Higher Lank Farm
“There are plenty of places that say they are family friendly yet do little more tha provide a few creaking swings. Higher Lank Farm is dedicated to young families in fact you can only go there if you have children under five. It's a 500-year-old working farm near Bodmin offering B&B in the farmhouse or self-catering in barn, which has its own underfloor heating and wood-burning stoves fuelled b logs from their own woods
“You're advised to bring any comforts your kids won't travel without, but other than that pretty much everything else is provided - books, games and jigsaw puzzles, hundreds of videos, cot bedding and changing mats, baby carriers and spare buggies.
“The owner will even lend you reusable nappies free of charge and clean them for you. All the meat, fruit and veg is from the farm. After breakfast, kids are taken to feed the chickens, ducks, geese and guinea fowl, then lots of other activities are arranged, including a "tractor and trailer adventure" in the woods. Nursery teas begin at 5pm, after which, you can slope off to the pub while the babysitters take over.”
“From January to October you may only come if you have a child under five! This is a marvellous, unpretentious haven for families. Children adore playing in the roofed sandpit and miniature farmyard, there are piglets and chicks, a pony to groom and eggs to collect. Nursery teas begin at 5pm (and don't miss cream teas in the garden) and Lucy will babysit while you slink off later to the local pub - the highest in Cornwall. One bedroom is modern with new pine; the other two are more traditional. Celtic crosses in the garden and original panelling hint at the house's 500 year history. A rare family treat.
“Leave the nappies at home. Lucy can lend you re-usable nappies free of charge for your baby's holiday; she promotes them to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill sites. Bio-degradable nappies are also composted. There's a laundry service, too. Recycling is taken seriously here, with special bins provided. The new 'nursery rhyme' barns are being completed using the highest-spec insulation available, underfloor heating saves on oil consumption and woodburning stoves use logs from their woods.”
"Any claim that the 'under-fives will sleep soundly all night' deserves to be taken seriously.
"My two children - Mia, four, and two-year-old Max - rarely make it through the whole night, and never sleep beyond 6am. So we book ourselves in to Higher Lank Farm, near Bodmin - a dedicated family holiday set-up that you can stay in only if you have at least one child under six.
"Bodmin bliss: Higher Lank Farm sits amid pristine Cornish countryside
"Lucy will even lend you reusable nappies for free. Mia and Max quickly make themselves at home in the two large playrooms full of books, games, puzzles, dolls and videos. In the garden, there are even more toys. This is better than a theme park. Max takes to the red tractor slide in the farmyard, while Mia is smitten by the fluffy week-old chicks. In the nearby orchard, we find lambs, goats, chicks, ducks, geese and pigs. There's a mini-playhouse, sandpit and diggers, climbing frames and tiny ride-on tractors. The children are entranced.
"But the tractor ride alongside Farmer Andrew proves the biggest hit. We pile into the trailer and set off across the fields on a bumpy journey to see the beef herd. This is undoubtedly a highlight for tractor-mad Max, but for us grown-ups it's the Cornish high-tea served afterwards, with mouth-watering hot cheese scones and sticky chocolate cake.
"We had ordered breakfast for 7.30 the following morning, but Mia and Max didn't wake until after eight. Bliss. After breakfast, our two new farm enthusiasts disappear to help bottle-feed the orphan lambs, kids, piglets, chickens, geese and guinea fowl. They are even allowed to collect the eggs.
"In the red: The farm's junior tractor is a big hit with children
"Had the weather been less favourable, we would have visited some of the many attractions. There are heaps nearby, including the Lappa Valley Steam Railway with miniature trains, the Eden Project and the Monkey Sanctuary in Looe. But there's nothing nicer than arriving back at the farmhouse, sand between our toes, to find the children's tea on the table. The children are spoilt by delicious home cooking (Lucy is a wonderful chef), all made with local produce. Our meals are served when the children are tucked up in bed. One night, Lucy babysits so we can enjoy a rare treat - a night out at a restaurant. Happy, exhausted children; happy, contented parents.
"Mia is no longer after a pet guinea pig - only a goat will do. Max assures me he'd be satisfied with a tractor. We'd simply be happy to return next year.
“For those that don’t know us, we have Connor (now three and a half) and Lewis (twenty-three months), so we very much needed a child friendly holiday. We took our 10-day holiday in June in North Cornwall staying at Higher Lank Farm.
“The 15th century working farm was on the edge of Bodmin Moor and specifically caters for families with young children. The farm was fully equipped for both babies and toddlers so no equipment was needed in packing. Toys galore, which could be freely taken wherever the boys wished (for those that know Connor he was in heaven!). The bedroom was a good size with ensuite (including bath toys) and had a TV and video recorder (good selection of children’s videos too). The outside play area was great. Large and exciting with different areas themed on the farm, a miniature house, sand barn and all shapes and sizes of pedal and push toys to use on the special lanes. Our favorite was the most comfortable wooden swing seat, sipping a glass of wine or two whilst the boys ran out of steam!! .
“Breakfast was served from 7.00am, which we were ready for on the first day but sure enough the fresh air and activity soon had the boys sleeping so well we were barely making an 8.30am breakfast by the next few days!
“Food was very good and plentiful. Lucy catered for all our special diets and Connor’s allergy, making special cakes for him also. We had booked B&B but found the menu and flexibility so good we ended up eating every night at the farmhouse. You could eat with the children or later. Nursery teas were in the farmhouse kitchen with all the other children. We chose from the menu in the morning and all Lucy needed was half an hour’s notice for when we wished to eat. IDEAL - we were able to get the boys to bed with no stress of having to get to a booked table and close enough to be able to pop back to the room if needed (monitors were available).
“Each morning after breakfast we fed the ducks and hens and collected the eggs. Unfortunately because of the foot and mouth epidemic at the time, we were unable to see the rest of the animals but to be honest the boys were so wrapped up in everything else it did not matter. The weather was good to us so we were able to explore the Cornish beaches which were fantastic, and there was so much to do in the area we hardly scratched the surface. We had an excellent holiday in relaxing, flexible and friendly surroundings. The brochure had said ‘Toddler Dream holidays’ and that certainly was true. With the boys' needs fully met and more, it meant we were able to relax and enjoy it too. ”
Eco-friendly Higher Lank Farm actively supports allergy-friendly food and activities for babies, toddlers, children and their parents, low food miles, British produce, real nappies and recycling to reduce landfill waste and provides the perfect working farm holiday for families with babies, toddlers and young children, and especially with twins and triplets. We're so green, we have our own Biomass Boiler system, fuelled with locally sourced wood (and from our own woodlands as from 2014!).
All of Higher Lank Farm is NO SMOKING, allergy-friendly and exclusively for families with small children
Higher Lank Farm, St Breward, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4NB