Jesmond Dene is a beautiful woodland area just outside of Newcastle. It serves as a great park and place to escape the city as well as there being regular events going on. Here is your ultimate guide to visiting!
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Let’s get into it!
Where to park when visiting Jesmond Dene?
There are some pay and display parking spots along Benton Bank which is just next to Armstrong Bridge (where the food market sets up). However, on Market Day this was incredibly busy so you may struggle to get a spot.
Postcode: NE2 2JY
There is also a car park next to Paddy Freeman’s play park which is just a little further along the dene. This is another small pay and displays car park.
Postcode: NE7 7AH
The other option is to park in the streets nearby. Usually, I hate to suggest this to my readers as I would hate to have a load of people parking outside of my own house. However, there aren’t many other options. The streets just off Jesmond Dene Road are permit holders only during peak times, but when we visited on a Saturday, it was fine to park there. So this could be a backup if the parking spots on Benton Bank are full.
History of Jesmond Dene
I think in order to truly appreciate just how incredible Jesmond Dene really is, you have to understand some of its histories.
The dene was once nothing more than a valley with a river Ouseburn along which water mills stood along. However, when these mills were no longer needed the land was fairly cheap and up for sale so a man called Lord Armstrong bought much of the land here.
Lord Armstrong is also the man responsible for landscaping and creating the magnificent Cragside which is a phenomenally beautiful national trust site in Northumberland.
Lord Armstrong worked his magic on the dene also, bringing different trees and plants to the area, shaping the river, building the mill which still stands there today and putting up the bridge which allows you to have a view of the waterfall here.
He also built the Jesmond Dene house and lived here, thus the dene was his own private garden. However, he did allow it to be open to the public a couple times a week for a fee – this was then donated to the local hospital.
in 1884, Lord Armstrong gave the land to the city of Newcastle and it was opened to the public permanently.
Things to do at Jesmond Dene
Jesmond Dene is full of real history, natural beauty and great walking trails. So you don’t want to miss any of it. A great way to make sure you don’t is to have a look at a map of the park first. The organisation Friends of Jesmond Dene has a downloadable map on their website so you have it on your phone ready for your visit. The link is HERE.
Jesmond Dene is a great place to walk around, or even run or bike if you fancy it! There is also a grassy field space in the north of the park towards Paddy Freeman’s park which is a great spot for a picnic or even games like rounders in the summer.
Not to be missed spots of Jesmond Dene:
When walking around the Dene, here are the key spots you don’t want to miss:
- The Waterfall
- The stepping stones
- The old mill
- Armstrong Bridge
- Pets Corner
Jesmond Dene Pets Corner
Inside the dene, there is a small petting zoo called Pets Corner. It is home to goats, sheep, peacocks, rabbits, and more. You are welcome to see them and on occasion stoke the animals.
I got to pet a huge fuzzy bunny when I was there so I was thrilled!!
Pets Corner is open every day 11am – 3pm except on bank holidays.
It is a small area but it is really sweet and the people who work there were very friendly which makes all the difference.
Jesmond Dene Food Market
Jesmond Dene Food Market is a great place to visit. I have been meaning to visit for the longest time but I am so glad I finally did. Jesmond Food Market takes place every first and third Saturday, 10am-3pm on Armstrong Bridge.
The market is a gathering of all the best northeast foodie traders. The full list of stalls is posted on the market’s Facebook page a few days before the market day so you can see who is turning up.
There were so many food stalls to choose from. However, it does get busy and the stalls do sell out of their food so if you see something you want, I would recommend just grabbing it as I’d hate for you to miss out!
There are generally around 30-40 different vendors to try selling a bit of everything. There were coffee stalls, takeaway stalls, bakerys, a fish monger, a fruit and veg stand, and even a cheese stall!
We visited a few places. We tried coffee from both North Shore Coffee and Ouseburn Coffee – Both was incredible but Ouseburn had more finesse with theirs which you could taste in their product!
I also tried the plant-based Dawgs which were incredible. I genuinely don’t know how that hotdog wasn’t meat!
And then of course we had to finish off with a sweet treat. There were loads of places selling different cakes, doughnuts and brownies it was hard to choose. But we ended up with these two but I cannot for the life of me remember where I bought them from. But they were delicious!!!
Jesmond Dene Services
Within the dene, there are toilets right next to the cafe.
Millfield House, the cafe in Jesmond Dene is open 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 4:30pm on weekends.
Overall the park is wheelchair and pushchair accessible however it is a little hilly as it is a dene following a river so keep that in mind. Most of the park is paved however in the autumn and winter when the leaves fall I imagine it becomes very muddy and slippery.
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Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!
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