I love reading about life at Coombe Mill – it sounds so busy and so much fun living on a farm and spending so much time in the great outdoors. I’ve read enough about it on other people’s blogs too to be convinced it’s an amazing place, so I was very happy that Fiona invited us to visit when we were on holiday in Padstow recently.
I’ll be honest, my husband wasn’t overly keen on going – he didn’t necessarily want to take time out of our holiday to visit one of my blog friends, but I convinced him anyway (with the backing of the kids who had checked out the website!). My eldest was particularly keen to visit as he knew there was a fishing lake and also a river – the River Camel – where you can fish.
We arrived just after the morning feed fun had started. My kids were very happy to don the Coombe Mill caps, despite being older than most of the other kids there. The farm was swarming with small children and parents – searching for eggs and bravely picking up chickens. There were geese flapping and, best and most randomly of all, WALLABIES.
My younger son was so determined to catch a wallaby, but those little animals sure can run! There was no way they were going to be caught by my son, however fast he ran and however determined. And the reality is, he would have totally freaked if he’d caught one – he still isn’t very confident about picking up our guinea pigs.
Children travel on a trailer on the back of a tractor to feed the animals – goats, a very pregnant pig called Sally, who loves kitchen scraps, and some donkeys. The children also got to groom the donkeys and the child-size ponies. I was amazed by how calm the animals were – and how brave the children were! My daughter, who doesn’t like animals, was happy to stay close to us and just watch. My younger son, who also isn’t great with animals, felt confident enough to stroke the goats.
I missed the most entertaining bit of the feed run – when the children go to ‘find’ the deer and the deer start running. Luckily my husband took some photos and videos to show me, while I got my eldest set up at the fishing lake.
After the feed run, we had a walk round the farm with Fiona, and looked at some of the amazing accommodation, as well as the lovely areas for children to play. I can just imagine how excited the little children must be when it’s time for the train ride every evening.
I’m very grateful to Clio, Fiona’s daughter, who invited my daughter to play with her and one of the regular guests on the trampoline and also got her a drink and some cake. My daughter can be shy around people she doesn’t know and usually just clings to us and doesn’t speak, but she had a great time on the trampoline.
Apparently my son caught a fish, but sadly there is no photographic evidence. He enjoyed his time fishing peacefully though.
There was a small number of guests at Coombe Mill around my kids’ age, although generally I would think it was better for slightly younger children. I know how excited my kids would have been to spend time there a few years ago, or how much my little niece would love it.
It really is a magical place – every bit as good as I’d imagined, and more.
Oh, and my husband the sceptic, the man who didn’t really want to go? He loved it. Absolutely loved it. He’s going to tell everyone he knows about it.
Thank you, Fiona, for letting us share a little bit of the Coombe Mill magic.