I have a bit of a soft spot for Newbridge House because it is the first place I brought my baby for a walk for pleasure, rather than trips through town to the supermarket to buy nappies.
More recently it was also the first place I laid down a blanket under the shade of a tree so she could experience freshly cut grass. I was hoping for a YouTube worthy reaction, but her understated curiosity – looking round and taking it all in her stride – was also very rewarding.
There is a circular walk that takes about 50 minutes with a pram. For most babies this is the prefect length for a nap, but in my case it is the perfect length for her to be awake until we are about 5 minutes away from getting back to the car. On the plus side this gives us plenty of opportunities to show her the flowers and new sights and sounds as we go round.
The walk is level and smooth, and includes parkland, woodland trails and a wander past the animal enclosures (deer, cows, goats, pigs and horses). There’s something very satisfying about seeing baby goats gambolling when your own baby is with you, and you can look forward to seeing her react to them in future years.
In the last few months Fingal County Council have reopened the café and baby facilities and they are greatly improved. There are three unisex toilets and two of them include changing facilities. In this day and age Dad’s play a much more hands on role and are perfectly capable of changing nappies, so it’s refreshing that they are not excluded here.
There aren’t any specific breastfeeding facilities, and the café doesn’t have any alcoves for privacy, but it is always full of families with kids so I think it would be a comfortable place to nurse. Personally I prefer heading out into the park and finding a nice quiet tree.
It’s a lovely place for a walk, and I think it will continue to be a regular favourite for me.
|Overall||3 ½||The new café and toilets are a great improvement.|
|Baby change||4||Nice spacious bright and clean. The only reason they didn’t get top marks is that coming in from the courtyard you have to manoeuvre the pram down two steps and through a couple of doors.|
|Mummy toilets||4||The changing facilities are in unisex toilets so mummy or daddy have the opportunity to use the loo too.|
|Parking||4||There are plenty of spaces, and overflow car parks available. The rows of spaces are separated by grass dividers which gives you plenty of space for getting the pram out the car.|
|Breastfeeding||2||There are no dedicated breastfeeding facilities, and the café is very public, but plenty of quiet places out in the park.|
|Accessibility||3||The paths are smooth and generally level (few bumps and bits of gravel) and doors are nice and wide.|
Photo courtesy of Daragh O’Toole on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/daraghot/)
Note: All opinions are my own and based on my experiences – if you feel I have missed something please let me know and I will endeavour to revisit.