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CHRISTMAS AT GIBSIDE: Local beauty spot plans for return of festive fun

CHRISTMAS AT GIBSIDE: Local beauty spot plans for return of festive fun

The Ignite trail at Gibside in December, Image: Newcastle Chronicle

Plans for a return of  festive fun at a Gateshead beauty spot have been lodged with the authority.

Gibside National Trust is behind proposals to install an illuminated trail through grounds and gardens along with the erection of temporary food and drinks stalls and fairground rides.

If Gateshead Council gives the proposals the green-light then the attractions will be in place between November and January for a rolling period of three years.

A planning document filed with the council said the trail will run from November 26 until January 2 2022 with another two weeks needed to take it down.

The new plans have been lodged following an event, called Ignite, which was put on by Raymond Gubbay Ltd & Culture Creative, between December 11 and December 30 last year.

Following the success of the event, a bigger and better spectacle is planned for this year and the future.

The document said: “As a result of the positive demand for this event, the partners have decided to enlarge and extend the offer to a full illuminated trail.”

A promotional feature published in the Chronicle promised families a “soundscape to inspire the senses”, and a “brightly lit pathway will show you its fiery interpretation of the stars and spheres against the backdrop of the night sky, along with other flora and fantasy objects”.

It said the hour-long discovery trail has been specially designed to make the “great outdoors magical, and for all members of the family to enjoy.”

 Eighteenth-century landscape garden, Gibside was the vision of a coal magnate named George Bowes and his personal retreat, but it is now in possession of the National Trust and can now be enjoyed by everyone.

The garden includes a tree-lined avenue, Palladian Chapel and an orangery situated withing a peaceful woodland.

The grand ruin of Gibside Hall within the garden was formerly inhabited by heiress Mary Eleanor Bowes.

Gateshead Council is expected to decide on the proposals by mid October.


Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter

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