Visiting for a day?

School children on minibeast hunt

Gibside is a venue with a difference, offering a range of services to schools, community, corporate and family groups. You can even book to have a birthday party here!

When you come to Gibside, how the day goes is completely up to you. 

There’s a range of fun educational and motivational activities that are tailored to your group's needs. All of them can help support delivery of the National Curriculum.

You can choose from half or a full day of National Trust led activities which we've grouped into themes to help you find what you're looking for:

Maps & Madness

Low Ropes Challenge: Test your balance strength and stamina and watch self confidence soar upon completion of this course. (Suitable for KS2+)
Map Skills & Orienteering: From basic map skills to a full orienteering course, develop team work, observation and map reading skills. (Adaptable for all ages) 
Geocaching: Expand map skills and develop team work using GPS devices while exploring the estate. (Adaptable for KS2+)
Archery (delivered by B Outdoors): Have a go at an Olympic sport and aim for gold! Develop skill, precision and concentration on your own and then in teams to win games and competitions. (Adaptable for KS2+)

Team Building (delivered by B Outdoors): Work together to develop trust, build confidence and grow your group’s ability to bond as a team with fun, outdoor activities. (Adaptable for KS2+)
Orienteering Young Leaders Award (delivered by B Outdoors): A new course developed for 14-19 year olds who want to develop and learn coaching skills. Aimed to fit in with the Junior Sports Leader scheme for those who want to develop & learn coaching skills. Encourages participants to work with younger children and to teach them the basics of orienteering. (Course developed for 14-19yr olds.)

Wild in the Woods

Minibeast Safari: Discover the minibeasts hiding in the woods and meadows and learn how to identify them using simple keys. (Adaptable for all ages, time of year dependent.)
Habitat Exploration & Discovery: Explore and compare the woods and the ponds to discover the plants and animals that live there. (Adaptable for all ages, time of year dependent.)
River Study: Discover how rivers shape our landscape and how we manage our water by investigating Gibside and observing the River Derwent valley (Adaptable for KS2 & 3)
Growing at Gibside: Discover how plants grow, comparing seeds, flowers and trees to learn the different parts of a plant and their uses, visiting our vegetable plots, greenhouses and woodland. (Adaptable for FS & KS1)
Red Kite Ramble: Develop wildlife identification skills and knowledge about these magnificent birds of prey through exploration, crafts and games (Adaptable for all ages)
Food Chains & Plant Life Cycles: Investigate how nature is connected through food chains and webs and learn how plants follow a cycle in their development. (Adaptable for KS1 & 2)
Animal Life Cycles & Adaptations: Investigate the lifecycles of four types of animal and how they are adapted to ensure their survival. (Ideal for KS2)
Farm Trail: Follow the trail to discover the role of farming at Gibside, see how it has help shaped the landscape & learn about the animals living here (Ideal for EYFS & KS1)
Tracks & Signs: Develop observation and tracking skills by learning to recognise and identify tracks, trails and signs of Gibside’s wildlife, through games and overnight experiments. (Adaptable for all ages, available to residential groups only)

Wildlife Night Walk: Experience a walk through the woods after opening hours, tracking bats and searching for other nocturnal wildlife.  Gaze at the stars and spot constellations and planets if the skies are clear. (Adaptable for all ages)

Manor to Mines

Gibside Gold Cup: Explore Gibside’s key features, discovering our history through team work and map skills in this virtual horse race. (Adaptable for KS1+)

Creative Culture

Story Tale Trail: Choose from fairy tales, monster tales or myths and legends and follow a trail to find pictures from these tales (old & new) to retell the stories and undertake a related task. (Adaptable for EYFS & KS1 & 2)
Art in Nature: Use natural materials to create a variety of art work and sculptures, exploring 
colours, textures and shapes and be inspired by views and vistas (Adaptable for all ages)
Celebrate the Seasons (4 sessions – spring, summer, autumn, winter): Compare and contrast the seasons through fun games, exploration and natural crafts. (Ideal for EYFS & KS1)
Felt Making: Discover how felt is made and work in groups to create amazing felt pictures inspired by Gibside’s landscape to take home. (Full day activity, adaptable for KS2+, available November—April)
NEW! Christmas Trail: Find out about Christmas following a trail to find Father Christmas’ reindeer, lighting a fire and taking part in other seasonal themed activities in the woods. (Ideal for EYFS & KS1, available November & December)

Forest School

Shelter Building: Learn how to protect yourself from nature’s elements using natural materials to build shelters. (Adaptable for KS1+)
Fire Making: Back to basics – experience and learn the traditional ways to light a fire. (Adaptable for KS1+)

Forest School Programme

Over a series of visits, groups develop confidence and build upon outdoor skills & experiences while learning about our environment and developing bushcraft skills.  

We have two qualified Forest School leaders at Gibside and sessions take place in the West Woods or we can deliver sessions in your school setting.  

Please get in contact for more details and to discuss how we can work with your group. (Group size is limited to a maximum of 15 participants, suitable for all ages).