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North East Walks- Jesmond

Andrew Clarey Out and about

Jesmond Dene really is something special. It is a green lung running through the heart of Newcastle through a deep ancient ravine and it is hard to believe you are so close to the city centre. Despite being from the North East, it is a place I have only recently discovered it and it was a revelation.

There are numerous paths running through the Dene, and given its linear nature it’s impossible to get lost. This walk focuses on the main path which follows the line of the River Ouse.

The walk starts at Millfield house, a former mill below the magnificent cast iron Armstrong bridge. Millfield House has recently been re-developed into a high-quality café and visitor centre and is a great place to grab a coffee at the end of the walk.

Follow the river path past Pet’s Corner – popping in to look at the pets. I think it must have been their day off when we visited as there were only a few birds, but I am told that there is usually more to see.

Even in the winter, the Dene feels lush, with trees and shrubbery engulfing the sides of the ravine, framing several picturesque bridges. Follow the river path, passing several of these bridges until the path terminates where there has been a landslip. It is necessary to cross the bridge towards ‘picnic field' (which does exactly what it says on the tin) as it is one of the few large open spaces in the Dene and is often heaving with sunbathers and picnickers in the summer months.

Close by are the remains of an ancient water mill (with wheel still intact) the view from the bridge is probably the most iconic view of the Dene and it has been photographed for centuries. On the opposite side of the bridge is a dramatic waterfall, the two combined provide the standout feature of the walk.

Follow the path towards Jesmond Dene House, once home to wealthy industrialist Lord Armstrong, but now a fancy boutique hotel. If you are feeling rich they do really great coffee and food. Cross the bridge at the foot of Jesmond Dene House. Returning on one of the many alternative paths towards Millfield House.

The circular walk is around 2.5-3 miles. The nearest metro stations are Jesmond and West Jesmond.



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