Posted on May 7th, 2017 - Fiona
This is the 6th and last post in my Greece series from summer 2016. The trip was a “well done” to our older boys following the end of their GCSEs and A levels. We began in Athens, Explored the Acropolis, headed down the the Peloponnese staying at Kantia where we visited Nafplion and Epidavros before heading right back to the earliest days of Greek civilisation in the Myceanaean era with a trip to Mycenae itself.
Background to Mycenae
The Mycenaean world dominated Greece between the 16th and 12th Century BC. I can’t even get my head around how long ago that is and how life must have been. However the ancient remains of the old city at Mycenae can still be seen today.
What to expect at Mycenae
Visiting on a hot July day I was rather glad of the elevated position to pick up a little breeze and make our sightseeing bearable. Parking like a true Greek under the shade of a tree in the car park, we headed up though the famous city gates with its impressive Lions overhead set into the stone. How back then they constructed and carved such things is quite beyond me; however it is wonderful to saunter through and marvel at the possibilities from this ancient civilisation today.
To be fair, the city gates to Mycenae are the most impressive structure still standing. There after there is much left to the imagination with a selection of crumbling walls, passageways and tombs remaining. There are some helpful reading signs along the way to give you a sense of direction and history. The excavations continue today but life is believed to date back on the hill to the 3rd millennium BC.
The Mycenaean acropolis dominates the surrounding area of the Argive plain and controlled communication routes in and out of the Peloponnese into mainland Greece. The views from the top are quite spectacular reaching right down to the sea near Nafplion.
The flood plain below must have been a source of food for the ancient city and olive and almond trees are still prevalent right up the hillside.
The Lion tomb is still intact with a vast entrance you can walk down to. This was separate from the bulk of the tombs though I failed to establish why.
We finished our trip with a visit to the museum sharing more of the artifacts that had been recovered and replicas of what would have been used. This was beautifully clean and modern thanks to EU funding and well worth a look around.
I was struck by how few tourists were visiting given the size of the car park. The new town below was packed with inviting yet empty looking tavernas and I worried for their business. It rather feels although touring as we did is becoming a thing of the past and that local business is beholden to the larger coach trips choosing to make a stop at their destination.
Tips for visiting Mycenae
Prices were very reasonable to enter at 12 Euros for adults and 6 Euros for children.
I would say this is a trip for a half day only which suited us perfectly.
The entrance fee covers a separate treasury and tombs as a nearby site which we missed out on. As the boys had had enough and were in search of lunch by then.
Fresh water taps to refill bottles are provided so no need to carry too much
There are clean and well kept toilets
Sensible footwear is recommended as they steps are uneven and worn making them slippery in parts.
Be careful following a map or Sat Nav as the Greek translation into English is spelt in several different ways; we found ourselves heading to the wrong place a few times and having to turn around.
Posted on May 6th, 2017 - Fiona
Spring is full of colour and joy all over the farm. I pinch myself each day to remind myself how lucky I am as I make my early morning checks ahead of the feed run with our guests, accompanied of course by Friday our pet lamb. There is always something new to spot: a perennial shrub bursting into bloom, a new born animal on the farm, wildlife running hither and dither all combining to create spring joy in sight, sound and smell all around me. My highlight this week was discovering ducklings in our top lake. They had been hidden on my early checks but swam across right in front of the tractor and trailer to the delight of all our guests. They couldn’t have been more than a day old when we saw them. Turning off the engine we all stopped to admire the ducklings taking swimming and survival lessons with their proud mother weaving in and out of the reeds and across the lake to the central island.
This little video clip on my phone makes me smile every time I play it back.
I counted eight but looking back at the photo and video I can see there were in fact nine little ducklings. Sadly, with so many predators in our lush valley, all with a taste for duckling, I know they won’t all survive; such is the law of nature.
As I returned later in the day in hope if a second sighting, I was delighted to see the father taking his parental duties seriously. The climbed up on the little island watching over the lake. I’m sure Mummy and the ducklings were hiding between the rocks below.
This little fellow caught my eye perched on the highest branch on the island; he looked pretty absorbed in his own business on our lake. Any ideas what he is?
Have you spotted any ducklings this spring?
As well as ducklings the lake is full of tadpoles, pond skaters, fish and more. It was the inspiration for my activity hour with the children this week, more on this in a future Country Kids post.
Posted on May 5th, 2017 - Fiona
Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill
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.
Embracing May on the Farm
Summer is really creeping in fast here on the farm. Despite a traditionally wet bank holiday weekend to start the month, the sun is now back with us again. The farm needed the rain and all the summer blooms from rhododendrons to wisteria are adding colour at every turn. Thankfully we didn’t have any new lambs in the rain, just 9 little ducklings who were quite happy with a little Cornish drizzle to welcome them into the world. The children here have been back out playing, splashing in puddles and welcome back the the sunshine. Whatever your adventures, I hope you’ll pop by and share them 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.
My top commenters from last week:
- Sonia from Mammas School who commented on 28 posts.
- Kim from Northumberland Mam who commented on 25 posts.
- Helen from The Princess and The Pickle who commented on 24 posts.
We have no bloggers link dumping this week, although do remember I comment count on Thursday after lunch so get your comments in before then if you want them to be counted.
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.
April Welly Winner
Congratulations to Karen from Stopping at Two, with a gorgeous post about Easter here at Coombe Mill. Karen please email or DM me your choice of wellies showing in stock from the amazing Rockfish selection.
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the May Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter : Sonia from Mamma’s School
Corfe Castle on a beautiful day offers some great views and a steam train to arrive on. Herne Hill Mum had a lovely visit.
It was a pleasure for me to read about experiencing Activity Hour here on the farm from a guest perspective as told by Stopping at Two
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 3450 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @waytoomuchluggage, @fiandtylerlee, @daisythebus & @anna_gunnandgrey. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following
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Posted on May 5th, 2017 - Fiona
We have a tradition at Coombe Mill of ending the Easter holidays with a recycled raft race. Every year this popular event grows with regular visitors to us looking forward to the day, newcomers joining in the fun and a few new additions from us to keep the event fresh and exciting.
The fun begins with a pile of washed and recycled floatable items from our recycled bins, a ball of string and plenty of masking tape. Every one works as groups or individuals on their raft following my “one I made earlier” as a rough idea guide.
Making recycled rafts in teams
I allow a good half an hour for everyone to work on their rafts. I have found the more time I allow the more creative and imaginative the rafts become. There were milk bottle bases, stick bases, masts and decorative additions being added to some wonderful bespoke designs. We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day and the time just ran away from us.
New for this year we had made a range of certificates. There was everything from biggest raft to smallest raft, most creative to fastest, best in class by age and more. I figured everyone would win something and the challenge added a new burst of energy to the finishing touches.
Finally everyone was ready and we carried the rafts down to the river. Despite the building excitement I managed to gather everyone for a team photo and gain enough of their attention to remind them of the rules.
Ready for a Recycled Raft Race
The chatter was building as they climbed the bridge and held the rafts over the starting line. We managed a perfect first time start and the rafts were away to the sound of much cheering and shouting.
The dash to beat them along the river bank was on. Guy and Jed were on hand in the river to rescue any rafts caught in the reeds and set them free, along with a few others keen to wade downstream, while the rest dashed towards the finish line.
For most of the journey it looked like my raft was going to win, this was not the outcome I wanted! I was quite relived to be moved into second place by a smaller team raft on the final straight. Those who weren’t on the bridge by now were in the water, me included. There were plenty of helpers to stop any runaway recycled rafts from racing down to Padstow.
We handed out the certificates writing in the winner names as we went and every team won something.
As is often the case the real fun began just at the end. All the older children piled into the river for a big water fight, the screams and squeals as they were showered in cold water was enough to make all the adults smile. I feel sure this will be another fun afternoon on the farm that will remain with the children for a long time to come.
If you fancy joining us for Easter Next year, the Easter Egg Hunt and recycled raft race will take place on Easter week: 31st March 2018.
Posted on May 1st, 2017 - Fiona
Helping Kids love Vegetables
As parents we all know the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for ourselves and our children, however when you walk round a supermarket which appeals to your senses more, the vegetables or the sweets and cakes? Here at Coombe Mill we love to encourage a healthy balanced diet for children and healthy active holidays to match. From learning about herbs and cooking with nature in our craft sessions to wild adventure zones out on the farm, we aim to make a healthy lifestyle fun and enjoyable for children. It turns out Supertato Run Veggies Run is striving to do just the same.
Supertato: Run Veggies Run!
When I heard about the lovable Supertato character and the delightful books fostering a sense of healthy living and making vegetables cool I was immediately drawn to discover more. ‘Run veggies Run’ is the third book in the successful Supertato series, one of the biggest selling picture book characters in 2016, written and illustrated by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet.
It’s Sports Day in the supermarket and all the veggies are in training. Everyone has been practicing hard and is ready and raring to go. However, a new competitor joins the event, accompanied by The Evil Pea, and is determined to win all the prizes. Things don’t seem quite right and Supertato is on the case, but will he be able to foil his nemesis’ plan in time?
What we thought
Run veggies run, like all the Supertato books, is fun, engaging and beautifully illustrated, with a superhero and a villain that is all tongue in cheek. We loved the supermarket chaos that the veggies created. this is a book to inspire adventure and fun and of course a love of veggies! The story and the illustrations are popular with the children on holiday here and have formed the beginning of several of our activity hour sessions.
Need to Know Facts
Publisher||Simon and Schuster|
|Format||Paper back & eBook|
|RSP (List price) |
6.99 (paperback)/ £4.99 (ebook)
|Suitable for||Age 2 +|
Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smiths, Tesco, Hive
A special partnership for Coombe Mill with Supertato
As the Supertato book series and Coombe Mill holidays are both great believers in a healthy active lifestyle for children, we have teamed up to offer you some amazing opportunities.
Win a family holiday with us at Coombe Mill!
If you hop over to the Supertato website you will see details on how to WIN a holiday at Coombe Mill. Look out for special Supertato branded cups and activity sheets in your local independent coffee shop sharing this great holiday win, and the new Supertato book, throughout May and June. Click on the photos to enjoy the Supertato Activity Sheets yourselves.
Win all 3 Supertato Books here with Coombe Mill
Before you rush over to the Simon & Schuster website to try and win your family holiday, why not take a moment and enter to win the full set of Supertato books right here; perfect reading for youngsters to inspire a healthy active lifestyle at home or on holiday. Simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
We were sent our copies of the Supertato book series to keep. They can be borrowed by holiday makers from the Coombe Mill Games Room. We are delighted to be working with publishers Simon & Schuster on this exciting partnership between Supertato books and Coombe Mill Holidays.
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