Family fun at Gibside this summer

A family in the sunshine at Gibside

Long summer days call for action-packed family adventures. Here at Gibside, we’ve got 600 acres of woodlands, fields and gardens to explore, free games and activities to try every day of the holidays and a diploma with a difference to fill your days and get you closer to nature this summer.

Study for the Gibside Activity Diploma

Enrol in a summer school with a difference with the Gibside Activity Diploma. Pick up an activity sheet and complete a series of fun, outdoor activities including orienteering, swinging on the rope swing and counting the trees along the avenue. Once you’ve completed them all reward your efforts with a sweet treat from the café.

Summer holiday sorted

There are free sports and nature activities to enjoy every day of the holidays. Have a go at conquering the low-ropes course blindfolded, get to know some feathery friends with bird ringing sessions, and gather round to toast gooey marshmallows on the camp fire. Head to the West Woods to try your hand at woodland orienteering or create your own summer retreat with den building. A great place to stay cool on warmer days, the woodland canopy proves natural shade and keeps the rain at bay when the inevitable summer showers arrive!

Enjoy gooey marshmallows fresh from the campfire
Children toast marshmallows on a campfire
Enjoy gooey marshmallows fresh from the campfire

Enjoy sports activities and taster sessions for all ages at the Green Close Field activity zone. Test your aim with archery, challenge your family to a game of frisbee golf or show off your football skills.

Download our handy planner Gibside summer activity planner 2019 (PDF / 0.4MB) download   to stick on your fridge or you can pick one up from the visitor reception on your next visit. With an activity on every day of the school holidays it shows what's on, and when.

Enjoy a free activity every day of the summer holidays
Gibside summer planner
Enjoy a free activity every day of the summer holidays

A family day out

With miles of walks and woodland trails, there’s no excuse not to stretch your legs this summer. If its nature you’re keen to spot, stop off at the bird hide hidden within the woodlands. If you're quiet, who knows what you'll see up close? Perhaps woodpeckers or even the resident Red Kites.

No visit to Gibside is complete without a trip to the Strawberry Castle play area. This wooden fortress is fit for any King or Queen ready to take on the world. There are also swings, a zip wire, water challenge and more. If you're a dare devil, the low ropes course could be for you - can you make it all the way to the other side without falling?

Cool down with an ice cream from Strawberry Castle kiosk
Twin brothers enjoying an ice cream
Cool down with an ice cream from Strawberry Castle kiosk

After a busy time commanding your kingdom or spotting wildlife on an estate walk, roll out your blanket and relax with a picnic on Green Close Field.

Strawberry Castle kiosk is open during the holidays, perfect for hot and cold refreshments, ice creams and snacks. At the main cafe in market place, alongside an adult menu, there are kids' healthy lunch boxes available which include a sandwich, fruit, drink, a packet of crisps and perhaps a treat. Here you can also find toilets and the shop.

Stay for longer this summer