Soft Play, The Ultimate Answer to Rainy Days

Posted on December 8th, 2018 -

Soft Play is one of those love or loath activities. Usually loved by kids and loathed by parents. However on a rainy day they are a very handy stand by for using up excess energy for little ones. Much as I would love to pretend every day delivers beautiful sunshine for a holiday here in Cornwall, I know that just won’t wash. The reality is we experience our fair share of westerly winds bringing associated showers. Having soft play here at Coombe Mill is a sociable and fun way to dodge the rain clouds on the less than perfect beach days.

Making soft play bearable for parents

My relocation of soft play was always that they were made much more bearable with a decent coffee in hand! We have a table and chairs in the soft play barn for parents to watch over children at play. We request that no food and drinks are taken onto the play equipment, however bringing your real coffee over from your property to enjoy at the table is very much encouraged along with a snack for the children. There is even a highchair in there.  

Soft play with space for parents to sit and kids to run and play 

Soft play barn at Coombe Mill with table and chairs

A game of chase is fun in a group

Soft play climbing apparatus at Coombe Mill Holidays playbarn.

Round and round they go climbing up….

Soft play chase game in play

….And sliding down

Sliding down in the soft play barn at Coombe Mill Family Holidays

Before flopping in the ball pit to catch their breath

Softplay ball pit at Coombe Mill Holidays

Location, location. location

Our play barn is central to Coombe Mill, whether you stay in a cottage or a lodge the soft play barn is no more than a couple of minutes walk away. The morning tractor and trailer ride begins and ends just outside so children can easily run from one activity to the next. The soft play barn is just one of the all weather attractions here at Coombe Mill, so that you never need worry about the weather or the time of year you decide to visit.  

Pin for Later: Soft Play at Coombe Mill for rainy days on holiday 

soft play barn at Coombe Mill Holidays

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Maps of the United Kingdom

Posted on December 3rd, 2018 -

With BREXIT upon us and uncertainly for the future of travel and trade I am thrilled to lay my hands on the perfect book all about the United Kingdom. Take a journey through England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales county by county with “Maps of the United Kingdom”. The beautiful illustrated pages make this book of maps perfect for young and old with highlights to impress. To find out more about this wonderful resource from Wide Eyed, part of the Quarto Kids Group, simply read on. There is also a chance to win your very own copy.


Maps of the United Kingdom

Explore more than 1000 highlights from the British Isles

Each region is broken down by county and highlights explored and illustrated on double page spreads. Discover the people that made our cities famous in history, the ancient castles, remarkable engineering as well as art, culture, food and natural resources that make each county special.

Pages from Maps of the United Kingdom

Pages from Maps of the United Kingdom


I headed straight for the Cornwall page expecting to see Land’s End, tin mines, pasties and the Eden Project. I wasn’t disappointed. However there is so much more stretching from 1771 with the man who invented the first steam powered vehicle to present day filming of Poldark, all in one double page spread.  Reading about other the other areas of the United Kingdom I am shocked at how little I really know about our wonderful country. There are so many more places in the UK that I now want to visit.

Video preview of Maps of the United Kingdom

Need to Know

Retail Price  £17.99
Author Rachel Dixon
Illustrated by Livi Gosling


112 Pages

Size: 10.079 in x 12.205 in / 256 mm x 310 mm

Age Range7+
PublisherWide-Eyed Editions Part of the Quarto Group
StockistsQuarto Online, Waterstones, Amazon, Books etc, Book Depository


Win your copy of Maps of the United Kingdom with Quarto Kids and Coombe Mill

If you fancy getting your hands on a copy of this wonderful resource of the UK and perhaps planning your 2019 staycation around it just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.

Maps of the United Kingdom



We were sent our copy of  Maps of the United Kingdom for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


Christmas Trees to Greet You in Every Property

Posted on December 1st, 2018 -

Christmas here at Coombe Mill is all about making family time as relaxing and memorable as possible.  By the time you arrive for your well earned holiday the chances are the shopping is all complete, wrapped and hidden in the car. Let the stress melt away as you begin a week of relaxing family fun. The first thing that greets you as you walk through the door will be the warmth of your cottage or lodge and the pretty twinkling lights from the Christmas tree. Our Christmas Trees are ready assembled with lights on, however the fun part of decorating with tinsel and baubles is left for you and your family to enjoy. Select the bits and bobs you want from our box of treasures, then create the Christmas tree of your choice.

Honeysuckle Cottage

Recently renovated, this spacious holiday cottage easily takes a large Christmas Tree.

Honeysuckle Holiday Cottage Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree in Heligan Lodge 

High ceilings make it easy for a 7ft tree to feature in this contemporary lodge to sleep 8.

Heligan Holiday Lodge Christmas Tree


Can you imagine  fairies dancing inside the branches? 

Looking into the Christmas Trees with lights


Our own Christmas tree fully decorated in minimalist style this year.  

Millers Lodge Christmas Tree


There will be a chance to add to the decorations at our popular Christmas craft session. This always includes a little homemade treat for the tree and a centerpiece for your Christmas table.

Christmas Holly and Ivy

Why not embellish the decorations in your cottage or lodge with a little Christmas scavenger hunt on the farm. There is plenty of holy with rich red berries and ivy creeping up the big old trees. Grab a pair of scissors from the well stocked kitchen and go natural with decorating. There is plenty for everyone. Do tell me if you find any mistletoe, I look each year over the 30 acres but I’ve not yet spotted any.  

Holly with berries from the Farm for Christmas decorations

Outdoor Decorations

Next to go up will be our outdoor lights, I can’t wait to share some more photos as our old log store is the perfect place to light up the entrance with Christmas cheer.  When you put your decorations up? Do you a wait until Christmas Eve or jump in at the start of December?

Pin for later

Christmas Trees to Greet You in Every Property


 Honeysuckle Holiday Cottage Kitchen Makeover

Posted on November 24th, 2018 -

Updating and upgrading our holiday cottages and lodges at Coombe Mill is a rolling programme. Now that we are at the end of the 2018 season we have time on our hands and properties empty we are able to work on the most pressing jobs. Honeysuckle and Willow cottages are semi detached and built in the 1980s. They have undergone a number of updates over the years including numerous soft furnishing updates, a playroom in the eves, a new fireplace, new windows and doors and the addition of superking bedrooms. It is the quality real wood kitchens have never changed. The trouble with great quality is they date before they ever wear out. This is the case here.  Not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater we have worked around the quality fittings to give a modern look with our kitchen makeover.  

Farmer Nick the Carpenter

It is actually our eldest son who is approaching the end of his carpentry course; however he has been seriously impressed, as am I, with how Farmer Nick has approached his first job. Together we choose the new worktops, sink, taps and tiles however it is Farmer Nick who has fitted and plumbed everything.  Only the original quality units remain but with a modern neutral paint over to bring them up to date.


Kitchen Makeover for Honeysuckle Holiday Cottage

Honeysuckle Kitchen Makeover

Looking down on the new kitchen from the mistral gallery

Honeysuckle Kitchen from Minstral Gallery

Open plan kitchen through to living room

Honeysuckle openplan kitchen and living room

Living Room with modern fireplace and new sofas


Standing back in the wintry afternoon sun, I am happy Honeysuckle is an up to date choice for our holiday makers again. Farmer Nick will be capitalising on his new carpentry and plumbing skills with a mirror makeover in Willow holiday cottage next. I hope you’ll find an occasion to come and see what we’ve achieved.

Front of Honeysuckle and Willow cottages

Honeysuckle Holiday cottage in autumn 

Pin for Later: Honeysuckle Holiday Cottage – Kitchen Makeover

Honeysuckle Holiday Cottage Kitchen Makeover

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Seeing Stars A guide to the Constellations

Posted on November 19th, 2018 -

We have the ultimate book for budding star gazers. Seeing Stars from Phaidon is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to know more about our solar system and the stars within it from a historical and artistic perspective. This is a chance to understand and spot the 88 constellations twinkling above us. Who discovered them, when and the story they tell. It is a beautiful book for age 7 to adult that is fascinating and a great reference point for those clear nights. Read on to discover more about Seeing Stars and for a chance to win a copy.


Seeing Stars A guide to the Constellations

Discover the pictures and stories in our night sky

Seeing Stars takes the reader back thousands of years to when people first began star gazing. Like a giant dot to dot game they joined groups of stars to form animals, gods and objects, these became the Constellations. Seeing Stars looks at each constellation in turn; with clear illustrations and maps the stories are brought to life along with details on when and where you can best see them. Everyone can be a budding astronomer with this book.


Pages from Seeing Stars

What we like

The book is easy to follow, clear and informative. Despite focusing on the history of the constellations there is also up to the minute advice on apps for your phone or websites to expand your learning.  Everyone will be able to spot a constellation they want to find, from a birth sign to a favourite animal.

Need to Know

Retail Price £17.95
Age Range7 upwards
book format

Jacketed hardcover

216 pages

203 x 229 mm

ISBN978 071487 7723
Author and illustratorSara Gillingham
Available from Phaidon online store, wordery,  book depository, Amazon 


 Win your copy of Seeing Stars with Phaidon and Coombe Mill

For your chance to win seeing Stars and l inspire your young enthusiast to look up and delight in the wonders of the cosmos simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.


Seeing Stars A complete guide to the 88 constellations.



We were sent our copy of Seeing Stars for the purpose of this review. However all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Cornwall has some of the best Dark skies in the country and our copy can be found in the games room library for star gazing fun on holiday with us.  

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