Half Term On and Off the Farm

February 20, 2016 at 9:50 PMCoombeMill

I can't believe half term is almost over. It felt like such a long term for the kids at school and mine were definitely ready for some free time. Here on the farm we had been working really hard to finish a number of projects ready for opening and to ensure everything inside the properties was welcoming for the first week of the new holiday season.

Half term was a chance for us to enjoy a little family time as well as ensure those staying with us made the most of their week. For the first time we took a few days mid week to visit family in London and left our eldest two studying and in control of the farm with Amber, our able assistant. It was a real pleasure to be away knowing the farm was in good hands and to return to hear everyone had enjoyed their stay. Leaving Coombe Mill is never easy but our kids need a little holiday too, we have promised the older boys a holiday treat in the summer when they have finished their GCSE's and A levels.   

I love this photo of Farmer Nick explaining about our deer to the guests on the feed run. There is a whole post to follow this one on the new additions to the herd and the impact they have made.


Farmer Nick explaining all in the Deer field this morning #farmstay #ukholiday #cornwall

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


We added new wood burners to Honeysuckle and Willow cottages and they were a perfect welcome feature for our new guests.


Leaving the farm in glorious sunshine for our mini break we became tourist in the capital.


Being a tourist in the city #Londoneye

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


For once we didn't just look up at the London Eye but actually went aboard too

 On the London Eye: a mini break for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


The sunshine continued in Brighton as the kids played on the beach


Fooling around at the  #beach on #holiday at #brighton

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


And Nick and I remembered 21 years ago, almost to the day, choosing my engagement ring in this lovely shop in the lanes.


There was so much more we packed into 3 days, all of which I'll be sharing over the next few weeks, however coming home and seeing farm life continuing happily without us was the best feeling ever. Thank you Amber, Alistair and Felix.



Falling over each other for a handful of grain! #goats

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on



I hope you have has enjoyed a wonderful half term week wherever it was spent.   



SBS Event 2016

February 14, 2016 at 7:00 PMCoombeMill

Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday (SBS)

Back in 2011 I was lucky enough to have a tweet from Theo Paphitis that made a difference. It brought me into a community of fellow small business owners all of who, just like me, are passionate about what they do. These online connections soon became real friends as the SBS events began to take place. I have now managed to attend every one and each year  I learn something new that leaves me heading back to Cornwall inspired to further develop what we offer at Coombe Mill.

SBS win with Theo Paphitis in 2011 for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Highlights of 2016

1. Networking

For me there is always as much to be gained from colleagues as from the official speakers and this year was no exception. I spent hours chatting with the lovely Francesca from Stamptastic who I've worked with in the past on my blog, we shared our SEO knowledge, latest marketing ideas and zest for our businesses, if sewing labels in kids clothes isn't your idea of fun then do visit their site for an effective quick alternative. Francesca convinced me to be less scared of paying for post boosts on Face book so watch out if you follow my page, you could see more of me!


Facebook for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I drove up with my long time SBS buddy Karen from Winifred and Mabel Karen is such an inspiration with a real can do attitude and a great bespoke range of home and gift items in her Wadebridge shop. Jen from GrippyLeads joined us too after winning with her unique pet leads. A huge thanks goes to Joy of APBassetts for organising a Cornish Stand, I was proud to see so much entrepreneurism coming from Cornwall at the event.


SBS Event 2016 Coombe Mill with Cornwall Winners


I talked and photographed so many wonderful people, you may spot yourself here thank you for taking the time to chat and share what you do. I will be following up with Zest For Learning, the Cornish Food Box , NW DesignTommy&Lottie and Kernow Spa as businesses aligned to our family farm Holidays.


SBS winners at the 2016 Event in birmingham with Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


As for the pre and after parties I shared a drink or two with so many who work hard and party hard.


SBS Party Evenings with Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


2. That Dress!

Talking of businesses working together I had been in contact with Bags of Love for some time to do something together. I was just browsing their website a couple of weeks before the event when inspiration struck. Bags of Love have the facility to design a dress to any design, I played with the graphics on their site and created the Coombe Mill Brand in a dress. Thanks to their speedy service and delivering straight to the venue I became the most talked about dress in the room. It certainly made it easy for anyone who had heard of Coombe Mill to approach me with certainly and strike up conversation. I shall be wearing this to every business and blogging event from now on.


Coombe Mill Family Farm Holiday Dress for #SBS

3. The Speakers 

Listening   to those who have really made it big in business is always inspiring. This year was no exception, Theo held everyone's attention with his effortless use of language to making goals sound so easy to achieve. Holly Tucker who founded Not on the High Street and Mike Pickles from the Really Useful Box Company kept the questions rolling in from the floor, I captured chunks on Periscope and I know that was appreciated by many who were not able to attend the event. I even happened to be filming when someone asked a question to Theo about Periscope and I was able to shout out that he was indeed being live streamed as we spoke.


If you missed the event you can see all my Periscope session on my Katch channel here

4. S.E.O. Unraveled 

I have always managed my own SEO and prided myself on doing it through organic material, largely thanks to my blog. However as all bloggers will know it takes a huge chunk of time every day and with 6 children and the day to day business to run I do worry I am not allocating my time wisely and question if I have my SEO as sorted as I like to think. Here was an opportunity to quiz Nick Leech of 1, 2, 3 - Reg about SEO on a one to one. I bombarded him with questions about follow links, Google rules, linky value in SEO and more, most confirmed what I knew but Nick is coming back to me on the SEO benefit of having a linky as he wasn't sure and did worry me in saying that all blogger badges displayed on other blogs are not allowed by Google and could be doing harm. He is checking this out before anyone panics as we all like to share a badge!  He also confirmed that 3 posts a week was the optimum, so I'm doing too many, and that and that each post should be 1000 words, I still thought it was 500 so another learning point for me.  For SEO it isn't comments on your posts that matter but shares of your post URL to social media, so if you really like a post you read please remember to share it and give the blogger a little SEO boost. If you want to check how your blog stacks up for SEO reach have a look on Buzzsumo.com 

5. An On Line SBS Shop

Amazon did it, Not on the High street does it and now SBS plans to have a shop to sell all the products and services we make. I'm really excited for the potential this offers at a low rate for members, however I'm not yet sure it can work for holidays in the same way it does for other retail purchases but I shall watch with interest.

Will I go back again?

Absolutely!  The whole event is free for members and a great opportunity for those who embrace all that is on offer. A huge thank you to Theo and the #sbs sponsors for hosting another wonderful event. Roll on #SBSEvent2017, but please not on the half term weekend again.  Driving back to Cornwall at 7.30am to check properties and be on top form to welcome our guests wasn't my chosen hangover cure, however the kids were delighted to see me and take their pick from a lovely goody bag.  

SBS Event 2016 Goodie Bag for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


If you have a post from the event please do share with me here on the link up so we can all read each other's posts and share widely!

  Marvellous Mondays badge by Hello Archie Share the Joy linky at TheJoyChaser.com   Mummascribbles Let's Talk Mommy   Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday         Mudpie Fridays   




Country Kids from Coombe Mill

February 5, 2016 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Winter races and hailstorms

It isn't often the horse racing comes to our local Wadebridge showground, but having spotted the details online we thought it would make a lovely Sunday treat close to home. The older boys debated coming but eventually stayed home to revise while the triplets jumped into the car.


Winter Races & Hailstorms


The event was organised to fund raise for the North Cornwall Hunt who are our next door neighbours in St Breward. The village pub and many other local organisations sponsored the races and we bumped into plenty of people we knew. In fact the turnout was truly impressive given the biting wind and violent hailstorms that kept pulsing through all day across the exposed showground.  


Rain Pouring Down


One such storm drenched us on arrival and we scurried into the large barn, visited by us just before Christmas for an Agricultural Fayre. This time it was set up with a line of ticket salesmen to take your bets, a large screen showing the races, a bar, coffee and cake, various stalls and even a Bouncy Castle for younger children. Already wet and cold it was 5 cakes and coffee before we started!


Coffee and Cakes


We studied the form and the odds being offered in the barn and visited the horses out in the parade ring before placing a bet on each race. In the end our choices had more to do with the name of the horse and whether or not it had taken a pre race dump than anything too scientific!

Placing Bets and Watching the Horses Parade

Some races we braved the storms and marvelled at the resilience of horses and jockeys against the elements, they were a proper muddy state coming in at the end of the races.


Muddy Fields and Wet Races


Other times we were lucky and enjoyed a dry race, I was thrilled with how close we were able to stand, definitely the difference with a very local event.

Horses Racing in the Dry


With my long lens I was able to see them at the far end of the course too


Races in the distance

In-between races the kids played, treated themselves to sweets and ran around to keep warm, my fingers were quite numb by the end but it was still a fun day and we were glad the weather didn't stop us going. Although, I think it may take until the Royal Cornwall Show in the summer for the turf to repair! 

Kids having a laugh

We warmed up in the evening with a BBQ in our lovely hut with friends, a perfect end to a winter's day.


BBQ and Cheesecake in the evening


Joining in with Country Kids   


I'd love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky.  All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out.  All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air.  I'd be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these 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 

A few of my favourites from last week :

A walk through history on Greenham Common from A family Day Out

A splashing adventure along the canal path for Renovation Bay-Bee 

Testing out Dreamland theme park at Margate looksfun all the way for Family Travel times

Wild about here has a lovely post for keeping kids interested in bird watching


Two chances to Win with Rockfish & Country Kids 

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

Win with Rockfish Wellies 


I am delighted to announce that Rockfish have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. 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 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.  The wellies we offer may change each month but are always high quality, comfy and stylish so keep an eye out here on Country Kids to see which designs are up each month. My February winner will be able to choose any welly form the online range. For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here  

Win 25% off weekly with Rockfish

On top of the monthly free wellies, Rockfish has kindly offered everyone who enters #CountryKids this week a chance to win of 25% off at their online store, a little extra incentive for some affordable outdoor fun : 

25% off from Rockfish Wellies

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall




An air of optimism to end January

January 30, 2016 at 8:40 PMCoombeMill


January may be the most miserable month of the year in many ways, the excitement of Christmas has past but the days still short and cold, yet when running a holiday business it is a busy month with summer bookings coming in thick and fast. I always say I know by the end of January how our year will pan out, this is less so now than years ago when I would expect 70% of the annual bookings in January, but still booking deposits in now give a good feel for the investment we can afford for the year.  I can now say 2016 looks like being a good one for Coombe Mill and my optimism is reflected in my photos this week with some gorgeous sunny spells. We even managed a family beach trip late last Sunday and enjoyed surfing in the fading afternoon sunlight.


View from the car as we left the beach, salt in our hair and smiles on our faces



Just leaving #polzeath #beach #Cornwall

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


I love this photo, you can see the misty rain beginning to roll in from the sea yet on the farm it was a beautiful sunny end to the day, the wind howled round the valley that night but thankfully no damage was done.



Watching the #sun shine here ahead of the storms tonight #Cornwall #landscapephotography #sunset #ukholidays

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


I love how the farm is filled with snowdrops and daffodils of spring right now and yet the mild winter still has last year's hydrangea in flower too




Last summers hydrangea still hanging on to their colour #nature #Cornwall

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


We have had our fair share of rain between the sunshine this week as you can see from the flooded fields from our neighbours farm, deceptive with a beautiful sunset behind! 

 Sunset from the top of Coombe Lane, next to Coombe Mill Farm Holidays Cornwall


I don't often share black and white photos as I'm a real colour fan, yet somehow I love this photo taken as Farmer Nick and I were relaxing at the end of the week with friends at our local Village Inn Pub.



Pub night. Cheers all 🍾

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


I hope January has has a positive spin for you too and that longer evenings bring hope and optimism for February.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

January 29, 2016 at 10:50 PMCoombeMill

 A Family Short Break in the UK

After a successful summer season and either side of the Christmas festivities we allow ourselves a 6 week window of closure at Coombe Mill. This is an opportunity to take stock of our year, tackle maintenance work and begin larger projects. So far we have installed cattle grids to work the fields leading to the Scandinavian lodges, bitten off rather more than we should have refitting the play barn and installed new wood burners for Honeysuckle and Willow cottages. More on all these projects over the coming weeks, ahead of the start of the new season from February half term.

However life is not all work and our close down periods ether side of Christmas allows us some much needed family time. For the first time since last winter we have been enjoying two day weekends, no changeover, no emergency problems to sort or duties to perform past feeding and caring for the animals; the fact that it is only for a few weeks makes us appreciate it all the more. It is lovely to have the farm to ourselves, to turn the music up in the gym or pop over for a late night hot tub at Tree Roots Cottage; however it is also a chance for us to have a mini break away. We now have Amber to take care of the farm while we are away and took advantage of this taking the kids away for the weekend to our honeymoon hotel in Devon. Nick and I try to return a couple of times each year for a short adult break, yet after taking the children with us this time last year, they have spent all year asking if we would be able to do it again and were super excited when we said we had booked.


A Family Short Break in the UK

The weather was pretty awful which was no surprise at this time of year but we still managed to enjoy some golf on the little 9 hole hotel course and some windy and wild coastal walks.

Cliff walks and Golf


When the rain came the kids headed for the indoor pool or the squash and Badminton courts. So many matches and rematches took place and Nick and I were delighted to hold our own against our very competitive children, well some of the time anyway!  


 Guy and Jed playing Squash

Perhaps the best part for me was not having to think about cooking meals. It was a pleasure to have all my family dressed up for dinner with me, this year they were all old enough to join us in the restaurant, grown up enough to sample and enjoy strange foods and be trusted to sit there long enough without being bored and making excuses to visit the toilet. The introduction of charades by Jed between courses really did help to keep everyone going.

Breakfast was enough to set us up for a full day of outdoor pursuits, although I did find all my full English ended up vegetarian as the boys swapped all their tomatoes for my sausage and bacon! Fortunately I'm the only one who likes black pudding so I managed to keep that.


Meal Times at Thurlestone


It was only 2 nights away but it felt like longer and I was still excited and feeling rejuvenated driving back over a windswept Tamar bridge into Cornwall, after an almost a perfect break.


Over the Tamar Bridge on the way home from Thurlestone

I say almost perfect as we then spent half an hour with me flicking through the owner's manual and Nick cursing beneath the car on the side of the dual carriageway trying to free rusted bolts from the spare wheel thanks to a huge blow out.


Tyre Blowout


Thankfully after only one ruined set of clothes, and much cursing, we were finally back on course for Coombe Mill, refreshed and ready to finish the projects we set ourselves with renewed energy.



Joining in with Country Kids 

I'd love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky.  All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out.  All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air.  I'd be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these 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


A few of my favourites from last week:

I love these wild winter fun  beach pictures from Would Like to be on a day out from her Coombe Mill Holiday

for many snow was a feature last week. I love this post from the woods by Over 40 Mum to One and this one from Little Steps who lives close to us where there was no snow but went off to Dartmoor for the day and were rewarded with plenty of snow fun

Walking with children is always more fun with something for them to look out for or do. Diary of the Evans Crittens took scooters along a path to the beach to keep the kids enjoying the fresh air. 


Thank you Muddy Puddles 


I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Muddy Puddles who have been our Country Kids sponsors for the past 4 months generously giving a pair of free wellies to a lucky country Kids winner each month. I really love their kids clothing and feel privileged to have been working together. We have a new sponsor for February who I will introduce next week, but we are already talking to Muddy Puddles about plans for later in the year so it is and case of 'au revoir' rather than 'goodbye' and watch this space!  

My January winner is Karen J Whitlock with her heartfelt post of her Christmas spent with us at Coombe Mill. Congratulations to Karen please email me your choice of Puddle flex wellies and size.



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



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Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"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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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Muddy Puddles

Here at Muddy Puddles we believe ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kit!’. We’re on a quest for all children to be fit for adventure, and to embrace the outdoors.

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