With baby number two on the way in October, we decided to give Portugal a miss this summer and go to Cornwall instead. We really wanted to try a working farm holiday, and my husband cleverly found Tredethick Farm Cottages, near Lostwithiel.
Tredethick Farm has been transformed over the last 25 years from a traditional Cornish farm to a very special place for family holidays, meticulously designed around the needs of parents with young children. Still a working farm, and 100% sustainable and eco-friendly, it gently draws you in, and you feel glad you chose it within seconds.
Our criteria for the perfect family friendly holiday is always:
- Two bedrooms
- Self catering element
- Things to do on site, as well as nearby
- A social element for both us and Tibbs, but one we could walk away from if required
- Decent furniture (sounds weird but have you ever had a holiday cottage with a rubbish sofa or bed?)
- WiFi (I know, but, well, we are those people)
Tredethick fulfils the brief and more. We were so happy to arrive to a smiling Farmer Jenny welcome and a cream tea for three in our cottage (we stayed in Liddicoat).
What we loved about Tredethick:
- The small size. With only a handful of cottages, most of which are spaced around a courtyard with a beautiful water feature and allocated garden within, it never felt busy
- The morning farm animal feeds with Farmers Jenny and Ashlyn. Not only do the children from every cottage get to feed each animal (everything from lambs to alpacas and back to guinea pigs), it’s done with such gentleness and each morning felt just as fun as the last. The joy of finding fresh eggs, and feeding patient goats, was all over the kids’ faces.
- The indoor play. Not content with a soft play that shames most soft plays (free coffee, newspapers, not full of raisins), Tredethick has an indoor sand pit. This is genius. It’s big. You’d get less space on a crowded beach. There’s buckets and spades. There’s also table tennis and pool in the same barn. Amazing.
- The outdoor play. Ride on tractors, scooters, balance bikes, big bikes. A lovely playground, a farm trail, a trampoline, and a 100% safe environment to do it in. Perfect for all young children.
- The honesty shop. Cider, bacon, fudge, you name it, we took it down. There was also lots of frozen Cook! meals for you to buy, if you fancied.
What Tibbs loved about Tredethick:
- Making friends her age. When you roll with preschoolers, you always hope that someone else is going to have some so that they make friends, too. At Tredethick, in September, everybody’s got at least one! Tibbs loved having kids to play with, out of season.
- The pony rides. Lovely, calm Ladybird and Toby were on hand (or hoof) for the riders to do a small farm tour twice a week, as well as help with brushing and tacking up. Kudos to Tredethick here too, as a horse person I know it can be a big deal to have lots of kids around horses, well done for making it completely normal.
- Her own room with a big girl bed. Her cosy twin room was just right for a three year old. She slept really well.
- The gentle routine of Tredethick. Within one day, Tibbs knew that each morning meant feeding the animals and was SO excited to join in.
- Being around her mum and dad. It sounds silly, but I could tell this holiday was as important for her as it was for me, in terms of spending time together. She still loves being near us. I know it’ll end someday, but for now, I love it.
Living in the South West makes Cornwall more accessible. When you’re choosing a family friendly holiday, anything more than a three-hour drive can feel like a punishment, especially on the way home. Tredethick was about three-hours from Bristol, if that. It’s an hour on from Exeter.
We stayed for a full week and felt completely relaxed when we got back. We were sorry to leave, which, isn’t always the case when we go away, sometimes we look forward to home.
Tredethick gets family holidays just right
If you are looking for somewhere to spend time with your family, Tredethick is perfect. It enables you to be present – there’s no kids club (although there are babysitters available in the evenings). There’s no fuss. It’s ideal for hiring a couple of cottages and doing a group or extended family trip. You don’t feel observed or ‘managed’.
Tredethick gets very booked up in advance, so I can highly recommend looking at it now if you are planning a holiday in 2017. In my next post, I’ll be taking you on a bit of a tour of this magical part of Cornwall. There’s so much to do and see. Beautiful!
A last note here is that our visit came shortly after the death of Farmer Tim, the driving force behind Tredethick and much-loved father, husband and colleague. We were so sad for the Reed family and so thankful for the environment that Farmer Tim had created for children. Long may his lovely legacy live on.