We, May and Frank, arrived a bit later than the others. Brian accused me of getting lost, however I had my reasons mainly consisting of Next and the wife. Anyway, the whole team arrived to see what Brian had in mind. This was either going to be madness or a mastermind. May, Cherry and Frankie dawdled along while Frank and Brian strode ahead talking about his idea with Gibside.

Without question, Gibside is beautiful and distinctively Georgian. The National Trust had done so much to the area and they obviously have a lot to do especially with the hall that still sat in a semi-ruined state. It was fairly quiet but it is still a popular tourist spot with many activities during the year and a Santa’s grotto at Christmas. Considering that it is a major historic site and run by the National Trust it seemed unreal that we could hold a summer camp here.

In the characteristic style of the Georgian period, the road arced around the stables in majestic style, all designed by the famous landscape architect, Capability Brown. The stables were also built in the same grand style with trees roundabout and a green in the middle. We were met with a member of staff at the stables who showed us the accommodation on the upper floor. They consist of two communal sleeping areas, accommodating 16 people each, with two smaller rooms for supervising adults, two shower/toilet rooms, a communal room for group activities with games available and a kitchen. There is also another big room com hall available at extra cost that would be ideal for other classes and activities. All well decorated and clean with no sign of animal fodder in sight. And more importantly they were willing to let out all the rooms for the full four weeks at a very reasonable price. We found a new love.

We found out that there were many activities that they hold for children during the summer, such as sports and a low rope course, they will also have horses coming into the stables from time to time although usually horses are not kept at the stables. We saw a coffee shop and a second-hand shop on site and a life-sized cow replica where visitors learn how to milk a cow. During out-of-hours we would have access to the whole grounds in peace. At extra cost they can request coaches of various skills, such as archery and horse-riding. Just what we need. Thank you Resourceful Brian.