Posted on March 4th, 2017 - Fiona
It is a while since I’ve written a post sharing a little about one of our holiday cottages, but as I walked round Willow holiday cottage yesterday, I decided to take a couple of pictures to update the photos on the website and share here today. Last year Farmer Nick spent weeks repointing outside before a new contemporary wood burner was installed and this year the master bedroom has been redecorated. I was reminded what a spacious and practical family cottage it is as I tended the fire and ensured everything was looking welcoming and spotless for our new new guests.
Entering through the handy porch, there is plenty of space for wellies and coats. This leads into into a vast open plan living area. The downstairs is all on one level with no tricky steps to catch grandparents or toddlers out. This spacious room is L shaped to define the kitchen dining area yet cosy enough to make it the hub of the cottage.
The highlight for little ones is the little play den under the eaves. This was the very first play room we created at Coombe Mill and its popularity was such that every new build and refit over the past 5 years has incorporated a play room.
There are two Twin rooms in Willow cottage, the one upstairs is ideal for children while the one downstairs better suited to grandparents with French doors out into the private garden.
We know how important a good night’s sleep is for parents with young children. Like many of our properties, Willow master bedroom has a 6 foot super-king bed with a quality mattress. Even little ones that climb in with you in the night will find plenty of space to snuggle down leaving everyone fresh for the morning farm rides.
Try Willow Holiday Cottage out for yourself.
We have good availability for this lovely self catering family cottage this spring including Easter week if you fancy a week on the farm with home from home comforts.
Posted on March 3rd, 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.
So March has arrived with howling winds in Cornwall but also a few bright sunny days, I’m hoping it will be a case of in like a lion and out like a lamb. Speaking of which we are now officially on lamb watch here on the farm eagerly awaiting our first of the season. Our holiday visitor numbers are up and someone is going to benefit from being here when the first are born. Getting outdoors is more appealing with the prospect of spring. I hope you’ll have some adventures 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.
My top commenters from 18th February:
- Sonia from Mamma’s School who commented on 30 posts.
- Lauren from The Helpful Hiker who commented on 28 posts.
- Helena from The Queen of Collage who commented on 22 posts.
We have 4 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.
My February Winner of the Rockfish Wellies:
Congratulations to Sonia from Mummy Constant who was one of Februaries top commenters, consistently comments on lots of your posts and linked up a delightful day at BeWILDerwood that captured my heart. Sonia take a look at the amazing Rockfish designs and email me your choice.
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the March Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter : Sonia from Mamma’s School.
The Helpful Hiker found a beautiful countryside walk with an old tower to explore
Tin box traveller discovered the joy of family cycling at Alice Holt Forest
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 1900 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @emmysmummy1 @franhigham @victoriajenkinsx @mumturnedmom
. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following.
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Posted on March 3rd, 2017 - Fiona
After a quiet January it was lovely to see the number of visitors back up at Coombe Mill for the half term school holiday. We had been away ourselves for a few days mid week, but were back in time for an afternoon of springwatch themed crafting fun. What a delight to discover a group of children who had become the best of friends during the week.
Eager to begin with our spring crafts we started by painting pictures of the farm snowdrops. As always the little ones had to wait for the older ones who were creating some beautiful meadow scenes.
When everyone was finished we searched around for some sticks that would be needed for the next two crafts.
Returning to the table our longer stick was used as the stem of a daffodil, the head being created out of a toilet roll.
The children knew just the place for their daffodils. They had been working on a den together during the week and decided daffodils were just what were needed to finish it off. Carefully they carried them over to our den building area to show off their den and plant their daffodils around.
I love this photo of them all crowded inside.
We hunted around from here for signs of spring to take back to the craft table. The Camellias were out, as well as the daffodils and snowdrops, so there were plenty of colours to find.
The children arranged their spring treasures along a strip of paper which I helped them tape into place.
Next we curled and fixed the paper around two short sticks to make film and used some old chocolate egg boxes I’d been saving since last year to make a TV.
As if by magic their spring finds were now on a TV show!
My thanks to Cheryl from Time To Craft, who reminded me I was storing my egg boxes to make TVs with this post linked to my #Trash2Treasure Link up.
All the children embraced our springwatch crafts with such enthusiasm I shall be using elements from this session again over the coming weeks. We have good availability throughout March if you fancy joining us.
Have you been on springwatch in your local area?
Posted on February 27th, 2017 - Fiona
In an era where on line games are becoming smaller and smaller as children play on tablets and phones, I am a big fan of encouraging real life games that you physically engage in and not just absorb children through a screen. Make these larger than life and the fun really begins.
I remember as a child playing the classic 4 in a row connect 4 game with friends for hours. It was one of those games everyone had and a perfect way to start a play date. Roll on 30 years and the amazing Big Game Hunters have a big and jumbo version of my favourite childhood board game that is perfect for the garden or a playroom; in fact they have a whole range to choose from. There is no sitting still just exercising your fingers and thumbs as in an online game, children actually have to bend and stretch and move around as well as think strategically and try to outwit their opponent; the perfect way to exercise mind and body and improve social skills too.
Jumbo 4 Connect
Delivery and Assembly
We received the Jumbo 4 connect. Delivery was super swift tracked by email at every stage. On arrival we had it unpacked and assembled in minutes. There are instructions to help you but to be honest it is very intuitive to put together with just sides to slot into place and a pull out tray at the bottom to release the counters at the end of play.
We have past experience of Big Game Hunters as our children’s trampoline and the Coombe Mill ones have come from them. Based on the high quality and long lasting nature of their Sky High trampolines I had high hopes for the Jumbo 4 connect and I wasn’t disappointed. It is made from study wood which is well finished with smooth gloss paint. It feels substantial and looks high quality which is important for us as I know it is going to be used week in week out by our holiday guests. In a home I can see this being a game that is handed down from generation to generation to enjoy. The counters are plastic, light weight enough to lift easily, yet sturdy enough to take the constant dropping into slots and clattering to the floor at the end of a game. We have the perfect games room to keep it in, though I can see it coming outdoors too.
Jumbo 4 Connect in Play
Our Jumbo 4 connect arrived just in time for our half term guests to give it a go. We set it up at the start of activity hour outside the games room and a couple of the girls knew straight away how to play and started trying to create their lines of 4 in turn while we waited for everyone to assemble. This is when it really struck me how much movement was required as well as skill and social interaction. That’s three big wins from one fun game.
Capturing the girls on video you can almost hear their minds at work trying to our wit each other to make a line of 4 first.
The Jumbo 4 is just right for our little ones staying here on the farm, however for older children, adults or to really stretch those little ones movements you could opt for the Big 4. Standing at 1.2m tall it is the largest wooden 4 in a row game on the market and would be perfect for family gatherings, team challenges and a guaranteed to be the highlight at any garden party.
Need to Know:
|Jumbo 4 Connect||Big 4 |
|73.4 cm x 84 cm x 20 cm||120 cm x 120 cm x 4.8 cm|
|Quality Wooden Frame||Quality Wooden Frame|
|Plastic Counters Included||Plastic Counters Included|
|Easy to take apart for storage||Easy to take apart for storage|
|£94.99 available from Big Game Hunters||£144.99 available from Big Game Hunters|
Win your Jumbo 4 Connect from Big Game Hunters with Coombe Mill
For a chance to get your kids up and moving with this classic game on a grand scale why not enter to win below. Good luck to all taking part.
I was sent our Jumbo 4 connect to review in this post however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Posted on February 26th, 2017 - Fiona
Located on the south coast of the Peloponnese in Greece, the ancient city of Nafplion is well worth a visit. It was under half an hour by car from where we were staying in Kantia and an easy destination choice for us.
The Ancient Fort of Nafplion
No visit to Nafplion is complete without a visit to the fort, but be prepared for a climb. My phone registered a whopping 47 flights climbed to reach the top.
However the views are second to none and worth the climb for these alone.
It is only when you have scaled the mountain that you meet the ticketing lady at the top. It is quite possible to look from the steps and retreat back down seeing a good 50% at a glance without paying. However at 8 Euros entry we were happy to pay and explore the fort. Being built during the Venetian occupation in the early 19th Century it is more recent than the ruins at Mycenae and Epidavros and much more has survived which I enjoyed. Straight away you can see the holes in the fort for shooting arrows at the enemy and appreciate how the elevated position looking out over land and sea made it the perfect place to defend the city below. Large castle walls and sectioned areas were designed for the city to hide in during times of attack.
Within the fort there is even a little church, complete with burning candles. Visitors must wear a top when entering.
For those not abiding by the rules there is a prison, I must say on the day we visited the depths of the prison offered a welcome coolness absent above ground.
Back down at sea level we looked back up to see just how far we climbed. I actually found coming down harder on my legs tan going up.
Our birds eye view from the top had given us a clear idea of how the city was laid out and we set off exploring beginning with the port where the kids were impressed by a small American cruise ship that had come in for the day.
I was more taken with the old railway line which finished at the port.
The city centre didn’t feel particularly tourist led, instead it is full of cafes and clothes shops typical of any Greek city.
We stopped at a bakery for lunch and ate on a park bench in the shade. There was even a playground next to us for children and beautiful flowers in beds and adorning buildings.
The city felt prosperous with little obvious signs of the economic difficulties Greece is encountering at the moment.
Tips for visiting Nafplion
- Do visit the ancient fort but only in sensible footwear. Farmer Nick took his sandals off walking back down the steps as they had worn smooth and slippery in places and it is a long way to fall!
- If you fancy the fort and can’t face the steps it is possible to drive from the rear of the mountain to the top as we discovered when asking the ticket lady if she climbed the steps each day.
- There are toilets and fresh drinking water available at the top of the fort.
- Parking in the city is very easy; we had no trouble parking right in the centre for free in July.
- Cafes are abundant around the port for eating or there are plenty of take away bakeries in the town centre.
- If you fancy a swim there is a beach well signposted and a short walk from the town centre. There is a beach car park but this fills quickly.
- You could make a full day out of a visit to the city and one I thoroughly recommend. The town is easy to navigate with a pushchair but not the fort.