Newcastle Gateshead coast walks

Posted on: 17 November 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Beautiful sea views and great coastal paths make Tyne and Wear a must for all walkers.

From a gentle one mile stroll along the sea front to a 12 mile hike linking two World Heritage-nominated monasteries, the Newcastle Gateshead coastline boasts a wealth of accessible and impressive scenery. Here are some of the best routes.

The Leas

The Leas are a stunning stretch of 300 acres of grassy open space, managed by the National Trust to conserve the bountiful nature that calls this area of the South Tyneside Coast home. Six different walks, ranging from a light 1.1 mile amble to a longer 4.5 mile path, allow anyone from the casual to the experienced walker to sample the delights of this stretch of coastline. Many of the walks also pass Souter lighthouse, which was the most advanced in the world when it opened in 1871 and is now open for the public to look around.

More information on the walks can be found at www.southtyneside.info/search/tempDocuments/tmp_49468.pdf.

Marsden BayMarsden Circular Walk

This spectacular seven-mile walk winds along the sea cliffs of South Tyneside. Passing a 13th century parish church, a listed 19th century windmill, a quarry that plays host to many species of migrating birds and wildflowers of national importance, the route begins and ends near Marsden Rock, owned by the National Trust and home to kittiwakes, fulmars, gulls and cormorants.

More information on the walk is at www.southtyneside.info/search/tempDocuments/tmp_58711.pdf.

Tynemouth PrioryCoastal Walk

This six-mile walk takes in the enticing coastline of North Tyneside, starting at St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay. The lighthouse, on St Mary's Island, was built in 1898 and now houses a fascinating museum with interactive displays, a visitors' centre and rock pooling activities. Climbing up the 137 steps of the lighthouse, there are stunning views from the top. The walk finishes at North Shield's Fish Quay; the hub of the North's fishing industry, where freshly-caught fish with chips at Kristian's Fish Co will soon put the calories back on!

More information is at www.geocities.com/geoffholland1948/northtynesidewalks/walk1.html.

The Robert Westall Walk

The author Robert Westall was born in North Shields. Famous for books such as The Machine Gunners and The Kingdom by the Sea, he drew much of his inspiration for the landscapes featured in his novels from his native North Tyneside. Starting in North Shields and ending on Front Street, by the sea at Tynemouth, the 2.5 mile route takes the walker on a journey to many of the places that inspired Westall.

More information can be found at www.geocities.com/geoffholland1948/northtynesidewalks/walk4.html.

St Paul's church, JarrowBede's Way

This 12 mile walk follows the footsteps of seventh century pilgrims, linking the Anglo-Saxon monastery of St Peter's at Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, with St Paul's monastery in Jarrow, which are the UK's nomination for the 2010 World Heritage award. The route takes the walker through the scenic Great North Forest, with its rich and varied views of hills, streams and the sea. Ideal for walkers interested in history, remains of the seventh century buildings survive at both St Peter's and St Paul's, giving an insight into the daily life of the monastery where the Venerable Bede was educated.

More information on the walk is at www.southtyneside.info/search/document_view.asp?mode=8&pk_document=11773.

Miller's Trail

The Miller's Trail is an eight mile walk that links the three windmills of Whitburn, Cleadon and Fulwell. The circular walk passes area rich in cultural and natural heritage within the beautiful Great North Forest. The windmills at Whitburn and Fulwell have even been fully restored, providing a rare opportunity to imagine a windmill in action.

More detailed information can be found at www.southtyneside.info/search/tempDocuments/tmp_59298.pdf.

Other Walks

More information on all of these walks and the many more delightful routes around Newcastle Gateshead's coast is online at www.visitnewcastlegateshead.co.uk/site/tours/walking-and-cycling.

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