> The Beesley Buzz: Our Featherdown Farm diary

Our Featherdown Farm diary

This is going to be our longer post about our holiday during half-term. As I don't seem to be capable of keeping a photo album up-to-date anymore, I think this blog is going to be the closest thing to a photo album that the kids will have to look back on so I think it's important to capture some of their holiday memories.

I'll try to write up a summary post after this one for anyone finding this a long read!

The kids found it hilarious that despite having NO gadgets or electronics with us, I still managed to 'blog' each day using pen and paper.

Monday 28th May 2015
We had long been anticipating our trip to Featherdown Farms. We'd booked our stay at Manor Farm last year and despite booking a 'frills tent' for the full-on glamping experience, I was still a little unsure of what to expect. You see, I'm not a camping kind of person, as I much prefer to stay in a nice hotel with home comforts.

So today was the day of reckoning. Arriving on-site an hour and a half before check-in time, we were fully expecting to have to go and pass the time elsewhere so it was especially nice to receive a very warm welcome and find that our tent was ready for us to check-in early.
The Honesty Shop

We were shown all the key things we'd need to know; the honesty shop, where the chickens lay their eggs, where to get wood from, how to use the wood burning stove and most importantly the wood burning hot tub!
Wood burning hot tub
The tent really had the wow factor. It was more the size of a lodge than a tent and it really was a room with a view. Wow! Wow! Wow! What a view!
The view from our tent
Our tent is called Shepherds View and overlooks a field of grain and stunning countryside all around. It's just perfect!
The wood burning stove
We knew from reading online reviews that it was important to get the wood burning stove going as that was our only source of heat and hot water. Once that was sorted we just settled ourselves in choosing who would sleep where.
Cupboard bed
We have a cute cupboard bed and J had his heart set on sleeping in there. We'd brought Miss T's koodi pop-up bed in case we needed it, but I think she'll be ok alongside J in the cupboard bed.

There's a double bed in a separate bedroom area and yet another bedroom area with a bunk bed. D's picked the top bunk (or bunch as Miss T calls it) for himself.

It is rustic, romantic and totally idyllic. D's already declared that, as long as he had someone to do his washing, he would totally love to live here. And do you know what, I think I could too!

Tuesday 26th May 2015
Woke up to the realisation that as pretty and homely as our accomodation is, we are still under canvas and it is freezing cold at 5am when the pigeon who lives in the tree above is coo-ing away happily!

The beauty of 'being away from it all' is that 5am really doesn't feel like 5am. Our bodies are already somehow more in tune with nature and bedtime is when it gets dark and wake up time is when it gets light. We all happily got up and had breakfast.

We spent the morning exploring the nearby area and then back to our tent for lunch. We'd ordered a fresh bloomer to arrive today and picked up some cheese from the honesty shop. Combined with some tomatoes, sugar snaps and carrots I'd brought from home it was a simple but tasty lunch.

We'd started the hot tub going in the morning as it can take 4 hours to heat up using the wood burner. So we're looking forward to that later. The sun's come out for us though it's quite blustery today.

I can't get over how quiet and peaceful it is here. It's May half-term and holiday venues would ordinarily be heaving. Yet here the tents are so well spaced out and there are only 7 or 8 tents in total so it is never going to get unbearably busy.

We usually have to avoid going away during school holidays as J struggles at times with sensory overload - but this place is just perfect.
Marshmallows on the campfire
Our luxury BBQ box has arrived today with locally sourced meat from the Butchers run by the same family that run Manor Farm so it is BBQ night for us tonight. We made a campfire and had marshmallows last night so I'm guessing the kids will be wanting toasted marshmallows again too.

Wednesday 27th May 2015
We ended up doing marshmallows on the BBQ last night. Would totally recommend the Luxury BBQ box - It might seem a little pricey at first but the quality of the meat was amazing and there was enough leftover for lunch today too.

Really enjoyed the hot tub so back in there this afternoon. The boys did Club Morgan this morning and thoroughly enjoyed that whilst we took Miss T to Selbourne recreation ground in search of a slide which seems to be her favourite thing to do at the moment.

Stew pot today for dinner. The weather is gorgeous so we're making the most of it by cooking outdoors as much as we can. The way the stew pot works is that you order a box before arrival and then you get all the ingredients and equipment you need to make a beef stew on the open fire. Around 3 hours later dinner is ready.
Stew pot on the campfire
We are still loving the Featherdown lifestyle...having oodles of space around us...away from the pressures of work and gadgets and electronics. The kids are just so happy here running around or pushing each other in a wheel barrow - something which is positively encouraged here.

We watched the sunset last night whilst sitting on the veranda and we are just to happy to see the kids enjoying every minute. They've not missed the TV or gadgets at all!

I'm off to see if our stew's ready.

Thursday 28th May 2015
Today's felt a bit more stressful - not because of anything here but because J's had a more difficult day. I think as parents of an ASD child we've had to accept that there is never going to be such a thing as a totally stressfree holiday so I think we've just learnt to appreciate the good days and try to survive the difficult days as best as we can.

It's been REALLY windy all day, calming down only at evening. We are still extremely thankful that, aside from a little rain overnight, the weather has stayed dry for us.

We had a tour of the farm this morning with Luke taking us round all the fields to check on the animals. Daddy and the boys even got to help with a lamb rescue mission to catch to escapee lambs and return them safely to their field.

Miss T loved seeing how much more there was to the farm than just her beloved chickens. She's grown increasingly fond of Dave, Hatty, Kevin, Kevin 2, and Tweet. She gave them all these names!
Miss T with 'Dave' the chicken
Today's meals were leftover stew which we managed to keep cold in our cold chest using the 2 ice packs provided. After a long soak in the hot tub, dinner was pizza's baked in the farms outdoor pizza oven. Much to Miss T's delight Dave and the other chickens gathered in the communal outdoor seating area in the hope of eating leftover pizza crusts.
Outdoor pizza oven

Pizza time!
The sun has come out for another glorious sunset on our final evening. We'll really miss this slower pace of life. We've survived since Monday without phones, computers, gadgets or TV. Whilst we can't be building campfires and toasting marshmallows everyday, I hope that we can take a little piece of the Featherdown lifestyle home with us in the form of trying to step away from the treadmill of the electronic way of life once in a while.

Shorter 'summary' post to follow! (summary post can be found here)

Linking up with #CountryKids for as our short break was ALL about outdoor fun.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

9 comments:

  1. Featherdown Farm looks like a lovely place to escape it all and get back to basics, it's great that they've thought it out so even though you're still camping you've got a great homely feel as well. That campfire stew looks delicious, I bet it was fun cooking over an campfire like that. Thanks for linking up with Country Kids.

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    1. thanks - yes it was lovely. Mind you i'm always envious of seeing all your outdoor space so we hope to get there one day too!

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    2. I hope you will, we are similar yet different to Featherdown so worth doing both!

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  2. That looks like a really fun getaway! My kids would love to go camping as well, however the weather over here just doesn't permit it! :(

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    1. it really was just the break we needed! x

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  3. We are keen campers and this one is so luxurious! Looks like you really became one with nature there. #countrykids

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    1. yes it was just so lovely - so good to be outdoors with no distractions. x

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  4. Absolutely beautiful, and that certainly does not look like a tent from the inside. The hot tub looks lovely, you can see how much the kids like it. It must have been so nice being so close to nature too and taking things so slowly. I love the chickens and Miss T's names for them. But most of all...what glorious sunsets! xx

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