Gibside with a Stick!

Gibside with a Stick!

We were in the fortunate position of having Daddy Foote’s car, a full tank of fuel, and a sunny day with time to kill. So we headed out to Gibside! We’re really enjoying having National Trust membership, especially now the weather has perked up.

As soon as we arrived, James looked around the carpark for the perfect stone (the carpark is gravelled), but apparently there weren’t any of exactly the right size or shape. Anyway, no matter, because he happened upon a stick.

The stick was lovely, and James happily ran along the bridge with his stick, until he became slightly distracted by some preschoolers. He followed them around until I reminded him there’s a castle to explore.


First, though, a quick climb on the wall, up around the chapel wall and a quick look inside. James likes the ceiling in there because it’s a circle. I didn’t take a photo of that, but if you’ve been you’ll know it’s pretty.

Gibside chapel side view

The chapel from the side


I was a bit distracted by the fact they’ve closed the lawn to allow the grass to grow, and I’ve never seen it so empty before!


lawn at gibside, view from chapel

I’ve never seen the lawn without people on before! Even in snowy weather!


Then we wandered along the path to the Strawberry Castle playing area. Now, a very interesting thing occurred here. For the first time I decided to show James where I would be sitting, and then told him he could play till he needed a wee. I also pointed out the toilets, and then he ran off and got on with it! So no photos of him clambering about the climbing frame today. It’s a really great play area, with different levels to climb on, and a few treehouse structures apart from the wooden fort-cum-castle.

I sat with Noah and chatted with some other parents. I had a really lovely time, and found it very restorative to talk about things other than just spot James while he climbs!

Then it was time to go, past the sheep in the fields with their bouncy lambs. It really feels like spring time when you see lambs, doesn’t it?!

      On the way back, James examined the floor of the path until he found his stick again. He’d dropped it along the way to the castle, but obviously although it had been out of sight, it hadn’t been out of mind!

We shared a Calippo before we left. What a lovely sunshiney day!

Running in Lavender

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Mami 2 Five
Stunning 18th-century landscape garden and haven for nature - gibside

Leave a comment

  1. April 14, 2015 / 10:30 pm

    I haven’t been to Gibside for ages but love it there. Your photos are beautiful and this makes me want to plan a summer day exploring the grounds!

    • April 15, 2015 / 11:53 am

      It’s a lovely place isn’t it. We saw a red kite flying around as we arrived. Beautiful nature!

    • April 15, 2015 / 11:54 am

      It really is a gorgeous place!

  2. April 15, 2015 / 4:51 pm

    What a fantastic milestone to have James run off playing by himself to allow you some time with Noah/other grown ups. If there is any park that can do this it is certainly Strawberry castle – we love it. We stayed in the Westwood yurts at Gibside last year and you have after hours access to Gibside which is just perfect. Lovely to see photographs with sunshine too!

    • April 19, 2015 / 10:16 pm

      Sounds wonderful to stay in yurts after hours! How much fun would that be before bed?!

  3. April 16, 2015 / 8:26 am

    Look like you had a wonderful time. Love that he found his stick again 🙂 #mycapturedmoment

    • April 19, 2015 / 10:17 pm

      Yes, he was pretty careful to find it again. If I’d known he wanted it back I’d’ve made a note of where he’d dropped it.

  4. April 16, 2015 / 8:45 am

    I love National Trust properties – there’s always so much space for running around and you know the essential facilities are not far away. Lovely pictures. It looks like you had a great time #MyCapturedMoment

    • April 19, 2015 / 10:18 pm

      The national trust is brilliant; were enjoying our membership very much.

  5. snowingindoors
    April 16, 2015 / 10:48 am

    Sounds like a great day out, my son loves to collect sticks and pebbles too, heaven forbid I ‘accidently’ lose any of them 😉

    • April 19, 2015 / 10:19 pm

      Haha, yes, exactly that! He gives me stones as presents sometimes, I don’t know if it’s okay to lose those ir not so end up with pockets full of stones too!

  6. April 16, 2015 / 6:09 pm

    Ooh this place looks gorgeous! We’ve also got National Trust Membership this year and really making the most of it. Theses are beautiful pictures and lovely moments to capture. Thanks for sharing xx

    • April 19, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      So beautiful isn’t it.

      Thanks for hosting #mycapturedmoment I’ve never joined in before!

  7. April 16, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    It looks like a lovely day was had by all! Gibside looks lovely -we love The National Trust too. Doesn’t it make a difference when you can leave them to play, I bet he loved having the chance to be independence. How cute that he looked for his stick on the way out?

    • April 19, 2015 / 10:21 pm

      Gibside to s great, so gorgeous. We saw red kites flying around the car park on our way in, how fab is that?!

  8. April 18, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    Looks like a nice day, we’re big fans of the National Trust too. Its so nice when you find an area that you can let them run loose and explore!

    • April 19, 2015 / 10:22 pm

      This play area is great as it’s sort of enclosed but not, so ideal for a first free play session!

  9. April 19, 2015 / 5:33 am

    This looks lovely! I love the National Trust Houses and Parks but have never been to Gibside before. #sundaystars

    • April 19, 2015 / 10:23 pm

      Gibside is beautiful, but so many national trust properties are, too. Always worth w trip out!

  10. April 19, 2015 / 6:48 am

    Oooh lovely! I dream of the days where I can say ‘I’ll wait here, off you go and play’- can’t wait!

    • April 19, 2015 / 8:22 pm

      It was our first time, though I’ve wondered, on reflection, if perhaps he’s too young because other parents have tried to ‘help’ him on climbing frames since then. I know he doesn’t need help, but the judgey eyes are getting to me a bit!!

      • April 20, 2015 / 12:20 am

        Haha. Oh yes, I am very familiar with judgy eyes. You should have seen the Thai people’s faces at the restaurant yesterday when I put the baby’s food on the (wiped by me) table and led him feed himself. I think it was akin to handing him a dirty syringe to play with.

  11. April 20, 2015 / 8:05 am

    Gibside looks like the perfect place to explore with James and Noah, plenty of play space and fresh air. It’s great that you felt confident enough there to let James play by himself on the play area, that’s a big step. James looks like he really enjoyed his day out in the sunshine. Who needs real toys when you can play with sticks and stones! Thanks for linking up with Country Kids.

  12. April 21, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Gibside is definitely on my list for this Summer, let’s hope the lovely weather in the North East continues

    • April 21, 2015 / 8:47 pm

      I’ve been wandering around in shorts. I’m going to have a farmer’s tan by the time I go on holiday if the weather holds!

  13. April 24, 2015 / 7:19 am

    Oh wow it looks fantastic there – look at those lawns! Looks like you had such a fun time – thanks for sharing 🙂 Jess x #sundaystars

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