Experience Cornwall’s farm life in all of nature’s glory — and if you’re lucky you might get to see a lamb give birth – The Sun12/15/2019
UNITED as a family, we stood in awe. There are few things that can silence a three-year-old – but witnessing birth first-hand appears to be one of them.
Huddled in a freezing-cold barn with daughters Beatrice, three, and Bella, one, we were experiencing farm life up close and personal.
Just a few minutes after showing the first signs of going into labour, the ewe turned her front away from us and gracefully produced the first of her twins. Nature in all its glory at The Olde House holiday cottages in Chapel Amble, North Cornwall, attached to a working farm where you are encouraged to muck in.
Our weekend experience was called Lucky Lambing – because you’re never quite sure if you’re going to hit the jackpot. But on this particular December morning we were fortunate enough to see two little curly-haired bundles of joy enter the world.
Having spent quite a few hours in labour wards over the last few years, it was a delight to see everything happen so quickly. Once there’s been a bit of bonding time between mother and child, everyone else gets to have a cuddle.
And my daughters were desperate to get their hands on the woolly babies. My eldest even asked if we could take one home. The Olde House is a collection of 30 cottages and there are plenty of farm tasks to join in, should you like.
Whether it’s taking a turn feeding the goats, herding cattle between sheds or simply chasing the dogs around the farm, it’s a youngster’s dream. Sometimes my house can feel a bit like a farmyard – but I’ve never actually stayed side-by-side with one.
The cottages at The Olde House range from 3H to 5H but all retain a wonderful countryside charm and have everything you need for kids. Our three-bed cottage had ample room to swing a (barn) cat in, including a large sitting room and kitchen-diner, while upstairs had a lovely main bedroom, a twin, and bunk beds in a third room.
All that fresh country air had worked up an appetite in us all, and The Olde House has partnered up with a local catering firm to take the stress out of holiday meal times. During the time we had spent beetling down to the resort, Angels In The Kitchen were busily preparing our dinner for the evening.
Upon our arrival, the freshly cooked grub was left in the freezer for us to cook and eat at our leisure. My two kids looked like angels with dirty faces at the end of chicken-and-ham pie, along with meatballs and wedges.
For the adults there’s a wide choice – we plumped for lamb tagine but there were also a host of curry options.
“Beware Free Range Children – Please Drive Carefully” is the sign you are presented with when you arrive – and little ones do clearly love the place, because the site boasts a return rate of more than 60 per cent.
Kids are encouraged to go and explore the site, both inside and out, and there’s a host of things for them to do. Whether it’s having a stomp along the farm trail, diving into the ball pool or making a splash in the incredible indoor swimming pool, there’s always something for them to be doing.
The inside soft-play barn, which has slides, a two-storey house and more, was a godsend for my little animals, and there’s also a games room with pool, air hockey and table football for the older ones.
You could easily spend your entire time meandering around the place, but as the weather turned colder it was time to get our skates on. Around 30 minutes away lies the Eden Project in St Austell, on the south coast.
During winter, one of the visitor attraction’s temporary domes becomes the only enclosed ice rink in Cornwall – and it’s the perfect spot for two young Frozen aficionados.
Early-morning sessions are specifically for parents and tots and everyone can play on the ice, with a host of toys and activities. Then my own Anna and Elsa had the chance to whizz round, as the rink becomes a frozen version of the M25.
Youngsters can borrow penguins which help to stabilise and guide little ones around the mayhem. They were also quite useful for some of the bigger kids among us, who were not as confident on the ice as they may seem.
But the call of the wild was too strong for our two and all they really wanted to do was get back to the lambs. I didn’t want to be the black sheep of my family so we headed back.
The Frozen 2 soundtrack is a big hit at the moment in the car as my eldest loudly belts out the latest Disney tracks.
Some are even calling her the new Britney Shears.
STAYING THERE: Two-bed cottages at The Olde House in Chapel Amble during their Lambing Weekends are available for £275 while three-bed cottages are £325 for a Friday-Sunday stay.
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