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Gibside parkland walk


Walk the ‘grand design’ of an 18th-century coal baron and see the rise and fall of the remarkable Gibside estate.

Explore the stunning landscape garden and elegant buildings

Enjoy a wide panorama across the Derwent Valley from Gibside's Orangery, see the ruins of Gibside Hall and explore Gibside's Palladian chapel, designed by renowned architect James Paine.

Visitors looking towards the Column to Liberty at Gibside, Tyne & Wear
Visitors looking towards the Column to Liberty at Gibside, Tyne & Wear National Trust Images / John Millar


Map route for Gibside parkland walk
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Gibside car park, grid ref: NZ172583


Set off from visitor reception, making your way up to the portico of Gibsides Palladian chapel for a great view of the garden design. The Column of Liberty lies a mile (1.6km) ahead. Walk towards it along the oak-lined avenue. To your right lie fields that have been restored to hay meadows, interspersed with parkland trees. Keep an eye out for jays among the oak trees here.

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Once you reach the end of the Avenue, with the ruins of Gibside Hall on your left, turn right uphill and onto a yew-lined track. Keep to the left at a fork in the road. You see the grand facade of Gibsides stable block on your right (pop in for play, history and wildlife rooms, plus refreshments).

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Follow this track as it skirts around the high bank of the Octagon Pond (worth a little detour!) and starts a gentle climb. Carry on into Snipes Dene, leaving the formal inner pleasure grounds and moving to more wooded outer pleasure grounds.


Continue on this wide stone track as it eventually bends left with the wide valley of Snipes Dene to your left and Gibside's boundary to your right. At the point where the Skyline Walk is sign-posted uphill you may notice the earth embankments of early wagonways used to transport coal from nearby hills down to the Tyne.

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After beginning to head downhill for ½ mile (800m), take the narrow track to your left and descend towards the stream in Snipes Dene. At a junction in this path, turn right. This is one of the most remote and tranquil areas of the estate, the steep-sided slopes are a common spot to catch a glimpse of roe deer.


Continue until you reach the river Derwent. You may see otters feeding or playing on the banks by the pools and wetlands. Follow the path as it turns left and opens out on to a wider forestry track again. Turn off right downhill towards the river again. As you emerge from the woodland, you'll find Lady Haugh field to your left (haugh is a local term for a floodplain).


Follow the riverside path and after about 330yd (300m) you'll come to the biggest oak tree at Gibside. Turn left here and walk up a couple of steps, crossing Lady Haugh field to the left-hand side of the now ruined Hall. Climb up the steps beside the Halls service wing, a great place for viewing Gibside's red kites circling at eye level.

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Emerge at the top of the Avenue and halfway back to the Chapel, take a path to your right towards the atmospheric ruins of the Orangery (now glassless but still spectacular). Carry on through the newly restored Victorian Shrubbery back to the Avenue and the exit.

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Gibside car park, grid ref: NZ172583

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Gibside parkland walk


Fairly easy walking along well-maintained tracks and some grass, with a couple of steps and several gentle inclines. Benches along the route.

Walk not suitable for wheelchairs, though much of Gibside is accessible using one of Gibside's Trampers (off-road mobility scooter) - free, but booking advisable.

Dogs are welcome on a lead.

Gibside parkland walk

Contact us

Gibside parkland walk

How to get here

Near Rowlands Gill, Burnopfield, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE16 6BG
By road

6 miles (9.6km) south-west of Gateshead, 20 miles (32.1km) north-west of Durham. Entrance on B6314 between Burnopfield and Rowlands Gill. From A1 take exit north of Metrocentre and follow brown signs. Postcode for SatNav: NE16 6BG.

By bus

Go North East 'The Red Kite' 45, 46, 47 from Newcastle (passing Newcastle railway station and Metrocentre), alight Rowlands Gill.

By bicycle

½ mile (0.8km) from Derwent Walk, footpath/cycle track from Gateshead to Consett, National Cycle Network route 14.

Gibside parkland walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome on a lead
  • Gibside's Trampers (off-road mobility scooters) free to book