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Posts on our bed and breakfast accommodation blog about South Marine Park in South Shields, NE33.

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South Tyneside Guide – Walking

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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…

Walking Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Walk The Walk

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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Events, Leaflets & Guidebooks

South Tyneside Guide – South Tyneside Festival

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields

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!

You can read more about South Tyneside in our free 33 page guide. Enter your email below for a free copy.

Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

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South Tyneside Guide – Families

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields

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!

You can read more about South Tyneside in our free 33 page guide. Enter your email below for a free copy.

Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Please send me the free guide to South Tyneside…
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Here is a short South Tyneside tourism video to watch while you wait for your email to arrive…

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South Tyneside Guide – Coastline

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields

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.

You can read more about South Tyneside in our free 33 page guide. Enter your email below for a free copy.

Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Please send me the free guide to South Tyneside…
(No spam we promise, we will not re-use or re-sell your email address).

Here is a short South Tyneside tourism video to watch while you wait for your email to arrive…

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