We spent last week on holiday in Cornwall at one of our favourite places; Coombe Mill.
This little slice of Heaven on Earth is the perfect place to revitalise and refresh, to reconnect with family and to nature. We always breathe more easily and freely, but then it's easy to feel calm when the background music is the tinkling of the River Camel enticing you to come and play.
And play we did.
There are many magical things about Coombe Mill, and while photographs give a good insight into how fabulous it is to stay there, it's not until you do actually spend time there that you realise the ambience is the most important thing. It brings families together and redresses the balance in the struggle of the 21st century; pushing away the tight vice-like grip of technology and letting the natural world wash over guests.
The river that runs through the Coombe Mill property divides the guest lodges from the animal's 'quarters', and while it is a natural barrier, it's also great fun to play in! The top end of the river is quite deep in parts and quite fast moving, but as it passes under the old stone bridge it becomes very shallow and divides into two slower-moving streams which ebb and flow around the Swallows and Amazons-esque islet inviting adventures.
In amongst the sunlight streaming through the emerald green leaves, dappling the surface of the water, encrusting it with diamonds, I found myself facing a fear. A fear of flying insects. It's very difficult to squeal hysterically when the most beautiful blue and green damselfly has just landed on your arm, it's too beautiful a thing to scare off. The sun turned several of the ferns on the banks of the island into sun spots, and it was here that the damselflies basked, flitting from frond to frond to find the perfect bathing spot.
It's this section of the river which is perfect for rope-swings, dams and paddling infants. When Jenny from Mummy Mishaps visited us for a day trip during our break, we also were joined by some of the original Country Kids who demonstrated to The Boy how to dam the stream, how to swing from a rope, and then patiently towed him upstream and back on a bodyboard so he could see what it was like to surf (thank you Guy!).
And of course, we were back there the next day to test that rope swing was still working ok!