Style & Stuff Editorial
Far from the madding crowd
If you’re looking to escape the hustle (and indeed bustle) in the run up to Christmas then make tracks for Gibside in the Derwent Valley.
There are many things that I love about Christmas (that morning bottle of bubbly, Agatha Christie repeats, eating my body weight in Celebrations) but there are plenty of things I could do without, too: the frantic crowds being one of them. That’s why I’ll once again be making a bee-line for Gibside for a period of calm in the run up to the big day.
This magical place offers a peaceful retreat from the city with its meandering historic gardens and neo-classical chapel. The chapel is at the heart of George Bowes’ beloved landscape garden and framed perfectly by the trees at the end of a half mile-long avenue. Though not immediately obvious, the chapel’s layout is a Greek cross within a square. Inside – it will be open – apart from the unusual three-tiered pulpit and centrally positioned altar, many are struck by its simplicity. Look up and admire the beautiful craftsmanship.
And this year the holistic therapist Kate Cullen will be onsite five days a week. Based in a bothy nestled within Gibside’s woodlands, she specialises in the overall aspect of health and wellbeing and tailors a treatment to suit you using natural grapeseed oil. Inside the bothy, there is a log burner and tea and coffee will be served (and, hey, you can also bring your dog). More details from her Facebook page, below. And relax.