* Prices may differ from that shown
Tynemouth is a pretty village with several eateries to choose from. The Priory Pub situated on front street is family and dog friendly offering good food at very reasonable prices. For example - an 8oz steak, chips and salad is £6.95. Sonny's Italian restaurant which is above the Priory Pub also serves great food but is a tiny bit pricier. Allards Wine Bar does both great tapas and meals in a classy environment at reasonable prices. The beach at tynemouth is stunning. There is a great walk around the coast
Tynemouth is one of the nicest villages on the coast. Located not far from Newcastle Upon Tyne (about 20 minutes by car), and situated on the coast line - Tynemouth really is a very nice, accessible, quiet country village.
Unlike places like Seahouses and Bamburgh, Tynemouth is pretty untouched by tourism and general over merhcandising. I'm not sure how long this will last, but at the moment Tynemouth still has that small town feel, with just enough shops and activities to keep you busy, but not so many that you feel like you might aswell have just stayed in town.
So what does it have to offer? Well, there's quite alot to do in this small town. The main village centre consists of the usual affray of pubs and coffee houses, aswell as plenty of places to buy food such as sandwiches/cakes and of course fish and chips! No trip to the sea side is complete without a dose of fish and chips. There are alot of great deals on food in Tynemouth, which will please the money conscious among us. Lets face it, that's most of us in todays climate!
The Salutation pub for example is a great little place to get fine food, and fine beer at very affordable places. Located on the main street, "The Sal" does a very nice meal deal, of 2 for 1. You can choose from a variety of meals and get two of these for a bargain price of £5.95. That's a whopping 3 pound each just about! If you go down on a Sunday, you'll be treated to two Sunday Roasts for £6.95! £3.50 each for what is a very sizeable and tastey meal. I've experienced alot of the menu and I can personally vouch for the quality.
The affore mentioned chip shop is called, "Marshals". You can't miss it. Again on the high street it is opposite, The Salutation, just across the street. The quality of fish and chips here is top quality, and although it's a little expensive these days - I'd still recommend them. There's even a Subway in Tynemouth, in case you want to give yourself the illusion of a healthier meal! (check out the salt content of subway sandwiches if you don't believe me).
The beach itself isn't that big, however, when the tide is out there's enough room for quite alot of people to do whatever it is you do when you're on a beach. Most people you see on there are sitting sunbathing or walking their dogs. The beach is situated in a bit of a ravine, with rocks either side. It captures the sun nicely however, and is very scenic if you go during the summer. The view from the peer itself is magnificent. Tynemouth is pretty high up, so on a nice day you get a fantastic view of the sea and sourrounding areas.
The abbey is one the main attractions of Tynemouth, it's just a shame it's not open all the year round. However, head out during the summer and you'll be treated to some ruins of the abbey, with the occasional re-enactment of the times, performed by actors. I've attended a few of these when I was younger, but nowadays I tend to go to Tynemouth with my girlfriend - for the beer and the food!
There are also a couple of smaller "trinkety" shops, which sell a variety of collectable bits and pieces aswell as an indoor shopping market which is permenant, and open most days. In it, there are cake shops, ornament shops and even a tatoo parlour! Something for all walks of life.
As with most of these small country towns, Tynemouth tends to come alive at the weekend. The famous "Tynemouth Market" is only available on a Sunday. Situated in the metro station, the Market plays host to many wide and varied stalls, all set up by members of the public. This is a great little gem, which you can have hours of fun at. From sweet stalls, to electronic goods, to books, to clothes - the market has the lot! All at a much cheaper price than any town shop too. In fact, the locals seem to love a good bit of bartering!
Tynemouth is pretty easy to get to. Straight down the coast road in a car (parking is tough when it's busy though, and that's my only negative about Tynemouth - needs more parking spaces!), or head to the Metro if you don't drive. Either way, it's a great little day out and somewhere I visit time and time again. It's a fun day out for people of all ages, it has something for everyone. Tynemouth is relatively untouched by tourism which makes it retain it's earthy feel, and genuine quality. If you haven't been here and are nearby, check it out. You won't be dissapointed.
Just 8 miles East of Newcastle City Center, situated next to the mouth of the river Tyne, is the aptly named and seaside town of Tynemouth. When we first moved to Newcastle four years ago we couldnt believe how lovely it was and we visit frequently.
Tynemouth is a lovely town and a highly desirable place to live causing high property prices. Its only small but its picturesque, middle-upper class and most importantly close to the beach. There isnt a great deal to do in the Town itself which is really just small high street. There are five or six pubs/bars, a couple of excellent cafés and several restaurants, in addition to a number of small shops. Bear in mind that the only cash point is just outside Lloyds on the at the top end of the high street and theres often queues. Specialist shops, include Gaf which is a great places to get interesting gifts and knick knacks and there is also an excellent albeit tiny deli tucked away on one of the side streets. The converted church-cum-shopping center The Land Of Green Ginger is also a great place for interesting odds and ends and is definitely worth a look.
For lunches many of the pubs serve traditional fare and theres also a cafés and a bakery, both of whom do eat in or takeaway sandwiches. Being the seaside Tynemouth is also an ideal place for fish and chips. Theres a take away joint on the high street but if you can get down to the nearby North Shields Fish Quays (just a few minutes drive) the best fish and chips are to be had from here.
There are also a number of up market places for dinner. Sidneys selection of interesting modern cuisine isnt cheap, but it has an excellent reputation. Ive never been I have been to the sister restaurant Blackfriars, in Newcastle City Center, which was fabulous. A swanky looking Spanish Tapas restaurant has also opened recently, theres a pricey but fabulous sounding seafood restaurant, also on the high street. Sambucas down on the Fish Quays, just 5 minutes away, is also a great little Italian place, with a fabulous atmosphere and great value food, that I would highly recommend.
Tynemouths main beach, just a ten minute walk from the town center, is Long Sands. Its a fantastic and lengthy white sand beach, backed by dunes and consequently it gets packed in the Summer. The beach is huge when the tide is out but it comes in a long way and as this is the North Sea the water isnt warm. Despite this there are surfers in the water year round and in October theres an annual surf competition (which used to be held in Cornwalls Newquay). Surf gear can be hired or bought from the little shop atop the sand dunes about half way along the beach. Theres also the opportunity to hire boats from Tynemouth sailing club which is based just inside the river entrance, minutes away from the priory. For more information see http://www.tynemouthsc.co.uk/
If you dont fancy brazing the water the beach is a great place for a stroll along the surf and it takes about 20-30 minutes to walk from end to end. Many people venture down to take their dogs for a walk, although in the Summer months they are banned due to the influx of people. Theres also fabulous café Crusoes (sadly they recently changed the name from simply Sea, which I much preferred) which stands literally on the sands, next to the South ramps, and serves good value drinks, snacks and lunches until 5pm. The café gets very busy at the weekends but theres plenty of tables and the place is very children friendly.
Just around the headland theres also the tiny but more secluded King Edwards bay, situated next to the priory at the bottom of high cliffs.
On the cliff tops, overlooking the mouth of the Tyne and the North sea stands the partly ruined Old Priory, which was founded back in 1090 on the former site of a 7th-century Anglian monastery. The priory is maintained by English Heritage and entrance is £3.50 for adults, £1.80 for children and £2.60 for concessions. Opening hours are from 9-5 in the Summer but in the Winter opening hours and times very (check the website for more information).
The Blue Reef Aquarium
As my partner worked here for two years the Blue Reef is a place which I am both familiar with and fond of. The aquarium is only tiny but it features a wide selection of local and more exotic sea creatures and was recently extended to create an outside seal enclosure. Highlights also include the underwater safari, a tunnel through a huge tank, which houses sharks and rays, the otters and the nursery (baby sea horses and box fish are very cute) although the variety of creatures here does depend on the time of year. The Blue Beef is open from 9-5 in the Summer and 9-4 in the Winter. Entry is £6.95 for adults, £4.95 for children and £5.95 for students and pensioners. There are free talks and feeding sessions scheduled throughout the day, which are interesting and educational and this is a great place to spend a couple of hours.
The mouth of the Tyne Festival is held annually in July and features live local and international music in a carnival style atmosphere. The Fish Quay festival which incorporates North Shields is a similar affair and is held the last bank holiday weekend in May.
Additionally, every Saturday and Sunday from 9am till 4pm there is an excellent market held in the beautiful glass roofed Tynemouth metro station. The market combines a good mix of second hand goods in addition to local crafts and its worth a look if youre in the area at the weekend. Theres also a Farmers market held at the station on the third Saturday of every month.
Within view of the priory, stands a 7m statue of Lord Collingwood, perched atop a podium and majestically overlooking the mouth of the river. Collingwood was born in Newcastle and is famous as he was the first British commander to open fire at Trafalgar before breaking the French line. Just nearby it is also possible to walk the length of the piers jutting out either side of the mouth of the river and offering windswept views of the coast.
The Fish Quays just upriver on the edge of North Shields and just a five minute drive from Tynemouth is also an interesting place. Its fairly run down but is gradually being renovated. Its possible to watch the catch come in if youre early enough but even if youre not its nice to have a wander around and admire the boats and to see the seals if youre lucky. As I mentioned previously Sambucas is a great place to eat here and there are some fantastic fish and chips to be had. Fresh fish is also on sale in a number of shops including a main market in the mornings only.
Just around the headland from the North of Long Sands is Cullercoats Bay, a calm and quaint natural harbour great for swimming and there are often people to be seen jumping from the pier in the Summer. Continuing North one finds the distinctly tacky Whitley Bay which is in dire need of renovation, the removal of the luminous flashing plastic palm trees and the pole dancers who start at lunchtime. The beach here is not as nice as Tynemouth and neither is the area.
The light house at St Marys, just a five minute drive further up the coast, is worth a visit though. The lighthouse can only be reached by a causeway which is only accessible at low tide and be warned the tide comes in fast. This is a great spot for rock pooling, especially in the warmer months when the tide is just receding. Its also possible to go in the lighthouse but opening hours are inconsistent. Ive been in once and I think it was only a couple of pounds each but its often shut. Its possible to climb to the top to admire the view and theres also a numbers of displays with information about the history of the lighthouse and this stretch of the coast generally.
There is ample parking in the center of Tynemouth village and its very reasonably priced. Theres also parking on North and South ramps leading down to Long Sands. Its free on the North ramp but expect to pay elsewhere. Its not expensive here either and whats more tickets are transferable to Tynemouth village and to the majority of the other carparks along this stretch of the coast.
There is also a metro station with regular trains from Newcastle and across the region. A return journey coats around £3 and takes about 25 minutes. Similarly, theres a regular bus service from Newcastle and from other places in the region and more information can be found here http://www.simplygo.com/timetables/timetables.htm
As its only eight miles to Tynemouth from Newcastle we head that way regularly and I highly recommend a trip to Tynemouth to anyone in the region. Tynemouth is a truly lovely place to while away a few hours, be it for a walk along the beautiful beach, for dinner, lunch or just a drink in one of the many cafes, pubs and restaurants on offer, or for a spot of surfing or rock pooling further up the coast.
Framed by sea and sand, castles and chip shops, Tynemouth's gorgeous swirl of curving Victorian terraces and tree lined Georgian avenues starts six miles east of Newcastle on the north bank of the River Tyne. A designated Conservation Area, the village still follows a medieval street pattern and boasts some of the cleanest beaches in the country. ARRIVAL AND ORIENTATION Tynemouth Station, first built in 1882 and Grade II listed since the late-1970s, is the gateway to the faded grandeur of the surrounding village. Every ten minutes red and yellow Metro trains stop below the elegant wrought iron and glass roof, held up by ornately carved beams winding up to red brick chimneys and cloudy skies. Double footbridges arch between wide platforms that house Bric-a-brac and Arts and Crafts markets every weekend. Outside the station, across the small car park and opposite a cluster of neat, suburban gardens, King's School follows the bend of the Georgian classical Huntingdon Place round to Front Street. Look out for the blue plaque on the right hand side of the street commemorating the Italian patriot Garibaldi's visit here in 1854 to outline his plans for unification to local politicians. Lined with specialist shops, red telephone boxes, restaurants and pubs, Front Street subtly meanders its way from the seated statue of Queen Victoria up to the 1861 clock tower in front of Tynemouth Priory and Castle, the skeletal ruins of which dominate the headland overlooking the mouth of the Tyne. Pier Road branches off to the south, running along the row of pretty coastguard cottages to the Watch House and attached museum. A diagonal path cuts down the hill to the towering Collingwood Monument, eventually winding its way to the banks of the river where a path continues along to the North Shields Fish Quay and the Tyne Ferry. North of the clock tower, East Street starts at the Rock of Gibraltar pub, split by an eye-shaped stretch of grass
into Sea Banks and the stately, three-storey sweep of Percy Gardens as it passes King Edward's Bay before the windswept Victorian splendour of Grand Parade takes over, all steep stone steps, high bay windows and blustery sea views as it reaches out towards Cullercoats and the majestic spire of the Parish Church of St. George, commissioned by the Duke of Northumberland and designed by John Loughborough Pearson in 1884. The wonderful Grand Hotel, built in 1870 as the summer residence of the Duchess of Northumberland, is situated above the beach next to Tynemouth Park. ENTERTAINMENT Of all the bars on or just off Front Street my favourites must surely be the Turks Head, the Furry Pear and Fitzpatricks. The former has a 19th-century stuffed dog displayed in a cabinet by the entrance which reputedly died pining for its lost owner and was placed in the bar to await his return. If you’re looking for nightclubs try Newcastle or Whitley Bay. Front Street is thronged with restaurants and bakeries, though I’ve never eaten anywhere but Marshall's. A Tynemouth institution dating back to the 1930s, the fish and chips here are among the best in the whole area. The Land of Green Ginger, a shopping mall located in an old Congregational Church on Front Street, is well worth a browse. Of the three beaches in Tynemouth the appropriately named Longsands, which stretches for almost a mile in front of Grand Parade, is by far the biggest. Popular since the 1820s, bathers once flocked to an open air mineral spring located at the southern tip of the beach. The spring has since been converted into a rock pool, while more than a century of Bank Holiday masses trampling on the beach itself has left it almost totally flat. Together with the nearby King Edward's Bay Longsands was awarded a Blue Flag this summer, making both excellent spots for swimming and surfing as long as you can tolerate the icy North Sea. King E
dward's Bay, or Shortsands as it is locally known, arcs to the north of Tynemouth Castle and Priory. Sheltered by high cliffs, the only access to the small, sloping beach is by a step of steep stairs. The third beach, Prior's Haven, is no more than a sandy inlet at the very mouth of the Tyne. Once popular with the monks from the adjacent priory, the Haven was a bathing beach in the 18th century but is now off-limits to sunbathers as the home of the Tynemouth Sailing Club. A row of benches above the beach marks the former site of the Spanish Battery, a defensive site for the castle built in 1545 and manned by Spanish mercenaries. Tynemouth Sea Life Centre is located on Grand Parade. It has a good shark tank but is far from the best aquarium I’ve ever seen. The small museum at the Watch House is open six days a week (10-3 Tuesday – Saturday, 10-12 Sunday). Dedicated to the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, formed in 1864, the museum has some interesting exhibits such as a 19th centrury ship’s bell, training equipment, search lamps and pictures. SIGHTS A five-minute signposted stroll from Tynemouth Station brings you to the Priory and Castle. First constructed as a wooden chapel in 627 AD, the site has housed Iron Age, Viking, Roman and Saxon settlements, served as the burial place for Northumbrian and Scottish kings, a Saxon Monastery, a Benedictine Priory, a medieval castle and a World War I gun battery. Entering through the Gift Shop to the right of the huge iron portcullis the first sight straight ahead is of the 73 ft high south wall of the old presbytery, the ruined, gaping holes of which marvellously accentuate intricate arches and pointed windows through which the swirling sea swells back and forth against the concrete defences below. Eroded rocks and weathered walls dot the grassy expanse, revealing ancient boundaries and long forgotten buildings. Huge columns rise beside the thic
k walls before abruptly fading into nothingness, while small doorways lead to open-roofed rooms circled by walls that jut out of nowhere. Elongated oval windows stretch to the sky and a pair of heavy wooden doors push open to reveal a tiny vaulted chapel, its beautiful criss-crossed roof and stained glass windows no less impressive than the haunting beauty outside. The leaning grey and black headstones of the adjacent graveyard have been chipped and cracked until most resemble scorched bubbles of melted, colourless cheese. Some seem to be slowly falling, others are barely legible and reveal only snatched fragments of existence such as 'formerly of Berwick', 'Served his King and Country faithfully for 26 years', 'foundered at sea', 'universally respected' and 'accidentally shot whilst in the execution of his duty.' Foremost among them all is Corporal Alexander Rollo who 'held the lantern at the burial of Sir John Moore at Corona.' Around and across the graveyard weatherbeaten walls reveal the location of the old latrine and the Prior’s Chapel, littered with broken sculptures and stone tablets. The remains of the New Hall amount to 4 ft of stone, while the outer parlour is but a ragged line of rocks in the grass. The Prior’s Hall drops sharply into the ground, the old walls clearly perceptible but the steps and ceiling victims of dissolution and decay. The large gun battery seems bizarrely incongruous to this ancient religious context. Protecting the entrance to the harbour below, the grey guns stand on concrete looking out to the horizon. Displays and artefacts can be found in the underground chambers down the railed iron staircases. An 1859 cannon points towards King Edward's Bay in tribute to the centenary of the Tynemouth Voluntary Artillery. The castle walls run either side of the gatehouse back by the Gift Shop. First started by the Normans in 1095, the walls pr
otected a site sacked by the Danes in 800 and holding the remains of Oswin, King of Deria (651), Osred of Northumbria (792) and Malcolm III of Scotland (1093). From the top of the steep banks the statue of Collingwood is clearly visible in front of the river and the hazy view over to South Shields Town Hall and the vast shipyard cranes along the Tyne. Middle-aged men walk dogs in the hilly moat below the ramparts and black shapes walk two-by-two up to the distant lighthouse at the top of North Pier. As seagulls glide over the upturned boats down at Prior's Haven, the frequent clack, clack sounds of croquet bat on ball can be heard from the white-shirted players to the left of the presbytery. Beyond the allotments and church steeples a teacher barks out instructions as the boys of King's School run up and down the Rugby pitch. A gateway at the top of the grassy ramp next to the gatehouse takes you into the Great Chamber, open to the skies and full of pigeons sitting in grand arched windows. After viewing the massive fireplace in the kitchen follow the stone steps that wind up through low-ceilinged alcoves to the very top of the chamber. Entrance to Tynemouth Priory and Castle costs £2.20 for adults. Family tickets and concessions are available. Times vary so I'd recommend ringing (0191) 257 1090 for current details. At the top of Collingwood Fields, the monument to Admiral Lord Collingwood was erected in 1845 by public subscription. Newcastle born, Collingwood led the fleet into action at the Battle of Trafalgar as Nelson's second in command and is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. Striking a heroic pose, his statue gazes resolutely across the mouth of the Tyne and out to the North Sea. The four guns on the plinth of the 23-metre high monument were taken from the Royal Sovereign, which Collingwood captained at Trafalgar. The notorious Black Middens, an exposed expanse of black rock down below the monume
nt, claimed five ships in three days of blizzards in November 1864. Thirty-four people drowned almost within touching distance of the riverbank. OVERALL One of the prettiest areas in Tyne & Wear, Tynemouth's proximity to Newcastle, ancient remains and beaches make for a wonderful day trip. WEBSITES www.tynemouth.org.uk www.fgillings.freeserve.co.uk
Tynemouth is, as its name suggests, located at the mouth of the River Tyne. It’s a village about 8 miles from Newcastle city centre. The village is a designated conservation area, which is defined as a "..townscape with special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance." There are a number of features in the village which give it this status: historic ruins of the castle & priory, a Medieval street pattern, the 18th Century architecture on Front Street, Percy Gardens an striking crescent, Collingwood monument and all the 18/19th century buildings in the area. Attractions in Tynemouth Beaches: There is a lovely, long sandy beach at Tynemouth, appropriately named Long Sands (it’s around 1500m long). It’s very popular in the summer (despite the North Sea being blooming freezing all year round!). During the summer lifeguards are stationed here and designated swimming areas are marked out, it’s also very clean as dogs are not allowed on the beach between April and September and it’s cleaned regularly. It’s also popular with surfers – who needs Bondi Beach!? There are some rocks at the Cullercoats end of the beach which are good for rock-pooling. There is also Short Sands beach, which is in King Edward’s bay, just North of the Priory; I like this beach as it’s sheltered and sandy (there is a very steep walk down to it though). Priory: The Priory can be dated back to around 600AD, it has been rebuilt many times and was in use until the 19th century although it lies in ruins now. Three kings are buried here: King Oswin (651), King Osric (792), King Malcolm of Scotland (1093) and it’s absolutely steeped in history. It is maintained by English Heritage and there are often events held here such as pageants and re-enactments of battles. The Priory stands on the headland at the end of
Front street and is the most prominent feature in Tynemouth. There are great views of the river and coast from the Priory. Opening Times : 1st April to 31 October daily (10am to 6pm) 1st November to 30th March Wed-Sun (10am-4pm) Admission: adults £1.50, children .80p (at last check) Castle: The ruins of the castle lie between the Priory and the mainland, it is in an good defensive position and was maintained and used as a fortification until as recently as 1956; there are still First World War cannons which you can explore. Tynemouth Station: Tynemouth Station is not only where the Metro stops, it’s a stunning example of Victorian Station architecture which has been substantially restored to is original splendour. It was made a grade II listed building in 1978 and is looked after by the Friends of Tynemouth Station. As well as being a building of architectural and historical interest, it is also the base for the markets hich take place on Saturdays and Sundays. Other Things to do: There’s the aquarium along the seafront; personally I found this very expensive for what it was – it’s not a particularly good aquarium. There’s a diving shop on Front Street which also offers courses; bit cold for my liking, but it seems to be popular. There’s also a Sailing club, which I haven’t visited but they seem welcoming to new members. You can hire surf boards from the surf shop on the sea front (above Long Sands). There’s also a really pathetic mini-golf on the sea-front; it used to be good when I was little with windmills and obstacles, now it’s just round concrete holes with no obstacles other than the course itself! Tynemouth also has a nice little park, opposite the sea front; there’s a small boating lake here where you can hire pedaloes which is quite good fun. You can also walk down to the Collingwood Monument, which can be seen from the
Priory, and along to North Shields fish quay for some fish & chips and a pint (lovely on a summers day). Facilities in Tynemouth: Shopping The main shopping street is called Front Street and there’s a good range of shops and services in the village; Walter Wilsons (a small grocery store), a newsagents, a bakery, a deli, a few off licenses, a small library, Lloyds and Barclays bank, a post office and a number of gift and specialist shops. Eating and Drinking You can get great Fish & Chips from Marshalls on Front Street – my favourite! There are several restaurants including a couple of pizzerias, a Tandoori, a Chinese and Sidney’s Restaurant which is a small, awarded restaurant serving a variety of food. There are a number of pubs in the village which has quite a good nightlife considering its size. Accommodation There are a number of places to stay; the Park Hotel near to the aquarium is 3 star as is the Grand Hotel nearer to the village on the sea front. There are also many hotels and B&Bs in Whitely Bay, just a short distance away. Transport There is a Metro station in Tynemouth which connects to Newcastle, Sunderland and many other places in North Tyneside. Metros tend to run every 10 minutes. You can get buses as well which will also take you along the seafront (the 306 runs into Newcastle). Claims to fame! Tynemouth was where Supergran was filmed if any of you remember that! It has also been the location for many other tv and film productions. Some other cringy ‘fame’ links, I have discovered are that most of The Lindisfarne rock band live here and hang out in the pubs as well as some girl who was in Grange hill, and some guy who was a rent boy on The Bill..!!!! Thanks for reading, hope you visit someday J