Culture: Gibside, National Trust

Walking though the parallel trees at National Trust's Gibside in Newcastle

Gibside Park

Gibside is one of my favourite places in the world. It's beautiful, calm and quiet. Full of nature and simply stunning whatever the weather, whichever the season.

Located just outside of Newcastle, Gibside is one of the 300 National Trust properties in the UK.  Gibside is an 18th Century estate with landscape gardens, acres of fields and trees and multiple walkways showcasing the remaining buildings on the estate as well as the trees, plants and flowers.

 Posing up a storm on the steps of Gibside's chapel
I've been coming to Gibside ever since I started dating Adam all those yonks ago. He is originally from Newcastle (yes, I have my own Geordie) and his family still live just outside the city. It's hard to think of Gibside being so close to the hustle and bustle of the university city and home of the 'Geordie Shore' crew. But it's honestly the most amazing place.

Admiring the changing tree colours
Despite traveling all over Europe with Adam, this is my favourite place we've been to together. As soon as you walk through the gates, everything seems calm, I can easily get lost in the surroundings and peace and quiet for an afternoon and even an entire day in this beautiful space.

The chapel wasn't open, but I couldn't resist a peak inside.
Gibside still has an open, Anglican Chapel as the heart of the estate. You can even get married there! The Chapel is currently only open on a Saturday and a Sunday, but you can get a sneak peek through the key hole, or jump up high to get a glimpse of the 18th century features & decor inside through the window!

A view of the Gibside Chapel from one of the walkways

Following on from nosey-ing through the Chapel door, we headed on a walkway towards the children's play area. Adam this time decided he wanted to be in the picture...

Adam, getting in a selfie
He's also quite handy for candid shots, such as this one of me in raucous laughter, he must have done something funny!

Adam making me laugh in my new Made To Fly Eyewear vintage 70's specs
We walked away from the Chapel building, admiring the trees, leaves on the ground and the many sheep in the distance! Whilst it was quite chilly, we both kept warm in winter coats, jumpers and gloves. There was no way he'd loose me in my big 'Buggles' vintage, reclaimed specs and bright blue coat from Mountain Warehouse!

Exploring through the trees

Kids Playground

Never to big to be in the kid's playground
I've spent many a happy hour in this playground, despite the fact that I'm now 21 and have absolutely no excuse other than being a giant kid.

Last year, Adam and I had the whole playground to ourselves on a very cold and wet weekday in November, we embraced the cold and our inner children and jumped on all the swings, hammocks, slides, climbing frames and play houses. It was brilliant. The zip wire was the highlight and there are some pretty hilarious videos in my possession of both of us looking totally ridiculous in the snow!

This year, we managed to have the playground to ourself again, result! After discovering and visiting cultural places and heritage sights over the years, I've learnt to enjoy every moment and take every opportunity offered, like an empty playground and the opportunity to make some pretty funny memories.

On the zip-line, clearly having the time of my life! 

Going For A Wander

So many beautiful colours on the ground and above in the trees
After burning off all that energy, we headed up the hill into the trees, changing paths and seeing where it would take us...

On a hill climb in search of the bird hut.
We stopped to look at tree markings, plants and I even found my first fern after coming back from New Zealand!  We get so caught up in our busy lifestyles that we sometimes forget to appreciate the nature and the beauty that's on offer, thats so often close by or on our doorstep.

I found a fern in Britain. Giving me New Zealand foraging flashbacks!

Admiring the water and the beautiful nature all around

Green, green, red.
Whilst on our walk, we came across streams, little huts and even a wooden mole!

I found a mole!


Adam, clearly in a world of his own, whilst I mess with the camera
The green markings on the trees indicate the trees being cut down in order to make a more wildlife friendly environment to encourage the growth of other plants and trees and bring different animals, birds and insects to the park (Which I found out about by reading up on the green dots on their visitor information board.)

Animals at Gibside also come in a wooden form! Look up around the park and you'll find a variety of carved animals and birds adorning the tress and wildlife huts.

I spy a bat!

Finding out about the tree culling and replant happening at Gibside

Time For Tea

The courtyard housing the coffee shop and second hand book store

After all that walking (5km) it was time for a hot drink and a scone, how British! We had coffee and cake in their stables courtyard coffee shop, and had a browse in their second hand book shop.

I made a friend!
Cake and coffee went down a treat! At 4pm we called it a day, the night was setting in and the lights outside were dimming, so we headed for home, stopping just outside the stables to have a read of their information plaque, before getting on the main trail then the parallel trees trail to the exit.

Learning about the park's histories outside the stables

The monument in the distance

Walking back towards home...

You can find out more about Gibside here, I'd highly recommend it and they have some lovely markets, events and pizza evenings on throughout the year. A real treat.

It was such a lovely relaxing trip, that I thoroughly enjoyed and I'll be back soon to go back to the bird hide we couldn't find!

Clo :)

The photographs in this post were taken by my boyfriend, Adam Hampton-Matthews on a canon 5D

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