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REVIEW

A Hampshire staycation – travelling with a newborn

By Sarah Frost – 21st July 2021

Travelling with a newborn – seems easy enough?

 

My husband and I have been frequent travellers since we met; exploring incredible countries together such as New Zealand, Japan and Singapore. We always said we wanted to continue travelling once we had children, despite many people saying we wouldn’t want to be travelling with a newborn.

 

Our daughter was born at the end of May, and we haven’t booked anywhere abroad yet whilst we wait for the Covid restrictions to settle down. But when Emma at The Barn at North Lodge invited us to stay, we decided to try travelling with a newborn and see what we would learn in advance of trips further afield.

 

 

The Barn at North Lodge

 

 

Emma runs this beautifully designed barn conversion which is in the grounds of her Georgian house. She definitely has a talent for interior design because the inside is filled with great features. Every detail has been thought through; with everything you need for a short break.

 

My gadget-loving husband was particularly impressed with the inbuilt Google Nest system, Chromecast and Sonos speaker. Our baby also seemed to enjoy the country playlist available from the speaker. 

 

As Emma knew we were travelling with a newborn, she had offered to put up a travel cot and had left Luna her own baby towel so she could take a bath as well. It’s little touches like this that help make a night away more special.

 

The basics are all covered as well; there’s a king-size bed which was so comfortable we all enjoyed sleeping in there (supervised sleep for baby of course). The bathroom comes with a bath and shower which does make travel with a baby that bit easier; although she would easily have fit in the large sink! 

 

There’s a kitchen area which is fully-equipped for making meals if you choose to, and some breakfast essentials provided. This helps to save space in the car which is essential. We didn’t cook; we drove to the nearby Thomas Lord at West Meon and had a delicious meal and fantastic service.

 

French doors lead onto a private terrace where you’ll find a chimenea; perfect for keeping warm whilst you enjoy an evening drink or two. And if you’re travelling with your baby you can easily keep an eye on them through the glass. You might be lucky like us and see the family of woodpeckers on the bird feeders too.

 

You can park your car next to the property and there are steps up to the barn but we just left the pram in the car and carried Luna in her car seat anyway.

Things to do nearby

 

The Barn at North Lodge is situated in the South Downs National Park making it ideal for keen walkers and cyclists. There are walking routes and maps available in the property to give you ideas.

 

Towns nearby include Alton, Alresford, Winchester and Petersfield. For inspiration on what to do in Winchester, see my previous blog post here. 

 

On this trip we went into Petersfield for the day so that we could have one of our favourite brunches at Josie’s which is very family-friendly. I’d also suggest taking a walk around Petersfield Heath which has two play areas, toilets and a cafe. The walk around the lake is pram-friendly. Petersfield has plenty of independent shops and we visited Bambino Baby to see Roamy, who is a baby-wearing consultant. She helped us to choose a wrap, and her shop is filled with beautiful baby items. 

 

What to pack

 

This trip gave us some helpful practice on what to pack when travelling with a newborn. Firstly, they’ll need somewhere safe to sleep so check with your host whether they can provide somewhere like Emma could. We had our bassinet to our pram which has been approved for overnight sleeping, and were already taking this so it didn’t take up additional room.

 

Then they’ll need something to eat. As I’m exclusively breastfeeding this was covered quite easily! If you’re bottle-feeding then there are travel sterilisers available, or sterilising tablets which could be used with equipment already at the property.

 

Finally, it was clothes, nappies and muslins. For nappies we just calculated roughly what we would usually use across 3 days, but there were nearby shops if we needed more. For 2 nights we took a selection of short-sleeved vests, sleepsuits and outfits, with just one cardigan and a sun hat to cover the variety of English weather. We probably packed a few too many clothes but you never know what accidents you’re going to have. If your accommodation has laundry facilities then you’d get away with less.

 

I would recommend asking your accommodation provider whether there’s anything they can include which helps you reduce your packing, for example the baby towel that Emma had. For baby changing, we had our travel changing mat in our bag, and just used the breakfast bar to set up our station for convenience. Don’t worry, we cleaned it well afterwards and the entire property was spotless.

 

 

Travelling with a newborn doesn’t have to be difficult

 

We had a lovely break and are grateful to Emma for being such a fantastic host. The experience helped us to see exactly what we’d need to take away, and although we were only half an hour away from home, this could easily be replicated for UK holidays further afield. Our next step will be to arrange a European mini-break so stay tuned to see how we get on!

 

To book a stay at The Barn at North Lodge click here and give Emma a follow on Instagram for cute chicken videos!

 

If you need any more reason to book a Hampshire staycation then see my blog here.

 

And if you have any other tips for travelling with a newborn then let me know over on Instagram. 

 

Thank you

 

Sarah x

REVIEW:

This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the host to stay at their property free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

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