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Chronicle Live
Chronicle Live
Owen Younger

I visited the idyllic Jesmond Dene which is perfect for a family day out in the summer

For this week's visit, I decided to leave Gateshead behind but, spurred on by last week's enjoyable trip to Saltwell Park, wanted to go to another similar place.

The location I decided on was Jesmond Dene, a beautiful park in the East End of Newcastle, that is situated on a steep-sided valley of the river Ouseburn.

I primarily remember going to Jesmond Dene with my Nana and Grandad when I was younger, so I was eager to see what had (or hadn't) changed about a place that I remember fondly.

Read more: The beautiful Gateshead park with its own gothic mansion and a boating lake families can't get enough of

When I first arrived, I decided to take a walk over Armstrong Bridge, on which I saw around a dozen cyclists in the ten or so minutes that I spent there.

It's clear to see that Jesmond Dene is a place where people of all ages come to visit, as I saw families, couples and large groups of friends enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Jesmond Dene, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Chronicle Live)

Looking down from the bridge, the views of Jesmond Dene are absolutely incredible, helped of course on this particular day by just how sunny it was.

After walking back down from the bridge and towards the entrance to Jesmond Dene, I was excited to go to the 'Pet's Corner' petting zoo which I have some prominent memories of as a child.

When I arrived, I realised it probably wasn't the best idea to come on a day quite so hot, as some of the animals had been taken indoors to keep them cool in the blazing sun.

Armstrong Bridge, Jesmond Dene, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Chronicle Live)

The trip wasn't a complete bust however, as I was able to see a peacock, some goats and a few ducks as well, something which the families in attendance seemed very pleased about.

One of these families is Glenn and Claire Rayner, who both used to come to Jesmond Dene when they were younger, and have now decided to bring their two-year-old daughter Zara to the park.

"We felt like it would be great for Zara to come to somewhere that we have great memories of from when we were growing up in the area," Glenn said.

Jesmond Dene, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Chronicle Live)

"I remember school trips used to happen here but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. The whole place is always clean and tidy and is perfect for children.

"It would be great if there was slightly more to do here, and if it was a bit more of an interactive place, but Zara seems to be having a great time so that's all we can ask for."

Glenn Rayner and his 2-year-old daughter Zara at Pets Corner in Jesmond Dene, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Chronicle Live)

Moving away from the 'Pet's Corner', I went for a walk along the Ouseburn river, enjoying the shade of the trees after being out in the open for quite a while.

A particularly beautiful place is at the waterfall near the back of the park, with a formation of rocks that make if the perfect place to sit and relax, as some people were doing on this day.

After doing a loop of the park, I then decided to head back through towards 'Pet's Corner' to see if there anyone else who could tell me about their love of Jesmond Dene.

Pets Corner in Jesmond Dene, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Chronicle Live)

Someone that I found who could do just that was Denise Dorward, who was at Jesmond Dene enjoying a day out with her daughter Pauline.

Denise spoke to me about the personal history that she has with the park, as well as talking about how it has been developed in the time since she started going there.

"I have been coming to Jesmond Dene for over 40 years and it has a special significance to me, as when my daughter Pauline was young and she had to go to the Freeman Hospital for days at a time, we would come here first for a walk and just to de-stress.

Denise Dorward at Pets Corner in Jesmond Dene, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Chronicle Live)

"We didn't have a car or anything so it was great to be able to get here and then walk back up to the hospital. It's great because you can have a day out here and not have to spend anything which is massively important.

"The vastness of Jesmond Dene is amazing too, and it is right on the doorstep of so many people. I couldn't recommend it more to people of any ages as I think it is underappreciated by people in the North East."

Jesmond Dene, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Chronicle Live)

I couldn't help but agree with Denise as I was making my way back up to to the car, as despite the fact that I was boiling hot by then, I had a great day revisiting a place that I used to go to all of the time.

Jesmond Dene is one of those places that I feel like anyone could go to and find something to love about it, and I will definitely be bringing my family here in the future so that it can be appreciated by the next generation as well.

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