Gibside valley views trail

Walking trail

See Gibside from a new perspective as you explore the estate and take in views and vistas across the Derwent Valley.

A woman sitting looking at the views



Cross the road from the raised walkway, post with Trail waymarker straight ahead next to estate map, 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. Wander around the ruin and take in one of your first key views. Look out across the back of the Orangery across the valley and Rowlands Gill. If you are lucky you might spot red kites soaring over the valley. Once you have explored the ruin, head left continuing through the shrubbery and walk down the flight of steps. Turn right along one of the original waggonways in the estate and walk straight ahead to the Avenue Road. (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).

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Turn left on the road, with the Avenue on your right. Continue straight ahead. Once you are past the woodland on your left, you will see Green Close field. There is a mound in the middle that would have contained a fountain of some kind as part of the historic a garden design, now the field is mostly used for picnics, events and play. As you continue along the road, another field will be seen in front of the ruin of the once great Hall. Follow the road as it bends to the right. The grassy dip on your left is known as the Hollow Walk. if you look across it, you should see your first glimpse of the Column to Liberty towering above the treetops.

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Continue up the hill under the yew trees and emerge with a lawn on your right in front of the grand Stables. This impressive first view was part of the design as George wanted to show off his wealth with visitors to his estate seeing a grand building of a Stables, rather than a working space. Continue to the top of the hill and at the junction turn right, following the road towards the Stables. Take the opportunity to have a look inside and have a rest if needed. When you are ready to continue, head up the hill into the woodland.

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After walking up hill through the woods for about 100m, you will pass a small building on your right (the woodland Bothy - home to one of the Creative Studio businesses) and a yurt on your left hand side. You will then see a grassed strip on both sides. This is another of the historic vistas that extends from the top at the Banqueting House (out of view) down across Park Fields towards the Avenue and Chapel. You should see the Chapel peeking through the trees is you look carefully. Just after the vista, reenter the cover of the trees and find the trail turning to your left. Head through the trees to the top of the hill to find cross small bridges and along boardwalk. At the end you will find a kissing gate. Go through the gate and walk straight ahead up the side of the field, keeping the fence and ditch to your left. Take care as there may be livestock grazing in the field. Please keep dogs on a short lead.


At the top of the field you will find a kissing gate to leave the field. Walk across the farm track and go through another kissing gate. Head straight up to the top of the hill but do not climb the stile in front of you. Remain on this side of fence and turn left. Follow the fence line keeping it on your right to the end of the field, where you will reach a third stile which you will need to climb to continue on the trail, emerging on a farm track.

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Continue straight ahead along the track, passing the adjoining roads to your left. As you walk along the road you will pass several privately owned houses on the left behind hedges. The first of these, Hillhead house, was once the home to Gibside's land agent in the 18th-century. He managed the estate while the family were away. Continue to the end bend in the road but do not follow it round to the right, continue straight ahead into the field in front of you over the stile. Head into the meadow, keeping the fence on your right and carry on until you reach the stile at the end of the field.

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Once over the stile, continue into the woodland. Follow the path round to the left (Whickham Golf Course on your right), carry on along a sunken pathway (an historic coal waggonway) and enter back into Gibside's woodland through the gate. Follow the trail back through the woodland, carefully heading down the path to return onto the forestry track in Snipes Dene.

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Once of the forestry road, turn left and head down through Snipes Dene - this is following the original entrance route into Gibside. You will notice that many of the trees in the valley beneath you (on your right) have been felled. These trees belonged to the Forestry Commission and now that they are felled, the woodland has been handed over to Gibside for management. The road continues downhill for approximately one mile, passing another farm track and the entrance road to the Banqueting House (now owned by the Landmark Trust and managed as a holiday cottage) so you can only visit it if you are staying in it. Continue to the bottom of the hill with a pond in front of you.

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As you approach the pond, the track bends to the right. The trail continues straight ahead but before you continue, you have the option to add two more views to your walk. Take the path into the woods on your right and about 20metres on your left is the bird hide. Pop in to see what birds you can spot on the feeders with Brick Kiln Field in front of you. When you are ready to leave, exit the hide and turn right to return to the trail. You can also take a better look at the Octagon Pond by heading onto the grassy area to your left. You will get views up to the Banqueting House from here. Back on the trail, head down the hill and take the track on your right to walk down the Hollow Walk (on your left) and the edge of Snipes Dene woods on your right.

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At the bottom of the hill, pass the path junctions first on your left and then on your right, and stop at the grassy mound on your left hand side. if you can, walk onto the top of it and look around. This mound is a key part of the garden design views giving you four vista options - downhill towards the Lily Pond, up over the treetops to see the top of the Column, back up the hill to see the Banqueting House, and across the Hollow Walk along the Avenue towards the Chapel. Continue when you are ready, down the hill. After a few hundred meters you'll find the Lily Pond on your right handside. Continue back down the track through the woods. It bends to the right, passing a fenced track on your left. Continue straight ahead, passing the track up the hill signed to the Column, and take the next path on your left down to the riverside.

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The path leads you to the rivers edge and follows it upstream with a large meadow on your left. There are several benches to take some time out to rest and just relax. Your surrounding views take in the Nine Arches viaduct to your right, and across the meadow to the rear of the Hall. What a beautiful view of the valley the family would have had from the windows and terrace when the Hall was lived in years ago. The path passes two adjoining tracks on your left and continue until it ends and heads up back on itself. At the first bend, you will see the remains of a building. This was the Bath House from the 1700's with only the base of some of the walls remaining today. Head up the hill (this is a steep path and has some steps at the top) through ice house dene and emerge back onto Avenue Road.

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Turn right onto the road and head up the steps on your left to walk on the grassy Avenue. Turn right again and admire the views of the Chapel in front and if you look behind, the Column in the distance. Continue to 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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Market Place, behind the Chapel

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Gibside valley views trail


Stone and gravel estate tracks, woodland paths and grassy farm fields, steep in places and muddy after rain. There are 3 stiles, 8 steps and 3 kissing gates. Follow the white and green waymarker signs along the skyline walk. Please note that the skyline walk takes you through farm fields which may have cows and horses. Dogs are welcome on short leads.

Gibside valley views trail

Contact us

Gibside valley views trail

How to get here

Gibside, near Burnopfield, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE16 6BG
By train

Blaydon 5 miles (8km); Metrocentre 5 miles (8km); Newcastle 8 miles (12.8km)

By road
Entrance on B6314 between Burnopfield and Rowlands Gill; follow brown signs from A1, taking exit on to A694 at north end of Metrocentre
Parking: free, 100 yards
By foot

½ mile from Rowlands Gill

By bus

Go North East 'The Red Kite' 45, 46, 47 from Newcastle (passing Newcastle railway station and Metrocentre), alight Rowlands Gill, 0.5 miles (0.8km)

By bicycle

0.5 miles (0.8km) from Derwent Walk (National Cycle Network Route 14). Skyline path can be reached via several routes, but quickest option is straight up the Avenue, past the Stables and Nature Playscape

Gibside valley views trail

Facilities and access

  • Baby-changing facilities
  • Three adventure play areas
  • Twentyone accessible parking spaces
  • Wheelchair and buggy-friendly shuttle bus
  • Accessible toilets in Market Place and at Stables
  • Powered mobility vehicles and wheelchairs to borrow
  • Gibside shop
  • Cafe and coffee shops
  • Second-hand bookshop