Family Connections and Gibside National Trust

You know one of the really nice things about being a cross cultural/international couple? One or both of us have family and friends all over the world. For now we’re back in Newcastle in north east England and we’re lucky enough to live just minutes from Brian’s aunt, uncle and cousins.

It’s been years since they spent much time together, but isn’t that the beautiful thing about family? It doesn’t matter if it’s been years and you’ve lived on the other side of the planet, they’re still family.

Actually that’s also one of the drawbacks of family, but I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl so I’m going with the positives.

Brian has been in Brazil for the last month, and while he’s away I got to spend two weeks with my kids in the US. I came back to Newcastle with an extra week of alone time on my hands and no idea what I was going to do with myself.

And a cousin came to my rescue!

Sharon is a bit younger than Brian, and grew up here in Newcastle. They may be family, but they never spent much time together. That didn’t stop Sharon from picking me up and spending a day showing me a couple of beautiful spots in the area.

A beautiful, frozen, frosty spot. Winter is most definitely upon us.


The Gibside National Trust property is just about a half hour drive from our flat.


We checked out the old restored buildings, walked the hiking trails, took in the views and spotted a few deer.


Sharon planned her son’s (someday) wedding, and we could both picture the carriage bringing the bride and groom up this lawn to the chapel. How beautiful would that be?!




It was a beautiful day. No wind, plenty of sunshine and just cold enough to keep us moving at a good pace.


The streams weren’t quite frozen, but the pond was. I wonder if you can ice skate on it later in the year?


There is a huge stable building which has had major renovations to restore it to its original condition. There was a sign saying the the Queen Mum, Queen Elizabeth’s mother, used to play here as a child. I love these bits of personal history.


And the bits of personal equipment. It makes me want to know the story behind each piece. Who used it? Who made it? How many stories could this chain tell if it could talk? How much do you want to bet it’s seen some not-quite-proper meetings between stable hands and maids behind the haystacks?


And what the heck is this thing? Serously. It’s some kind of pump, or bellows or something. We could figure out how it moves and works, but not what it was for. Any ideas?


We really enjoyed the day, chatting and taking photos while we wandered around the property.


It was so nice to catch up with someone who is now part of my family circle, and to learn a little bit more about this place we’re calling home for a little while. Unfortunately, because they didn’t grow up together Sharon didn’t have any really good gossip about my beautiful husband. I was hoping for some good dirt to tease him with when he got home. Sigh.

I’ll just have to be content with the good dirt I already know about him. He’s got some good stories, that’s for sure.

The day didn’t end there, but I’ll save the rest of the photos for another post. Sharon and I found our way to a really good restaurant/pub/farm and happily spent a few more hours eating good food and relaxing by the nice warm fireplace. It was a great day. One that makes me grateful again for the people we’re connected to, and the new friends I’ve been lucky enough to know along the way.

Thank you, Sharon!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

What are we doing?

Stay up to date and talk to us:

, , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to Family Connections and Gibside National Trust

  1. Hairy Axxxx Scotsman December 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    It is used as a bellow for the blacksmith. YOU did not know this!!
    Nice photos though.

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      December 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Well… I guessed that might be it, but I’ve never seen one like this. I’ve only seen the hinged ones that are much bigger and simpler. This one seemed kind of complicated and inefficient for the job. SO, Mr. Smarty-Pants, you can have the point on this one but since we’re married and what’s yours is mine, I still win. Right?

      Now hurry up and get home. Please, please, please. ;0)

  2. Steve December 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    If only the walls could talk, just imagine the amount of staff that used to run these old houses, often working there their entire lives. I often visit these places feel free to take a look at a few places on my blog. Make the most of your stay in England
    Steve recently posted..Kedleston HallMy Profile

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      December 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

      Steve, that’s one of the things I love about the history here in the UK. So many stores to be told!
      The photos on your blog are lovely. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Teresa Davison December 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Hey Peg, its your Scottish Rugby loving tequila,Guinness drinking, chip and curry sauce scoffing etc etc friend – loving all your blogs.

    You have been one busy lady since we last met – Garry and I had the best time ever with you and Brian and we are NO longer rugby virgins woohoo!!! Great time and great memories – thank you to you both xxx.

    You have worn woolie hats, scarves, gloves, bikinis, sarongs, shivering with cold and near to fainting with heat – all in a space of 8 weeks – I know what I would choose, as I’m writing to you with a box of Kleenex by my side.

    Not quite sure where you are as I write this but hopefully with Brian. All is well with Garry and I – sooo looking forward to spending quality time with the family at Christmas (near Glasgow), a couple of days to ourselves and then off to a New Year Gala weekend with good friends in Dundee – can’t really ask for more from life.

    I’ll keep an eye out on your blogs to see what you are up to. Wishing you both a very special Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

    Love and cuddles.

    Garry and Teresa xxx

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      December 19, 2012 at 4:27 am #

      Yes, we’ve been quite busy traveling all over the place, but I’m glad to say we’ve had a quiet few days at home since Brian got back from Brazil on Saturday. I love our life of globe-hopping, but I also love those days with nothing on the table except time together and nowhere to be.

      We’re also looking forward to Christmas. We have a plan to spend five days in the Lake District by ourselves, then come back to prepare for my daughter’s visit. Not sure what we’ll do for New Year’s Eve yet though.

      So great to hear from you! I’ll get in touch through email too. Love to both of you!