The Surprising Lives of Animals from Quarto Kids

Posted on February 10th, 2020 -

If you have a young budding animal lover in your house, I may have found the perfect book. Aimed at Age 6 plus “The Surprising Lives of Animals” is a wonderful insight into animal behaviour, their environment and the characteristics they have in common with us humans. Pitched at young learners the book aims to educate and delight young minds whilst capturing their imagination. Do you know someone who would enjoy this book? Read on to discover more and for your chance to win a copy.  


The Surprising Lives of Animals from Quarto Kids

About The Surprising Lives of Animals

Animals from all over the world are brought to you in this wonderful book of discovery. See which baby animals enjoy a little play time just like us from chase to tobogganing! Find out about the love they share, the baths they enjoy, the clever ones and the sneaky characters. There are so many comparisons to draw with humans; it will captivate any youngster with an animal connection.

Pages from The Surprising Lives of Animals

What we Love

  • Educational
  • Engaging
  • Beautifully illustrated
  • Bite sized digestible pieces of information
  • Helpful glossary and further reading suggestions

Need to Know

RSP £12.99
Suitable from Age 6+
Product Specifications


48 pages

Full colour

AuthorAnna Claybourne
IllustratorStef Murphy
PublisherQuarto Kids
StockistsQuarto online, Amazon, 


Taster video of The Surprising Lives of Animals Book


Win your copy of The Surprising Lives of Animals with Quarto Kids and Coombe Mill

For your chance to win this delightful non- fiction book for the young animal enthusiast in your live, simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.


Surprising lives of animals


We were sent a copy of the Surprising Lives of Animals book for the purpose of this review, however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Our copy of the book is available to borrow from the Coombe Mill Games Room for our holiday guests.   

February Events in Cornwall and Holiday Farm News

Posted on January 31st, 2020 -

I hope you have made it through the January Blues and beginning to see the first signs of spring. Here on the farm the snowdrops are blooming and the daffodils coming through. Our little micro valley climate always seems to be one step ahead when it comes to spring. Sunset is now after 5pm and lengthening literally by the day. If you need a little break to see you through to summer we may just have the answer. Read on for more on the past month on the farm and February events in Cornwall if you are heading our way for a winter break. 


February Events in Cornwall and Holiday Farm News

Lowest Prices and Short breaks you can’t refuse

Our price list prices are now into their 3rd year with no rise and short breaks are available throughout the February half term week. Give the family an instant winter pick me up with a bargain short break on the dates you choose. Whether you have warm and wet weather or cold and dry there is plenty to do and the farm animals will be thrilled to see you.

feb half term on the fqrm

Valentine’s Day gift card

Don’t be stuck for a good idea on the 14th. Treat the family to a Coombe Mill gift card. Available for £50 and up, you can use it straight away for half term or look further ahead in the year.

Coombe Mill Gift Certificate

Get summer ready

If it is a summer holiday you really want but just don’t have the spare days to take off or the funds for a summer week, we have kept our short breaks running to the last week of June. Don’t just dream of summer, book it.


Coombe Mill lodges in summer

All change on the train

The train track came up after October half term and Farmer Nick has been busy relaying it alongside the lodge pathway. Weather permitting; we are hoping to have it running in time for this coming half term. The old lodges Tiddy and Tamar down by the river are going to be the new engine shed. It gives a lot more space and height than the old tunnel and I’m already super excited to decorate it for Halloween and Christmas this year.  


 A magic touch for the fairy garden

The winter is never kind to the fairy garden, but because we know it is so popular with the children we have invested in some trinkets for the new season. I’ve also been getting creative repainting the stones to keep the magic alive for all who visit.


All from our animal fleeces

Each year we donate our sheep and Alpaca fleece to a local crafter who turns them into the most creative and usual items to sell at country fairs. I was late having them collected this year but rewarded instantly with these gorgeous Christmas decorations.  I will leave them on display in the shop in case anyone wants to order some. Last year’s fleece handbags were extremely popular with our holiday guests.


Coombe Animal fleece crafts


On the farm

We have been working hard to move the animals round the grazing fields and eek out the hay to see us through to spring. The long dry spell in January was perfect for the animals, they had a real chance to dry out and enjoy time outdoors instead of in their shelters. It is the goats and alpaca especially who dislike the rain in their coats.


goats in winter



February Events in Cornwall 2020 

 February Events in Cornwall 2020




Find out more

Distance from Coombe Mill

Snowdrops Sunday

Pencarrow House

9th February 10am – 4pm

Free, voluentry donation welcome 10 minutes

Pirates of the New Word Walk Through – special Previews

Pirate Quest Newquay

February half term 15 – 23rd February

Adults £10.75 Kids £7.95, under 3 Free 40 minutes
Point to Point Wadebridge Showground 9th February 11.30 – 2.30  Adults £10 Children Free, Free Parking
15 minutes


 Eden Project Ice skating


Colour art installation – work with an artist

Eden Project

Until 23rd February


During half term 15 – 23rd February

£7 Adults £6 children (admission to Eden Project)

Free with Eden Admission

40 mins

Bird Identification Walk at Lanhydrock National Trust

Lanhydrock House and Gardens 15 – 23rd February 10am to 4pm Free with membership or normal admission charges 25 mins

Nb: I have not been paid or sponsored to mention these places, they are just the February Events in Cornwall 2020 that I feel would be of interest to Coombe Mill Guests.

After a quiet January we are looking forward to welcoming you to the farm for the coming season.  

With all good wishes for a happy month ahead

Fiona x

Country Kids linky  keep= Musings Of A Tired Mummy 3 Little Buttons Confessions of a New Mummy


Hidden Wonders Book from Lonely Planet Kids

Posted on January 27th, 2020 -

The Planet we live in really is an extraordinary place. From what nature began to what we evolved, there are some quirky places out there just waiting to be discovered. Hidden Wonders by Lonely Planet kids is a guide to the planet’s wildest, weirdest places. Jump on board to discover more and for your chance to win this book for budding tween adventurers along with a fun and challenging promotional jigsaw.

Hidden Wonders from Lonely Planet Kids

About Hidden Wonders

Stand in the soft sand at Playa de Gulpiyuri in Spain and you’d think you were on a beach at the water’s edge. In fact you’d be in the middle of a field! A sink hole has been flooded with water via a tunnel from the Cantabrian Sea to create this amazing feature. This is just one of 150 exciting discoveries in the book.   


Pages from Hidden Wonders Book

What we Love

  • Expect the unexpected when it comes to places and things featured in the book.

  • Discover the origins of the amazing places including, folk law, myths and legends.

  • Photographs of every place bring the locations to life.

  • Hidden Wonders is perfectly written with just enough detail for 9 to 12 year olds.

Need to Know

Age suitability 9 – 11 years
RSP £14.99
AuthorNicole Maggi
StockistsLonely Planet Kids on line shop, Amazon, 
Product specification 


240 pages

Full colour

240mm x 185mm

PublisherLonely Planet Kids


Taster video of the Hidden Wonders Book

Hidden Wonders Jigsaw

For a great way to keep your tween off their phone, try this challenging promotional jigsaw. The tiny pieces and complex front cover design will keep all the family busy. I’m not saying how long it took us, but it was pleasantly addictive to try and solve. 


Hidden Wonders Jigsaw

Win your copy of the Hidden Wonders Book and Jigsaw with Lonely Planet Kids and Coombe Mill

For your chance to discover the strange and wondrous places highlighted in the book and the fun to make jigsaw, simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.

Hidden Wonders from Lonely Planet Kids


We were sent a copy of the book and jigsaw for the purpose of this review, however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Our copy of the book and jigsaw is available to borrow from the Coombe Mill Games Room for our holiday guests.   

Wet Weather Crafts Kids will Love

Posted on January 24th, 2020 -

Faced with a classroom sized amount of children and a Friday afternoon with a storm weather warning, I knew I was going to have to full something fun out of my creativity room. I wanted the families to have their holiday end on a high despite the weather and came up with 3 very different wet weather crafts I knew the kids would enjoy.  A team Junk Model challenge, Kite making and fly and Friendship bracelets.


Wet Weather Crafts Kids will Love

Junk Model challenge

This is a great activity to begin or end a session with children. It brings out their competitive side, creativity and logical thinking. I simply tipped a pile of recycled bottles from our recycling bins onto the table, split the group into two teams, gave each a small real of tape and 10 minutes to think up and build the highest tower they could. The parents couldn’t help but get involved too and it turned into a real family challenge on the two weeks I ran this activity.


Junk model tower challenge

Kite Making

When the storms are forecast kite making is a great one to make the most of the wind. I pre-cut squares of fabric from and old duvet cover for everyone and collected bamboo canes from our den building zone. The children had to secure the canes into a cross with string then colour their kite to their chosen design. My stash of loom banks came in handy to secure the fabric to each corner of bamboo cane while floristry ribbon made the tail.


DIY Kite Making


Thankfully the rain stopped enough for the children to get outside and race with their kites. Our valley location isn’t ideal for picking up the best of the wind, but it gave the children the run around time they needed and a lot of laughs.


Friendship bracelets

These are a great time filler and popular with both boys and girls. I had pre-threaded animal buttons with lengths different coloured wool and the children each chose one. They could twist or plait the wool to create their very own friendship bracelets. It had them totally absorbed while the rain pattered down outside.


friendship bracelets


These crafts made a perfect end to the holiday and even gave us a little outdoor time on a stormy day.


Wet Weather Crafts Kids will Love



Country Kids linky  keep= Musings Of A Tired Mummy 3 Little Buttons Confessions of a New Mummy

Choose Your ASDA Photo Valentine’s Day Gifts

Posted on January 15th, 2020 -

In the run up to Christmas we shared some wonderful seasonal Gifts from ASDA Photo, you liked them so much we are back with a new line up made especially for Valentine’s Day.  Show that someone special in your life how you care with a personalised gift. A picture tells a thousand words, share yours on an amazing choice of great ASDA household items.  

If this sounds like the answer to your Valentine’s Day gift worries, read on to discover the range available, and for your chance to WIN £35 to spend on your choice of products in the ASDA photo range


Choose Your ASDA Photo Valentine's Day Gifts

Check out our handy ASDA Photo Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

ASDA Photo ProductPrice FromDescriptionExample Image
Sequin Reveal Cushion  £16.00

Keep that special memory in your home with a  beautiful personalised sequin reveal cushion. Add photos and words onto one side of the cushion, then brush the two way sequins to reveal your chosen design.  A clever and thoughtful gift.

ASDA photo cushion
Personalised Mugs £8.00

Create that romantic Valentine’s morning with a surprise cuppa in a personaised mug. Choose from the wide range including ceramic, porcelain, latte, and the travel mug, there is one just right for everyone’s morning routine. 


Valentine's Day Personalised Mugs
Personalised Cards£1.90Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break the bank, choose your own message and photo on a very special card at a bargain price. personalised valentine's day cards
Photo Blanket£28.00Curl up on winter evenings with your loved one and your own special valentine’s blanket printed with a special photo memory. A moment in time to relive together.  personalised valentine's Day blanket
Keyrings£4.50Asda photo Personalised key rings are a little gift for your loved one to use day in day out. Another great reason to never lose your keys again! keyring
Photo Magnets£1.00What a bargain! At this price you can cover your fridge with all your favorite romantic moments. Valentine's Day Magnet gift
Canvas Prints£12.00For something to display on the wall and turn to day after day, 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.Canvas pint valentine's Day Gift idea
Photo Books£3.00From a Wedding Day album to a dream holiday, the ASDA Photo book would make a wonderful keepsake this Valentine’s books
Phone Cases£12.00Nothing is with us in the modern era more than our phone. Make your loved one’s case special with a besoke design printed on an ASDA photo cases
Retro Photos25pA perfect way to show you care this Valentine’s Day for just pence. Have your favourite photos together made retro looking with your choice of message and slip them inside a card. retro prints for Valentine's DAy Gifts


Win a £35 Voucher towards any of the above with ASDA Photo and Coombe Mill

If you fancy making Valentine’s Day special with one or more of these thoughtful photo gifts, simply follow the instructions below. A voucher code will be sent to the winner. No cash change is available, though the winner can top up the voucher themselves to use the full £35 worth on any products from the range.

Good luck to all taking in part.


ASDA Photo Valentines Day Gift Voucher for £35


I have not been paid to write this article, all content is my own, but the prize is with thanks to ASDA Photo department.