Skip to content
Visitors walking in the Avenue in spring at Gibside
Visitors walking in the Avenue in spring at Gibside | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris
North East

The Liberty trail at Gibside

This route meanders around the landscape garden, created by George Bowes, inherited by his daughter Mary Eleanor and nearly destroyed by "Stoney" Robinson. See the grand historic features that play a huge part in Gibside's story and garden design. On the way, you'll discover the Walled Garden, the Orangery and Shrubbery, the Column to Liberty, and not to mention some breathtaking woodland scenery.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Market Place, Gibside. Grid ref: NZ171583.

Step 1

Starting in the Market Place, cross the road from the raised wooden walkway beside the estate map. Find the start of the trail and go straight ahead with the Walled Garden on your left and Market Place café in front of you.

Step 2

When you arrive at the entrance to the Walled Garden, head inside. Follow the path through the middle of the garden, passing apple trees and vegetable plots. At the end of the path, you'll find some large wooden gates.

Step 3

After leaving the Walled Garden, via left then carefully cross the road and head into the Shrubbery. Follow the grassy path to the Orangery ruin. After exploring it, continue straight ahead and walk down the flight of steps. (If you struggle with stairs, you can leave the shrubbery the way you entered. Follow the meadow round until the Orangery is on your left. Continue until you reach the edge of the woodland. This will miss out Step 4 of the walk.)

Step 4

At the bottom of the steps, walk across the path and up the steps on the opposite side. These will lead you into Ice House Dene. Follow the path through the woodland until you emerge at the corner of Orangery Field and the Avenue. Turn left along the road.

Step 5

Continue along the Avenue, past the woodland and grassy area on your left (Green Close Field). After passing Hall Field (the one in front of the hall ruin), follow the road around to the right.

Step 6

As you approach the end of the Avenue, glance to the left and you'll see the Column to Liberty towering above the treetops. Begun in the 1750s, the monument was commissioned by George Bowes to reflect his allegiance to the Whig movement. After viewing it, continue up the road that winds its way between historic yew trees, until you arrive at a T-junction. Turn right towards the Stables.

Step 7

At the Stables, take a break if needed. When you're ready to continue, there are 2 route options to take. Either head up the hill away from the Stables and after about 110yd (100m), just past the Woodland Bothy on your right, take the path into the woods on the left. Follow this roughly surfaced track through the woods, until it emerges beside the Octagon Pond. Or as you leave the Stables, turn left on the track. You'll pass a waymarker (don't via left) head straight up the hill.

Step 8

Keep walking until you notice the Octagon pond on your right, looking up the slope to see the historic Banqueting House, and behind you to see a lovely view across the Derwent Valley. On the road, continue heading uphill until you see an opening in the woodland. Take this dirt track on your left.

Step 9

As you wander through the woodland, notice the bird hide on your left. After passing a grassy area (Brick Kiln Field), also on the left, you'll arrive at a junction. Turn left and, after weaving through the trees for a few minutes, take another left.

Step 10

Emerge from the woods to see the Column to Liberty standing in a clearing, towering above its surroundings at a height of 194ft (59m). 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're ready to resume the walk, return to the side of the Column with the grassy glade looking towards a field, and find the path that enters the woods to the right. Continue down through the woodland until it emerges onto a road.

Step 11

Before continuing on the trail, walk across the road to the grassy area opposite. To the right is a mound (climb up here). This was a central point in the original garden design and gives views in every direction. When you're ready, get back on the trail. Return to the road and head towards the hill. Before reaching the slope, take the path on the right, into a wooded area. This will return you to the road below the yew trees. At the road, you'll see a prominent redwood, turn right and walk back to the end of the Avenue.

Step 12

At this point, you can choose to head up the grassy slope to wander along the grassed avenue beneath the trees, or stick to the road. You'll see the hall and Green Close Field (both on your right this time), along with Park Fields and their grazing cattle on the left. When you get to the Chapel, walk down the gravel path, turn right behind the building and you'll arrive back in the Market Place.

End point

Market Place, Gibside. Grid ref: NZ171583.

Trail map

Liberty trail map at Gibside
Liberty trail map at Gibside | © Crown Copyright and database right 2023 Ordnance Survey 100023974

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

Emerging spring leaves near the Chapel at Gibside


A Georgian landscape garden forged in an industrial past.

Gateshead, Tyne & Wear

Fully open today
Girl holding phone in garden with apple trees covered in blossom.

Explorer family-friendly trail at Gibside 

Enjoy a circular walk in Gibside's 600-acre woodland that's fun for the whole family, getting active in natural play areas and exploring the best of the estate.

DistanceMiles: 2.2 (km: 3.52)
A family walking at Gibside, Tyne and Wear

Valley Views trail at Gibside 

A challenging 4.4-mile walk through the estate at Gibside that takes in far-reaching views of the Derwent Valley.

DistanceMiles: 4.4 (km: 7.04)
Visitors walking though woodland at Gibside

Wonders of Nature trail at Gibside 

Explore woodlands, meadows, wetlands and along the riverside, with estate highlights. You'll see nature at work and, if you are lucky, spot some wildlife at play.

DistanceMiles: 5.5 (km: 8.8)

Get in touch

near Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE16 6BG

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

Walkers climbing rocks against a bright blue sky with the mountains in the distance at Sugarloaf, Monmouthshire


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Two walkers in waterproof jackets pause to look out to sea with binoculars from a grassy cliff top path on a sunny autumnal day.

Walking in the North East 

From a trek through the largest area of ancient woodland in Northumberland to a walk in the footsteps of the Romans along Hadrian's Wall, there are some amazing places to walk in the North East.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

Dog sniffing a pizza at National Crust, Gibside

Eating at Gibside 

There’s something for everyone at Gibside’s cafés, including freshly made sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, kids' lunchboxes and, of course, really good coffee.

People walking in the distance along a long grassy path towards a Chapel with columns.

Things to see and do at Gibside 

Discover a much-celebrated Palladian church at Gibside, take a history tour, explore the estate and enjoy outdoor play for families.

Dog on a walk

Visiting Gibside with your dog 

Gibside is a three pawprint rated place. There are 15 miles of paths for you and your dog to explore, lots of facilities and they’re even welcome inside the coffee shop.