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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.

Here is an extract from the latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside…

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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