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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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!
How thrilled was I to receive the coveted #sbs Small Buniness Sunday award from Theo Paphitis of BBC’s Dragon’s Den? Just wow and wow again! Anyone who has been there will know that Sunday night feeling, on a complete high, watching the twitter congratulation messages flooding in. Yes flooding! I was struggling to read them at one point never mind reply to them. I think I have spent every night this week up till gone 2am replying to and following new twitter friends and contacts, updating my bio’s and under good advice from http://www.shellybobbins.blogspot.com/ and http://www.bedsite.ie/ writing a press release. Not done one of those since school english lessons!
What is Small Business Sunday?
#sbs is a great opportunity by the Dragon entrepreneur Theo Paphitis. Each Sunday he takes time to look over all small businesses tweeting him @TheoPaphitis between 5.30pm and 7.30pm with their business and #sbs included in the tweet. He receives over 1000 each week and re-tweets his favourite 6. With 177,000 followers and growing, his re-tweet has real impact. An amazing opportunity at no cost to me yet hours of work for Theo, so definitely my dragon with a heart! He has his own web site with his twitter stream on the home page http://www.theopaphitis.com/
And the family?
With 6 children, all their sports and clubs, meals and house to look after and the day to day running of our Holiday Farm, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised there is no time to sleep! I do worry when the children are pleading for a good night hug and I am just finishing one last thing on the computer, or I burn their tea taking a booking on the phone. Juggling parenthood and business is never easy and I do feel the business has taken the high ground this week. We have friends round this weekend and so after we have all finished changeover tomorrow it is going to be quality family time. It may not be perfect but it’s my way of juggling being a mummy, wife and working. I have learnt not to beat myself up over it, or over worry every time they complain I am busy, but just to try and find a balance that works for us all.
“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.