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Welcome to Saltwell Park Gateshead, photo by Friends of Saltwell Park March 2024

History of "The People's Park"

Saltwell Park originated from Saltwell Cottage Estate, owned by William Wailes, a leading stained-glass manufacturer. William Wailes had Saltwell Towers built as his family home. He sold it to Gateshead Corporation to use as a public park. At that time many local people lived in cramped, dirty conditions with no sanitation. Diseases such as cholera and diphtheria were rife. The Park provided a "green lung" to local folk to improve their health. It opened to the public in 1876 as "The People's Park" and was an immediate success

View towards Saltwell Towers in Saltwell Park Gateshead, photo Friends of Saltwell Park March 2024

Our park today

Saltwell Park is one of the best and most appreciated parks in the country. It is one of Britain's finest examples of a Victorian Park and is Grade II listed. It is also registered as a Garden of Specific Historic Interest by Historic England (formerly English Heritage).​ It covers 55 acres and holds 12 Grade II listed structures, including Saltwell Towers, it has play areas for both younger and older children. There is a lake and sport/recreation areas and signed walk routes. There is also a Japanese Garden and a Swedish "Buzzing Garden" which was added in 2019. The park is free and available to us all

Squirrel in Saltwell Park Gateshead

Wildlife in Saltwell Park

The Park provides valuable habitat for wildlife. Bats, foxes, damselfly and over one hundred species of birds have been recorded, including kingfisher and redwing. Plants in the park include wood garlic, wood avens and a significant variety of tree species.

The bandstand in Saltwell Park Gateshead - May 2024 - Friends of Saltwell Park

Facilities and Attractions

  • 55 acres of open space

  • Twelve Grade 2 listed structures

  • Saltwell Towers and Almond Pavilion cafés

  • Bandstand, maze, children’s playgrounds

  • Toilets with Changing Places facilities

  • Wildlife, Pets Corner, apiary

  • Historic tree collection

  • Lake and Model Boat Club

  • Tennis and basketball courts / multi-use games area

  • Rose Garden and Victorian bowling greens

  • Apple Bee Community Orchard

  • National Garden Scheme Buzzing Garden

  • Garden of Reflection

Tranquil gardens in Saltwell Park Gateshead

Getting to Saltwell Park

Saltwell Park, East Park Road, Gateshead NE9 5AX

For full details about getting to Saltwell Park, parking facilities and accessibility click here


The Park can be accessed by pedestrians from East Park Road, West Park Road, Saltwell Road South, Saltwell View and Joicey Road.


The car and coach park (use postcode NE8 4SF) are accessed from Durham Road (A167) via Joicey Road.


Go NorthEast bus services: Angel 21. Voltra Saltwell Park 53 / 54. Waggonway 28A or 29.

Please see their website for timetables, or call 0191 4205050 (09:00 - 17:00 Mon to Fri) for bus times and fare information.

The Story of Saltwell Park

Enjoy this informative video about the Story of Saltwell Park, written and presented by Anthea Lang, local historian, author and tour guide. The video takes you on a fascinating journey from the park's beginning up to the present day.

Video courtesy of Anthea Lang and Gateshead Libraries

Saltwell Park
Park Watch

Report dog-fouling, littering, graffiti, motorbikes etc in the Park:

Phone 0191 4775000 (24 hr number)

Report low level criminal offences...broken glass, vandalism (anything not happening now):

Phone 101

If you feel threatened or harassed or see a fire or an incident:

Phone 999

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