One of my absolute favorite spots in Newcastle is Jesmond Dene, a large wooded park that runs along the Ouseburn River. The park was built in the 1860s by Lord William Armstrong, a scientist and inventor who also built Cragside, the world’s first house to be lit by hydroelectricity.
Despite my undying love for Jesmond Dene, I only managed to make two visits to the park, and both were within a few weeks of each other on the “warmest” days of Spring. Nothing was blooming yet and the trees were still very bare, but there was something so magical about this park that enchanted me even without any greenery.
The little part of my heart dedicated to ruins and abandoned places also found quite a bit to get giddy about. Rock walls and fancy windows are all that is left of the old banqueting hall and the mill, and the vegetation is slowly reclaiming the space once occupied by human industry and culture.
I wish I had been able to go visit again when things were lovely and green. I’m sure it must be absolutely gorgeous. But of all the parks I’ve ever visited, Jesmond Dene earned itself a spot among the greats. It’s perfect for an evening stroll with friends, and it’s definitely on my Must See list for Newcastle visitors.
If you're planning a trip, here are some sites that I've found especially useful:
Booking.com is a great resource for cheap accommodations. They have a good variety of both hotels and hostels, so no matter your budget, you're bound to find something to suit.
Hostelworld is also good for cheap accommodations if you're digging the hostel scene.
TripAdvisor has a lot of very useful information, from reviews of attractions and travel-related businesses to forums where you can ask your questions and have them answered by locals or travel experts.
When was the last time you visited your favorite park? Plan some time this week to spend some time in nature, alone or with your family. Be sure to write about your experience in your journal—or take your journal to the park and write there!
I’d love to hear about your park, too! Tell me about it in the comments below or over on Facebook, or tag your pictures on Instagram with #jestkeptsecret.
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Jesmond Dene sounds to me like a good name for a character in a fantasy novel, Jess. Your first name is even part of it. 🙂 Do you know how the place got its name?
It’s in an area of Newcastle called Jesmond, and Dene is a British word for “a vale, especially the deep, narrow, wooded valley of a small river.” I agree that it would make a great name in a fantasy novel!