We ask mum Laura why she has been holidaying at Tredethick Farm Cottages in Cornwall year after year, first at the age of seven with her parents and now with her own daughter and grandparents.
Tredethick Farm Cottages is a fantastic family friendly farm-stay in Cornwall! We recently held an Instagram live takeover to give you all a feel of what it is like to go visit the farm, it really is fun for little ones especially if they love animals!
I was very lucky to chat to the lovely Laura, one of Tredethick’s longest visiting guest. Laura first started as a mini farmer herself, visiting the farm for the first time at the diddy age of seven. She then fell in love with Tredethick and still holidays there today, along with her parents and her own little family too. Daughter Poppy is four and Laura is also expecting her second next year who she can’t wait to take too!
After hearing about all the fun and adventure Laura experienced at Tredethick as a child and now as a parent I thought it might be a good idea to understand what the Tredethick magic is. If you are thinking of a holiday at a farm-stay in Cornwall with your family, or even extended family and friends, it really is worth reading Laura’s story, it will give you a feel of what to expect – there really is something for everyone, whatever their age and whatever the weather.
At what age did you first head to the farm? Do you remember your first experience?
‘’I first went to Tredethick farm in 1997 when I was 7 and my sister was 10. For many years we had been staying at a nearby dairy farm, however when that was sold my parents went in search of a new family friendly farm in Cornwall. Tredethick was perfect. We replaced cows for sheep, goats, chickens and horses and had a fantastic time exploring the farm and going to animals feeding every morning.’’
How many times or years have you visited the farm? Has each time been a different experience?
‘’We visited Tredethick Farm every year from 1997 until 2000. My grandparents joined us one year and stayed in the one-bedroom cottage Scantlebury, making it a three-generation holiday. We were also joined by family friends for two of those years. Back then the main entertainment for children was animal feeding every morning, pony rides and a games room, where we played pool and table football. On our final year a small soft play area opened, where we enjoyed hanging out on rainy days.
We started returning to Tredethick farm in the March of 2018, when my daughter was 4 months old. Since then we have visited twice a year. My husband and I always stay in a big 3-bedroom cottage along with my parents. So, we have recreated the three generation holidays of my past. In the 18 years between my two visits there is now a beautiful swimming pool, a large soft play area, a bike track, a hot tub and a large outdoor play area, as well as a newly created and better games room and of course animal feeding has continued with the addition of pigs and alpaca.’’
Do you get the same enjoyment watching Poppy enjoy Tredethick Farm as you enjoyed it?
‘’It has been lovely returning to Tredethick and exploring the farm once more with my daughter. With each visit she gets more confident and able. Poppy is really excited for her next visit to the farm and regularly pretends to ‘feed the pigs’ at home with her inflatable llama and plastic food.’’
What was your favourite activity on the farm to take part in as a child?
‘’Tredethick farm is such a lovely safe environment, that as children we were left to roam the farm with friends, while our parents enjoyed the log fire and homely cottages. Back then the late farmer Tim’s mother owned lots of horses, so we spend our early mornings grooming them. We would also go and visit all the animals and feed them copious amounts of carrots (something which is discouraged these days, as I think the goats were gaining lots of weight). One year we accidentally released all the sheep and goats into the chicken pen. In the end we had to come clean to farmer Tim and he helped us wrangle them back into their own field. We would also play in the barns climbing up all the hay bales to the very top and play hide and seek in there. Those barns have now been removed, so this dangerous childhood activity can no longer be copied.’’
Would Poppy be the same?
‘’No, I’m not sure I will let Poppy copy the activities of my youth. I think health and safety has come a long way since 2000. Luckily the farm has so many brilliant children's activities now, that she won’t need to go in search of any hay bales. Poppy’s favourite activities are exploring the farm on push along tractors, feeding all the animals and spending time in the soft play, which is brilliant as there are sofas, newspapers and coffee machine, so my family are happy to spend time ‘supervising’ while relaxing.’’
I hear you are expecting your second child (congratulations by the way), will you be heading back there once the little bubba has arrived?
‘’Yes, we will be heading back to Tredethick in May 2020 with the addition of a 2 months old. I have no worries about this in the slightest, as Tredethick farm provide all the essential equipment you might need. Cots, (bed guards for older children) sterilisers, highchairs, booster seats and stair gates. They even have children's books in the play barn. More essentially my daughter Poppy will be so entertained by all the activities. These days I book holidays with my daughter in mind, happy toddler happy parents. What I love about Tredethick is that there is also lots for the adults to enjoy. When my daughter goes to bed, we like relaxing in the cosy cottage with a log fire, having a nice, peaceful dinner cooked in the well-equipped kitchen or spending time in the hot tub. Though after a long day of swimming, walking, running around after a toddler and breathing in the Cornish air, we normally retiring to our beds fairly early.’’
Do you venture far from Tredethick Farm during your stay?
‘’There is absolutely no need to even leave the farm as there is so much to do there. However, we do normally go out in the morning to visit a local town. We really like visiting Fowey, which has lovely cafes like Pinky Murphy’s and excellent shops. The nearby Duchy of Cornwall garden centre has a lovely shop and an excellent restaurant, which is fantastic for lunch. We also spend lots of time going on local walks. The nearby village of Lerryn has a lovely shop/cafe and a walk along the banks of the river Lerryn. We have also walked down to the Respryn Bridge through the Lanhydrock estate and there is a lovely short walk from Tredethick to St Winnow, which has a church and a mobile cafe, which opens during peak time. Tredethick provides Littlelife children's carriers, so you can carry your toddler on your back and burn off some of those cream teas. Other lovely places to visit are Lanhydrock house (especially on a rainy day) and The Eden Project.’’
Where roughly are you located? How do you find the drive to Tredethick?
‘’My family lives in Essex so we have a 5.5-hour journey to the farm on a good day. We leave really early in the morning, normally around 4am. There is no denying it is a long drive with a toddler but having programs on the iPad and traveling when she would normally be asleep, means we get a bit of peace.’’
What do you love about Tredethick farm?
‘’When you go on holiday in the UK a major issue is always the weather. You never know what you might be in for. I love the fact that no matter what the weather, there are always activities to keep my toddler entertained at Tredethick. We normally visit the farm in March and November, so we come prepared for the cold wet weather. What I also love about Tredethick is the atmosphere when you arrive. There are only 8 cottages, so you get to know lots of the families staying on the farm (many of who have returned year after year). There are also scones and jam on arrival and all the baby equipment set up ready for you to start your holiday. To me it really is a home from home.’’
Tredethick Farm have been welcoming families for over 20 years, Laura and other families repeatedly – you could be one of these families! It might be a few hours in the car, but if you can keep the little ones entertained, why not enjoy a little road trip to the Cornish countryside – whatever time of year!