School’s out for summer and although my school days are well and truly behind me (thank goodness), I still get the urge to let my hair down at this time of year and where better to do that than Ocean Beach Pleasure Park in South Shields, a great day out for kids of all ages, even big kids like me!
When I made the short trip from Newcastle to South Shields last weekend, the whole seaside town was packed with day-trippers who, like me, had been tempted to visit by our recent spell of good weather. Before I joined the thrill seekers at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park I headed for South Marine Park which is just opposite.
If you prefer your days out at a more relaxed pace then this is definitely the place for you. The nearest thing to a white knuckle ride in South Marine Park is the miniature steam railway.
I also had a lovely time on my little pedalo on the boating lake, such a lovely setting to watch the world go by and soak up a few rays of sunshine!
After a while though, I could no longer resist the lure of the dodgems, arcades, rollercoasters and other childhood favourites that were on offer at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park. So I stocked up on ride tokens (currently on offer!!) and skipped along. I was surprised to discover a whole host of exciting modern rides and attractions alongside the traditional ones. From the Water Balls (huge inflatables you can roll around in on the water) to the Tornado Simulator (you can probably hazard a guess what that does)… Ocean Beach has certainly moved with the times!
The most recent attraction at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park is one that I couldn’t wait to have a go at – Urban Wave. This incredible experience is available all year and allows you to try surfing, wake-boarding, body-boarding and snow-boarding without getting wet, I even kept my cardi on!
Urban Wave is the only surf simulator of its type in the UK and at 6 meters wide and 9 meters long, it even gives you enough space do tricks, the best I could manage was to stay standing for about six seconds but we’ve all got to start somewhere!
If you’re looking for a great family day out this summer then you can’t go wrong in South Shields. When you’re worn out from all the rides at Ocean Beach the soft sands of the stunning coastline or the relaxed atmosphere of Marine Park offer a welcoming retreat and you’ll find plenty of family friendly restaurants too.
For more ideas about how to make the most of this fab seaside town check out www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk
By Rachel Kershaw