Tuesday, 21 July 2015

ms-havachat's out'n'about in Dublin: Airfield, Dundrum.

Beautiful Airfield House (professional photo)

The long summer school holidays are a great time to get out'n'about in Dublin and surrounding areas with the kids. There's so much stuff to see and do together, much of it free or at best, not that expensive.

Airfield Estate in Dundrum is a piece of rural heaven in the middle of urban development. With Ireland's largest shopping centre, Dundrum Town Centre within a 10 minute walk, it's incredible to think that so much peace and serenity could co-exist. It  reminded us of entering an ancient Temple in the middle of Tokyo, such contrast.

Airfield is 38 hectares of working farm, vegetable gardens, flower gardens, education centre, entertainment quarter and restaurant.

We came here LOTS when MissM was a toddler. It was a lovely place to picnic with the kids. There has been a huge amount of investment and development over the past few years, and it's even better than we remembered.

Let's go back to the beginning for a sec, so you can understand just how special this place is, and it's meaning to the people of Dublin.

  • Airfield's Mission is to inspire people to refresh their connection with food and the land it comes from (How simple is that!)
  • Trevor Overend, the original owner, was a Dublin based solicitor. He bought Airfield as a summer house in 1894, and several years later decided to make it the families permanent home (Clever man)
  • His daughters, Letitia and Naomi grew up here, never married, and died here. They lived a fabulous life in the true sense of the word, travelling the world, driving motor cars (unheard of for young ladies to do 'back then'), investing their time, energy and money into various philanthropic causes.
  • Airfield's farm played a huge role in improving the quality of life for Dubliners in terms of healthy fruit and vegetables, milk and other produce.
  • It was established as a charitable organisation in 1974, for educational and recreational purposes (YEAH)

The Facebook page overflows with information about the daily happenings around the property, announces various courses, workshops, talks and tours available all year round and much more.  Click here to go directly there to LIKE it so you are kept up to date with what's going on. 

We went a few weeks ago with a friend of MissM's simply to kill a few hours in the sunshine, as neither tween wanted to do much and I was totally over them mopping around the house (anyone else suffering at the groans and moans of tweens or teens?)  I'm so happy with the pics from my phone. MissM commented 'are you taking photos for ms-havachat again?' Too funny. 

MissM up close with these beautiful cows; the pigs were hard to see at first,
enjoying their mud bath, the goats were happy to see us and these have to
be the funkiest hen coups ever.

Just a few of the beautiful summer flowers in bloom in the walled garden.

More amazing vegetables!
There's a working dairy at Airfield. Make sure you're there in time for the 10.30am milking, We chated with the farmer, and walked with him as he herded the cows back to the field. In fact, we chatted with several staff members who were only too happy to answer the girls questions.

The flowers are gorgeous! In fact, you could come here any time of year and enjoy the gardens.

The veggie gardens are laid out so pretty, and such variety.

It's the perfect place to bring a picnic and set up on a blanket under an ancient tree while the kids run around.

You can get here by car (free parking), or LUAS or bus to Dundrum and walk up.

Entrance fee is minimal (I won't post as the prices may well change, but you can hop over to the website for all current information with this link.

I would strongly encourage everyone to support Airfield in any way they can - it's here for generations to come, and that's so important in a world that's changing too quickly.

With friendship

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