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The 'Column to Liberty' monument at Gibside National Trust site
The 'Column to Liberty' monument at Gibside National Trust site

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Route No. 565 - Friday 26 September 2014
Circuit of the parkland and woodland
at the National Trust Gibside Site - 5km
Co. Durham . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 307 Consett & Derwent Reservoir


The entrance to the National Trust site at Gibside
The entrance to the National Trust site at Gibside

Wooden walkway from the entrance up to cafe
Wooden walkway from the entrance up to cafe

Entrance to Gibside Chapel
Entrance to Gibside Chapel

The pulpit at Gibside Chapel
The pulpit at Gibside Chapel

After our lunch we followed the path from the cafe for a few metres to the walled garden. There was a path through the centre of the garden, now all lawns and flowers not vegetables and fruit as it would have been in the past. At the far end of the walled garden we turned right to walk around the outside of the garden towards Gibside Chapel. There's a broad grassy avenue leading to the chapel. We climbed the stone steps to the stone column portico at the chapel entrance and looked out along the long avenue before going inside the chapel. There's an impressive domed space inside with the wooden altar and pulpit still in tact.

My wife & I are spending a week at a holiday cottage in Alnmouth, Northumberland. We decided (well actually my wife decided) to use our National Trust membership to visit some of the many lovely National Trust sites here. On our way up to Northumberland we stopped off at Gibside near Gateshead. It's just south of the Tyne so it's in County Durham, not quite in Northumberland. We walked up the slope from the car park (map ref. NZ169581) to the entrance. After showing our membership cards we continued up a wide wooden walkway to the visitor facilities area where the cafe was being completely refurbished. There were some temporary facilities and we had a pleasant lunch in the autumn sunshine.

Looking along the Avenue from Gibside Chapel
Looking along the Avenue from Gibside Chapel

The altar at Gibside Chapel
The altar at Gibside Chapel

The domed ceiling at Gibside Chapel
The domed ceiling at Gibside Chapel

Track through the West Wood at Gibside
Track through the West Wood at Gibside

Track into the West Wood at Gibside
Track into the West Wood at Gibside

Speckled Wood butterfly on an oak tree by the track
Speckled Wood butterfly on an oak tree by the track

Wooden Owl sculpture by the track
Wooden Owl sculpture by the track

There was a fine view across the valley of the River Derwent to the north west and then we continued along the track down the slope for about 600m to the stables at map ref. NZ178587.

From the chapel we followed the track past the Strawberry Castle play area and into West Wood. The path headed south east for a few hundred metres and then turned left. We climbed up along this track near the edge of the wood now heading north east to the top of the slope.

Track through the West Wood at Gibside
Track through the West Wood at Gibside

Heading for the Stables through the West Wood at Gibside
Heading for the Stables through the West Wood at Gibside

A Mongolian Yurt style hut by the track
A Mongolian Yurt style hut by the track

Looking across the Derwent Valley as the track begins to drop down towards the Stables
Looking across the Derwent Valley as the track begins to drop down towards the Stables

The entrance to the Stables
The entrance to the Stables

From the stables we followed the path north east for about 150m to the Octagon Pond.

There was a cafe here where we had a coffee in the sunshine at some tables in the courtyard.

The courtyard & coffee shop at the Stables
The courtyard & coffee shop at the Stables

The entrance to the Stables at Gibside
The entrance to the Stables at Gibside

Looking up to the Banqueting Hall from the Octagon Pond
Looking up to the Banqueting Hall from the Octagon Pond

View into the Derwent Valley from the Column to Liberty
View into the Derwent Valley from the Column to Liberty . . .

Seat with a view from the Column to Liberty
. . . Seat with a view from the Column to Liberty

This is called 'The Column to Liberty' with a statue on top that originally was covered in gold leaf. In front of the column there was a cleared strip down the hillside to a small pond at the bottom by a track and a fine view out across the Derwent valley.

The Octagon Pond is a pretty place with a cleared strip up the hillside from the pond to the Banqueting House. From the pond we continued along a path heading north east in the edge of the wood around an open area climbing up to a large obelisk in the hill top.

Path through the woods towards the Column to Liberty
Path through the woods towards the Column to Liberty

The Column to Liberty at Gibside
The Column to Liberty at Gibside


Track down through the woods from the Column to Liberty

From the pond we continued for about another 150m to a wide grassy strip going away to our left. From the path we dropped down to the grassy strip and climbed up along it for about 200m to join an estate road next to Gibside Hall.

From the column we returned to the path and continued down the hillside to a track at the bottom. At the track we turned left and followed the track around the bottom of the hill for about 200m to the small pond we had seen from the top. The view was now reversed as we looking up along the cleared strip from the pond to the Column on the hill top.

View up to the column from the pond by the track
View up to the column from the pond by the track

The semi-derelict shell of Gibside Hall
The semi-derelict shell of Gibside Hall

Track next to the Avenue heading towards the chapel
Track next to the Avenue heading towards the chapel

We continued, back to the entrance to Gibside and the end of our walk in the autumn sunshine. Our walk had been about 5km and had taken us around three hours including our lunch and our visits to the chapel & the stables. There's also the option of longer walks through the woodland of Snipes Dene. It had been a very pleasant start to our holiday.

Gibside Hall is a very impressive building but seems to be derelict with unattractive construction site safety fencing round it. From the hall we followed the estate road back towards the walled garden with the orangery building across the parkland to our right. We followed the road to our right and then turned left to make our way around the walled garden.

The Orangery seen across the parkland
The Orangery seen across the parkland

Heading for the exit from Gibside along the wooden walkway
Heading for the exit from Gibside along the wooden walkway

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