Often people overlook the North-Eastern coastal towns in favour of a trip to Newcastle, when just a short metro ride from Grey’s Monument, Tynemouth offers a picturesque and wholesome day out where you can forget about your upcoming deadlines and enjoy everything that this bustling seaside town has to offer.
Sandwiched in between Whitley Bay and South Shields, Tynemouth is not only home to beautiful beaches, but also a plethora of independent cafés and shops where you can buy homemade gifts and treats while supporting small businesses in and around the North East. If you are coming from the station, wander down Front Street where you can enjoy a coffee and slice of cake at Dil and the Bear, a coffee shop popular with locals because of the friendly staff and outdoor seating – perfect for enjoying some winter sunshine while you people-watch! If you prefer a view of the sea, head over to Crusoe’s on Long Sands beach. This family-run café and restaurant offer everything from a cup of coffee and brunch to a cocktail and street food, operating on the philosophy of providing genuine food for genuine people – make sure not to miss their famous breakfast muffins!
If you are a fan of browsing through gifts, art, books, and antiques in search of a hidden gem, there is no better place than the market at Tynemouth station every Saturday and Sunday. Starting at 9am it’s best to get there early, but you are guaranteed to find a huge variety of stalls selling all sorts of titbits at fantastic prices. There is also an assortment of delicious street food, often locally sourced and with a strong variety of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. If you want a culinary experience that can transport you internationally, try the toasties at Mardi Gras. Experimenting with fillings such as ‘Chicken Tikka Shawarma’ and ‘Chicken Doner Kebab’, they are guaranteed to elevate you from your college toastie bar expectations.
Alternatively, if it’s beaches you are looking for, enjoy a walk on Long Sands, a vast stretch of beach which brings you from the edge of town to Cullercoats Pier, perfect for a long dog walk or trying a spot of water sports at Tynemouth Surf Company, located on the seafront. Its younger brother, King Edwards Bay, offers a cosier and quieter experience. Nestled under the gothic gaze of the Priory, this little cove is home to Riley’s Fish Shack; built from re-used shipping containers, this bar and grill serves up locally caught fresh fish on a daily basis, and even provides deckchairs if you want to enjoy a takeaway in front of the waves.
Unfortunately, it is very possible that a visit to Tynemouth could be accompanied with some drizzle or rainfall, in which case there is still plenty to do in and around the town. Just a short walk from Long Sands beach, sits Tynemouth Aquarium—home to different species of fish, seals, stingrays and even sharks, Tynemouth Aquarium is a wonderful rainy-day activity. For the history buffs, there is Tynemouth Castle and Priory, located on a rocky peninsula next to King Edwards Bay you can soak in the beautiful ruins, and enjoy the permanent exhibition which takes you on a journey through the site’s history.
For the history buffs, there is Tynemouth Castle and Priory, located on a rocky peninsula next to King Edwards Bay you can soak in the beautiful ruins
If however, you would prefer to enjoy Tynemouth in the sun, this summer will provide a perfect opportunity, with the town playing host to a number of festivals located in the stunning grounds of the Priory. Foodies will love Tynemouth Food Festival, a two-day event which plays host to culinary vendors and market traders selling local produce alongside pop-up bars, live music, and fun activities. If you are a music lover, come along to the Mouth of the Tyne Festival between the 11th-14th July, not only will there be a fantastic street arts programme dotted around the town, but this year headliner Rick Astley also promises to put on an unmissable show!
Photography by: Grace Eadley, Keith Pitchforth via Wikimedia Commons and Stanley Howe via Wikimedia Commons