Posted on September 3rd, 2017 - Fiona
For years I have been hankering after a giant sand pit for Coombe Mill. It has been one of those projects on the back burner for years since our old play boat sand pit fell apart. It takes a twist in events to bump something up the ‘to do’ list; in this case it was finally condemning the old Play Tractor as too rusty and unsafe, after years of happy use.
Now we had the perfect reason to introduce a giant sand pit and the only decisions became where to build it, how big and what toys to add.
Farmer Nick is on the job
The tractor had been down near the river but as this area can flood we decided to build the new giant sandpit higher up above the play fort. The space was limited by the bank behind but Farmer Nick never let something like this stand in his way, with his favourite toy the mini digger the bank retreated. We marked the area out with spray paint and Nick set to work helped by our eldest boys for the heavy concreting and lifting.
As always when Farmer Nick puts his mind to a project, it comes together remarkably quickly. I put the skeleton of the project up on Facebook to guess what we were up to and had a giggle at some of the suggestions with everything from a bar for parents to a lock up for naughty kids!
The roof began to go on and the boys work was nearing completion so it was over to me to decide what toys to add. I knew just the site to explore and took a look at the sand pits for sale over at Big Game Hunters for inspiration. There I found just what I was looking for, in amongst the fun shaped wooden sand pits was the perfect sand pit toy for us – mini diggers.
While we were building the sand pit all the children were fascinated with Farmer Nick’s mini digger and he had to be very careful to leave it safe and without keys at all times as the little ones couldn’t resist sitting up on the driver’s seat.
Our new all weather giant sand pit ready to use
A sand pit filled with mini diggers was the perfect answer for our farm holiday. What’s more at just £22 a digger they looked a bargain and we ordered 5 for our finished giant sand pit.
Needless to say both the sandpit and the diggers have been a huge hit with the children here. The imaginative play coming out from the sand pit is a delight to watch. Just listen to the conversation between the boys in this little video clip
It isn’t just boys enjoying it either, the girls have been creating in there too and buckets and spades and sandcastles have popped up between the diggers. The diggers are lightweight and the children can move them round the sandpit themselves to dig and re-dig to their heart’s content. I’m thrilled with this new all weather play feature which I hope will be in use here all year.
Curious about the old tractor?
Never one to throw things away, the old tractor top is now a mini field shelter in the goat field. As for the rest, the rusty old heap nearly defeated Farmer Nick and the boys towing it out, but with a borrowed flat bed trailer and two tractors they finally did it! I was so terrified for them watching it all with health and safety out the window I never took a photo.
Stay and play for all weather fun
If you have kids that would enjoy playing in our new giant sand pit and any of our other all weather play areas across our 30 acre farm why not take a look a look at our latest
price and availability.
We have some great
early bird discounts on next August too.
Posted on August 12th, 2017 - Fiona
This week, while my pictures are taken over the last 7 days, I’m actually talking about summer 2018 and some fantastic early bird discounts we have to share. When you have a young family, holidays to book at work and need to be organised, then getting ahead and booking a holiday well in advance can give you something to look forward to and take the pressure off last minute availability. If this appeals to you then read on as we have some cracking deals at the moment.
I have selected 4 of our properties in the mid price range and knocked a whooping £400 off the school summer holiday price for 2018. If this isn’t an offer worth shouting about I don’t know what is. We have never done this before but with BBC Breakfast TV unhelpfully putting down UK holidays this week and raving about Eastern Europe I thought it was time to fight back. If the possibility of airport delays, 40+ degree heat and worrying about falling ill abroad sounds off putting on your summer holiday then why not join us for all the fun of the farm, it really isn’t so expensive. At full occupancy this deal represents from £214 per person for a 7 day break (less than £30 per person per night). With farm rides, animals to feed, train rides, crafts and activities and acres of play areas we have a lot to offer. What’s more we have some pet friendly properties too so your 4 legged friend can join in the fun. Check out what others think on our Facebook Reviews and I hope you might pop over and bag yourself a bargain with us.
Willow and Honeysuckle cottages nestled in our lush valley. Perfect for those without pets and with young children
Water Mill dates back to the 16th Century. Quaint and quirky for families with older kids.
Inside Water Mill is a real fusion of old features and modern styling.
If modern and contemporary is more your style Eden lodge has the early bird discounts you need.
Check out the acres of space in the en-suite master bedroom
Enjoy the rest of your summer and remember our early bird discounts if you like to plan ahead for next year.
Posted on May 21st, 2017 - Fiona
In our next life Farmer Nick and I are coming back as property developers. Pardon me while I blow our joint trumpet for a moment, but we have now built or refurbished every cottage over the 15 years of owning Coombe Mill. Polzeath Holiday Lodge is the latest high specification bespoke property to add to the Coombe Mill estate. I’m thrilled with the result, it is perfect for a family of 4.
Planning a New Build
Planning and design begins around the kitchen table around 18 months before completion. Coombe Mill is set on the edge of an area of outstanding natural beauty and on the cusp of the river flood plain, idyllic for a holiday, but time consuming to create designs and applications in keeping with the beautiful surroundings and acceptable for planning regulations. Polzeath was approved as one of 8 new lodges and we were determined to make this the best blueprint we could for the 7 that will one day follow.
Keeping the cost down on the foundations
Cost and cash flow is always at the forefront of our mind and bookings need to be coming in to finance the expenditure going out. Farmer Nick is a wonderful handy man and learned so much about the building trade over the last 15 years that he delights in doing what he can himself. He dug out the foundations for Polzeath lodge on his own mini digger.
I love to see the concrete being poured into the foundation through the giant pipes on the lorry. For anyone who has visited us and worried about the lane, just remember this giant lorry makes it up and down with ‘relative’ ease!
The Builders Take Over on Polzeath
Once the October half term rush is over the boys from North Coast Log Cabins move in. North Coast is local to us and have built all our lodges from the play barn to Polzeath. They know just what we need, how to respect the holiday business around us and work well to deadlines, something critical for us. It feels very quick once they arrive to seeing the lodge go up.
By Christmas Polzeath was water tight and the rooms defined. However the time from Christmas to Easter seemed to drag as all the less glamorous jobs took place. Electrics, plumbing, plastering and carpentry were all messy an unexciting to show. Behind the scenes Nick and I were busy ordering bathrooms, kitchens, choosing colour schemes and the like so we are not holding things up when the builders were ready.
Here we are just weeks before the launch date still looking far from finished!
The Creative Bit
The internal layout follows the already successful blueprint of Trebah and Trevarno; however we made Polzeath taller to allow greater headroom upstairs. This gave us the chance to take the successful playroom format to a new level. Polzeath lodge has more than just a playroom; it is a 3 in one zoned floor with its very own soft play, reading snug and wealth of floor space and toys. We spent the most time researching this area to create something really special from a vast blank canvas.
You gave us the answers
While I give ourselves a pat on the back and marvel at the finished results, I have to also thank everyone who follows me on Facebook. On many occasions when Nick and I disagreed, or couldn’t decide which way to jump, I put the question out to you. The feedback has been so helpful and we really have taken the results on board.
Just look at this initial floatation of ideas for the upstairs space:
You chose a) soft play followed closely by b) Reading snug. We managed to do both and a general play space with seating based on the images above: You can read more about the finished playroom in yesterday’s post
If you don’t already follow my Facebook page please do, I really value all the input on there.
The Finished Polzeath Lodge Revealed
I was just a little excited as I made this little video the week we completed all the work.
Everything came together with the colour schemes and ultra contemporary feel I’d hoped for. All the planning, measuring and holding colour swatches of everything in my bag at all times paid off. Seeing the first family walk in and take in their new home for the week with the smell of fresh wood was payback in itself.
Behind the scenes the stress showed
There were moments of blood sweat and tears in the process, cross words between Nick and I and shouting at the kids that accompany the tension of adding a massive project onto an already busy lifestyle. However we always pull through, apologise to each other and value one another’s contribution. Neither Nick nor I could do it on our own, it is a real team effort including our kids, who as teens, were expected to jump in and help at the drop of a hat as a shouty parent demanded assistance. I hope we can make it up to each other over the summer months with some quality family time at our favourite beach, Polzeath of course!
Come and Stay at Polzeath Holiday Lodge
We are proud to be open for bookings now and even better, we have not set a premium on this exciting new build, so grab your calendar and head on over for a look!
Posted on May 20th, 2017 - Fiona
If you have a young family finding holiday accommodation that is truly child friendly can be a challenge. Having such child friendly accommodation is something we pride ourselves in. As our knowledge and experience of designing and managing new builds and refurbishments grows, so each new holiday lodge becomes more desirable for families. Polzeath is the name of our latest holiday lodge finished just this last week. It is our most superior and luxury holiday lodge yet featuring a bespoke personal playroom which is split into three sections occupying the whole of upstairs.
Soft Play in your own holiday lodge
We have a little room within the playroom kitted out for our younger guests with soft play. Watch them learn to build and stack the towers, create and ride a soft play train and take a slide down to ground level. There is even a concave window to watch what’s going on downstairs.
Quirky Reading Snug
This year’s latest trend in small spaces is a reading snug, somewhere for a little mature quiet time. We have filled our book shelves with all the latest new release books including ones from Lonely Planet Kids, Quarto Kids and Simon and Schuster . Educational reading time is fun in our cosy snug. Soft cushions and seating and a swishy curtain section this quiet area off from the rest of the playroom.
Fully kitted out Playroom
The middle of the room is simply furnished with a comfy sofa for parents. There are draws full of toys for the children to take out for play and building including a giant wooden train set, medieval castle and ride on Thomas the Tank Engine.
Book Polzeath Luxury Holiday Lodge with Bespoke Personal Playroom
You can check out the whole of the property including the modern and contemporary downstairs living space with a super king bedroom, twin room and 2 bathrooms on our webpage for Polzeath. We have space from October onwards this year and just one school holiday space on 26th August. I hope we might see you here soon.
If you are interested in the build process I have a follow up post tomorrow sharing the stages of building Polzeath holiday lodge over the past six months.
Posted on March 4th, 2017 - Fiona
It is a while since I’ve written a post sharing a little about one of our holiday cottages, but as I walked round Willow holiday cottage yesterday, I decided to take a couple of pictures to update the photos on the website and share here today. Last year Farmer Nick spent weeks repointing outside before a new contemporary wood burner was installed and this year the master bedroom has been redecorated. I was reminded what a spacious and practical family cottage it is as I tended the fire and ensured everything was looking welcoming and spotless for our new new guests.
Entering through the handy porch, there is plenty of space for wellies and coats. This leads into into a vast open plan living area. The downstairs is all on one level with no tricky steps to catch grandparents or toddlers out. This spacious room is L shaped to define the kitchen dining area yet cosy enough to make it the hub of the cottage.
The highlight for little ones is the little play den under the eaves. This was the very first play room we created at Coombe Mill and its popularity was such that every new build and refit over the past 5 years has incorporated a play room.
There are two Twin rooms in Willow cottage, the one upstairs is ideal for children while the one downstairs better suited to grandparents with French doors out into the private garden.
We know how important a good night’s sleep is for parents with young children. Like many of our properties, Willow master bedroom has a 6 foot super-king bed with a quality mattress. Even little ones that climb in with you in the night will find plenty of space to snuggle down leaving everyone fresh for the morning farm rides.
Try Willow Holiday Cottage out for yourself.
We have good availability for this lovely self catering family cottage this spring including Easter week if you fancy a week on the farm with home from home comforts.
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