Newbridge House Playground: Donabate, Dublin

Soren had a friend sleep over for two nights so we wanted to take advantage of the dry weather between the winter storms we’re having in Ireland.  Plus getting them outside and running around, Soren gets to use his new football and soccer balls.  We decide to head back to Newbridge House to use the playground there.   Again, like last time, we didn’t bother with the entry to the house nor the farm, but will do that around Spring/Easter time when the baby animals are born.  I just learned that they offer an annual membership €70 which gives two adults & two children (under 18) unlimited entry to the farm.   You get a membership card with your family photo on it, but you can add additional adults for 20 and children for 15.   This is perfect for young families in that area, who might want to visit several times a year.  For us, it doesn’t make any sense as our kids are in the school and we’d probably visit the farm once this coming year.

It is an awesome playground – with a good mix of equipment for both little and big kids.  And while big, the fenced in gate makes it feel more secure. If you have different aged kids who are running around, you often times have trouble watching them all.  i.e. Malahide playground, while we love it, is so big in that respect that if you have a little one, there is no way you can watch your big one on the zip line.

Afterwards, we headed up to Howth to have a drink at the Abbey Tavern – only it was so full we had to settle for a drink in the new pub, The Harbor Pub.

If you want to visit:
Newbridge House & Farm
Hearse Road, Donabate – 01 843 6534

Donabate Beach Walk

We headed up to Potrane Beach to walk along the beach and instead of going on the beach we normally go on, we decided to take the cliff walk to the right towards Donabate.  We have never been that way before but was pleasantly surprised.  At first I was a little skeptical of what was around the corner but all in all it was pretty safe and wide enough so you were not dangling on the edge of the cliff.  Our kids thankfully don’t run off ahead so the danger was lessened as they walked with us.  We passed a person in a wheel chair – not sure how far they got but, at places, it was pretty wide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After what I think was about a mile walk, we came to the Waterside House Beach Hotel (didn’t know it existed!).  There the kids explored rock pools, while I searched for sea glass along the pebbles. Being low tide, it was perfect and I found tons – most green pieces but a few blue.

As it was a bit chilly, we popped inside the pub to use the bathroom and we decided to have a drink. As Nils was checking it out, an older guy started talking to him.  So when we came in, the guy walks up to us and asks if we were Dutch and if he could buy us a round of drinks in honor of his 70th birthday party.  Nils replied, both Dutch and American – well the guy was thrilled.  He “loved the Dutch” and spent some time there from Utrecht to Amsterdam.  He also had a connection with Lowell, MA too. Such a nice guy – Martin from Swords.  He came over and chatted a bit and when he left, his wife came over and shook hands and said bye to us.

 

Two days later, we returned to the same beach to collect sea glass and the kids could explore the rock pools.  We didn’t visit the hotel pub this time, but it was tempting as it was chilly.   This trip we saw horses having a trek on the beach – turns out the hotel can book this for you. The kids would love that one day.

 

 

 

We’ll definitely be back to this beach as I think it’s a great beach at low tide, tons of pools for the kids to explore and bonus a pub for a snack, drink or hot tea if it’s cold.

Newbridge House & Farm – Donabate

Having had the kids cooped up in the house for the past few days [with Nils being away with the car all week] they were dying to get out of the house and visit a playground.   Having heard about Newbridge House & Farm before, we set out to see what it was like.
Stephen Fry was filming a movie there while we were there, but stayed away from it.

It is located in Donabate, about 1/2 hour from our house.  Just past the airport on the M50 towards Belfast.    The demesne consists of approximately 370 acres of pastureland, woodland walks, traditional farm, a deer park, lime kiln ruins of Lanistown Castle, watercourses, a playground and a tea room.  We didn’t go in th house, but I think it would be like a typical National Trust home in the UK – which I’m sure I’d love.

As it is still winter, we knew the farm aprt would be closed but set of anyway. It was rather cold and foggy but for the hour we were their, the kids had fun and we will be back in the good weather.  Nils brought Maebh’s scoot bike which has been in the UK so she had to ride it  – Soren had a go too but way too small.  Working on getting him a proper bike and teaching him to ride it.

 

As you’ll see in the photos, the playground is amazing – it’s huge and offers all the fun things like the giant slides, ride on bike thing which Soren loves and a zip line, of course.

 

 

 

Picture a hampster wheel – now see the kids spin like hampsters.

 

 

 

 

Of course Soren was all over the zip line…

 

 

Maebh had a turn too – but…..

Maebh didn’t like it so much this time.

After some playing here, we walked around a bit and up to some of the animals ….  again as it’s winter we didn’t see them all but the sheep had some personality… and the one guy with horns and the funny tongue kept bashing the fence with the female on the other side.  She was the biggest sheep I’ve ever seen in my life so perhaps she was pregant?

 

 

 

Would we go back – YES!

Favorite part for the kids:  Awesome playground!