I hadn’t holidayed in the UK before. I found it to be expensive, the weather dire, the food dull and more often than not, aimed at children. Then I HAD children. We went abroad last year but being pregnant this year resulted in us going away for a week in the UK. This left us with some decisions involving Butlins, Centre Parcs or a destination where lakes were the sole entertainment. Luckily for me I follow a lady called Fiona on Twitter. Fiona owns a place called Coombe Mill. This is a working farm with beautiful cottages built within the vicinity. The plus of this was the children would be entertained; the downside was it would be in Cornwall. There is nothing wrong with Cornwall, apart from the fact it mirrors the place where we live. Pembrokeshire and Cornwall aren’t so different, and neither are the things we do on a weekly basis. We keep livestock so feeding the animals wasn’t a rarity and we are surrounded by award winning beaches and countryside walks, luckily children don’t bore of such things.
First things first. Five hour drive with two small ones in the back. I bought a DVD player system, where one DVD plays at the front and there is a screen on each headrest, so each child had a screen to the same film. I didn’t spring this upon them until we had driven two hours.
I wrapped up colouring books and crayons in left over Christmas paper. This gave them something to do, and also added some excitement to the boring journey.
I planned the service station stops around the service stations that had parks and or soft play. This was the perfect opportunity for the children to get out of the car and burn off some steam…before wrestling them back in again!
Our sat nav dragged us along the sorry looking Bodmin Moore, and we were spat out not far from where we wanted to be.
We arrived and got our keys. The cottage was lovely, a nice toy selection in the hallway for the children to play with, and a secured fenced off garden so we could let the boys out to play without the fear of them being run over! There was a beautiful log burner with wood, flagstone floors and fantastic ceiling beams.
At 9am every morning you can go on the tractor with farmer Nick to feed the animals, however you don’t have to be chaperoned so you can go at any time of the day and not go with all of the other families. The downside is you won’t get a tractor ride or any freshly laid eggs!
We tended to spend the days out of Coombe Mill so we fed the animals by ourselves in the afternoon, this also gave us the opportunity to see everything in our own time; that said it’s worth going up with Nick so your child can have a go of riding the tractor! Of couse if you go in the morning you get to find eggs, and whatever the chickens lay are yours for the taking, they are collected by the children and shared amongst all the guests, and the eggs are beautiful!
There is also a small train track laid in a large circle which goes at 5pm every day. My two enjoyed this immensely!
Coombe Mill provides a home to pigs, goats (one had had babies!), a peacock and peahen, rabbits, chickens, ducks (which followed me around), geese, donkeys and alpacas to name just a few.
One cheeky alpaca, Coffee, took a carrot from me, then spat in my face. This is his face after he did that;
I found Coombe Mill to be a tad expensive for the time of year we went, but we went with another family (friends of ours, not just randomers we picked up on the M49) and split the cost which made it worth it. Would I return? Yes I would. Would I return instead of a trip abroad? No. I think a week in Cornwall was too long for us, as there wasn’t really anything to see that we don’t have at home, but for most city dwellers or people away from the coast I imagine it would be a truly wonderful week away, I think the next time we go it’ll be for a long weekend.
We were lucky enough to sneak into Treetops, the new property; it hasn’t quite been finished yet, but my goodness it’s beautiful! A modern touch in a modern building and was a far cry from where we stayed which was true to it’s age! Fiona and Nick were helpful and kind and it was a really comfortable and warm place to stay.
I found myself trapped having never driven through a FORD before…I utterly panicked and rang my mum, her advice was to drive through the stream. I have never been more scared in my life! I made my friend Rachel get out, take her shoes and socks of and wade into it to see how deep it was to check it wouldn’t make us float into the bridge! She said the pavement felt warm afterwards so I’m guessing it was cold…
There were several play areas at Coombe Mill, both inside and outside, and several routes in which to take walks, where you’ll find Matilda Mae’s star!
Tranquil, beautiful and relaxing…and it tires the kids out endlessly! Amazing!