Dams and Damselflies

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.

The River at Coombe Mill

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!).

Dams and Damselflies

And of course, we were back there the next day to test that rope swing was still working ok!


Linking this up to Country Kids, Outdoor Play Party, Flashback Friday and Let Kids Be Kids

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  1. says

    Great photos! We had a wonderful day (despite Burton's behaviour for which I am still embarrassed about! He was banned from anything Lego all weekend!) and it is such a fantastic place for the boys to be boys and have some mini adventures!
    Thank you for allowing us to share a day of your holiday and well done to The Boy for swinging so well on the river swing x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Oh in Winter it's scarily high isn't it? We were there in February and there is no way I'd even let him near the edge of the bank!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      They were so pretty, and there were loads flitting around us as we played in the river. Felt very privileged.

  2. says

    I have the matching post but your descriptions are so much more alive and your damselfly photo is amazing, I only caught one flying past at great speed! None the less the magic of that day I shared and was delighted to have been with you for it. I hope Coombe Mill remains your 'Happy Place' for a long time to come. Thank you for a wonderful Country Kids link up.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Thanks Fiona, I really wanted to try and convey just how magical it is. I think that standing there in the dappled sunlight with the stream tickling my ankles, hearing the children shriek with laughter and seeing the damselflies buzzing around, that was one of the highlights of my holiday. You know when all senses are satisfied at once and you just feel happy? That! Happened on Thursday evening too when everyone was eating together and playing on the lawn out the front.

  3. says

    It just looks wonderful! I know you will continue to make many happy memories when you return to Coombe Mill. It really makes me want to go! Lovely photos too, the boy looks so grown up xx

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I think it's somewhere that we'll just keep returning to, time and time again. It almost feels like a second home now.

  4. Adventure Togs says

    What an amazing place to play. Coombe Mill certainly seems to be the perfect family holiday destination. 🙂

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