Gibside liberty trail

Walking trail

See parts of the historic garden design unfold as you explore the inner areas known as the Pleasure Grounds of the estate. Gibside's story will begin to unfold as you visit the historic features of the estate from grand buildings to now majestic ruins to key views and vistas.

Explore the stunning landscape garden to see elegant buildings and ruins

View from the chapel to the avenue



Market Place, grid ref: NZ171583


Find the start of the trail after crossing the road from the raised wooden walkway beside the estate map. Go straight ahead with the Walled Garden wall on your left and the play castle on your right.

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At the doorway to the Walled Garden, take a left turn and head through the door. The path leads you straight through the middle of the garden, passing apple trees and allotment plots. The end of the path leads to large wooden gates.

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Once outside the Walled Garden turn left, and just outside the small garden door, follow the path to the right, carefully crossing the road and head into the shrubbery. Follow the grassy path as it leads you to the Orangery ruin, with a field on your right. once you have explored the ruin, continue straight ahead and walk down the flight of steps. (If you struggle with stairs or have a wheelchair or pushchair, you can take the level grassy path through Orangery field - the gate is in front of the ruin. This will miss out Step 4 of this walk into Ice House Dene).

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At the bottom of the steps head straight across the path and up the steps on the other slope, leading you into Ice House Dene. The path bears ot the right through the woodland, and out of the woods at the corner of Orangery Field and the Avenue Road. Turn left out of the woods and left again along the road.

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Continue along Avenue Road with the Avenue on your right and passing the field with the mound on your left (known as Green Close Field). Head straight on to Hall field which is on your left and lies in front of the Hall ruin. Turn right at the end of the Avenue, following the road.

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Before heading up the Avenue Road, glance to your left and you should see the Column to Liberty towering above the tree tops. Continue up the road that winds its way between historic yew trees, until it emerges at the top with a grassy lawn on your right in front of the Stables. At the top of the hill at the T-junction, turn right towards the Stables.

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Follow the road towards the Stables and take the opportunity for a welcome break if needed. When you are ready to continue, head up the hill away from the Stables, back into the woodland. After about 100m, take the path into the woods on the left, just after passing the Woodland Bothy (on your right).

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Follow this roughly surfaced track through the woods, where it will emerge beside the Octagon Pond. The path becomes grass, and venture around the pond (on your right). Look up the slope to see the historic banqueting House, or turn with the House behind you to see a lovely view across the Derwent Valley. Continue on with the pond to your right, passing under the cypress tree, towards the road. Turn right and then immediate left back into the woodland.

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As you wander through the woodland, notice the bird hide on your left. The path follows the boundary of the field also on your left (Brick Kiln Field). Walk straight ahead, then at the next path junction turn left, and after a few hundred meters of weaving through the trees, take another left after you have passed the edge of the field.

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Emerge from the woods to see the Column to Liberty sitting in a clearing, towering above your head to a height of 194ft. You can wander around the base of the Column and take in the views over the bushes along the Avenue or down the slope to the Lily Pond. When you are ready to resume the walk, return to the side of the Column with the grassy glade towards the field and find the path entering the woods again on your right. Continue down through the woodland until it emerges out the wood onto the road.

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The trail takes a left turn as you come out of the woods. However, before continuing on your way and heading up the hill, walk straight ahead across the road to the grassy area. Notice to your right a grassy mound - the top of it is a central point in the garden design giving a four way view or vista - across the Hollow walk along the Avenue to the Chapel, down the hill to the bottom of Snipes Dene and the Lily pond, back across the tree tops to the Column and up the hill to views of the Banqueting House. When you're ready, get back on the trail. Start to walk up the hill, but before reaching the slope, take the path on the right that cuts across the Hollow Walk. This path rejoins you to the road below the yew trees. At this point, turn right and walk back to the end of the Avenue.


Head up the grassy slope to wander along the grassed Avenue under the trees. (If you need a surfaced route, then you can always stick to the road). You will see the Hall, Green Close Field this time on your right, and Park Fields, usually full of sheep and cows on your left. Head straight on towards the Chapel, and to keep to the trail walk on the left hand side to walk down the gravel path, turn right behind the Chapel and finish your walk as the path reenters Market Place. Time to rewards yourself with a cuppa or treat from the cafe or shop before heading off on your next adventure.

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Gibside car park, grid ref: NZ172583

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Gibside liberty trail


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 liberty trail

Contact us

Gibside liberty trail

How to get here

Gibside, near Burnopfield, Newcastle Upon Tyne 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 liberty trail

Facilities and access

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