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.
When I began this linky I did promise that my favourites each month would receive a free Coombe Mill Kids sun hat; a little thank you for taking part and something to help the children enjoy the outdoors and stay sun safe in summer.
Here are all the lovely entrants from the first 5 weeks, any help on deciding on who should have the 1st hat much appreciated!
Next week I will create a top 5 shortlist and announce who will have the 1st of many hats the week after. If I am dragging the process out a little, it is only to have an opportunity to showcase all the wonderful pictures you have captured to date of your little ones enjoying the magic of the great outdoors.
Without further ado, here Comes week 6
Clio helping Daddy on the farm after school, balancing on the back of the trailer. How did Theo manage to be there?
Whether you have joined in before or popping by for the first time, please do come and link up with a picture or pictures of your children enjoying some fresh air. The countryside, the park or the back garden, rosy cheeks are healthy for kids at any time of the year.
Melanie Clay lives with her husband and 2 gorgeous boys in Warwickshire. She has just established a successful on line business selling adorable baby and toddler products with a bias towards environmentally friendly and traditional suppliers. Many of these products would make ideal gifts if you are looking for some Christmas inspiration! http://www.grandbaby.co.uk/ . Melanie stayed here on holiday earlier this year with her lovely family and has kindly sent me this ‘grand’ review of their experience to share on my blog.
I took the liberty of a short break from Grand Baby recently, some much anticipated time away with my hubby and my boys, and found such a wonderful place I just had to share it with you!
Now normally I spend an age debating where to go on holiday and where to stay, but I’d stumbled into Fiona from Coombe Mill whilst networking on twitter and face book, and after taking a look at Coombe Mill on facebook, and then the website just couldn’t believe it – could one place really be so toddler & child friendly?
Cameron is 2 + 4months, and Adam 7 months, so we needed somewhere that was baby & toddler friendly, and Cameron is well, a typical boy I think! Very active, very inquisitive, loves to climb, run, race, doesn’t miss anything ever, loves to terrorise his baby bro and can be a little….dare I say it….downright naughty! When we stayed at Coombe Mill in the middle of May, Adam was just over 6 months and weaning.
So when I read that Coombe Mill was a working farm with self catering cottages and Scandinavian lodges with:
Daily tractor rides to feed the animals and more animals than you could shake a pail of food at,
An indoor play barn and three outdoor play areas,
A river and stream running through plus two fishing lakes for Daddy!
Cot’s and High Chairs provided
Home cooked food available
Stair gates as standard and the cottage’s had toddler den’s full of toys
And all this as well as being in CORNWALL, we love Cornwall! So that was it – booked.
It was great to hear so much was provided or available, we’d piled the car high when we had just one boy but with two had no idea how we were going to fit everything in.
Booking was simple and Fiona and Jill were extremely helpful in assessing our needs…cots, highchairs, the right accommodation, and called to check a few days before where the cots needed to go too. You also get the details for the local store – St Breward’s, to contact who deliver a grocery order to your accommodation before you arrive so it’s all ready. No need to take the basics or start hunting for a shop the minute you arrive.
We arrived easily thanks to top directions to find the very picturesque Coombe Mill situated in a lush valley, which is in St Brewards, Bodmin. We checked in and were accompanied to the accommodation for a quick tour and explanation of all the facilities both in our cottage and across the farm.
We stayed in Willow cottage, with great views to the front and back, not overlooked, private toddler safe patio garden, open plan lounge and kitchen area with an upstairs balcony looking over. Our provisions including local meat, cheese and of course scones jam and clotted cream were all waiting for us and everywhere was scrupulously clean, not even a toddler fingerprint in sight, which lasted for all of 5 minutes!
We found all the cutlery, utensils and kitchen equipment you could need, and even a dishwasher and washing machine. The toddler den was indeed full of toys including a huge amount of wooden railway, trains and accessories which was Cameron’s favourite all week – we kept that in the very spacious lounge. Downstairs was a Jacuzzi bath and shower with second bathroom, bath and shower upstairs.
Exploring the grounds we quickly found the first play area, river, stream, and investigated the reception area where you can borrow most anything you might need really! Wellingtons, fishing nets, toys, more toys, games, maps, books, extra toddler cutlery, plates, baby carrier, waterproof’s, and buy basics including bread, milk and home cooked food, all left for you to help yourself and complete your “IOU for” in the book, which in itself gave a lovely feeling of being welcome and trusted
Now I love food so it’s important to me, but it’s also important to me to feed my family “proper” food most of the time and Adam is weaning too. And proper food it was waiting in Fiona’s reception freezer – casserole’s, lasagnes, and cottage pies and fish dishes with home cooked puddings to choose from too. So as well as doing a little cooking ourselves and eating out we sampled a couple of dishes across the week and can highly recommend them, in fact we’re hoping Fiona share’s all her recipes soon!
Over the next few days we found two more outside play areas, the inside play barn, the fishing lakes, stream, wooded area, field’s to explore and of course all the animals. We waited until the first feed run on Sunday morning to find the animals, we found the tractor trailer and all the other guests and their little ones in the car park, and farmer Nick ready to accept his first assistant of the day to drive the tractor with him. My “no fear” two year old suddenly became trailer shy so we walked behind with the rest of the parents, and Adam in the pushchair while most of the children happily travelled in the trailer to fetch branches for the goats, then feed for the Chickens and Ducks and everyone piled into their pen to collect the egg’s, and visit the baby chicks and ducklings. It was wonderful to see everyone encouraged to feed them, collect egg’s and hold the chicks and ducklings at leisure – a great experience on its own for children but this was something they could do every day, as well as then (after a another tractor/trailer ride) piling into the Guinea Fowl and Peacock Pen. Then back on the tractor/trailer to the Pigs (you can save your food scraps for a treat for them) Donkeys, Sheep and Lamb’s, Alpaca, Deer and Goats. These were all spread across quite a large area so plenty of exercise for rowdy toddlers, lots more feeding experiences – you can go in all the pens. And a trek through the Alpaca’s field, up to the wood and through to chase the deer out for a very speedy appearance – but quite exciting for a little one. And after all this – another tractor ride back to feed the rabbits – no small feat with a whole enclosure of them so the children can run round with them, and even some seating! Oh and let’s not forget the ponies.
It was amazing to find most of the morning gone when we headed back and time for lunch, and the feed run’s are 6 days a week so plenty of entertainment and all included!
And of course there isn’t just the farm, you can use the swimming pool at the holiday park just up the road, and Coombe Mill is a great base for exploring Cornwall being so central, it’s just 20-30 minutes to great beaches to the North West and South, and 1-1h 30 to St Ives. There was a great guide in our accommodation – compiled by Coombe Mill to everything to see and do in the area too.
So after feed runs, exploring, swimming, more feed runs, beach visits and even more exploring we thought we would let Daddy try out the Carp lake, so he borrowed a rod from Farmer
Nick’s shed, bought some bait from the handy fishing shop at the holiday park up the road and settled in a chair for a few hours, and a very productive few hours it was – 5 huge carp were landed, admired and let loose which the 2yo thoroughly enjoyed too, of course he didn’t see them all we couldn’t keep him still that long! And he had his own little go with a borrowed fishing net, bucket and the thousands of tadpoles that were bobbing about!
A fabulous week was had by all of us, we loved Coombe Mill and won’t hesitate to book again soon – Thank you so much Fiona, Nick and everyone for a lovely holiday!
I have seen lots of these posts around and while I am delighted to be tagged, I am slightly worried that many of you reading won’t actually remember back to the 1980’s and my teenage years when music was most influntial in my life. Anyway, here goes for my 3 and why they are important to me:
A strange memory from age 13
Stand and Deliver by Adam and the Ants
I can’t say I love this song at all but it certainly has memories for me. Whenever I hear it, I am instantly transported back to my first year at Secondary School. I am standing the playground on my first week trying, oh so hard, to fit in and be a teenager, even though deep down I am still a little girl with little musical interest! There I am, still in my 3/4 length knee high socks and pleated skirt tryiing to do a little wiggle and sing this song (number 1 at the time) and feeling laughed at by the “cool brigade” in their tights and mini- skirts. *cringe at the memory*
I grew up fast and Loved my teens!
Girls Just want to have fun by Cyndi Lauper
I am 16 and still doing that little wiggle again whilst singing this song over and over. This time down the streets of France in more cool gear and bursting with confidence on a cycling holiday from Bordeaux to Calais in just 3 weeks with my best friend. “Time of my life” and full of excitement and hope for all that life has to offer. Wow what a difference 3 years makes at that age!
My early 20’s
Can you feel the Love tonight – Elton John
I am at an Eric Clapton / Elton John concert with work and have been bopping away next to one of my colleagues all evening. Elton blasts this song out across Wembley Stadium and my colleague and I exchange a glance, just a glance, but it needs no words. I will never forget that moment. That colleague is now Farmer Nick and Daddy to our 6 lovely children.
Thank you to Mammywoo for making me take time out to recapture these memories and to Red Rose mummy for tagging me in this meme.
This week for the 1st time in 9 years we have closed the doors. Panic not, ringing to book a holiday is no issue as I still have control of the office! However our beautiful estate is being turned upside down with building work going on in a major way. Trevarno Scandinavian Lodge is being built at one end https://www.coombemill.com/scandinavian-lodges/trevano and a new road is being ploughed through from the river to the cottages at the other. As if that wasn’t enough, we have bought the stretch of land from the cottage gardens down to the river which will be part of a new and VERY exciting play area. It will mean that the cottages, like the lodges will be river fronting. Please don’t worry if you are coming for Christmas it will all be made safe and the building work stopped during the festive break.
Bob the Builder with Scoop, Muck and Dizzy have arrived!
The children were thrilled to come home from school and see all the machinery in action. It is like having the full cast of Bob the Builder here on site. We even have Penguin as Pilchard the cat, though she is somewhat less impressed by all the commotion. The diggers and dumpers are moving soil from the lodge site to the new play area and Farmer Nick has been helping out on the dumper. Well he couldn’t possibly miss an opportunity like this for a spot of “boys toys” play!
“Working together to get the job done”
A Hidden World War 2 bunker?
Having cleared away the scrub from the new land, we have uncovered an old walled area. The builders and friends have been putting in their two pennies worth as to it’s origins. The most popular theory is that it was the footings for a temporary World War 2 Tank and Vehicle shelter. Our boys are very excited by this prospect. Anything war related has them jumping into their dressing up clothes! Anyway, we are using the wall to house the new play area and yes the “Cannon purchase” will be part of this! https://www.coombemill.com/blog/post/2011/11/15/Daddy-Bought-a-Cannon.aspx. Keep watching the blog for updates on our progress, along with any more “random purchasses” from Farmer Nick or hidden treasures discovered!
The walled Play area in it’s infancy with bark chippings going in
“Just off to get those few bits we need for dinner” was the last I heard. I should really have been a little suspicious when a quick trip to Asda took half the day with a friend in tow! To be fair he had been trying to convince me of the merits of a 4 wheel drive for towing heavy items up our hill for some time. Our little Ford focus does struggle with a trailer laden with Dotty our breading sow when she making her annual trip to visit her boyfriend. However cars are just not my thing so I really hadn’t paid much attention and just assumed they were adding car (window) shopping to their trip.
Returning home Nick was met by the children outside who didn’t need to be too observant to notice that far from a 4 wheel drive, or a car full of groceries, there was in fact an old cast iron war cannon precariously positioned in the boot of the old van.
“Daddy bought a Cannon!”
This was the cheerful scream from my children as they raced into the house to impart their news.
ME: “What do you mean, “Daddy bought a cannon?“”
Kids: ” It’s awesome Mum come and see”
Me: “What a toy?”
Kids: “No a real war one. It belonged to Napoleon; it says so on the side”
At this point I turn down the hob, step into my wellies and follow the kids who are running ahead of me to the Farm shed. Well they are quite right. Turns out he had bid for it at the auctions earlier in the week – whilst looking for a washing machine for our laundry room!
Well doesn’t every Farm need a Cannon?
Slowly the penny drops and I begin to catch up with his thinking. We have some really exciting ideas for a new kiddies play area next year and I now see that an old Cannon could work out perfectly. To give him credit, it is impressive and hopefully will be worth splashing out on when the children are dressing up and acting out their games in ………….More on that next year! For now it will be staying in Nick’s Shed.
And my washing machine?
Well they didn’t have any last week, but there is another auction before Christmas. I wonder what that will hold!
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.