The variety of things to see and do plus the ever growing list of amazing places to eat and drink draws me back to North Tyneside time and time again! The unspoilt coastline has some of the best beaches I have ever had the pleasure of strolling along.
I doubt I will ever run out reasons to keep visiting the North Tyneside Coast but right now these are my top ten recommendations (in no particular order)…
Climb the Steps at St Mary’s Lighthouse
The historic lighthouse just north of Whitley Bay is an iconic landmark of the North Tyneside coastline. Although it hasn’t been operational since the 1980’s, it has a new lease of life as a visitor centre. An entrance fee of £3.30 allows you to climb the 137 steps and enjoy the most spectacular views from the top. If you can’t manage the steps you can experience the same live views from a video facility as part of the exhibition at ground level.
Samantha from North East Family Fun even saw seals resting on the rocks when she visited St Mary’s lighthouse!
Shop Till You Drop at Independent Stalls and Boutiques
North Tyneside is heaven for shopaholics like me! I love scouring the stalls at Tynemouth market and picking up unique and quirky finds at the independent shops in Tynemouth and Whitley Bay. A shopping trip in this part of the north east always guarantees a fun day out, especially when you make time for a spot of lunch at one of the many local cafés too! Find out more about my favourite shopping spots in this post: www.lifeingeordieland.com/shopping/shop-till-you-drop-in-north-tyneside/
Wine and Dine at Spanish City
After years of standing empty and unloved in Whitley Bay, the architectural beauty that is Spanish City has had a magnificent makeover and is once again open to the public. I am yet to see inside as I’ve not had time to visit since the recent re-launch but after reading New Girl in Toon’s blog it is at the top of my summer to-do list! There are several places to eat and drink in Spanish City, including a champagne bar over looking the sea, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday can you?
Get On Your Bike with Ride Electric
Since getting my electric bike for Christmas I have loved cycling across North Tyneside. My favourite ride so far has been along Hadrian’s Cycleway from Newcastle Quayside to Tynemouth and I would highly recommend it! The route doesn’t have too many hills but my stamina isn’t great so I appreciated a helping hand from my power pack, particularly on the way back after I’d eaten a huge portion of fish and chips from Longands Fish Company!
If you fancy trying out an e-bike for yourself you’ll be pleased to hear they are now available to hire from Ride Electric located in Ballard’s Smoke House, an iconic building overlooking the river on North Shield’s Fish Quay. There are a range of bikes and guided tours available and even FREE experience sessions for first timers. Book online to get on your bike: www.rideelectric.co.uk/experience/north-tyneside/ride-electric-offices-dockmasters-house/
And check out this helpful blog post from Highlighting the North East for great ideas on where to cycle in North Tyneside: www.highlightingthenortheast.com/2018/08/01/north-tyneside-the-cycling-hub-of-the-north-east/
Catch a Wave With Tynemouth Surf Co
I’ll never forget my first experience of surfing in the North Sea, it was absolutely freezing but so exhilarating! Tynemouth Surf Co was voted best surf school in the UK last year and as soon as you enter the shop on the seafront above Longsands beach you’ll see why. The team are super friendly, headed up by the former captain of Team GB junior surf team, and they make everyone feel so welcome.
Encouraging beginners to embrace the sport is one of the things they are best at. You can book one to one lessons, join a group or simply hire out equipment for a couple of hours from as little as £5 for a bodyboard or £15 for a wetsuit and surfboard package.
Go on a Bar Crawl or Find a New Favourite Pub
If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that a boozey night out is not a rare occurrence, I try to be good but the bar scene in the north east is just too good! Nights out in North Tyneside usually involve a bar crawl in Tynemouth village where there are loads of cool cocktail bars and traditional pubs within staggering distance of each other.
I love the tapas and espresso martinis in Ora. Barca is a very cool venue which often has big name DJ’s playing in its late night venue upstairs, Seb Fontaine was there in July and is September they welcome Haçienda legend Graeme Park. If a quiet pint is more your thing then check out the Turks Head or the Cumberland Arms.
Up the road in Whitley Bay there’s been a recent revival of real ale pubs which also offer a great night out. James and I stumbled in to the Dog and Rabbit on our recent Whitley Bay staycation and loved it! We then got told it was part of what is locally known as ‘The Beermuda Triangle’, the other two stops being Left Luggage Room in Monkseaton Metro Station & NORD Bottle Shop further along Park View.
The North Shields Fish Quay is also worth visiting for a refreshing pint or glass of wine. The Staith House is a favourite of ours as it has a big beer garden and often live music too. We passed a new place called the Salty Sea Dog last time we were down there which was packed so have vowed to return and check that out on our next visit. (Remember to drink responsibly guys)!
Watch a Flick at Jam Jar Cinema
This cute little independent cinema is a real gem in Whitley Bay’s crown! I much prefer it to those huge multiplex cinemas. If the weather isn’t nice enough for a day at the beach then a few hours watching the latest blockbuster at Jam Jar Cinema is a welcome retreat!
Create Your Own Foodie Tour
From insta-worthy cakes at Sweet Love Cakes located in the Land of Green Ginger in Tynemouth village, to delicious locally made chocolates from Gareth James on Tynemouth Front Street and irresistible ice-creams from the award winning Di Meo’s in Whitley Bay, there are sweet treats to tempt you on almost every corner in North Tyneside!
North Tyneside’s restaurants are incredible too, this unassuming corner of north east England really is a foodie haven! Riley’s Fish Shack, The Roxburgh, Hinnies, Allard’s Lounge, Elder and Wolf and The Beehive are just some of the outstanding local eateries I’ve experienced in the last few months (yes we eat out a lot)!
Thanks to new options in Spanish City and the huge list of recommendations I’ve been given from other north east blogger’s (which you can read here) I am never going to run out of places to eat in North Tyneside. I urge you to work your way up the North Tyneside coast line and create your own foodie tour as you go.
Enjoy a Seal Show at Blue Reef Aquarium
For a fun family day out I can always rely on Blue Reef Aquarium. I blogged about a visit here a couple of years ago and have been back a few times since. It’s not huge but it’s right on the seafront in Tynemouth and as you can come and go all day with your ticket it’s perfect for unpredictable weather days because you can come in and hide from the rain or head out and soak up the sun. The marmoset monkeys and cheeky seals are always a highlight.
Have a Picnic in Northumberland Park
For my final experience I have added a suggestion that has been made to me many times by friends who live in North Tyneside. I must admit, I usually overlook the local parks favouring a visit to the beach but how pretty does Northumberland Park look? It’s just a few minutes walk from Tynemouth Metro station on the medieval site of St Leonard’s hospital and chapel which has been explored using archaeological digs. Today it hosts scenic walks, a vibrant herb garden, tea room, bandstand with regular musical performances, sculpture trail, children’s play area and BMX pump track.
Throughout the summer there are regular free events hosted in Northumberland Park including kite making and mini beast hunts, download the full programme of events here: www.my.northtyneside.gov.uk
I’m always discovering new things to experience by the coast in North Tyneside, these are just my current faves. When my niece and nephew come to visit the first thing they always want to do is go Waves swimming pool in Whitley Bay (they love the huge slide so it might be time to introduce them to Wet and Wild soon)! I’ve also promised them we’ll go to Lost World Adventure Golf in Tynemouth Park next time they visit and no doubt a trip to Whitley Bay Playhouse will be on the cards over winter for their always awesome panto!
I’d love to hear about days out you’ve enjoyed at the North Tyneside Coast and any suggestions you think I should add to my list so scroll down to leave a comment.
*This post is sponsored by We Are North Tyneside. Check out http://www.wearenorthtyneside.com/ for more ideas for great days out