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.
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Christmas Festive Fun at the Farm
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First of all, a very Happy New Year to you and your family. I’m sure for you, as for us, the Christmas decorations are down, the children are going back to school and we are optimistic for the possibilities of a new decade. I hope you can take a minute to glance through the month past here on the farm, our plans ahead for the forthcoming season and of course a guide to the Cornish Events january 2020 if you are in the area.
Thinking ahead to a weekend break?
Because the pennies are tight after Christmas, but everyone fancies a few nights away, we have the perfect offer for you. A little something from us for you to look forward too over the coming months:
To book this great deal simply place your booking on line and write Jan2020 deal in special instructions before you pay and I will add a discount to change the price for you to reflect the £250 stated.
Optional extra charges still apply.
Coombe Mill properties only.
Excludes 15 – 22nd February.
March is the start of lambing for us and a wonderful time to be on the farm.
A look back at Our Christmas Fun
Christmas is always a wonderful time here at Coombe Mill. It is a chance for parents to escape the usual Christmas rush and chill out in our beautiful rural surroundings while excitement builds for the children. Christmas Eve saw us treat the children to some fun crafts with snow globe making and mince pie baking.
For those who enjoy a children’s Church service St Tudy Village did us proud with a delightful Christingle finished off with Santa on his sleigh
We followed this up with a party for all the family in the games room. No Christmas Eve party would be complete without a visit from Santa who managed to hot foot it back on his sleigh from St Tudy. Sat in our purpose made Grotto he delighted the children with a few wise words and a gift for all.
Christmas Day saw us enjoy a very relaxed 10 o’clock start for the Feed run with Santa Nick and a glorious sunny day.
We were like tourists on our own doorstep over the Christmas period and joined many of our guests with a stroll around Padstow enjoying Cornish pasties and some lovely coastal walks. We are in such a perfect location to make th4e most of the coast any time of the year.
If you fancy all this for Christmas 2020, the activities are all included in the price of your stay.
Just in case you are taking us up on our great £250 deal for January. Here’s a look ahead to some of the things we have going on locally in Cornwall.
Here at Coombe Mill we are ready to enjoy the festive fun to begin. The planning is done, present wrapping begun and the place is looking its seasonal best. I’m a great believer in planning, not because I like to gloat, but because I want to enjoy the Christmas week myself and I’m not good at handling last minute stress.
The lights are up around our log store and across the car park and the phone box is also lit. This has the dual purpose of looking festive and helping you to navigate the farm in the early evening darkness.
Christmas Trees in all our properties
Our properties each have a tree with lights on ready for our guests to arrive. In addition there is a box of decorations for each family to embellish their tree to their own design on arrival. Speaking of arrival, we also ensure the fire will be lit and the heating and hot water all on to make your Christmas visit welcoming and relaxing from the minute you arrive.
Christmas Eve Family Entertainment all planned
Christmas Eve is an afternoon of entertainment for the children here at Coombe Mill. We will have fun making Snow Globes for our festive fun craft in the afternoon. This is followed by a trip to the village Christingle service for those who would like to participate; Santa makes an appearance and there is a treat for everyone.
Back at Coombe Mill we start the evening off with a drinks party in our games room for all our family and guests to meet and chat over a glass of bubbly and a bite to eat. As a special treat for the children, Santa will be there too, in a purpose built Grotto for all to visit.
Farm rides throughout the festive fun
Out on the farm the feed run will run each day with the usual swell of enthusiasm from our little helpers. This is the perfect way to learn about the farm and run off some of that Christmas excitement each morning.
Christmas Bear on Social Media
I’d love you to follow our fun on social media too. We have our very special Christmas Bear out in a new location each day. See if you can spot him on my Instagram and Facebook stories and see what he gets up to. Each week in my main feed you there is a summary of the week’s activities and locations.
Get ahead for some Christmas festive fun for next year
We still have some last minute space for this year, or why not take up our December offer from my last post: Book head for next year now in the property of your choice and pay nothing till March 2020 just by writing “Pay March” in special instructions when booking on line.
A break for us too
With all this in place and nearly 2 weeks to go, we are enjoying a couple of mini breaks ourselves before our extended family and guests arrive.
Whatever your plans this Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, peace and family festive fun.
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.
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.
“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.