Out of Lockdown in Tier 1

Posted on November 29th, 2020 - Anya

We are delighted to be coming out of lockdown and open again this week. Cornwall has been assigned a tier 1 status along with just the Isles of Silly and Isle of Wight. If you are going stir crazy from a November indoors, then come and enjoy the safely of the space and freedom at the farm this winter.

 

Out of Lockdown inTier 1

 

Speaking of Christmas Festivities….

Christmas and New Year availability

We still have Trebah to sleep 4 available this Christmas and a good selection of different sized lodges for New Year.

Trebah Christmas availability

 

Take in the picturesque harbour towns and villages of Cornwall with some quirky independent shops. Breathe in the sea air with some glorious coastal and beach walks or explore the beautiful moorland on our doorstep. Marvel at the most magnificent sunsets and then cosy up indoors with the family around the log burner.

 

sea and moor in Cornwall winter

Christmas planning underway

We have been getting into the festive spirit and unpacking our Christmas trees and lights. It may not be the full party season we have had in the past at Coombe Mill, but we are determined to make your family break as special as possible. Santa will definitely be stopping here and our BBQ hut is perfect for a festive treat night.

 

Christmas preparations 2020 at Coombe Mill Holidays

What if you are not in tier 1 yourselves?

Our current understanding is that anyone can travel for the 5 days of Christmas, regardless of their tier classification. If this means you need to alter your dates with us please do get in touch via email mail@coombemill.com or phone (01208 850344).  Clearly this could change at any stage with Government advice; rest assured we will respond accordingly regarding your holiday. I hope you can join us soon as a tier 1 classification.

Sharing the best of lockdown autumn beauty.

November is one of the prettiest months on the farm. The colours in our wooded valley have been quite spectacular this year. If you follow me on social media you will have seen my daily posts. If you have missed out here are a few of the scenes we enjoyed.

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Winter on the Farm

All clean and gleaming

We are in the process of working our way around a big seasonal farm clean. This involves mucking out the pigs, chickens and guinea pigs who have indoor houses and providing plenty of fresh bedding in anticipation of the colder seasonal weather. No one is a big fan of the back breaking shovelling involved but the animals really do enjoy pushing their little feet through a clean home and kicking up fresh chippings or sawdust.   

The Field shelters are being cleaned and stocked with a good straw base for warmth on frosty nights and a dry haven for wet days. The goats are particularly important as their coats are not designed for prolonged periods of wet weather.  

 

Animals cleaned ready for post lockdown openning

Free ranging

While the days are dry and sunny the animals have been enjoying roataing between their fields and grazing the footpaths and lakeside. This has the double benefit of a varied diet for the animals and a saving in winter hay for us. They are as keen as ever to see Farmer Nick in the morning with a breakfast top up, however we look forward to have the tractor and trailer back out and some little helpers for Farmer Nick again this month.

 

free range sheep and goats

On that note, whether you are spending the festive period here or at home, 

We wish you and your family bubble

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Fiona x

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November 2020 Farm News

Posted on October 30th, 2020 - Anya

This month all our thoughts turn to Christmas, and whether or not we will be allowed to see loved ones. We personally have two kids away at university wanting to come home, two mothers wanting to visit, and who knows what will be allowed with a second lockdown upon us. I’m sure you must all have your own concerns.  As we work through the weeks ahead, remember this won’t last forever and fun times and holidays will come back. In our case they will be running from December right through the festive period and into next year, COVID restrictions permitting. Stay on line and read about the fun and events over the past few weeks and the plans we have ahead along with availability that may be just right for your family bubble.

 November 2020 Holiday Farm News

Christmas and New Year availability

In these difficult times everyone need a little time out. Whether it is a long weekend or a festive break we have that COVID safe outdoor fun holiday waiting for you. The second wave of lockdown may have scuppered your November plans,  but winter availability after is good. We have just Trevarno lodge left for Christmas but a selection of properties for New Year. Gather your family bubble and give yourselves a little Cornish farm break.

winter farm holiday fun

Improved Wi Fi for your convenience

We have become aware of your increased need to stay online during your holiday. Whether it be emails for work, looking up days out or streaming favourite programmes. We can’t help being at the end of a long copper line down in a valley, but can make the most of our limited resources with a new line. Hopefully this will mean fast speeds for all our guests.  

improved wifi at Coombe Mill

A new style Halloween for Covid

Halloween is one of the notable fun days here on the farm. In previous years we have gone all out with creative ideas to keep families entertained all day. This year had to be different.  Cancelling everything felt too harsh, so with a little thought and determination we came up with a COVID safe Halloween event at the end of half term for our guests. Fancy dress, pumpkin carving and a creative reverse Trick or Treat gave fun for all whilst maintaining social distancing.  

 

Halloween 2020

From the Farm

The chickens are now indoors

The chicks we have nurtured from day olds are now looking like grownups and moved into their winter indoor house. The remaining few established ladies from the field will join them this week for the winter season. Their airy but dry home with lighting should ensure a few eggs over winter for us all and a fun stop on the tractor ride for our guests each morning.  

November 2020 at Coombe Mill

The Rut is underway

We have two young stags this year. The one we were raising up for the job and the one that we brought into the field by default a couple of months ago. So far there is no fighting as we enter the rut. however they are becoming predictably skittish and hiding from us, then darting round in a loop for everyone.   

 

deer rut

Rambo is back in business

Summer is a long layoff period when you are a ram; all that sunning yourself and munching grass. However he is back in business having been moved into a new field with a new ewe entering his field each week. Rambo is very happy with the situation. Hopefully we will have lambs from late February through to May next year.

 

Catching a Ewe for Rambo

Autumn Storms take their toll

I always hold my breath when the wind and rain whistles through our wooded valley on a stormy night. Why do they always come overnight? Anyway, this time it was a huge tree down in the ravine causing a problem by cutting off the chickens fresh water feed. Farmer Nick has the genius solution of a pipe system over the path from his shed (man cave) gutters down to the pond. A good shower and the pond is now full of fresh water. The chickens may be going indoors but the turkeys, ducks and geese are very grateful.

 

ducks, geese and turkeys with new pond feed

 

This second wave of lockdown feels harsh with the short days of November, but I hope you can protect your family bubble and come and visit us after. 


October Autumn Colours and Cosy Evenings

Posted on October 2nd, 2020 - Anya

Fancy a chance to escape the reality of day to day life, a chance to marvel over the changing colours of nature, soak up the october autumn sun and then cosy up by the log burner in the evenings? Come and read what’s on offer with us going forward this autumn and beyond as well as catching up with farm life during September.

 

October Autumn Colours and Cosy Evenings

Autumn / winter availability

We are looking forward to a busy autumn season here. Our lowest prices combined with flexible dates and the difficulty of travelling outside the UK has brought Coombe Mill right up the agenda. Join us in your legally safe family bubble this autumn, Christmas, New Year, or brighten up your January. we only have 2 lodges left for Christmas so don’t delay!  

 

Autumn & winter farm

A fishing revival

Our fishing lake has received renewed interest this season. It has to be the perfect COVID friendly pastime. Sit in the most tranquil surroundings with only the sound of the river and wildlife for company.  Fishing is free to all our guests, including the use of equipment if required.

 

Lake fishing at Coombe Mill Farm Holidays

COVID changes

We have now been running all season without the use of the indoor play barn, train or activity hour. Looking to the future, with the latest second wave of the virus now among us, we have decided to remove the train and activity hour completely. Those of you who stayed when the cottages over the road were part of Coombe Mill and the train running there will know how popular it was. However moving it over the road has proved very problematic. Moles have dug up the track during the prolonged period of enforced disuse. This combined with our kids, the engine drivers, now away at college and unable to drive the train means it is time to move on. Similarly with activity hour, with no one to help me run the event and the difficulty of social distancing and sharing equipment we have decided to look to new activities.

We are working on adding more independent, family bubble friendly facilities such as the crazy golf and the new Wisdom Walk. These will be available for you to do at your leisure in your own time. The Play barn will remain; hopefully we will find a way to reopen this in a COVID friendly way soon. I’ll be sharing more on this over the winter season as we firm up our plans.

 

New Kids Activities 2020

On the Farm

Autumn is the season of love for the animals. They are all at their most fit and healthy at this time of year and depending on gestation periods they are beginning to think about spring babies.  

Stinky Billy

First off for October our Billy goat Gruff smells like a mature ripe goat’s cheese. It might make the children recoil in disgust, but to the nanny goats it is like Hugo Boss! Here’s hoping it works.

 

Stinky Billy Goat Feeding

Baby guinea Pigs

We had two more baby guinea pigs born in September, I guess the seasons don’t count when you are indoors all year! These are fast becoming the children’s favourite animals here. Many an hour is spent in their house feeding them grass and giving cuddles, a mutually beneficial exchange.

 

Guinea Pigs and babies  

An Indian summer

September saw a prolonged spell of the most beautiful weather allowing our guests to enjoy the farm and local area at its best. For the animals it has meant an extended spell of lush grass. The only downside has been persuading them to come and see us on the tractor ride for breakfast. That said an apple usually temps them!

 

autumn farm animals

Wishing you and your families a safe and healthy October.

Fiona x


A Month of Being Open for Holidays

Posted on July 31st, 2020 - Anya

Finally I have a month of our holidays being open to share. It has been quite eventful here and a learning curve for us all, but I’m delighted to say the summer season is well and truly underway, we are full until the 29th August and those staying are making the most of the weather and facilities both here and out and about. Do have a read and hopefully it will inspire your next holiday with us too.

A Month of Being Open for Holidays at coombe Mill Farm

Non Contact Holidays for your Safety

I have established a system of emailing all our guests during the week prior to staying with clear instructions for a safe and trouble free non contact arrival. YouTube tutorials are being viewed and seem to be doing the job well. Once inside there is always WiFi to contact me and ask any follow up questions.

On the Farm

Social distancing on the Feed Run

The tractor and trailer with the divide screen is working well for the morning farm visits. With families swapping turns at riding, use of antibacterial spray and hand sanitizer always freely available on the tractor everyone is adapting. Being out in the open air is the biggest win for everyone. The outdoors is now recognised as the safest way to meet others. The children are still making friends while feeding the animals, which feels like the best of all worlds.

Feed Run with Tractor and Trailer at Coombe Mill Holidays

 

Alpaca Shearing

Colin the alpaca shearer has been and relieved the alpaca of their thick winter coats. It is always a treat for the guests as Colin is very skilled at his job and great at explaining the whole process to an audience of curious onlookers.  As well as shearing them they receive a full M. O. T with injections, teeth and hoof filing. I always say their characters change after they have been sheared, without their thick coat of disguise they appear to lose their stroppy ways and are much easier to feed by hand.  May be it is because they are cooler and less irritable, either way they seem very happy to enjoy the rest of summer minus a heavy coat.

The fleece will go to Kay at www.treneyncraft.co.uk  to turn into something creative and fun for her craft workshops and fairs.

Alpaca shearing July 2020 Coombe Mill Holidays

 

Sally has Piglets   

Some days it all happens at once, on the same morning as the alpaca shearing, Sally gave birth to 4 healthy piglets. Both Mother and piglets are doing well, however she gave us a scare. Usually she has far more which is why we were uncertain if she was pregnant or just taking advantage of Farmer Nick’s generous pregnancy feeding!

Guinea Fowl Chicks

Fowl actions have been suspended throughout the Covid-19 Lockdown period, but Farmer Nick was quick to go to the first new meeting and bag us some cute little guinea fowl chicks. We have had them from just a day old and they are thriving in our little shed under a heat lamp. The children love to hold them and stoke their baby fluff on the morning feeding rounds.  

Guinea Fowl chicks

Footbridge Repair

The footbridge over the river developed two rotten steps this month. Nick has taken this as an opportunity to replace the rotten steps and add the new non slip decking we have used over the bridge crossing to add extra strength and a good non-slip base. This avoids the need for the chicken wire covering which was forever needing nailing down. Well done our handy man farmer.

I do hope you have a good August ahead with a chance for a summer holiday home or away. If you are not tied to school holidays we have some lovely autumn breaks available and would love to see you here.

Take Care and Stay Safe with Happy Holidays

Fiona x


Holidays Opening on 4th July 2020

Posted on June 28th, 2020 - Anya

It may be well into summer but at last we can say we are open! What a delight to be welcoming back holiday guests to Coombe Mill from 4th July. It is a brave new world we are entering into, but we have your health and safety in mind for your 2020 visit.

our holidays opening 4th July

In preparation for holidays opening – The New Guidelines

Holiday opening new check in and out times.

In order to meet new cleaning standards, check in is now 4 – 6pm and check out by 9am.

How to show yourself into your accommodation

Follow the signs from the car park to reception.  Inside reception take the key from the board with your property name on it and your booking surname above. Only one family in reception at any one time please.

Write any children’s names on the paper provided for tractor rides. Please take care to make this legible as it is used to write their certificates for helping out. (These will be written mid week so they are left for 72 hours).

If you know where your accommodation is you may go straight there.  If you are not sure, follow the You Tube video sent to you by email prior to arriving. If you can’t access this ring the bell on the front of the reception door and we will instruct you there.

Inside your accommodation

When you enter the property you can sign into the WiFi (code in the information booklet and on the access point on the wall). Here again you will be able to watch the You Tube video for where things are inside your property. There will also be everything you need inside the information booklet.  Any problems with this and we can do a socially distant showing in with one family member.   

Morning Animal Feed Run

All families are welcome to meet in the car park at 9am for the tractor ride to feed the animals. We request you stand in family groups with social distancing to wait for the tractor. The trailer can take two families at a time on each trip to the farm and 2 other families on the return journey. This will change each day. All other parties will easily keep up by walking at a safe distance behind the trailer. The tractor returns at approximately 10.30am each morning. The tractor runs every day except Saturday.

Facilities on site during your Stay

  • The outdoor play areas
  • BBQs, indoor and outside
  • crazy golf
  • Games room – Ping pong, Pool and Table Football
  • Gym

 The above are all open for you to use. Please respect social distancing between families and use the anti bacterial spray and disposable wipes provided between usages.

Restricted Use

  • Games Room Books, dressing up clothes, board games and puzzles
  • Borrow room for wellies, overalls, outdoor games and sea side essentials

Please help yourself to any of the above for the week but leave in your accommodation for us to clean before returning.

Unavailable during your holiday

  • The indoor play barn
  • Friday craft hour
  • The Train

The above are deemed too difficult to manage effective cleaning and social distancing.

Toys in your property

Due to difficulty in keeping toys fully cleaned between visits only some toys will be provided in toy baskets and playrooms. These will be swapped weekly to allow a week of no use.

Out and About

Remember that most visitor attractions will be observing new rules. Please ring and check if you need to book before turning up to places. Beaches and Bodmin Moor are always available to explore and enjoy.

Departure Day

Please ensure you are out of your accommodation by 9am on departure day. Place keys in the box in reception marked for disinfection. Do Not Lock your property to allow access for cleaning.

If you feel unwell before or during your stay

If you feel unwell in the days leading up  to your stay. Please do not come on holiday. You should insure yourselves against this possibility, some of the most respected insurers are now offering COVID-19 insurance, reflecting the much improved insurance risk.

In the unlikely event you feel unwell during your stay, you should follow government guidance and leave Coombe Mill for home immediately. Book a test near to your home by phone and inform us you have left by phone. We will then handle any NHS track and trace enquiries.

 

News from the Farm

Hello baby fawn

We have a beautiful little fawn being looked after by our deer herd. Just the one this year, that we have discovered, but adorable and healthy.

Deer Fawn 2020

Baby Guinea Pigs

We have another two baby guinea pigs this month with some stunning markings taking us up to 11 in the guinea pig house now. Without visitors these past few months they are very timid and shy. I think they will be quite a challenge for the children to pin them down for a cuddle, but for the patient ones they will come out.

baby guinea pigs june 2020

Sally is Pregnant

Sally the Pig is definitely starting to look pregnant. She is due later in July so if you are staying you might be treated to the arrival of piglets during your stay.  

If you have been holding off booking with the uncertainly of Covid-19 and now feel ready for a holiday with us, we still have a smattering of properties over the summer period and good availability into the autumn, do take a look at our availability chart and give the family something to look forward to.

Fiona x