(AD – This post is sponsored by Stagecoach)
One of the things I love most about living in Newcastle is the close proximity to the coast. As soon as the sun peeps out from behind the clouds, James and I make a bee-line for the beach. I also love wandering around Tynemouth Village with its quirky independent shops and venturing along the sea front to Whitley Bay where there are tons of amazing places to eat and drink.
There’s a distance of about three miles between the two destinations so walking can take roughly an hour but there’s plenty of public transport options to choose from including a brand new open top bus service from Stagecoach. We checked out the ‘Seasider’ on its launch weekend and we loved it, here’s a little round up of our day…
The new Seasider buses from Stagecoach are brightly coloured and very comfortable open top double deckers. They run between the North Shields Ferry Terminal and Whitley Bay Metro Station stopping off at various points along the way including Tynemouth and Cullercoats.
The service operates every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday from 09:57 in the morning to 16:23 in the afternoon, there’s a bus approximately every half an hour.
The Seasider buses are also going to be out on the roads during school holidays (Tues 28 May – Friday 31 May, you can download the full Seasider timetable here.
Oh… and they’re dog-friendly too, yay!!
Considering it’s a hop-on, hop-off option, we thought The Seasider day ticket offered great value at £4 per person, however, if you prefer to buy just a single ticket it’s £2.50. There’s also a family ticket available for £8 which allows up to 2 adults and 3 children to use the Seasider bus as much as they like throughout the day.
Once you have purchased your ticket from the driver be sure to keep it safe because it can also be used to bag some amazing discounts at local attractions. The current offers are…
You can also hop on board the Seasider bus for free if you happen to hold any of these other tickets…
We woke up to glorious sunshine on the day of our coastal adventure, it was perfect weather for an open top bus ride! We packed a few essentials for our puppy Pat (I can no longer go anywhere without those poo bags!) and set off in the car to North Shields.
We found a free on street parking space close to North Shields Ferry Terminal where the bus arrived bang on time to a queue of smiling faces. The top deck gave us great views and although it was a little bit chilly we really didn’t mind, Pat seemed to like the wind in his fur!
The bustling weekend market in Tynemouth Metro Station is always a great place to visit. It’s full of vibrant stalls offering everything from cupcakes to collectables and there was a singer entertaining the crowds when we arrived too.
The atmosphere was lovely and lots of people stopped to say hello to Pat, needless to say he loved the attention.
After a spot of shopping at the market (I picked up a gorgeous fair trade laptop pouch for £2.50!) we hopped back on the bus from the stop directly outside and enjoyed breathtaking views of the beautiful north east coast all the way to Spanish City in Whitley Bay.
Our tummies were rumbling and I’d been dreaming of fish and chips all morning so we grabbed a table outside Trenchers takeaway and ate our yummy lunches straight from the boxes whilst admiring the grandeur of the recently restored Spanish City.
I simply can’t go to Whitley Bay without getting an ice-cream from Di Meo’s, it’s definitely my favourite in the north east! The weather had only got better throughout the day and a huge funfair was nearby too so the queues were rather long but my creme-egg gelato was well worth the wait, absolutely scrumptious!
This day out took place just before the ‘bathing season’ started in the north east (yes, that really is a thing!) so dogs were still allowed anywhere on the beach. A ban is in place for the summer season on many sections though, so check for signs before you venture on the sand with your pooch.
Pat was a little unsure at first but soon found his confidence and loved splodging in the pools along the beautiful beach and rolling around the sand… I was still finding it in his basket days later.
We really are blessed to have such a stunning coastline in the north east and Whitley Bay is a great choice for a fun day out as there are lots of amenities nearby.
By the time we thought about heading back, it seemed like half of the region’s population had come to Whitley Bay. The traffic was almost at a stand still, the funfair was heaving and every bar and restaurant was full of people. So, I guessed we should have anticipated that the bus timetable might not be running as planned.
We waited for about half an hour but sadly there was no sign of the Seasider and James was starting to get tetchy as he had a ticket for the NUFC game in town, so we decided to jump on a Metro back to North Shields rather than wait any longer.
I checked in with Stagecoach about the issue and they apologised and reassured me that a plan has since been implemented to avoid a recurrence. They’ve taken action to put an additional vehicle on stand-by during any spells of good weather or increased footfall in the area to ensure future passengers don’t experience the delays we did.
To plan your own adventure with The Seasider head to www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/north-east/seasider