The latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside is out. Request your own free 33 page copy of the guide below.
Here is an extract from the latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside…
South Tyneside distills all of the North East’s best bits – dunes, cliffs, parks, countryside, sea views — into a dramatic and eminently walkable landscape.
Walking is pretty good, isn’t it? Propelling yourself along at a leisurely pace, relying only on your own legs and sense of self-determination and freedom. There are loads of good words for it too. Stomp. Wander. Stroll. Plod. Walking’s by far the most poetic way of getting anywhere.
And it’s not just the descriptors which are poetic: South Tyneside’s varied scenery packs in all of the greatest hits of the North East. Obviously, being on the coast, there are dunes and cliffs to wander across stretching from South Shields down to Whitburn. There’s something incredibly soul-settling about staring out to sea, and the vantage points in South Tyneside out across Marsden Bay are especially majestic. Head to Whitburn Coastal Park and Souter Lighthouse and head north towards Frenchman’s Bay for an easy stroll along the clifftops, taking in the panoramic sea views.
Walking along the promenade beside Sandhaven and Littlehaven beaches is a joy too, as are South Marine Park and North Marine Park overlooking the promenade. Away from the coast there are a number of options, such as Hebburn Riverside Park. Once a derelict, beaten-up landscape scarred by generations of heavy industry – chemical works and ship-building, primarily – the land along here has been transformed with new housing, a nature trail and riverside walk.
You want nature? South Tyneside is absolutely full of it, not least at Tilesheds Local Nature Reserve between Boldon and Cleadon. As the name suggests, it used to be a brick and tile works, but now it’s pond and marshland plus thousands of native trees and shrubs. That means it’s teeming with wildlife: you’ve got your classic pond-dwellers like frogs, toads, newts, dragonflies and water boatmen, plus breeding swans, coots and moorhens.The nearby Cotman Gardens Meadow makes for an evocative walk too. It’s a traditional meadow that’s been unploughed for generations, meaning you can get a feel for how our forebears would have frolicked among the cowslips, great burnet and yellow rattle.
West Boldon Lodge is another great place for nature-lovers to explore, with 13 hectares of open water, wet and dry meadows, grassland, woodland, coppiced willow areas and scrub woodland.
Industry has added to the drama of some of South Tyneside’s walkable scenery though, and Cleadon Hills is a case in point. The old windmill and the iconic Cleadon Water Tower dot the grassy landscape as, to steal WH Auden’s memorable phrase from the poem Night Mail, “gigantic chessmen”. The route from Well House Farm to Cleadon Windmill forms part of Bede’s Way, which was put together to allow ramblers to follow in the footsteps of seventh century pilgrims who would travel between the monastery sites of St Peter’s in Wearmouth to St Paul’s in Jarrow. You can still feel the history in the air.
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