Driving through the front gates of the Newbridge House and Farm the road takes you through the immaculate estate with the neatly cut trees and perfect green lawns to a grand Georgian mansion. You feel like you have just arrived to the grounds of a prestigious boarding school. Luckily this is where the comparison stops; there are no prefects or headmistresses at Newbridge! Instead you will find a charming 18th century working farm, gardens, an adventure playground and a lovely café.
During our trip to the Newbridge Demesne we felt like we were guests rather than paid visitors. The atmosphere is welcoming and very relaxed, the farm with its many inhabitants is incredibly charming and the communal areas inside the mansion house are equally quaint. Newbridge offers guided tours of the manor house. We must confess that on a sunny afternoon we were instantly seduced by the farm and gardens so had to miss the tour (something to look forward to on our next visit).
The working farm is really one of a kind, a historic site where animals are reared and kept in an environment that allows them to move about freely expressing normal patterns of behavior. Entering the farm through the cobbled courtyard you feel like you have turned back the clock. The farm buildings are very rustic and pieces of old farming equipment are put on display.
Nanny Village recommends starting the farm tour with a visit to the incubator, where to the delighted of the bemused toddlers baby chicks reside. Here you will also find an impressive egg collection; watch out for the duck egg! To make sure you do not miss any of the farm’s residents, continue your tour by following the numbered signs and the map, which is kindly provided free of charge upon entry. Today Newbridge is home to ponies, pigs with piglets, goats, sheep, and of course ducks and geese. A particular highlight during our visit was a stop at the Moo-ternity ward, where we saw a heavily pregnant cow.
After the tour relax in the café or enjoy a picnic in the Newbridge demesne. Today the park offers its visitors 370 acres of pastureland, woodland walks, watercourses and ruins of Lanistown Castle. For the youngest of visitors there is a fantastic adventure playground suitable for different age groups. It is conveniently located next to the large, free car park so if you are a local this can easily become your regular spot.
Of course there are some negatives. The communal areas, especially the reception area could do with some TLC; the café decor could also do with a little bit of an update. To get to the farm you have a few steps, so those travelling with a buggy may have to do some lifting. These however are minor details that won’t take away from a fantastic day out for the whole family.