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.
September holiday news from the farm
September holiday news brings you highlights from the summer and plans for autumn on our delightful family farmstay. ... Read More
A Month of Being Open for Holidays
Reflections on a month of our holidays being open again after the Covid-19 lockdown. How our no contact holidays work & farm news. ... Read More
Welcome to the festive month of December. It feels rather like the whole country has gone Christmas crazy and Christmas spirit is well and truly buzzing. I hope I can interrupt your planning for the big day with a little update for you from the farm, an offer you can’t refuse for next year and of course all the best local events in Cornwall for December if you are joining us.
Reserve any 2020 holiday this December for FREE
I know this one made a big difference to many of you last year, so we are bringing it back again.
Secure your favourite week in your favourite property next year by simply placing the booking:
Online: Write “Pay March” in special instructions. Pull out when asked to pay a deposit. I will see your booking at this point and confirm that I will hold it for you until the end of March. I’ll email you at the start of March to remind you about the deposit payment.
By phone: just call 01208850344 and secure the booking by phone.
By email: provide your name, when you last came (if you’ve stayed before) phone number, address, number in the party, week and property wanted.
If your booking is in January or February you can still book in December but pay January. Just write “Pay January” instead of “Pay March” in special instructions
Holiday news from the farm
The Chickens have come indoors
After October half term the chickens have all moved to their indoor quarters. This will keep them dry and cosy with a deep wood chip floor and electric lighting to compensate for the short daylight hours.
Free Range Goats
The goats are enjoying free ranging the tractor route while we have no guests staying. This has the benefit of munching down all the brambles and overgrowth, reducing our animal food bills, natural pruning of the pathways and a varied diet for the goats. It’s a ‘win win’ situation for everyone. Most importantly Dusty, or Houdini as Nick now calls him for his ability to escape all but the ‘Sin Bin’ field where he has ended up in isolation over the summer, is now reunited with his friends. Even Dusty can’t escape over the river.
Cottages over the road
Camel Side Cottages comprising of Tree Roots, Honeysuckle and Willow are now separated from Coombe Mill with gates and its own sign, website and booking system.
The train is in Farmer Nick’s shed waiting a new lick of paint, while the train track has all been lifted and stored. The plan is to run it along the path of the lodges and Farmer Nick has begun the trench for this. We hope to have it up and running as soon as possible in spring.
This has to go to Lucy Williams. Lucy and her family have been coming to Coombe Mill for many years. Family holiday memories have built up to the point where their latest family addition now has her middle name as ‘River’ after the river Camel running through Coombe Mill. How wonderful is that? (Photos from Lucy’s last visit in October half term)
Christmas and New Year
All that remains is for me to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and New Year. We have a last minute cancellation in Eden if you can take advantage and space over New Year if you fancy a little country escape. Otherwise don’t forget to take us up on our December offer for next year.
Show someone special you care with a personal gift this Christmas. With ASDA Photo it couldn’t be easier. They have a wide selection of household products, accessories and handy everyday items ready to be personalised as gifts this festive season. Personalised photo gifts are perfect for family and friends. With quick turnaround times and something to suit every budget you’ll be sorted for that unique present in a stocking or under the tree.
If this sounds like the answer to your Christmas shopping worries, read on to discover the range available and for your chance to WIN a personalised photo blanket worth £28.00.
Check out our handy ASDA Photo Gift Guide
ASDA Photo Product
Enjoy your favourite photos every day of the year with Asda Photo Calendars. Select from a wall, kitchen and desktop calendars. These calendars are simple to customise and ideal for printing several copies for all the family.
Check out these quality Photo Cushions. Choose from a wide range of design options (including the trendy sequin reveal cushions) and make them yours with a favourite photo and words. Printed on one side.
Make up a Photo Book for someone special. Photo Books make a wonderful keepsake for reliving those happy times. They are orderable in different sizes and styles; including the popular lay flat photo book which is great for showcasing landscape photos.
Slate Photo Panels
Show your best photographs off with these slate photo panels. The chiselled edge naturally frames the photo making them ideal for family portraits or holiday moments to keep forever.
Asda photo Personalised Mugs and travel mugs could be just your ‘cup of tea’. Choose from the wide range including ceramic, porcelain, latte, kids and the travel mug – Perfect for a warming hot chocolate, that morning wake up coffee or grabbing a cuppa on the way out to work or the school run.
What better than a jigsaw with your own special scene to create. The puzzles come in a range of sizes and difficulty levels to keep everyone entertained from little ones to adults. There is even a pairs game that is ideal for stocking filler.
For something to display on the wall why not choose a canvas print of your favourite photo? These are available in a range of sizes and designs including collage and retro prints.
Never muddle your towel up again with a Personalised Towel. These soft and fluffy towels are available as a Tea Towel or traditional beach towel. Perfect for the home or taking away on holiday.
The Asda Photo keyrings make a perfect little stocking filler or Secret Santa gift. Choose your favourite picture and turn it into a stylish Personalised Key ring. They are available in a range of shapes and with a choice of backs (from double-sided to glitter).
A Photo Blanket makes a wonderful keepsake for a loved one, remind them of a favourite time, place or event to wrap up inside. Choose from the range of sizes and designs finished with traditional edge stitching.
Win a Personalised blanket worth £28 with ASDA Photo and Coombe Mill
If you fancy a blanket with one of your favourite photos as a gift or to snuggle up on winter evenings yourself simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking in part.
The Coombe Mill Halloween Fun Day is one of the farm annual highlights. It has developed and grown over the years into a day that holiday makers return for year after year. This year followed the highly success format of 2018, but with a few additions to keep things fresh.
Halloween Fancy Dress Feed Run
Our usual morning tractor and trailer ride to feed the animals was turned into a fancy dress feed run. The trailer really looked the part and even Farmer Nick joined in with fancy dress.
Perhaps the highlight of the feed run was discovering spooky Halloween chocolate eggs in place of farm eggs at the chickens
Families then had the middle of the day free while I moved decorations from the Trailer to the train tunnel and added to them and prepared the pumpkin crafts for the afternoon.
Last year we provided pumpkins for carving as part of the carts. It was so successful I thought I’d extend it to this year but instead of just handing out pumpkins I hid them in the fairy garden so the children’s first task was to go on a pumpkin hunt.
Armed with a pumpkin each the children set about designing their pumpkin and then carving. We had plenty of adults on hand to help out with this. When it came to scooping out the middle, we reserved the seeds and flesh for baking.
We made pumpkin cakes indoors, very similar to the blackberry cakes of a few weeks before, but substituting the blackberries with grated pumpkin flesh.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This is one of my favourite things to do with pumpkins. The seeds are so easy to roast. Simply clean them in water and pat them dry, then transfer them to a roasting dish, add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil before roasting in the oven or under a hot grill for around 10 minutes or until golden. It is worth shaking the seeds mid way through cooking to ensure they toast nicely on both sides.
The children filled jars with the toasted seeds and made spider tops from cereal boxes while the cakes cooked.
Halloween Party Games
We cleared away the baking tables and turned up the Halloween music for a bit of fun with musical statues and musical bumps. The children were so good it was hard to catch anyone out, even with a wide age range. In the end I had them spinning and bumping to make it harder for them and easier for me! There were treats for all so everyone was a winner really.
Daytime turned to night times during our games and the children were really excited for our last two events, the Ghost train and Trick or Treat. We made our way over to the train station by torchlight and everyone enjoyed at least two round of train riding in the dark with a spooky tunnel of fun.
The evening ends in style with a huge trick or treat procession. This is totally unique and very Coombe Mill. We go from property to property as an organised group. Weonly stop if there is a pumpkin lit outside. Between the ones we carved together and extras created by families in their own time there were some real works of art
Trick or Treat challenges my voice. My trick is to keep order, keep everyone safe and ensure the little ones have as much of a chance to call at each house as the bigger kids. Excitment is full on as this is the real highlight of the evening for the children.
My thanks to all the parents for the wonderful treats and decorated properties. I think this might have been the best trick or treat ever. One little one told me as much which was totally spontaneous and adorable.
With Halloween just passed, Bonfire night coming up and Christmas festivities on the horizon this feels like a busy time of year for families. With this in mind I have a snappy to the point newsletter for you with updates from the farm, ideas to keep holidays in mind and the latest on November Events Cornwall.
Halloween Fun Day
Hot off the press our Halloween fun day was another year of spooktacular fun and games. From the morning fancy dress feed run to evening trick or treating, this remains probably the most popular event of the year. Jump ahead to book October half term next year and be part of fun.
The Golf Course has moved!
I mentioned last month that the train and golf course would be coming across the road as we separate Honeysuckle, Willow and Tree Roots cottages. The train was waiting till after Halloween so that we could run the ghost train, but the golf course has moved. It is now located where the under 5’s ride on play area was and Farmer Nick is working on a fun 7th hole into the little house.
Come and stay for New Year
Christmas is almost fully booked (unless you are a family of 4?) but we still have good availability for New Year. Come and join us for anything from 3 nights upwards. A holiday here is a perfect chance to walk off the Christmas calories on the farm and local beaches before warming up by our cosy log burners.
An imaginative Christmas Present
Don’t forget we have gift certificates from £50 upwards if you are looking for a different sort of gift for a family member this year. You can use our gift certificates with our “refer a friend” scheme saving you, and those you refer, £50 off your next booking with us.
Guest post of the month
This wonderful post came through to me on Facebook messenger. The family are now all grown up but still have fond childhood memories here with us. The property is long since gone and the pig field moved, the rest is very much Coombe Mill. Please do share your posts and pictures with me on social media using #CoombeMillHolidays or direct to our group or via the page or email.
It is such a wonderful surprise when I receive an enexpected message like this. “Hi Fiona and Nick. I wanted to share some photos I found of my two on holiday a few years ago now. What fantastic times we had too. Hope your both well and thanks again for … https://t.co/49SDAMczmdpic.twitter.com/dk3rvErU9N
We have so many baby guinea Pigs that we are going to need to re-home a few. Just ask if you fancy taking one home with you after your holiday. They make the most adorable pets.
We are now entering the Rutting season when Rudolph can become quite unpredictable and as such we are recommending that guests only go through the deer field with Farmer Nick on the morning feed run. Rudolph is however looking his most magnificent for his ladies with a full set of antlers.
Nb: I have not been paid or sponsored to mention these places, they are just the Cornish events November 2019 that I feel would be of interest to Coombe Mill Guests.
As a last note I will just say that we are open right through November and December if you fancy a long weekend break before the rush of Christmas. Have a good month whatever your plans and I hope we all enjoy some crisp sunny winter days.
As summer fades into autumn I like to take advantage of the abundance of blackberries here on the farm. Foraging, baking and crafting are a perfect use of blackberries. I try to mix things up a little each year so nothing is quite the same as the year before. While I had tried a version of all of these activities before, none of them were quite the same. There was something new with our blackberry fabric printing crafts for even our most regular guests.
I handed out collecting tubs and we headed down to the river bank for a power 15 minute blackberry collecting session.
Health and Safety Awareness
Back at the craft tables, Guy led the children to wash their hands while I washed the blackberries to flush out any creepy crawlies.
All cleaned up we were ready to start work. I have a tried and trusted recipe for muffins which is ideally suited to adding any additional ingredient, like blackberries, and also easy for children to measure. With each child adding an ingredient and taking turns stirring while others set out the paper cases there is something to keep everyone in a large group engaged.
Blackberry Fabric Printing Crafts
Blackberry stained fairy clothes
While the muffins cooked in the oven I tipped out a bag of fairy clothes cut outs on to the table. The children had to find pairs of clothes lay out blackberries on one and squish the other on top. I stapled them all onto a line of string to make a fairy washing line to go in the fairy gardens above the new fairy house.
Blackberry tie dyed flags
Our final activity involved winding loom bands tightly around sections of triangular fabric. Next we dunked the fabric in blackberry juice before opening the fabric to reveal some fun circular designs. The children collected a stick for me to staple their tie dye triangle round to make a flag.
By the time the flags were completed the muffins were ready to eat. Even those who claimed not to like blackberries tried one. I think being involved in the whole cooking process makesw children more inclimed to have a taste. There were very few left for me to take home which is always the real test.
Each of these activities are both fun and educational for children. They held their attention and yet cost very little to put together. I would recommend them for a garden birthday party or perhaps a play date at home.
“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.