Country Kids 6th January 2018

Posted on January 5th, 2018 -

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 #50 things along with all other ideas for family fun outside. 

 

Christmas 2017 feeding the alpaca at Coombe Mill Holidays

 6 years of Country Kids! 

As we move into January I realise Country Kids is moving into it’s 7th year! My kids have gone from kids to practically gown ups in that time but the linky is still one I’m passionate about and so it continues. Essentially outdoor family adventures make memories and healthy happy families. I hope you will stay with me on the outdoor journey for another year. Whether you are taking time out at the park, the beach, the woods or just frolicking in the garden it is time well spent. Capture those moments and share them on the link up below.   

Happy New Year!

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 last week:

  1. Emma from The Joy of Five who commented on 17 posts.
  2. Jenni from Odd Socks and Lollipops who commented on 16 posts
  3. Sanna from Wave to Mummy who commented on 15 posts.

Thanks to all of you who joined in last week and for the comments you took time to leave, we had a week with no link dumpers so a pat on the back to you all! 

Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids 

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

You Could Win with Rockfish Wellies and Country Kids from Coombe Mill 

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.

 

Favourite posts from 16th December added to the shortlist for winning the December / January Rockfish Wellies:

Top Commenter: Emma from The Joy of Five

  • Snow has arrived in America and Mum turned Mom is making the most of it with her little girl 
  • Marsh Farm looks like a perfect place for visiting Santa for a great pre Christmas day out as told by Our Little Escapades 

 

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 7735 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.

My bumper Christmas and New Year featured photos  came from @lucyathomeblog @countryvicarswife  @laurasidestreet  @wouldliketobe@_lauriesharp @packetmixmum @four_acorns and @dear_mummy Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following.

A bumper Xmas and New Year #countrykids fun round up with thanks to @lucyathomeblog @countryvicarswife @laurasidestreet @wouldliketobe @_lauriesharp @packetmixmum @four_acorns and @dear_mummy thank you for all the festive outdoor fun photos. Don’t forget #CountryKids is back on the blog from midnight for all your festive fun posts. Thank you for all the wonderful tags, please keep them coming for 2018.

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

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A Christmas Day Surf 2017

Posted on January 5th, 2018 -

We make no secret of loving the beach at any time of the year; however one of my favourite days to visit is Christmas Day. The weather doesn’t need to be perfect, just warm enough to face changing into a wetsuit and dry enough not to ruin a walk. Christmas Day this year delivered on both these criteria with the typically Cornish mix of warm with outbreaks of drizzle and occasional sunshine. Just to further encourage a family beach visit Jed had a surf board for his Christmas present which he opened with great excitement here in the morning and couldn’t wait to test it out.

 

Christmas day 2017 in the surf

 

Everyone has their own Christmas Day traditions, ours is Stockings in the morning, followed by feed run with the guests and then family cooked brunch.  

 

Refuelled by something warm to eat, we head out for a walk, preferably to the beach, while the Turkey cooks for an early evening Christmas dinner. I like it this way as it ensures I manage to join the family for the daylight hours and not be left stuck in the kitchen cooking. With the window wipes on and off during the car journey to the beach I had my doubts about our plan this year, however the kids were keen and who am I to stop their fun. Half of us hit the waves while half walked the beach and coast path. I left Theo with the camera so he is responsible for most of the beach photos.

 

I hadn’t thought to bring my long lens and really wanted to capture Jed trying out his new surf board so I risked my camera in the water and waded in while Theo held my surf board. I even managed a couple of little video clips before a wave nearly had me over and the camera ruined for good!

 

Sea and surf at Polzeath on Christmas Day 2017

 

After nearly an hour in the water I had to drag the kids out, they were going blue but still having a wonderful time on their Christmas Day surf.

 

 

Changing back on the beach is the most unpleasant part, but we made up for it with the heating on high in the car going home and a wonderful traditional Christmas dinner within a couple of hours of being home.  

 

Christmas Dinner 2017

 

I always say kids are like puppies, they need a good dose of exercise every day in order to relax quietly. Surfing and sea air clearly did the trick; they all played Monopoly and watched films with us in the living room late into the night. It was my perfect balanced Christmas Day.

A Christmas Day Surf 2017

Country Kids


New Year Plans and Reflections 2018

Posted on January 1st, 2018 -

As 2017 closes and we look forward to the year ahead I like to take a little time out to see what we have achieved in the year and share some of our thoughts going forward. Every year seems to fly past quicker than the year before and it is only when I stop to look at all we have done that I realise why we are always so busy! New Year Resolutions scare me so I like to call them plans. 

 

New Year Plans and Reflections 2018

2017 Highlights

Building and Renovation

 

Polzeath Holiday Lodge

The big project for us has been bringing our latest holiday lodge to completion. We actually ran ahead of schedule and rented it out for the first time the week before May half term. Using everything we have learned to date on new builds, Polzeath is, without doubt, a cut above. The real highlight is the extra head room upstairs which we have used for a bespoke soft play room, a reading snug and still left ample of general play space which is filled with toys. If you have 1 or 2 preschool age children I can’t recommend this property enough at any time of the year.

 

Polzeath Holiday Lodge at Coombe Mill Farm Cornwall

 

In addition to the new lodge our maintenance program has continued as usual with Willow benefitting from a master bedroom make over and Heligan a new en-suite shower room.

 

Willow Bedroom and Heligan shower room make over 2017

Sand pit and diggers

Our lovely big old tractor was rusting beyond repair in the far play area. With the help of two tractors and a digger we finally managed to wave it goodbye.  In its place my ambition to have a giant covered sand pit came to fruition. Thanks to the lovely play equipment folk at Big Game Hunters we furnished it with 8 shiny new play diggers which have been in constant use all season.  

 

Boys digging for gold onmini diggers at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays

 

The Farm

Lambing

Our lambing season was a success with just one needing hand rearing this year. Friday (born on Good Friday) became everyone’s pet and even enjoyed the odd game on the x box in the evenings with my kids!

 

Jed and Friday the lamb in Bluebell Woods

 

Chicken World

We began the year with a restraint on free ranging all our ducks and chickens. Farmer Nick spent all last Christmas building Chicken world to give luxury indoor living to our chickens. The chickens thrived in there over winter and we are now taking them indoors every year for the winter months. With ample daylight, nature toys and bespoke laying boxes they are safe from the fox and the weather.

 

New chicken home at Coombe Mill Holidays

 

New Animal fields

This winter has been remarkably mild and we were able to delay moving the animals onto hay. This was also helped by a cunning new fencing system from Farmer Nick which meant the goats and alpaca could free range the main tractor route around the lake in our low season. Treat foods for the animals, perfect strimming for us and very entertaining for the guests as the alpaca love to lead the feed run in the morning!

 

Alpaca leading the feed run

 

Marketing Success for Coombe Mill

UKBA Winner

I was thrilled to be a finalist and then actually win at the UK Blog Awards (UKBA) this year. The night of glitz and glamour unfortunately clashed with my triplets 13th birthday so I missed the big do in London was very grateful to fellow finalist and Cornish blogger Helena from Down side Up who collected my award for me.

 

UK Blog Awards Winner Coombe Mill Parenting 2017

 

Brit Mums Finalist

I was also honoured to be a finalist in the Brit Mums Blog Awards this year. This one I did get along to and had a wonderful couple of days catching up with old friends and new and learning plenty to take my blog forward again for another year.

 

Brit Mums Live 17 at Country Hall London

 

Daily Express Feature on best family breaks

Thanks to a lovely review to the Daily Express from Clare Nicholas of Emmy’s Mummy and Harry’s Too Blog from her visits to Coombe Mill, we enjoyed a Daily Mail feature highlighting us as one of the best holidays for families with children and grandparents.

Daily Express feature on Coombe Mill Holidays for best family breaks

Facebook

Facebook has been the focus of my social media this year and my page now has a following of nearly 6000 and a reach that peaked at over 10,000 a week. The review section has been a real win taking over from Trip Adviser as the main place for guests to leave comments. We have had some wonderful reviews with maximum star ratings. Thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to write these, it is the best form of marketing I could hope for. 

 

Facebook Reviews for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays

Personal highlights and events

2017 was the year I officially had 6 teenagers.

Alistair Cambouropoulos

Alistair decided University just wasn’t for him and pulled out of Cardiff University studying Economics in his second year. He has returned home and joined our local holiday lodge builder to pursue what he really enjoys, working outdoors with his hands. He is now doing an apprenticeship with them in carpentry. I should have known when he spent so much time watching Grand Designs and working with the builders and Farmer Nick over the summer. It will be very handy to see him working here on our next lodge!

Felix passed his driving test within weeks of turning 17 and pulled some good grades in his AS level exams. He is applying for University next year after his A levels to study Business Management and Marketing. So far he has 2 unconditional offers and we are thrilled for him.

Felix Cambouropoulos
Theo Cambouropoulos of Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

Theo is heading towards GCSE’s next summer and is still passionate about acting. He has joined the local amateur dramatics group where he is staring in Puss in Boots in February next year. He is now the tallest of us all at 6f 3″

Guy Cambouropoulos of Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, CornwallJed Cambouropoulos of Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall Clio Cambouropoulos of Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

The Triplets have just begun their GCSE subjects this year. Guy and Jed love their Rugby and play for the local town which keeps me driving all over Cornwall on Sundays for matches while Clio has kept up with her Ballet and Tap where she is now on grades 5 and 6.

Farmer Nick of Coombe Mill Farm Holidays, Cornwall

Farmer Nick is still my jolly old farmer who likes nothing better than tinkering on the farm or working on our latest property project.

I turned 50 in the autumn and marked the occasion with a big party at our friendly village pub. All my family came along and I even have some teenage photos to share which have nicely updated the Family Page on our website and mug shots here.

Fiona Cambouropoulos of Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

 

Farmer Nick and I have also managed several short breaks away during the school holidays knowing we have 6 capable young adults who can keep the business going for us. This feels like a real milestone and one I plan to encourage next year. We also have Amber our onsite duty manager for when the older kids are not around or at school and college who is more than capable of overseeing the triplets and running the farm so finally it feels like we have some holiday time too.

 

New Year Plans for 2018

Crazy Golf We have begun with the first hole and hope to build this to 9 holes during the year.
Playroom and link bedroom for Pencarrow Following the success of the conversion in Heligan Lodge, we plan to copy this in Pencarrow splitting the upstairs master bedroom to create a link bedroom and separate playroom. 
New Nature trail along the orchard

Farmer Nick created terracing along the orchard in the summer for ease of mowing and strimming. I plan to use the resulting space for a nature trail. 

Re plan the Welly Walk  We talked about this last year and managed to add some bird feeders but it still needs more work. I like the idea of a Wonderland Walk.
Fairy Gardens These need a freshen up with new trinkets and chippings and some pruning of the encroaching branches.
Follow my own SEO advice from Brit Mums. We need to continue to improve our Google ranking for our farm holidays as we are still heavily dependent on repeat bookings which make up half of our turnover.
New Farm Map Our current farm map on the website is an outdated old areal photo. We plan to update this with a more illustrative map to help you find your way around our 30 acres. 
What to do with the last 2 riverside lodges?

We still have the shell of 2 of our old riverside lodges waiting for a good use. We have already created a Gym, reception and Games room and boot room, what would you like to see next?  

 

 

Come and Join us

 

We are set for another busy year and that really excites me. If you fancy coming and seeing how we are progressing there is nothing like a holiday planned to lift the January blues. Whether it is school holiday week or a cheeky weekend break, we’d love to welcome you to experience the magic of the farm.

 

Happy New Year and may all your new year wishes come true.

Fiona

ethannevelyn.com Mummies Waiting  diy=  keep= One Messy Mama Rhyming with Wine  Twinkly Tuesday Mudpie Fridays


Festive Farm Fun from Cornwall

Posted on December 30th, 2017 -

We are right in the middle of the festive period and I hope it is a happy one for you and your families. Here on the Farm the children have been enjoying plenty of fun each day out feeding the animals and making new friends. Between Christmas wrapping paper and New Year fireworks keeping the animals safe and well is our priority. This year has delivered more than the average rainfall and some strong winds for Cornwall; this is the worst conditions for our animals who cope with the cold so much better than the wet. Never the less Farmer Nick has been providing plenty of hay and treats and all the animal shelters have survived the winds – so far! On the sunnier days the beauty of the farm shines through and it feels as though animals and nature alike uncurl to appreciate the winter sunlight. We will be busy with crafts, partying and fireworks with our guests again tomorrow for New Year’s Eve, but rest assured it will all be away from the animals that will be tucked up with plenty of hay whatever the weather throws our way.

A few Festive Farm Fun Photos

First hold of a chicken and looking confident.

 

chicken holding at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

 

Rudolf having a well earned festive breakfast after his hectic Christmas schedule!

 

deer and kids on festive winter feed run

 

Our alpaca are becoming more friendly by the day and taking a shine to spiced Christmas apples! 

 

Festive Farm Fun feeding Cornish alpaca

 

Festive farm fun from afar, watching the children on the morning farm ride from across the lake.

 

Festiver farm fun over the lake

 

Our cheeky ponies sticking their heads into the trailer in search of apples.  

 

festive farm fun ponies with tractor

 

Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year

 

Country Kids


Merry Christmas from Coombe Mill

Posted on December 22nd, 2017 -

Whatever 2017 has held for you I hope you have a fun family festive season.

Coombe Mill Trees Logo

Ditch the stress, embrace a child’s eye view and remember nothing matters more than being around those you love.  

Coombe Mill Trees Logo

Embrace some family time outdoors between the movies and festive food remembering that outdoor kids are healthy kids. 

Coombe Mill Trees Logo

From all of us here at Coombe Mill Holidays we wish you health and happiness this Christmas time. 

Coombe Mill Trees Logo

Merry Christmas from Coombe Mill

Coombe Mill Trees Logo

Thank you for supporting my blog in 2017, for all the lovely comments and shares on my posts, for joining in with Country Kids (which returns for the new year here on the 6th January) and for helping me win the UKBA 2017 and reach the BIBs finals. 

Merry Christmas

Fiona

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