Gibside

18th-Century pleasure grounds

Gibside
The Palladian chapel

Drive past the MetroCentre for once and take the kids to Gibside, Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear – it’s a National Trust property with stunning walks, scenery and holiday events.

The 18th-century pleasure grounds were the vision of coal baron George Bowes. Discover fine Derwent Valley views, winding paths and open spaces while exploring elegant buildings and ruins.

It’s Georgian ‘grand design’ on a spectacular scale. The Palladian chapel is an architectural masterpiece, the stable block is a learning and discovery centre, and the once grand hall is now a dramatic shell. Gibside is also a haven for wildlife with red kites.

Gibside
The now-derelict Gibside House

Food also runs through Gibside’s veins – there’s four places to eat and drink: the Gibside Cafe, the Strawberry Castle Play Area kiosk, the Carriage House Stables Cafe and the Gibside pub, which is open until 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

There’s plenty of gifts at the shop, with every penny spent going to the conservation of the estate and a second-hand book shop.

For more information, call 01207 541 820, or you can log on to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside/


Gibside Family Highlights Trail

Gibside
Gibside’s woodlands in autumn

Action-packed walk tracking the Strawberry Castle Adventure Play Area, the Low Ropes Challenge, Nature Playscape and Mini-Gibside Hall. Spot wildlife along the way and tick off some of your ‘50 things’ as you go.

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 3.5 miles (5.5km)
  • Time: 2 hours (plus playing time)
  • OS Map: Explorer 307
  • Terrain: Circular route of the West Woods starting from visitor reception, calling in at play areas, including Strawberry Castle and returning along Gibside’s flat avenue. All on pushchair-accessible footpaths and tracks, there are no steps or stiles but some steep gradients.

Gibside Park Walk

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 3.5 miles (5.5km)
  • Time: 1 hour 40 minutes to 3 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 88, Explorer 307
  • Terrain: Fairly easy along well-maintained tracks and some grass, with a couple of steps and several gentle inclines. Walk not suitable for wheelchairs. For accessible areas, use Gibside’s Trampers (off-road mobility scooter) – free, but booking advisable. Dogs welcome on a lead.

Gibside Skyline Walk

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 3.5 miles (5.3km).
  • Time: 2 to 4 hours
  • OS Map: Explorer 307
  • Terrain: Stone and gravel estate tracks, woodland paths and grassy farm fields, steep in places and muddy. Three stiles, eight steps and three kissing gates. Follow the white and green Waymarker signs.Walk takes you through fields which may have cows and horses. Dogs welcome on short leads.