Parks and Gardens
There are plenty of green spaces in and around Newcastle upon Tyne,where you can take a walk, ride a bike, use the play and exercise facilities and enjoy the fresh air. You never have to travel far to be closer to nature and there are some great places to visit, from local parks to National Trust gardens.
The Alnwick Garden, in the market town of Alnwick, has the Grand Cascade as its centrepiece, the largest water feature of its kind in the UK. There is also the Rose Garden, the Ornamental Garden, the Serpent Garden with its numerous water sculptures, the Bamboo Labyrinth, the Poison Garden, the Woodland Walk, and the world’s largest wooden tree house. The garden is accessible for people with disabilities and wheelchairs are available to hire.
Elderberries runs at Alnwick Gardens. It aims to provide exciting opportunities for people aged over 50 and including reflexology, as well as events for people with dementia and a tea dance. To find out more about the Elderberries project contact Alnwick Garden.
Armstrong Park and Heaton Park are situated side by side, separated by Jesmond Vale Lane and close to Jesmond Dene. Facilities include a bowling green, tennis and basketball courts, a terraced pavilion, a football area and a children’s play area. There is also a picnic area and seating around the parks. Heaton Park has a Friends of the Park Group.
Birkheads Secret Garden situated in rural Gateshead between Beamish Open Air Museum & Tanfield Steam Railway, has three acres of themed gardens including formal topiary, herbaceous borders, gravel garden, Bowes Railway garden, wild flower meadow, wildlife pond, meditation garden, winter garden and beachcombers garden. There is also a nursery where you can purchase plants and a coffee shop.
Bolam Lake Country Park in Northumberland features lakeside, woodland and open grassed areas and is popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It is accessible for wheelchairs. The lake is also available to be used for canoeing and fishing, by permit.
Durham University’s Botanic Garden is open to the public. There is a visitor centre, coffee shop, gift shop and toilet facilities.
Bradley Gardens is situated on the edge of the Tyne Valley. Just 9 miles from the heart of Newcastle, this 18th century walled garden has now been brought back to its former glory and is continuing to grow and flourish. Has a plant shop and cafe.
Chopwell Wood has walking and cycling trails across woodland.
Elswick Park has a mixture of shrubbery, mature trees and grassed areas. The park plays a vital role in community life. Within the park is a children’s play area, tennis courts, basketball courts and a 5-a-side area. Steps within the park are long and shallow. Two new footpaths have been installed with a shallower gradient making access for wheelchairs, prams and the elderly a lot easier. However, due to the topography of the park some paths are not accessible for wheelchair users.
Exhibition Park is a formal city park that has facilities including tennis courts, a play area, a cafe and a lake. Exhibition Park is also home to an adult (Saturday at 9 am) and junior (Sunday at 9 am) park run as well as the Tyneside Croquet Club and Model Railway Group – Exhibition Park
Fenham Pocket Park is a small community space for people to meet and relax. It is situated between Fenham pool and the library.
Gibside, a National Trust property, is an 18th century landscaped forest garden, featuring riverside and woodland walks. The grounds are also home to Gibside Chapel, which can be booked for weddings. Events are often held in the grounds, visit the website for further details and opening times. Gibside is partially accessible for people with disabilities and wheelchairs are available but must be booked in advance.
The park is situated in Gosforth, to the north of the city. It lies close to Gosforth High Street and the Shopping Centre and is easily accessible by bus and by Metro. There are seven entrances.
There are two hard courts for tennis and one for basketball. Tennis and basketball is free to all visitors. The Gosforth Central Bowling Club uses the bowling green for matches and competitions. Non-members are welcome to use the green and hire bowls, at an hourly rate
The Friends of Gosforth Central Park aim to encourage local residents to become involved in the maintenance and improvement of the park.
Hamsterley Forest is suitable for walking, mountain biking and horse riding. A place for adventure with the family.
Harbottle Park was redesigned in 2011, by joining the former St Anthony’s Park and the Allendale Recreation ground. It has open grassed areas, a football pitch and children’s play area; the southern part of the park lies within a wildlife corridor and has 4 small wooded areas which are managed more for wildlife.
Hodgkin Park was donated to the City Council by Thomas Hodgkin for the benefit and recreation of local people. The park originally had bowling greens, bandstands and ponds to complement its substantial tree cover. The park is in two parts, dissected by Armstrong Road The two parts of the park are different in character. Hodgkin Park north is smaller and more secluded and enclosed. The southern park is more open.
Iris Brickfield is a neighbourhood green space. The area is popular with local people and includes play areas, a trim trail, wetland and increasing areas of trees and shrubs. Local people have also been involved in developing the site’s wildlife appeal, and host the annual community festival.
Jesmond Dene is a very popular attraction in the heart of Newcastle. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife as well as Pets Corner which houses farmyard animals and birds. It is an excellent place to visit for families with children, as well as those just wanting a quiet stroll along the river. On Sundays, a craft fair is held on the nearby Armstrong Bridge which sells paintings by local artists as well as other handmade goods. Jesmond Dene has a Friends of Jesmond Dene group.
Leazes Park is Newcastle’s oldest public park, with facilities including a fishing lake, tennis, a bowling green, picnic area and children’s play area. Leazes Park has a Friends of the Park Group.
Mowbray Park is one of the oldest municipal parks in the North East. It has been restored to its former Victorian splendour and features an unusual blend of historic and modern features, including an ornamental lake and a children’s play area.
Nuns Moor Park offers tennis courts and a children play area. There is plenty of seating throughout the park as well as picnic tables. The park also has a Sensory Garden which is full of plants with strong scents to allow people with visual impairments to enjoy them. Nuns Moor Park has a Friends of the Park Group. The former Bowling Green is now the Bike Garden, a community space for hire and to get involved. For details of events and activities including bike rides and repairs contact Greening Wingrove. Time Exchange are also active here.
Paddy Freemans is a popular park which has a bowling green, two tennis courts, a playground and a cafe which is open in the summer months. There is plenty of seating throughout the park. Paddy Freemans Park has a Friends of the Park Group.
The Rising Sun Country Park includes ponds, woodlands, grassland and farmland. It is a haven for wildlife and has many interesting walks. The countryside area has an exhibition room and a children’s play area.
Saltwell Park in Gateshead (also known as the People’s Park) is a Victorian Park which has many features including woodland, ornamental gardens, public sports facilities, a lake, play areas, bowling greens, Saltwell Towers, an animal house, an education centre and a maze. The park is open from dawn until dusk throughout the year. Saltwell has a Friends of Saltwell park group.
Scotswood Garden is a unique award-winning garden based at the John Marley Centre. The garden was started in 1995 and has continually grown each year, thanks to the effort of local people and a large number of groups. The garden follows the principles of earth care, people care and fair share. This means that they recycle, waste nothing, and grow organic crops in natural associations, in ways that support wildlife. They have an ongoing programme of events and also have a range of opportunities for volunteers who want to contribute their time. The Elderberries project is based here on Wednesdays and anyone can go along and get involved in environmental projects, gentle gardening or preserve making.
A small park established over 100 years ago on the site of a former clay pit with a range of established trees, a former bowling green and a 5 a side football/basketball court. Several wildflower areas and a vegetable plot have been created and plans are in place to recreate a rose garden and funding is being sought to replace the children’s play area.
Tyne Riverside Country Park is a large country park with miles of paths to explore next to the river, through woods and past farmland. There are parking facilities, a picnic area, toilets, and a cafe. The Tyne Riverside Park has a Friends of the Park Group. This should be accessible to wheelchairs users and buggies as it is flat and there is tarmac.
Walker Park has two bowling greens, tennis and basketball courts and a children’s play area. There is also a small open-air amphitheatre, which is used for the annual samba music festival and other music events. Walker Park has a Friends of the Park Group.
Last updated: July 8, 2020