Gibside - Summer 2014

Gibside is one of our favourite National Trust properties. A group of us (5 adults and 9 children) were staying at Westwood Yurts for 2 nights (look out for the blog post soon) which actually form part of the Gibside estate and allow you un-restricted access to everything Gibside has to offer - even after it closes to the public.

WestWood Yurts on The Gibside estate

Our group decided to spend the full day exploring Gibside. It is about a 20 minute walk to the Strawberry Castle Play area but we decided to take the scenic route (also known as getting lost) and walked past the beautiful Chapel and avenue.

The Strawberry castle play area is simply fantastic for children aged 10 and under. There is so much to do from the gigantic castle to zip wires and even pretend stocks. We set up camp and laid out our picnic and spent a wonderful few hours here relaxing in the sun while the children played. There is a little hut that sells hot and cold drinks plus delicious ice cream and the play area has it's own bathroom facilities. Perfect! 

I just love the scenery around Gibside, especially on a sunny day.

After lunch we decided to walk to the blind folded challenge. This was a simple obstacle course in the woods designed to be attempted in teams of two - with one of you blind folded and one guiding the way. This was suitable for all ages and was very well supervised. We loved it and went around three times!

At this point our group split up into their family groups - some of us went off to explore the low and high rope challenges (they had older children in their group), another family caught the bus to the stables to visit the indoor play area and seek refuge from the sun. We decided to visit the den building area of the woods where we also found Gibside volunteers toasting marshmallows on a campfire and encouraging others to have a go too. The boys loved making a den and I was very impressed with their efforts.

By this point we had spent approximately 6 hours walking around and exploring Gibside so it was definitely time to walk through the woods back to our Yurts for a much needed rest. Some of our group returned to the den building later that evening.

Every time we visit Gibside we always find something new to discover. We love it! Can't wait to see what Autumn has in store.


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