Saturday, 9 November 2013


Gibside.  Doesn't sound much does it.  But that was where Peter was going this Saturday.  Actually, he was going to do an all day workshop for Gibside Art Group in Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear.  I was at a loose end, and on Friday night I googled "Gibside", and found this: National Trust...... Gibside

Looking into the site a bit further, I found this:

A quick check of the weather forecast, and it turned out that although a good part of the country was due a soaking, Tyne and Wear was gonna have a dry day, so I ambushed Peter when he got home and it was all sorted, I was going with him to the art club, and I would walk from there to Gibside, which was about a mile away.
So, Saturday morning, after helping him set up, I was off.  I was simply after a days pottering, but I took my binoculars as the area is known for red kites.  The townsfolk are obviously very proud of this, or at least the council are, there are signs and pictures of the birds everywhere.   
When I go to Gibside I sort of wandered all over the place. Here are the photo's.
The Chapel
Fantastic autumn colours in the trees behind the chapel
Gibside Hall
Looking over Hollow Walk to the Column to Liberty
I went into the stables to find the loos and a cafe.  Whilst there, I noticed a man and a woman demonstrating or something in the corner, so I went over to see what they were doing.
They were ringing birds.  They had about a dozen or so that had been caught  that morning in nets near feeding tables, mostly blue tits and great tits.  As they extracted each bird carefully from it's individual bag where it was stored, they showed the ring of watchers how they measured, weighed and then ringed them.  Did you know blue tits weigh just a little more than a pound coin?  Amazing!

The birds were then put back in there little bags until it was time to release them about half an hour later.  Then, we walked out to the back of the stables, and the staff released each bird by placing it on its back on the palm of a child.  When they'd run out of children, the adults got a turn.  It was lovely to watch.
A great tit being released.  Sometimes they lie very still on the hand for a few seconds.  Lovely.
After that little bit of excitement, I continued my way around the park, heading for the "Skyline Walk"
Autumn colours again, in Snipes Dean
But still very green as I made my way out of the woods onto the northern most path of the map.
The view from the Skyline Walk
Looking down on the Column to Liberty. 
Back in the park, I spent some time sitting in the wildlife hide.  I was very pleased to see this nuthatch
My "arty pic"
The orangery
I ended my visit in the cafe near the entrance and the walled garden with lovely soup n a roll, enough to see me through till we got home.  Lurrrvvvly.  Oh and I did get to see a red kite, it flew overhead as I walked along the Hollow Walk.  Class!

OK, not my usual days walking, but there are about 15 miles of paths in Gibside, with loads to see as you wander around, so it filled the day nicely, I reckon I easily walked about 8 miles, maybe more. I'd be very happy to visit again if the occasion arises. 


  1. Blimey. I didn't know that place existed. And it's only 40 minutes up the A1M. I've put it on the list.
    Thanks for that. Alen

  2. I enjoyed your pictures and text. Keep it up!!