Dunston/Gateshead Community

A Community Site for Dunston, Gateshead and Beyond!

5 FREE Places To Visit This Half Term!

It’s Half Term again, which means family trips out! Here’s our list of 5 FREE places to visit in Gateshead:

  • Dunston Staiths

On the River Tyne, is believed to be the largest timber structure in Europe. It is a Scheduled Monument, Grade II listed and is owned by registered charity Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust (TWBPT).

Opened in 1893 by the North East Railway Company, it was built to allow large quantities of coal arriving by rail from the Durham Coalfields to be loaded directly onto waiting colliers (coal ships) ready for the onward journey to customers in London and abroad. At the coal industry’s peak around 5.5 million tons of coal was moved this way each year.

Visitors can walk along the Staiths during opening hours, however, even if it is closed, you can still admire the structure. If you need refreshments, there’s local cafe’s and a Pub nearby.


Dunston Staiths is on the south bank of the River Tyne at Dunston, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear.

There is a car park at the west end on Staiths Road, NE11 9DR. (near The Excelsior Club).

  • Whickham Hermitage Community Garden and Orangery Cafe

Stunning Community Garden run by volunteers, with plants for sale, a Cafe serving a variety of hot and cold drinks, tasty snacks, cakes and more. FREE entry to the Garden, FREE WiFi – Garden wide and dog friendly. There’s even a Wendy House for little visitors to enjoy!

They’re always looking for volunteers to help out in the garden, in the cafe or in admin capacity.

Closed Bank Holiday Monday. Open Tue-Fri 10am-3.30pm, Sat 10am-2pm and closed Sundays.


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Hermitage Lane, Front Street (Behind Whickham Community Centre), Whickham NE16 4JL

  • Dunston Acer Pond

Hidden gem, Small Pond and Meadows near the Metrocentre. It is home to breeding Mute Swans, Mallards, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Coot and Moorhens which nest among the reeds and rushes. In summer the meadow is full of wildflowers and insects, including the striking common blue butterfly. Why not bring your own picnic if the weather is nice?

Always open, 365 days a year.


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Under Railway Bridge (Off Wellington Road), Dunston, Gateshead NE11 9HU

  • Saltwell Park, Gateshead

Credit: NewcastleGateshead

Saltwell Park provides all-year interest, with ornamental gardens, large lake, 55 acres of parkland, an animal house and not forgetting two play areas for the little ones. If you feel the need for refreshments, there’s a Cafe too! See website for Park opening times.


 3 E Park Rd, Gateshead NE9 5AX

  • Derwent Walk and Derwenthaugh Park

The Derwent Walk Country Park is a mixture of woodlands, meadows, wetlands, riverside and reclaimed industrial sites all linked by the Derwent Walk. Park is always open, 365 days a year.


Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, NE39 1AU

If you have your own suggestions on places to visit, please send us a message.

Administrator at Dunston/Gateshead Community

Dunston/Gateshead Community is a local site, bringing regular updates on the region. We also have social media pages, to keep local residents informed on what's going on in the local area!