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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

A Summer Afternoon at Gibside

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - walled garden entrance

So we FINALLY bought a car! Yeah! The very next day we had to plan an adventure and as the sun was shining we decided to head to one of our favourite picnic spots. Gibside is a National Trust property in Gateshead/Durham a few miles from the Metrocentre. Entry is free if you are NT members as we are. See website for non-member prices.

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Gibside Chapel

There is a HUGE variety of things to do at Gibside and our afternoon only just scrapes the surface. We were there to chill out and enjoy the sun. We did think about walking up to the stables but the kids were far too hot after an hour in the adventure playground so we knocked that idea on the head and are saving it for autumn.

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens.

First up is Gibside Chapel and the avenue. The grassy tree-lined lane goes on for as far as the eye can see. This is right next to the entrance and a fab spot for a picnic. In the summer there are often bands playing in front of the chapel and I always remember watching a fantastic steel pan concert here in 2011. Jack was just a baby, Heidi a toddler and we all had fun dancing the afternoon away.

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens.

If you walk around the chapel and past a field of cute cows, you'll find the Strawberry Castle play area which was the main reason for our visit. It's fantastic with mock castles and houses, a giant sand pit, water play (when in operation), rope swings, zip wires........plus it's own toilet block (although they need to increase the number of loos from 2 I think) and ice cream/coffee hut. It's the sort of place you could spend all day and I noticed a few mums had brought their books to read as the kids ran off to play - definitely what I'll be doing next time.

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - a field of cows

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - entrance to Strawberry Castle play area

It was super busy on the day we visited but we managed to find a good spot on the grass and enjoyed a little sunbathing session as the kids ran off to play hide and seek amongst it all.

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - picnic in the park

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Strawberry Castle Play Area

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Strawberry Castle Play Area

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Strawberry Castle Play Area

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Strawberry Castle Play Area

They returned after 45 minutes of playing asking for drinks/ice creams. Ice creams will set you back a cool £2 each and the kiosk does not take card payments. You won't be able to resist so make sure you plan ahead. Their coffee is lovely. I never used to understand how adults could drink coffee on a boiling hot day but now I get it......we need the caffeine!

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Ice Cream Kiosk

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Ice Cream Kiosk

Ice creams finished and after some more play, we packed up our picnic bags and headed to the walled garden. I am a sucker for walking around beautiful flowers and plants and the walled garden will not disappoint.

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden flowers

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden flowers

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden flowers

There was an interesting exhibition in one corner of the garden.......

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden washing line

There is usually always something going on at Gibside. In the past we've enjoyed a blindfolded team-building obstacle course in the woods, bushcraft activities, campfire cooking, den building and made bird feeders. Today's activity was to make your own salad tray. There was no additional charge for this and the volunteer helpers were lovely, taking the time to help H&J. It was really well organised and the kids were very pleased that they could bring their 6 herb and salad plants home......let's hope we can keep them alive!

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden create your own salad tray activity

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden create your own salad tray activity


Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden create your own salad tray activity


Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden create your own salad tray activity

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - Walled Garden create your own salad tray activity

We ended our afternoon with a couple of refreshing drinks from Gibside's tearoom. Their courtyard had some lovely shaded seats and it was a nice place to cool down before our journey home.

Gibside - A North East National Trust Property that's ideal for Picnics, Adventure Playground fun and beautiful gardens - tea room / coffee shop outdoor seating area

Need to Know




I'd love to hear about your favourite National Trust property :-) 

Disclosure: We paid for our own day out
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20 comments

  1. Still not made it! Every time we drive past the sign I say Oooh Gibside so we will get there one day!

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  2. It's such a FAB place... our boys absolutely love the adventure playground! The first time we went it wasn't so hot so we managed to walk quite a long way and explore the other play areas. Well worth the effort! Lovely post Sam x

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  3. So glad you've finally got the car! It looks lovely there, looks so interactive and beautiful for a day out x

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  4. looks like a great place for a day out. my fave national trust place is tredegar house! it's right on my door step and as well as having the historical element its also got a great woodland which is perfect for walking the dogs.

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  5. Gorgeous pictures! I've lived in England for two years but still feel like there is so much I could do! Thanks for sharing the experience!

    Mika | www.la-french-connection.com

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  6. Have never been, but it looks like a beautiful place for a family day out. x

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  7. The photos are beautiful, so bright and summery! This place looks wonderful :)

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  8. It's really good to see kids engaged with gardening. I learnt so much from my mum and it makes me the keen gardener I am today.

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  9. What an absolutely beautiful looking place to go to - that park looks like so much fun as well. x

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  10. The walled garden sounds lovely. When I was younger we always used to go to national trust places but haven't been to any in a while! I love the wild flowers at St Mary's place x

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  11. This looks like an absolutely stunning day out, looks like you had the perfect weather too!

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  12. It looks like such a beautiful place to visit. Beautiful pictures. I wish we had a garden as both my kids love gardening (they help in the gardens at their school and nursery)

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  13. That's great that you have a car now, more chance to explore out and about. Great photos x

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  14. We love exploring our local National Trust properties - we're lucky to have some really stunning ones near us. Great day out, isn't it? x

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  15. Gibside is beautiful! It is great that you now have a car too that is brilliant.

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  16. This looks like so much fun, and my kind of festival. It's good that there is so much for kids to do too.

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  17. I really like Gibside, i've not done or seen any of the activities or exhibitions as such, but have walked round the grounds and was a good day out. Nice to see the other side of things that I haven't experienced at the same place :-)

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  18. It looks as though you had an amazing time and there was so many things to do x

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  19. This looks like a beautiful place with lots to do - I'm a big fan of National Trust sites!

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  20. This looks like a beautiful place with lots to do - I'm a big fan of National Trust sites!

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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