Browse Tag by Whitburn

Posts on our bed and breakfast accommodation blog about Whitburn near Sunderland, SR6.

Leaflets & Guidebooks

South Tyneside Guide – Walking

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…

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.

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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Leaflets & Guidebooks

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…
(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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Leaflets & Guidebooks

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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Events

Sunderland Airshow 2016

Home > Tyne & Wear > Sunderland

Sunderland Airshow 2016

The free Sunderland Airshow takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday just fifteen minutes drive from us along the Coast Road.

Sunderland Airshow begins at 6pm on Friday at Cliffe Park, Seaburn, featuring music from the The Rat Pack Boys, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire) with live musical accompaniment from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth; Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team – the Red Arrows (9 x Hawk T1); RAF Typhoon (Typhoon FGR4); Twister Duo pyrotechnic display (2 x Silence Twister) and The brand new AeroSPARX display team (2 x Grob 109). Friday night will close at 10pm with a firework display.

Road closures are in place from 2pm on Friday from the Bungalow Café to Marriott Roundabout, as well as in surrounding streets. Several park and ride schemes are in operation but if you are staying at our bed and breakfast accommodation for your visit to Sunderland Airshow we recommend you take the E1 bus service to Sunderland. The E1 service can be boarded at the Keppel Street bus station in South Shields or at The Sundial pub on Sea Road at the bottom of our street. Timetable information for this route can be found heree: E1, E2 and E6 buses to/from South Shields and Sunderland.

Flying will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 12.30pm until 5.15pm.

Sunderland Airshow is free to attend with the best viewing points along Roker and Seaburn.

Flying on the Saturday only will be Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team – the Red Arrows – 9 x Hawk T1.

Flying on the Sunday only will be Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 and Mitchell 320 – B-25 Mitchell.

On both Saturday and Sunday spectators can enjoy RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team, RAF BBMF – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire, Vortex 525 – Chinook, The Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team, Royal Navy Swordfish – Fairey Swordfish, Royal Navy Black Cats – 2 x Wildcat HMA Mk 2, Red Bull Matadors – 2 x Xtreme XA41, OV-10 Bronco, Gyrocopter – Calidus Rotorsport, Twister Duo, Amphibious Beach Assault, Vampire Pair – de Havilland Vampires FB52 and T55, The Blades – 4 x Extra 300 , RAF Typhoon 35 – Typhoon FGR4, Strikemaster Mk82A and Hangar 11 Combo – P40 Kittyhawk and P51D Mustang.

HMS Bulwark arrives in the city today from 3.30pm and will be docked at Corporation Quay for the weekend. She won’t be open to the public, but the best place to spot her is from the National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL.

For more Sunderland related posts on our blog click heree: Sunderland.

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Places to Eat & Drink, Places to Visit, Pubs, Clubs & Bars, YouTube

The Marsden Grotto

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields

If you are staying with us this Halloween weekend then you might want to visit one of the many haunted places in North East England, we’re often asked by guests who stay with us over Halloween for suggestions of places to go so we have made a series of blog posts with all the haunted venues in the North East region that you might like to visit…

Haunted Places In North East England – Marsden Grotto

The Marsden Grotto South Shields NE34 7BS Exterior

The Marsden Grotto, known locally as just the Grotto is the closest haunted location to our bed and breakfast accommodation in South Shields. It can be found less then ten minutes drive from us in Marsden on the Coast Road heading towards Whitburn, NE34 7BS.

The Grotto is a public house and restaurant. It is one of the very few ‘cave bars’ in Europe, it is partly dug into the limestone cliff face. Access is via a lift or a zig zag staircase on the cliff at the side of the building. The Grotto has a long history dating back to 1782 with a reputation for smuggling activities. There are several tales of hauntings at The Grotto, mainly relating to a smuggler named John the Jibber who was reputedly murdered by his fellow criminals after selling information to HM Customs. It is said that he was hung in a barrel in a cave close to the present lift shaft and left to starve. A popular story is that a former landlord of the pub would leave out a special tankard of ale each night after closing and in the morning it would be empty. Local DJ and TV presenter Alan Robson drank from the tankard during one of his live Metro Radio shows, allegedly sparking off a series of supernatural phenomena that eventually forced the then landlord to quit. This included flying ashtrays smashing against the wall and flooding in the cellar after all the beer taps were inexplicably turned on. You can read more about The Marsden Grotto here.

You can see a short British Pathé video filmed inside The Marsden Grotto here…

Several local paranormal investigation teams have held vigils at The Grotto and continue to do so, you can visit their websites here (links open in a new window) if you’d like to take part in a group ghost hunt to the pub…

Haunted Rooms
Ghost North East
Ghost Team
Spirit Seekers

If you are visiting the pub you can see their bar menu here…

The Marsden Grotto South Shields NE34 7BS Bar Menu

For more South Shields related blog posts click here: South Shields.

For more places to eat and drink in South Shields check out Places To Eat & Drink.

More ideas of places to visit while staying with us can be found here: Places To Visit.

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