Monday, 2 September 2013


North Shields → Whitley Bay

little-haven-sunrise.png Distance: 7.20 miles
Ascent: 146 metres
Duration: 2 hours 48 minutes

Foiled again
« Howdon | Blyth »

Note: Five years later we walked from the Shields Ferry to the Tyne Tunnel and back (even though the pedestrian tunnels were still closed, and we had to take a shuttle bus across the river). This write-up includes the original distance from the centre of South Shields to the ferry, then across the river, even though we no longer count that part in the coastwalk.

For the second time this weekend we've been foiled in our attempt to cross a river.

Today's plan was to walk up the Tyne to the road tunnels, where a less well-known pedestrian and cycle tunnel also crosses the river. Unfortunately these are currently closed for an extended period, so rather than walk upstream to the first bridge (in Gateshead!) we took the Shields Ferry, cutting a good six miles off our walk.

dfds-ship.pngAfter watching sunrise from our hotel this morning, the next sight was the DFDS ferry gliding past, almost within touching distance out in the river. The compulsion to wave was strong as we saw decks lined with people freshly arrived from Amsterdam, ready to wave back.

metal-boat.pngNorth Shields' history seemed close at hand, with old buildings ready to tell their stories if you'd just stop to listen. We'd heard wonders about the active Fish Quay, but it was quiet as we passed; presumably the latest catch had long since been sold on. (Maybe another day.)

tynemouth-castle.pngBeyond North Shields, Tynemouth with its imposing castle ruins. Beyond Tynemouth, Cullercoats and Whitley Bay — coastal resorts that seemed more upmarket than those on the south side of the river.

st-marys-lighthouse.pngBeyond Whitley Bay we could see St Mary's Lighthouse, the turbines on Blyth harbour wall, and the shape of headlands yet to be explored. That will have to wait. For now we're heading home.

Posted by pab at 16:37 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!