Why Palavas beach keeps us returning each year.

Posted on October 7th, 2016 - Fiona

Every year on our family holiday to France a day on the river and a day at the beach form two of the ‘must do’ activities of the week. Without exception the kids voted for the familiarity of Palavas beach; my yearning to explore somewhere new would have to wait again.  It is over an hour’s drive from our cousin’s home in Uzes and much further than a beach trip at home, but it offers a very different experience and one the children look forward to each year.

Wny Palavas Beach keeps us Returning

 

No sooner had we placed our bags on the sand than the kids were in the sea.  After Cornwall the Mediterranean feels so beautifully warm and it is a treat to be in the water without the palaver of a wetsuit.  I briefly stalked everyone with my camera before following them into the water.

 

In the sea at Palavas Beach

 

Acutely aware of the midday sun building, I reminded everyone coming out the water to put sun cream on before they tucked into the picnic bag.

Palavas beach

 

I’m sure my parents always used to make me stay out of the water after eating in case of cramp. Since I had no idea if this was an old wives’ tale or not I let them head over to the road bridge over Palavas beach to see if they were still brave enough to jump in. Of course they were!  Clio was especially proud as she lost the confidence to try last summer.  Round and round they went, jumping, somersaulting and backwards jumping.  Just for once they even encouraged me to film them then rushed round to watch themselves.

 

Jumping from the bridge at the beach. An annual tradition at Montpelier. #daring #challenge #countrykids #adventure #summer #summerfun #daysout #travel #france #beach #sea #bridge

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

jumping-from-the-bridge-at-palavas-beach

Farmer Nick is not a fan of beach sitting and so I knew he would want to go for a stroll round to the harbour. At the thought of some expensive yachts to admire Alistair decided to join us while the rest of the kids stayed on the beach and in the sea.  

 

Admiring the boats at Palavas beach

 

Just beyond the harbour I could see the cable cars we saw last year. Back then we had been exploring in swimwear with no money on us, this time we were more prepared and splashed out on the 3 euro return tickets to take us across the water.

 

Taking a cable car over the water #holiday #France #sea #water #cablecar familyday #seaside #fun

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

cable cars over Palavas beach

 

On the other side we found ourselves in a pretty little tourist resort. I was in my element browsing the street shops. The boys on the other hand found it a very poor second to yacht dreaming!  

 

Stalls and resort from Palavas Beach

 

By the time we caught up with the others we were more than ready to cool off with a swim. I don’t know how the hours slipped by so fast, it was already going to be a late supper again, but somehow on holiday, with no timetable to stick to, it really didn’t matter.  

 

Tips for visiting Palavas Beach

  • The toll motorway goes right down past Montpellier to within 10 minutes of the beach making it easy to find. Follow signs for Palavas-les-Flots

  • Parking is free along the road, though parking spaces can be hard to find at peak times. There are beach car parks which you can pay for, these are fairly quiet due to the amount of street parking available.

  • There are toilets along Palavas beach front at intervals but you will need a euro to use them and may need to walk as we have always found a few out of order.

  • There are beach showers to rinse off sand and sea water.

  • The sea is very gently shelving and sandy underfoot.

  • Access is good for buggies and wheelchairs all along the promenade which runs right next to the beach.

  • There are a few water sport activity points and pedalos to hire.

  • Beachside bars and restaurants are within easy reach if you don’t fancy a picnic.

  • This is primarily a family beach, although there is a nudist section much further along the beach away from the family attractions. With 7km of beach it is easy to find a spot that suits you.

 

Country kids


Country Kids from Coombe Mill 1st October 16

Posted on September 30th, 2016 - Fiona

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 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill 1st October 16

Here at Coombe Mill the little holiday train has been the highlight of the day for the preschoolers staying with us.  There has been a different driver from my children each day as they juggle after school clubs but the children staying are happy so long as someone is there with a “toot- toot” at 6pm. 

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.
    • Large 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.

Thank you to my top  commenters from last week:

1st Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on 30 posts this week.

2nd Cheryl from Time to Craft who commented on 28 posts this week.

3rd Hiedi from Him Me Three who commented on 25 posts this week.

Fantastic work ladies, thank you so much. Do check out their posts linked above too. 

My top commented post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.

 ‘link dump and run’ culprits was down to an amazing 1 if this was you do pop back over and share some blog love. 

Introducing Rockfish, the Country Kids Sponsor

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

You Could Win with Rockfish Wellies 

I am delighted to introduce Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish 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. 

For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.  

Congratulations to Sandy Heard of Mommy’s Little Princesses who is the winner of the September Wellies with a lovely post discovering a hidden cove

  • Sandy, please DM or email me your choice from the amazing Rockfish range.

Posts from last week in with a chance of winning the October Rockfish Wellies:

Merlinda is the Country Kids top commenter for this week with a fab 30 post comments last week.

Catching the Magic is over in the UK and packing in heaps of fun in North Wales

Chelsea Mamma goes behind the scenes at Moors Valley Railway

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.

New: Join the 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

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 Loading InLinkz ...


A Tree Top Adventure in France

Posted on September 30th, 2016 - Fiona

For the third in my series of posts from our holiday in France I’m sharing our Tree Top Adventure. We last tried this back in 2013. Back them, we had never been on, or seen anything like this before but it was so popular with everyone bar farmer Nick, we have been campaigning to return ever since.

A Tree Top Adventure in France

3 years ago the triplets were just nine years old and too young to complete all the adult runs. This time at twelve they were just able to do the full set including the famous black run with its scary wire bridge across the canyon.

It was an hour’s drive from our cousin’s house in Uzes and so arriving at lunchtime, the first thing on the kid’s minds was food. We found a beautiful shady bench overlooking the river Gardon for our picnic.

Picnic before starting our tree Top Adventure

 

Next to the picnic benches were some tightrope challenges. They just had to be tested and proved the perfect way to limber up and practice balance before our tree top adventure.

 

practicing ahead of our tree top adventure

 

Replenished and loosened up after our drive we checked in with the guides. I was pleased to see the safety harnesses had improved since our last visit. Back then a forgotten clip could be serious; now the clips and harnesses had a safely feature to ensure while off the ground, you always had at least one of your safety ropes attached to an overhead wire.  I was glad of the detailed explanation in English on how to use the equipment before we began.

Tree top adventure briefing

 

Even after our briefing there was a trainer trail to complete before we could be let loose on the serious course. A chance for plenty of family banter for anyone finding themselves in a muddle!  

Learning the ropes on our tree top adventure

Finally with our training complete we were ready to begin. The kids all put me last so I didn’t hold them up, cheeky I thought, but in fact they were quite right, I was the most nervous and scared of all and just thrilled to be joining them and not welching out to take the photos. Though it did mean balancing my phone precariously in my bum bag and trying not to shake as I risked letting go (harness attached) to grab the odd snap from up high. I was kicking myself for forgetting to charge the Go Pro after kayaking on the river the previous day.

Enjoying our Tree Top adventure

The Red Run began at ground level so I was able to video a clip of the boys receiving their briefing and setting off.

 

Tree top challenge with all the family today. #France #goape #holiday #countrykids #family #adventure #holiday #treetops #awesome #daring #challenge #fun #zipwire #kids #familydayout #amazing

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

By the time we finished I couldn’t have been more proud of my athletic kids and their tree top adventure. However my real star was Clio who hung back to encourage me not to quit when I really thought I couldn’t cling on. Together we completed the black run and wobbled over the final terrifying canyon to meet up with the boys.

completing our Tree Top Adventure in France

All in all this was a huge success and a real highlight of our holiday, although it did leave some of us quite exhausted.

boys-fast-asleep-after-their-tree-top-adventure

Our Tree Top Adventure on Video

Tips for attempting a Tree Top Adventure

  • We went to  Abracadabranch in the South of France
  • Prices were around 20 euros each making it an expensive day for all of us.
  • Take plenty of drinks, we ran out despite taking several litres of water and ended up investing in more there which thankfully was available to buy.
  • At Abracadabranch there is only one loo and it is a composting toilet in a B&Q style shed – be warned!
  • Road signs are pretty poor, we relied on our cousins for directions heading out of Ales, as you are almost there before you see any signs.
  • Take off any rings a they will rub when you are hanging onto the ropes.
  • I wish I’d taken cycling gloves. I ended up ripping the skin off my fingers clinging onto the wire ropes hauling myself up to ledges.
  • Wear comfy flexible clothing. I wore my running gear. Shirts and T shirt are fine so long as you have good movement.
  • You need a moderate level of fitness, my arm strength let me down and my shoulders ached the following day.
  • Allow 3 hours to complete all the runs.
  • If you are a little nervous try not to have a big crowd with you on the more tricky sections like the long wire bridge as it will make it more bendy and hard to keep your balance and grip. The boys thought this was hilarious, Clio and I crossed solo!
  • Remember the harnesses will save you if you are in trouble so never panic or it will zap your strength. Just try and you might surprise yourself. I don’t have a great head for heights but still loved the adrenaline rush of completing each stage.
  • Listen carefully to the safety briefing, it is quite straightforward when you get the hang of it but requires concentration.
  • If you try this abroad make sure you are fluent in the language or choose a venue with English speaking guides as we did.
  • Many of the UK Forestry Commission sites in the UK offer a similar tree top adventure with smaller courses for younger children too.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Country Kids from Coombe Mill 24th September

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 - Fiona

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 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside. 

Country Kids 24.9.16

Trying to Pull the sword from the stone continues to delight children here each week.  

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.
    • Large unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
  •  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.

Thank you to my top  commenters from last week:

1st Cheryl from Time to Craft who commented on 25 posts this week.

2nd Samantha from Chocolate and Wine and I’ll be Fine who commented on 23 posts this week.

3rd Tracey from Mummyshire who commented on 22 posts this week.

I would also like to say a massive thank you to Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on a whopping 29 posts even though she hadn’t joined in with us this week! For putting so much effort in I’m sending her a little thank you present: a Coombe Mill hat.

Fantastic work ladies, thank you so much. Do check out their posts linked above too. 

Massive welcome to Ashley from Views from an Urban Lake who joined with a wonderful after school blackberry picking adventure.

My top commented post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.

 ‘link dump and run’ culprits was down to 2 which is an improvement on last week, please don’t be guilty of this. 

Introducing Rockfish, the Country Kids Sponsor

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

You Could Win with Rockfish Wellies 

I am delighted to introduce Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish 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. 

For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.  

Posts from last week in with a chance of the September Rockfish Wellies:

Cheryl from Time to Craft is the Country Kids top commenter for this week with a fab 25 post comments last week.

Dutch Dutch Goose shows off the beauty of the Isle of Skye with it’s stunning landscape, castles and seals.

Burnished Chaos shares a great action day bringing history to live at a Roman Fort

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 Google Plus community page for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me

Share your posts on Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 Loading InLinkz ...


Kayaking along the river Gardon

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 - Fiona

Each year on our family holiday to France one of the highlights of the week is kayaking down the Gardon.  This is our 4th year and I was worried it may have lost its appeal. I couldn’t have been more wrong, old rivalries and competitive family banter kept the day as fun filled as ever.

Finishing kayaking on the river Gardon and enjoying a swim

Let the adventure begin

Just to kayak the 8km from the start to the collection point would take 2.5 hours, however we always manage to spin it out into a full day trip.

Kayaking down the river Gardon

Half the fun is in stopping to moor up and swim along the way, jump from the rocks and enjoy a picnic.  Sometimes it feels like we have only just begun paddling again before someone spots another good stopping place. Every year their favourite jumping places beckon and the confidence of their jumping increases. It certainly makes jumping from the Coombe Mill Bridge look rather tame!

Rock jumping on the river today #daring #daringkids #river #riverfun #toomuchfun #countrykids #summerdays #summer #pontdugard #france #holiday #rocks #challenge #adventure #teen #rockjumping #jumping

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

Jumping from rocks into the river Gardon

The picnic I make beforehand seems to vanish in minutes, but kayaking is hungry work!

Pont du Gard

One place we always make time to stop and swim is at the famous Pont du Gard. It is such an impressive site as you turn the corner and see the elaborate viaduct towering overhead. There is actually parking there and many day trippers are lining the banks too enjoying a family day, it takes all our best kayaking to navigate between the swimmers with much calls of “Attention, Pardon” as we skim by.

Pond du Gard by Kayak

It’s all about winning! 

After the Pont du Gard it is a long row along the open waters of the Gardon to the finishing line. By tradition we are always with ‘Kayak Vert’ which is the last stop. As usual it was a battle for the finishing line between us all with Team Ally, Clio and Jed winning.

While waiting for the bus to take us the 8k upstream back to the car we jumped in for one last swim together with much laughter at the funny moments of the day from a person overboard, a kayak with a paddle floating off, who became stuck in the reeds or beached by choosing the wrong course.  

Finishing kayaking on the river Gardon and enjoying a swim

 

Our 4th visit certainly hadn’t lost its appeal and I’m sure we will be back for a new family challenge in 2017.

 

Tips for kayaking on the river Gardon

Wear swimwear as it always gets wet inside the boats.

Life jackets are issued though the river isn’t very deep in most places.

The trip is suitable for all ages from age 3 upwards.

There are waterproof barrels issued with each kayak for keeping valuables and clothes dry.

Take a picnic it is hungry work and plenty of water.

Going in a group makes it competitive and good fun.

Average fitness is fine, all my children managed and I had no issue with little arm strength, the current does half the work for you! 

Coaches leave from Collias where there is a free car park and return you to your car at the end.

Prices are around 16 Euros each so it isn’t cheap but is a great day out for all the family.

The river section includes passing through the famous Pont du Gard.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 


Page 10 of 107« First...89101112...203040...Last »