A Magical Christmas at Coombe Mill
This Christmas we decided to do something different and spend our holiday at Coombe Mill, in North Cornwall for just over a week. It is somewhere where I have wanted to go to ever since I discovered it through Fiona’s #CountryKids linky. Seeing the activities available for those holidaying there, in addition to the fact that it is a farm with animals for the kids to help feed really appealed to me, and I knew it would be somewhere that my girls would love to stay.
We stayed in a lovely 3 bedroom cottage called “Willow” which was right at the end of the farm. Rich was most impressed when he walked into our bedroom to find a Super King bed. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to get us excited nowadays! Of course, the girls favourite part of the house was the Play Den. Hardly surprising, when you have access to a whole room of different toys. Before too long they had made themselves completely at home, playing with the train set, cars and soft toys in the room as well as dressing themselves up!
Each morning started with the feed run. The kids would pile into the trailer behind Farmer Nick’s tractor with the parents following behind. Over the week, with new friendships being made, it became a very sociable occasion for both children and parents. The girls became visibly more confident as the week went by in terms of the friendships they made and with the animals. Both girls had a go helping to drive the tractor – Emily did this several times!
Once a week, Fiona runs Activity Hour. On one afternoon we all gathered in the craft tent – which very handily for us was almost right outside our cottage, and set to work making some elf postboxes made from toilet roll middles. Both girls really enjoyed doing this, but needed a bit of help from Rich and I.
Before the end of Activity Hour we were summoned to the Fairy Garden as there was a special visitor waiting for the children there. The children were treated to a visit from an elf (Fiona’s daughter Clio, who Emily took a real shine to), who read them a letter from Santa asking them to feed some special food to give to Rudolph on the Christmas Eve feed run, before reading them a Christmas story. Emily was completely enchanted by the whole experience.
Afterwards, the children were given a bag of “magical” deer food and then we toasted marshmallows before heading back to the craft tent where special messages were written and tied onto the bags of food.
Next, we moved on to making some Christmas trees from more toilet roll middles, but before we could finish it was time for a ride on the Coombe Mill train. Thankfully, Fiona allowed the girls time to complete their decorations after their train ride. We were all really impressed with the final outcome!
Christmas Eve was probably the most magical day of our holiday. Of course all the kids arrived at the morning feed run clutching their special bags of food for Rudolph. The afternoon train ride was slightly earlier to allow us time to then head off to the Christingle service at the local St Tudy church. My girls were as excited as ever about their train ride, however they had no idea about the extra surprise waiting for them. The train tunnel had been transformed into a Christmas grotto for the holiday, but on this occasion, there were three special visitors waiting for them in the grotto – Santa and two of his elves. Each of the children received a present. I will never forget the look on Emily’s face as she emerged on the train from the tunnel. She was so happy and so excited to show me her present.
Immediately after the Christingle service, we had another opportunity to meet Santa again outside the church in the village of St Tudy. The girls were lucky enough to be given some sweets which they then got stuck into on the journey back to Coombe Mill. On our return, the craft tent was then the venue for drinks and food. It was a wonderful, relaxing evening, with the children playing with their new friends enabling the adults to chat. When it became obvious that the girls were flagging, we headed back. The girls left out a carrot for Rudolph and a mince pie and glass of gin (I had to improvise!) for Santa by the fire and headed upstairs. Within minutes, any excitement about the next day had been overcome by their sheer exhaustion and they fell fast asleep.
The girls were really pleased to find that Santa had managed to find where we were staying and left them presents (as well as having eaten the mince pie and drank the gin!) and it wasn’t long before they were opened and being played with. I had been quite anxious about the thought of cooking Christmas dinner in an unfamiliar kitchen. How was I going to cope without my double oven? Thankfully, all was well and we enjoyed our meal together, albeit later than we originally planned due to our lack of organisation!
Christmas was everything it should be for me – quality time with my family, making wonderful, happy memories together.