If you ever visit Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, you should most definitely check out the parks. Jesmond Dene Park was one of 3 parks that I promised myself I would visit while in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Nothing compares to being out in the sun; when it chooses to show itself. So, on one day that it wasn’t raining or windy, I ventured out to the park. Today, I’m going to tell you about my little adventure and some fascinating history behind the park itself.
Chapter 1: Failure To Launch
The first time I attempted to go to Jesmond Dene Park was a failed attempt. It was the weekend, and I checked the weather. No rain. I look outside, it’s a little cloudy, but no rain. In my mind, everything checks out.
So I make myself some coffee and get ready for the day. I’m feeling like wearing all denim, so that’s exactly what I did. I threw on my jeans and jean jacket, finish my coffee, grab my keys and phone, and head out the door. Now this was my first time going, so I needed google maps to give me directions. It’s a bit of a walk to get there, but the internet informed me it would be a beautiful walk. So it was worth it.
Fast forward to me getting nearly halfway there and it rains. Not a sprinkle, but pouring rain! I thought to myself, I’m nearly there, maybe it’ll pass.
I get exactly halfway their according to my maps and it starts down-pouring even more. I just laughed to myself because seriously, could my luck get any worse! I decided to turn around and go back home, since I hadn’t brought my raincoat with me.
On my way home, as the luck I previously mentioned would have it, I got splashed from a car driving by. The worst part is that I saw it coming, but the sidewalk was so narrow that there was nothing I could do to avoid it. So I just scrunched up and took it.
Again, this was humorous. I’ve never been splashed by a car before, and it just reminded me of the movies when the character gets drenched. Except that character was me. I got home and simply decided I would try again another time. The plus side was that I got to enjoy a cozy, rainy day from inside!
Chaper 2: Second Chance!
My next attempt happened significantly later due to simply being busy and knowing that it would be quite a hike to get there. But, once again on a weekend, it was looking like a beautiful day outside. I set out for the same regime-make coffee, get ready, finish coffee, grab stuff-and left for the park. This time, fortune smiled upon me and it truly was a beautiful day. The sun was out with only a few white clouds strewn throughout the sky. There were many people out for a walk, taking in the weather just like me.
Sometimes I think about how simple we humans really are. The weather plays a huge role in what we do with our days. Here in Newcastle Upon Tyne, the sun is shy, so when it shows its face, so does everyone here.
I finally made it to the park. At first I thought it wouldn’t be enjoyable because the park was chock full of people. It felt more like going to the zoo in the summer than it did taking a leisurely stroll in the park.
I mean boy, was it hard to get a picture without a bunch of people in it! Normally, this wouldn’t be a concern of mine because I don’t really take pictures. But, after my first failed attempt, I knew I’d want to write about this park.
There is a particular bridge that everyone always takes a picture of (very easy to find on google) but that wasn’t going to happen because of how many people there were. So, I just continued on and luckily, I found an area of the park where there was seldom a person in sight. Let the leisurely stroll begin!
I took 3 pictures only because, well, I’m not a picture taker. One was of a rather lonely bridge surrounded by trees and beautiful river underneath. The other was of a path I found that had so much greenery I couldn’t resist.
The last photo was of a building that, at first glance, held little significance. It was abandoned looking and damaged. However, the architecture was worth seeing. After doing a little reading, I found some history that brought forth the significance not only of the building and bridges, but of the entire park itself.
Chapter 3: The Man Responsible For Jesmond Dene
Let’s go back in time to the 1850s. There once was a man named Lord Armstrong who was a man of great intelligence, and a possessor of many talents. He was a businessman, scientist, and an engineer. Lord Armstrong invented high pressure hydraulic machinery, made several improvements in the British army, and is the man responsible for Cragside, and the restoration of Bamburgh Castle.
He also, in my humble opinion, was a lover of nature. He bought a great majority of the lands of the valley (now known as Jesmond Dene) and seized the opportunity to make several changes with the rivers and watermills in the area. He created a waterfall, built bridges, and planted millions of trees. Basically, he created his own park, and even allowed people to see it for a price twice a week.
In his later years, the park was given to the corporation of Newcastle Upon Tyne and was opened to the public. Because of Lord Armstrong, we now have beautiful land and architecture to admire for years to come.
Check out more of the history here:
Let’s Talk About It!
Today I walked you through my experience of visiting Jesmond Dene Park and the fascinating history behind it. When I went to the park, I knew nothing of its history. In fact, the only reason I found out about the history was because I was curious to know if they named the park and its surrounding area after somebody. After all, Jesmond Dene sounds like a name to me.
Instead, I found out about a man who most certainly was a genius in his time, Lord Armstrong. The park is beautiful, and certainly worth visiting if you are ever in Newcastle. If I could go back in time, I think I would like to meet him. If you could go back in time, who would you like to meet? Let me know in the comment section below!
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Hi! I am a book blogger primarily. The aim of this blog is to help readers and writers alike. I also write the occasional travel related post. I am a nerd like you with a passion for neuroscience and learning. Hence, my love for books and the authors who write those books!