South Gosforth to Illford Road (3 miles)

South Gosforth to Illford Road walk map

Leave South Gosforth Metro station and join a main road. Turn right and follow the road which, shortly, descends past shops and cafes to reach the Brandling Villa pub. Turn right and walk a few yards to traffic lights. Cross at the lights and turn left to follow the pavement as it curves right, over the Ouseburn. It is thought that “Gosforth” means “the ford over the Gos or Ose” - former names of the river. Proceed up Freeman Road. After 200 yards, opposite Lilburn Gardens, go onto the path on the right at the fingerpost “River Tyne 31/3 miles” (A).

Keep on the main path which gradually descends and then levels out. Walk past a footbridge and carry on, with the Ouseburn on your right. Continue as the path ascends, via a short flight of broad steps, to come to a tunnel. Go through the tunnel to emerge into Jesmond Dene (B).

Much of this area was given for the benefit of the citizens of Newcastle in 1883 by Lord Armstrong (1810 - 1900), the noted industrialist and benefactor. Its densely-wooded, steep banks and many paths make this a popular place for a stroll by local people. Continue ahead on the metalled path, passing steps on your right. After a further 30 yards, turn sharp right and descend the slope to come to the Ouseburn. Turn left and walk along the path with the river on your right. Keep on in the same direction, passing the entrance to a tunnel and North Lodge on your left. At a crossing of paths, bear right, walk ahead and go down the short flight of steps. On your left are the ruins of a mill - a plaque gives details of its history (C).

(To avoid the uneven steps on the next section, turn right and cross the bridge below the waterfall. Turn left and walk ahead. Go past one bridge and carry on to reach another bridge. Cross this bridge to rejoin the walk at (D)).

To continue the walk from (C), go down the steps, take care - they can be slippery. Walk ahead to the second bridge on your right (D).

The walk continues with the river on your right passing a fingerpost indicating “River Tyne 21/2 miles”. You come to the entrance to the Fisherman’s Lodge restaurant on your left. (If you wish to extend the walk, follow the directions from point (B) on Walk 5).

Go through the gap in the fence on your left, turn right and walk ahead for about 200 yards. Just past a wooden bench on your left, bear right to cross a bridge. Follow the path which brings you to the partly-ruined Banqueting Hall, built for Lord Armstrong. Bear right, walk a short distance then go up the steps on your left and walk to the Hall’s main entrance, where a plaque outlines its history (E).

Cross the road (Jesmond Dene Road) and turn left. Cross Glastonbury Grove and pass the entrance to Ashbourne. Almost immediately, go through the gate on your right. Walk up the path to the lovingly-maintained ruins of the 12th - century St Mary ’s Chapel, a medieval place of pilgrimage. A plaque gives historical details. Exit the grounds by the gate beyond the chapel. Turn right and go up the road (Reid Park Road). At the T-junction with a main road (Osborne Road), turn right and proceed ahead. You pass St George’s Church (1888), paid for by Charles Mitchell, Lord Armstrong’s business partner. Where Osborne Road bears to the left, go straight ahead along North Jesmond Avenue. The Holy Name Roman Catholic Church (1901) is on the left. At the end of the road is the entrance to La Sagesse Convent and School. The school occupies the 19th-century former Jesmond Towers, acquired in 1870 by Charles Mitchell. Turn left and proceed to the end of the school grounds. Turn right and go along the alley to a main road (A189). Turn left and proceed to the pedestrian lights. Cross the road and turn left to walk to Ilford Road Metro station and the end of the walk.

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