Another fantastic holiday at Coombe Mill
We had our first holiday at Coombe Mill at Christmas 2015 and loved it so much we returned again last Easter. Coombe Mill is very different in the Spring and the girls loved seeing the baby lambs and rabbits. After another wonderful holiday, we booked again for Easter this year. I have to admit, that I was expecting much the same as last year, but Coombe Mill keeps on surprising!
We were actually staying at the farm on Easter day itself, so following the first Feed Run of the holiday there was the most amazing Easter Egg hunt. Clues had all the children moving from different parts of Coombe Mill, tracking down chocolate eggs. The girls ended up with a haul that kept them going for the rest of the holiday. The children were encouraged to make sure that the eggs had been shared around everyone, and it was lovely to see them offering chocolate to each other (usually proceeded by parents saying that their child had already got plenty!).
The following day was Activity Hour, which the girls always look forward to. It astonishes me that this is included free of charge within the holiday. Fiona obviously puts in so much time and effort with planning activities that keep all the kids occupied for the hour. This week, the theme was “kindness”. The children painted kindness rocks – some to hide for others to find around the farm, and some to take away and hide back at home. To inspire the children, there was also a hunt for painted rocks within the Fairy Garden and the new Nature Trail. During this, they found natural material to stick onto decorated kindness messages which were to be laminated and hung up on a Wishing Tree on the new Nature Trail.
Some things don’t change at Coombe Mill. For example, everyone wants to have a go at driving the tractor. My two want to drive the tractor with either Amber or Fiona. They were overjoyed that they both were able to drive with both of them this holiday. Emily was so proud of her achievements driving the tractor!
The Feed Run itself had the same familiar format. Mine enjoy feeding the deer most. There were also newborn lambs again this year. There were a few little changes this year. For example – the goats now had a trampoline!
In addition to feeding the animals, eggs are collected from the chickens on the Feed Run. Emily loved carrying her little prize carefully back to the lodge to enjoy it for breakfast the next day.
The most exciting addition to the farm this year was a baby goat. Queenie had given birth a couple of weeks previously, and “Prince Charles” was very popular with all the children. Emily didn’t really understand the significance of his name, and seemed convinced he was “Prince Charms” as he was so charming. She is quite nervous of the goats as she is worried about being “butted”. Which is ironic as she is more than happy to “butt” Rich and I. She did absolutely fall in love with Prince Charles though and was happy to get into his enclosure. She even stroked him – just with a single finger to start with!
The Coombe Mill train was as popular as ever. Waving the flag and operating the signal being just as desirable as actually riding the train. However, by the station there were now a handful of holes of the new crazy golf course.
What hadn’t changed at Coombe Mill was the feeling I have when I am staying here. The farm and the surroundings are just beautiful – even when the weather isn’t at its best. Being outside in these wonderful surroundings really helps you escape from your normal everyday life. Despite packing lots into our week, you feel relaxed and yet energised. Fiona and her family always make us feel so welcome. I also love having the opportunity to catch up with Fiona over a gin in the evening. I love how I discovered Fiona and Coombe Mill through blogging, and as a result we have now had three wonderful family holidays and a lovely friend.
We have experienced Coombe Mill in the Winter and Spring. These experiences were very different, but we have had a fantastic time every visit. This holiday did leave us with a niggling question, though – “What is Coombe Mill like during the Summer?” I don’t like unanswered questions. So the only logical action was to rebook for next summer.