Travel UK

Travel || Jesmond Dene, Newcastle, England

After we came back from Turkey we moved to Newcastle for a month so the RSC’s season at the Theatre Royal as our final RSC push before returning to live in London after almost a year. We’ve been staying in digs in Jesmond and I love that part of Newcastle. It’s such good fun and surprisingly beautiful! But mostly I loved it because we are so close to Jesmond Dene.

Jesmond Dene is a large public park in a steep valley with the river (stream?) Ouseburn. In England, these small valleys are called denes. (*The more you know jingle*).

The park was originally owned by a ridiculously wealthy man named William Armstrong and has woodlands, crags, waterfalls, mills, pools and picnic areas. There’s also a great petting zoo called “Pet’s Corner” that has free entry!

On the west side of Jesmond Dene are the ruins of St Mary’s Chapel. It was built in the 12th century and was one of the four major pilgrimage sites in England!

st mary's chapel jesmond dene

People still leave their own makeshift shrines.

st. mary's chapel ruins

St. Mary’s ruins from the road.

st mary's chapel jesmond dene
More objects left at the ruins of St Mary’s Chapel.
st mary's chapel jesmond dene
A piece of stained glass that remains in the ruined wall.
A short distance from the chapel is St. Mary’s Well. During the cold weather, the warmer water bubbling up from the natural spring is said to produce a vapor cloud. Pilgrims traveling to St. Mary’s Chapel would stop and bottle some of the water for its propertied healing powers. The engraving over the well once read “Hail Mary full of grace” in latin, but only the word “Gratia” remains today.
 
st. mary's well jesmond dene
Steps down to the well and basin.
st. mary's well jesmond dene
Shrine atop the well.
st mary's well jesmond dene
Scooping up some of water.
st. mary's well jesmond dene

I don’t know how “healing” the water is as Sam and I got horrible colds over the next few days.

jesmond dene
The tunnel to cross over into the park.
jesmond dene
And the monster that ran out of the tunnel.
 
Lord Armstrong's Banquet Hall! jesmond dene
Lord Armstrong’s Banquet Hall!
jesmond dene
Sam exploring.
 
The best part of this walk was that we had no idea that any of this was here! We just set out on a nice afternoon autumnal walk and stumbled upon this whole amazing adventure.
jesmond dene
Closest bridge to the mill.
jesmond dene waterfall
The really impressive waterfall, considering it is in the city!
jesmond dene mill
The mill. But the waterwheel is still there- it was really great to see that it hadn’t rotted away or been removed!
 
jesmond dene
 
rhyme & ribbons newcastle england
One of the many bridges.
jesmond dene
Jesmond Dene from above.
 
I think Newcastle is extraordinarily lucky to have such an amazing outdoor space so close to the city center! (Although my heart will always be stolen by Hampstead Heath in terms of favourite outdoor space in a city.)

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  • This is amazing! I can’t believe I’ve never been there! To be fair, I only go to Newcastle to shop, drink and go to restaurants though… I’ve never had a reason to go to Jesmond.

    • Haha that’s totally fair, that’s why most people travel into Newcastle! (Especially for the drinking…) x

  • Rachel Wright

    Looks like you guys had a great time! I am in love with that stained glass in the ruined wall. Amazingly beautiful!!

  • So gorgeous! I should go visit my friend 🙂

  • This is so pretty! It sounds like the “healing” water is contaminated with other people’s sicknesses. Yuck. Hope you’re feeling better!

    • Haha I honestly think it was! Oh well! I’m feeling MUCH better now though, but for a few days I was absolutely miserable ;( x

  • What a wonderful place! I love the stained glass window tht is left, and the history of the place. Lovely post!

    • Thank you! I adored this little church. The amazing thing was that we just stumbled across it- we didn’t expect to find it at all! (The little window is my favourite bit as well) xx

  • Betsy

    Beautiful! When I come visit you’ll take me there right? : D

  • Pretty place, a great place with a quite walk around. Yes, that waterfall is surprisingly big (and muddy) for being in the city.

  • You certainly live in the right country for all of the exploring that you get up to! Do you like to explore everywhere that you live? Or is it just in England because of all of the history around you!?

    • I love exploring everywhere I live. But I do LOVE history so it’s just lucky really that England has amazing historic places to explore. Otherwise my blog would be a lot of picture of parks and things… x

  • Karly Kim

    This is gorgeous! I want to go to all of these places with you.

  • Mo Olivas

    It looks beautiful! I wish there were places like this around me. Unfortunately there’s only desert…..Oh well. The desert can be beautiful too sometimes! Lol.

    • Desert definitely can be beautiful too! (I grew up in New Mexico and I still think it’s one of the most stunning places around!) xx

  • That is an amazing park, especially considering it’s in the city. I would love to walk through it especially in fall when all the colours are so beautiful. I guess that means going back to Newcastle to explore some day.

    • It’s so beautiful. I wouldn’t go to Newcastle just for this walk. But if you were in the area than I would 100% recommend making it a scheduled stop! x

      • I wish I had known sooner haha, I was in Newcastle last May as a starting point to travel around Scotland. But I go to the UK a lot so I’m bound to end up there again some day

  • Elle

    Oh my gosh. This is soooo beautiful!