Gibside is one of the greatest surviving designed landscape parks of Georgian England. It is of outstanding significance as its original mid-18th century form survives essentially intact. The estate was in family ownership and inhabited until the early 20th century. However, from the 1940s, the designed landscape was sold off or leased piecemeal. The importance of the estate was recognised at the same time, and many of its buildings were listed in 1950 but this did not prevent further neglect. From the 1960s, the National Trust took the courageous decision to begin to reunite the parts of the designed landscape. The core of the designed landscape is now in National Trust ownership.
The scale, intact nature and original quality of Gibside puts it on a par with other well-known survivors including Stowe, Stourhead, Studley Royal, Painshill, Claremont, Chiswick House, Prior, Houghton, and others. These examples are all in an advanced state of restoration compared to Gibside.
The estate is being restored and conserved as a major heritage asset, an area of nature conservation, and a beautiful open space close to the centre of the Tyneside conurbation. There is a high degree of local community and volunteer involvement under National Trust management. Gibside is one of the fastest growing National Trust properties in the north east region in terms of visitor numbers, and one of the biggest in Gateshead. These high visitor numbers are positive, indicating public involvement, interest, and regard for Gibside. However high visitor numbers also cause damage to the designed and natural elements of the estate and it was a conclusion of the conservation plan that this threat to its significance needs to be managed carefully.