Hidden gems in Gateshead: Nine places you must visit in and around Gateshead

Hidden gems in Gateshead: Nine places you must visit in and around Gateshead
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We all know about Gateshead’s iconic gems.
From the Angel of the North to Sage Gateshead and Baltic , they are all known around the globe and attract thousands of visitors each year.
Add to those the likes of Chopwell Woods , Saltwell Park, Shipley Art Gallery, Little Theatre, Derwent Valley and Gateshead Stadium , the town and its surrounding area is a treasure trove of places to go.
But it also boasts some hidden gems that perhaps you - and Gateshead residents themselves, as one of our reporters has proved – know nothing, or little about.
The Gateshead’s Great Outdoors campaign, run by Gateshead Council in partnership with Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, will be officially launched in a few weeks time.
But today we visit some lesser known Gateshead attractions that you should maybe put on your bucketlist.

Old Hollinside Manor

Hollinside Manor, one of Gateshead's hidden gems
Hollinside Manor, one of Gateshead's hidden gems 
Hollinside Manor is an excellent example of a 13th century fortified manor house situated east of the Nine Arches Viaduct in the Derwent Walk Country Park.
From its elevated position, there are commanding views of the surrounding countryside.
It was the home of the Harding family for two centuries during which time the manor became known as the ‘Giant’s Castle’ since the men folk were very tall.
The estate passed on to George Bowes of Gibside in 1730 for the sum of £10,000. The remains, the standing parts of which are Listed Grade I, include a ruined fortified hall house, an attached wing to the north east and associated earthworks.

Crowley Iron Works

On the Derwent Walk
On the Derwent Walk 
Those out walking or cycling in Derwent Walk Country Park may not be aware of the area’s amazing history as the greatest producer of ironware in Europe.
In 1691 Ambrose Crowley established one of the very first factories using the water power of the river Derwent to drive huge machines to produce wrought iron.
This was then hand forged in local workshops to manufacture a huge variety of ironware including nails, chains, scythes, hoes, pots and pans.
Crowley also designed and commissioned the building of a ‘model village’ to house employees which became known as Winlaton Mill. A stone dam which has been reclaimed by nature near Clockburn Lake is now all that remains of this incredible tale.

Path Head Water Mill

Path Head Water Mill
Path Head Water Mill 
Nestled away on the road out of Blaydon towards Ryton is Path Head Water Mill, an 18th Century feat of engineering.
The mill is located in a tranquil valley, adjacent to meadows and wooded walks with picnic facilities and a safe garden area.
Visitors to the mill can sketch or paint in the peace and quiet, enjoying the natural surroundings of the building and the millpond. It provides an opportunity to escape the hustle of the city and enjoy the views and wildlife whilst appreciating the past.
During the summer, the mill is open from 10am until 5pm.

Thornley Woodland Centre

Thornley Woodland Centre
Thornley Woodland Centre 
Located between Winlaton Mill and Rowlands Gill , Thornley Woodland Centre serves the woodlands of the Derwent Walk Country Park.
Once a base for the local park rangers, the cabin has now been converted into a cosy cafe serving delicious locally produced and seasonal food, including healthy homemade soups, toasties and hot and cold drinks.
Friendly staff are on hand to provide information and advice on the local area, whilst a selection of wildlife information and children’s activity sheets are displayed around the Centre.
Facilities include toilets and parking. The Centre is easily accessible, just off the A694 with a nearby bus stop.

Milkwellburn Wood

Milkwellburn Wood, located near Blackhall Mill, is a long-term woodland project.
There is an excellent network of surfaced tracks weaving through the woodland, providing access for wheelchairs and pushchairs, and perfect for walkers and runners.

Ryton Willows Nature Reserve

Located between the River Tyne and the attractive ‘old’ Ryton village, Ryton Willows features beautiful grassland, ponds, woodland and open spaces, all of which attract people to enjoy this peaceful place.
Due to its rich variety of locally-rare species of flora and fauna, the ponds have been identified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Today a quiet and picturesque spot, the reserve sits on the site of the Battle of Newburn Ford which took place in August 1640 and was a significant event leading up to the start of the English Civil War.

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