damp bottoms are best avoided. They are also closed in winter but open for half term and at Christmas when they have some fantastic Santa trips on the train. A great treat for the kids if you are staying at Coombe Mill around Christmas time.
A family day out and the boys were soon absorbed in a game of 5 a-side, or 3 a side in our case! Fresh air, a football, open space and my boys are entertained, even Clio got stuck in there between her boisterous big brothers!
Recommended by a friend, as well as being on our list of new places to visit this year, we finally made it to Cardinham Woods last week. Firstly, it’s very easy to find, a few minutes outside Bodmin (head towards the A38/Liskeard direction and take the first turning off the roundabout – follow the brown tourist signs). There is lots of parking (£2 flat fee all day). Straight away, the girls were in awe of the variety of dog breeds jumping out of the back of their owners’ cars (it is a dog-walking heaven). We donned wellies and waterproof jackets and set off armed with a map of all the trails. The day was overcast and it was threatening to rain, so we decided on the easiest 3km circular route. It was flat for the most part so very accessible to wheelchairs or pushchairs. I can’t vouch for the other routes but the one we took would also have been perfect for cyclists of all abilities. There are in fact 5 different walking trails through the Woods ranging from 3km to 5 ½ km. Some of them apparently are steep in places but you are then rewarded by stunning views over the forest and (on one of the trails) of an old lead and silver mine.
Our timing was perfect and the heavens opened just as we reached the end of the walk which brought us back to our starting point of the car park. If, like me, you need hot liquid refreshment and something sweet to munch on at the end of a walk, then Woods Café will be right up your street. It’s not massive inside but very welcoming, with comfy sofas, piles of magazines to flick through and toys and books to keep children occupied. It also has outside seating if the weather’s right. The coffee was excellent and the enormous slab of cake was delicious and nearly (!) too much for one person.
I can see on a dry, sunny day that you could pack a picnic and spend the whole day exploring the forest. There are a couple of picnic and barbeque areas along the trails and a very well equipped play area ideal for smaller children back near the car park.
Next time, we will come prepared and try one of the longer walks – and hope for better weather!
A bit about Julie
After many years of city life, Julie moved to North Cornwall 9 years ago. In between helping with her husband’s business and acting as taxi driver to their 2 beautiful daughters, she now spends as much time as possible on the beach. I love Julie’s writing style and am hoping for more guest blogs in the future, perhaps one on our lovely Cornish beaches!
“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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