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South Tyneside Guide – South Tyneside Festival

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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 Festival Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

You’ll have a blast, thanks to the galaxy of stars performing at the South Tyneside Festival

Get ready… a series of stellar Sunday Concerts from a galaxy of stars will take over Bents Park on South Shields seafront during summer 2017, as part of the South Tyneside Festival.

The festival has become well-known for transforming some of South Tyneside’s most treasured public spaces into fantastic outdoor gig spaces for some of the world’s best-loved performers, and this year is no different. As well as the stunning Summer Parade, family fun days and plenty else, the open-air concerts at Bents Park promise a fun — and free — way to spend those lazy, hazy summer afternoons.

Bents Park will come to life as some of the world’s most dynamic and famous musicians descend on South Tyneside, making memories that won’t easily be forgotten.

KT Tunstall first burst onto the music scene in 2004, making her name for her energetic live performances, and will be opening the Sunday Concert series this year on 9th July. “I love performing live and I really enjoy playing open air concerts, so it’s something I am really looking forward to,” she says.

Early-2000’s pop group Busted have reformed. They’ll be performing all their classics – plus songs from their new album – at Bents Park on 16th July. “We can’t wait to come to South Shields this summer to headline this exciting event,” they say. “We always get a fantastic reception whenever we play the North East and we can’t wait to come back.”

X Factor’s Louisa Johnson will be joined by Jedward and 5 After Midnight on 23rd July as they bring some stardust to South Tyneside. The winner of the 2015 series of the TV talent competition will be visiting South Shields for the first time. “I’ve heard great things about the North East audiences,” she says, “so I hope we can give them a day to remember.”

Disco divas Sister Sledge will be ensuring that the Sunday Concert series ends with a bang and a boogie as they headline the last event, on 30th July. “We have performed in the North East a few times over the years and we can’t wait to come back as the audiences are always wonderful,” they say. “We are looking forward to getting the “family” of South Tyneside Lost in Music at this fantastic open air concert.”

If you want to ensure you’re in prime position for these headline performers, you can buy Priority Access Tickets for the Sunday Concerts. At just £5 per person – with under-fives free – these tickets guarantee access into the concert, with the chance to arrive earlier to secure your spot.

You’ll still be able to get into the gigs on the day for free, but Priority Access Tickets ensure your entry for what are always popular events. Tickets are limited and available up to seven days before the concert from Ticketmaster online or by calling 0844 844 0444 or in person at the Shop @ The Word.

Disco divas Sister Sledge will be ensuring that the Sunday Concerts series ends with a bang and a boogie

It’s not just Bents Park that’ll be rocking this summer, though: for those classically-minded music fans, South Marine Park plays host to Proms in the Park on Sunday 2nd July, while you can sing along to bands from around the area every Saturday from 15th July to 2nd September (excluding 26th August). The Seafront Amphitheatre’s stage will be home to live music every Thursday and Saturday evening from 1st – 24th June, while brass bands will trumpet the joys of South Tyneside every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer. From 1st – 24th August on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there’ll be something for the next generation, with a Kids Fun-Fest at the Amphitheatre, where the whole family can sit back and enjoy an afternoon of games and activities with enthralling entertainers and performers.

Away from the Summerlong South Tyneside Festival, there’s plenty happening around the area, with something for everyone. Highlights include the monthly Pepperpot Craft Fayre on the first Sunday of the month in South Shields’ Market Square, and the Great North Feast at Bents Park on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Restaurant Week arrives from 7th – 14th October, and you can explore a little more of the area’s history as part of the Heritage Open Days from 7th – 10th September, the last day of which coincides with the Great North Run. Then there are the famous fireworks displays, lighting up the skies over South Shields seafront on 5th November at 6.30pm and 8pm.

Laughter lovers can enjoy the South Tyneside Comedy Festival from 1st July – 6th August, while literature fans will want to mark down 21st — 25th June in their diaries – that’s when the WRITE Festival arrives at The Word. And just because the nights will draw in, it doesn’t mean the excitement will be over: you’ll remember remember 5th November for its Fireworks Display, while the Christmas Wonderland will take over South Tyneside from mid-November. We can’t wait!

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South Tyneside Guide – Summer Parade

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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 Summer Parade Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Once Upon A Time On Parade

The biggest event of its type in the North East is a cornerstone in the region’s cultural calendar, and requires a veritable village of people to pull off — 2,000 in all will take part. Taking Once Upon A Time as its theme this year, the Summer Parade is back, bigger than ever.

On 1st July the Summer Parade returns to South Tyneside, celebrating the height of the summer in the biggest carnival in the North East. The parade’s theme this year is Once Upon A Time, celebrating the magic and wonder of storytelling in all its formats, bringing a cavalcade of some of literature’s best-loved characters to life in front of your very eyes.

The parade, which is one of the highlights of the South Tyneside Festival, will feature magical creatures, courageous heroes and beautiful princesses, while extravagantly-decorated floats will pass along the parade route, enthralling all those who watch. Mixed in among the parade will be marching bands, stilt walkers and dance troupes inspired by traditional folk tales and fables.

Embarking from South Shields Town Hall at 1pm and making its way along Ocean Road before arriving at the seafront, the parade will wend its way to Bents Park, where there’ll be a range of live music and storytelling-themed activities for the whole family to take part in.

This will be a three-hour extravaganza, but the hard work in preparing it has been going on for months. Husband and wife Sandy and Garner Harris, working together as The Creative Seed, are the team who make sure that the event goes off smoothly. The pair met in 1992, when Garner was working as a dancer and Sandy as a costume supervisor on the West End production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Starlight Express.

They’re now part of a 14-person team (including their daughter and son), and have called in expertise from around the world to ensure the parade is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all those who see it.

The parade will have five themes, telling tales and taking inspiration from The Arabian Nights, The Jungle Book, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and Peter Pan. Some of the 2,000 parade walkers will climb into three-metre high and wide structures made of aluminium and festooned with decorations and costumes that bring these fantastic fairytales from our childhoods to vibrant, colourful life.

“People enjoy carnivals and parades because it’s a party,” says Sandy.”People are coming together, talking, having fun. There’s a family atmosphere about it. It’s a very inclusive party – that’s what carnival is.”

The parade’s an international performance, combining acting, dance and marvellous mechanical structures. Large Indian elephants will stampede along the parade route – made by The Creative Seed and Adrian Young, who travelled from Trinidad and Tobago to help prepare for the parade. They’ll help tell the story of The Jungle Book on one of the many floats that will travel the route, enthralling and entertaining the audience every step of the way.

The Summer Parade is just one part of the captivating calendar of events occurring in the area this summer as part of the South Tyneside Festival, a three month long programme of family-friendly events, open-air concerts, activities and entertainment. Packed full of feelgood moments, and bringing some of the biggest names in entertainment to the shoreline of South Tyneside, it’s a major cultural happening that’s not to be missed.

The formative tales we’re told in childhood are some of the most captivating stories we ever read, and live with us forever. Whether you’re rooting for Hansel and Gretel, want to be young forever like Peter Pan, or dream that some day your prince will come like Cinderella, there’s something for everyone in the riot of colour, music, song and dance that attracts participants from across the country and around the world. To make sure you don’t miss a single step of it, line up along the route and cheer along the sights, sounds and incredible, unmissable atmosphere of the South Tyneside Summer parade – a key date for your cultural calendar.

Inn in the Park

All points of the parade route are just a few minutes’ walk from the finish point at Bents Park, on South Shields seafront, where there will be a great afternoon of tree fun for all the family to enjoy.

Join in with the storytelling-inspired activities, get up close to the impressive parade floats and enjoy a tasty bite to eat or a refreshing drink in the food village and beer tent. Throughout the afternoon there’ll be lots of entertainment and live music, including a fantastic finale by ABBA Express. It’s not to be missed!

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South Tyneside Guide – Families

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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 Shields Coastline Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Family Favourites

South Tyneside is jam-packed with fun things to do and great places to visit. Plan your next family outing with this handy guide.

Haven Point. This state-of-the-art leisure centre on the seafront at South Shields comes complete with two pools, a sauna, a steam room, a gym, two dance studios and a cafe. Oh yeah, and there are some wicked water slides in the leisure waters area, along with a bubble spa and a water play area. Dive in.

Jarrow Hall. A fantastic new attraction where little historians can learn more about one of the North East’s most famous names: the Venerable Bede. Animal-lovers will delight in wandering around the farm, meeting pigs, goats and other animals.

Marsden Bay. At this beautiful setting, the whole family can clamber among the rock pools and watch the kittiwakes, fulmars, gulls and cormorants of one of England’s most important seabird colonies.

The Word. National Centre for the Written Word. One of South Shields’ top attractions, this new, state of-the-art venue is perfect for families – there’s even a whole floor dedicated to children. The library here is home to more than 70,000 books, StoryWorld is an immersive storytelling experience kids will love and 2017 sees the Shiver Me Timbers exhibit come sailing into South Shields, ready to take little landlubbers on a nautical adventure they’ll never forget.

Ocean Beach Pleasure Park. A classic seaside funfair full of timeless rides and high-tech attractions. Urban Wave, the only surf simulator of its kind in the country, allows your little beach dudes to try out surfing without getting wet, while the Laser Maze will test your agility to its limits. Can you get across the room without crossing the laser beam?

South Marine Park. The crowning jewel of South Shields’ seafront, South Marine Park boasts a miniature steam train, a boating lake and two play areas. In addition, there’s green space, picnic tables, a cafe and, of course, great views of the sea. Just next door, North Marine Park also offers stellar views. South Tyneside has loads more green spaces to enjoy too. Be sure to check out Cornthwaite Park at Whitburn, Drewetts Park in Jarrow and Tilesheds Nature Reserve in Boldon.

South Shields Museum and Arbeia Roman Fort. Discover the history of the area on a day out to this celebration of South Tyneside’s heritage which brings 4,000 years of history to life across two floors and is home to insects and reptiles at Creature Corner. While we’re on the subject of history, don’t forget to explore Arbeia Roman Fort — a key garrison and military supply base to other forts along Hadrian’s Wall. Learn about the area’s Roman history through re-enactments, falconry displays and gladiator battles.

The Dunes. Jump into the soft play area, get competitive in the bowling alley, get even more competitive in the arcade, then top it all off with a Sunday lunch. Find this popular entertainment venue on South Shields seafront.

The Leas. This two-mile stretch of coastal pathways, laid out along the 250 million-year-old cliffs, will lead you along the stunning shoreline from Sandhaven to Marsden Bay and Souter Lighthouse where inquisitive minds can learn about the smugglers that used to frequent the area. You’ll get some great views of the sea from your vantage point high above the waves, which also makes for a great cycling, dog-walking and kite-flying location.

South Shields’ Beaches. There are some great beaches at South Shields including both Littlehaven and Sandhaven. Water-sport enthusiasts love the shelter that the pier offers at Littlehaven, while Sandhaven is a great spot for building a sandcastle. If you’d rather keep your shoes and socks on though, why not go for a stroll along the promenade?

We All Scream for Ice Cream. There’s nothing quite like a day out with an ice cream to round it off. Fortunately, in South Tyneside, we’re pretty much spoilt for choice on spots to pick up a coneful of something creamy. Try Minchella & Co, Scoop and Bean or the Ghiaccio Ice Cream & Dessert Lounge next time you’re out and about.

The Shields Ferry. Kids love novel modes of transport, don’t they? Shun the car and jump aboard the Shields Ferry running between North and South Shields. It only takes seven minutes to cross the mighty River Tyne, but the kids will love it.

Family Events. There are plenty of events happening in South Tyneside that the whole family will enjoy. In 2017, the South Tyneside Festival’s summer concerts at Bents Park include acts such as KT Tunstall and Busted, while the Summer Parade will be entitled Once Upon a Time and take its inspiration from classic children’s stories such as Peter Pan and The Jungle Book. During the summer holidays, Kids Fun-Fest will run regularly at the Amphitheatre in South Shields and include performers, entertainers and a gunge tank!

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South Tyneside Guide – Coastline

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The latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside is out. Request your own free 33 page copy of the guide below.

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South Shields Coastline Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

We Propose a Coast

To the finest stretch of seaside. cliffs, culture and heritage in the North East. and some amazing fish and chips: we salute South Tyneside’s coastline.

We’re not usually ones to get misty-eyed, but if there’s anything that’s likely to get us tearing up with North Eastern pride, it’s our coastline. There’s something to recommend every inch of its roughly 110 miles of coast, but there are few places as jam-packed with intrigue, fun, heritage and romance as the South Tyneside coast between South Shields and Whitburn.

Firstly, the romance. All coastline is gorgeous to varying degrees, but we’ve got some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous coastline of all here in South Tyneside. Take, for instance, its beaches: Littlehaven beach, sheltered from the worst of the weather by South Pier, is a watersports haven; and Sandhaven beach on the other side of the pier, with its soft golden sands and grand dunes, is ideal for a classic day out at the beach, ice creams and all. It’s not just good to look at either. Aside from the aforementioned watersports, both are ideal for your classic beach sports – volleyball, football, cricket, frisbee and the like – and a dip in the North Sea is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. There are countless hidden coves, bays, nooks and crannies all along the coast to explore, which is one of the best things about this bit of the shoreline. No matter when you visit, you’ll always be able to find somewhere which feels completely your own.

“There are countless hidden coves, bays. nooks and crannies to explore.”

Further down the coast, things take a turn for the rugged. The seven-mile walk from Littlehaven to Whitburn takes in some of the most staggering rough-hewn coastline in the region, with its ancient grandeur having captivated generations of visitors. You head across clifftops, past Frenchman’s Bay (a French ship ran aground there, hence the name) and towards Manhaven Bay and the uniquely-shaped humps of Velvet Beds – also known locally as Camel Island. The big draw here, though, is Marsden Rock in Marsden Bay. For the last 250 million years this limestone rock has stood in the sea, gradually being weathered into an instantly recognisable monolith. You might be so knocked out by it (or, you know, just a bit thirsty after your wanderings) that you fancy a pint – happily, Marsden Grotto, one of the very few pubs we know of which is in a cave, is close at hand.

The other icon of this part of the coastline is the National Trust’s Souter Lighthouse. As the first lighthouse in the world designed and built to be powered by electricity, it’s an internationally important piece of industrial history as well as being a brilliant place to take children – they’ll love the pirate play shop and the Marsden Rattler play train.

Closer to sea level, there are promenades and parks to explore too. South Marine Park is an absolute must: take a pedalo out on the lake, feed the ducks, take a ride on the miniature steam train (if there are three more exciting words in the English language than ‘miniature steam train’ then we’ve yet to read them) and then settle in for an ice cream at the incomparable Minchella’s, which has been the supreme dealer of lickable treats on our coast for decades. Before that, though, you need some proper fish and chips, and they don’t come any more proper than the multiaward-winning Colmans on Ocean Road.

Alongside the taste of tradition, you can also sample some of the most vibrant public art in the region. Take Littlehaven’s promenade, for instance. There, you can see the 22 life-size bronze weebles which make up Conversation Piece by Spaniard Juan Munoz, as well as two pieces by Stephen Broadbent which speak to the culture of this coastal community: The Eye, which looks out toward the sea to watch for ships coming home; and The Sail, representing the area’s seafaring past and present.

Between the coast’s culture, heritage and pure iconic landscape, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you come to explore it.

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South Tyneside Guide – The Word

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields > The Word

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…

The Word Market Place South Shields Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Word Up

As if you need telling – The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, has been one of the North East’s biggest success stories since it opened in 2016. Now, as it gears up for its next big exhibition. We explore what’s in store for the future.

No matter how much the world around us changes technologically, there will always be a place for the written word. Sure, you can gorge yourself on Netflix and spend untold hours trying to get your team into the Champions League on Football Manager, but the written word has its own unique and unshakeable grasp on our imaginations. That said, the success of The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, has taken even its biggest fans by surprise, “We are extremely delighted with the success of The Word, says Councillor lain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council. “We always knew it would be a valuable asset to South Tyneside.

“The very premise of The Word is to celebrate the written word in all its forms.”

The very premise of The Word is to celebrate the written word in all its forms while inspiring, educating and encouraging creativity to help develop a legacy of literary skills, especially among our young people. With such an extensive rolling programme of events and top class facilities for visitors to enjoy, we are confident The Word will do just that and many visitors will return time and time again.

And they have: more than 97,000 people came to see The Word’s blockbuster opening exhibition, Sir Ridley Scott: Past, Present and Future Visionary, and in the first six months more than 220,000 have visited the building in total. The next exhibition, Shiver Me Timbers, looks set to continue that success. Who could possibly resist a free exhibition about how pirates have been represented on page, stage and screen?

Naturally, Captain Pugwash will be involved, as well as the likes of Robinson Crusoe, Peter Pan, both Pirates of Penzance and of the Caribbean-look out for the galleon, where life on board a pirate ship is brought alive. And don’t miss the specially designed exhibition pod where an immersive storm of sound, light and film transform it into rough seas and big swells. Other events are coming too. The Write Festival, as its name suggests, is a celebration of writing across five days from 2I-25 June 2017, and will feature writers like acclaimed comedian Jason Cook, stand-up poet Kate Fox, crime writers Mark Billingham and Chris Brookmyre and playwright and screenwriter Michael Chaplin, along with many more.

Beyond all that, there are the permanent displays which make up The Word. Interactivity is at the heart of everything. StoryWorld is an immersive storytelling experience which incorporates sound and visual projections; you can jump on a 3D printer or vinyl or laser cutter in the FabLab; and there are absolutely loads of digital facilities from state-of-the-art IT suites to a media studio. Dig deep into our collective past with Lost Dialects, which celebrates and preserves the North East’s unique way of expressing itself with words once familiar in shipyards, mines, pubs and parlours across the region, or dive into Michael Chaplin’s Tyne Voyages exhibition which tells amazing true stories of the people who’ve navigated the Tyne over the last 2,000 years.

On top of that, library membership in the area has gone up by more than 1,000 percent. The Word isn’t just changing the options open to parents looking for something fresh and rewarding to do with their children, or for culture vultures who want a new hangout – it’s changing the very culture of South Shields itself.

Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera and Shetland series, is a big fan. “The Word is a shining example of successful investment in our vital library services, but more than that, it’s a lifeline for new, young, and old readers alike, she says.

Libraries are a haven and a refuge for all, a place to explore stories, words and experiences. How wonderful that The Word has proved to be all this and more for the community in South Shields.

Ann, David Baldacci and David Baddiel have already spoken at The Word, as part of their high-profile author’s talks. Many more authors, including Val McDermott, will speak in the coming months.

The success of The Word, which is also home to the area’s visitor information centre, has been recognised with awards as well as footfall. The building itself has attracted widespread critical praise: it’s already won Best Public Service Building at the Local Authority Building Control Awards, four awards from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and a Living North Award for Best Regeneration or Restoration Project.

“To be winning six awards in as many months is a tremendous achievement for The Word, Councillor Malcolm says, “This is a reflection of how hard the Council and its partners have worked to make this iconic building a world class attraction for the people of South Tyneside and beyond.

“This light airy, and frankly quite gorgeous £16m building is the centrepiece of the £100m regeneration of South Shields.”

Iconic is the word. This light airy, and frankly quite gorgeous £16m building is the centrepiece of the £100m regeneration of South Shields and it looks to be worth every penny. If you can stop yourself gawping at the building itself, then there are brilliant views of the Tyne from The Lens viewing platforms and the top floor too.

The Word has been embraced as a beacon for the region, not only as a major new cultural venue but an important resource for the community, says Councillor Malcolm. “It is also a key element of our masterplan to transform South Shields town centre and make it a place people Want to visit and businesses want to invest.

“While we are delighted by the success of The Word So far, we are determined to build momentum to help establish South Shields as a visitor and tourist destination further.

You can find The Word, National Centre for the Written Word at Market Place, South Shields, NE33 1JF – approximately 15 minutes walk from our bed and breakfast accommodation.

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