Ask a Local: Where to Go in Tynemouth
When you want to know where to go… you ask a local
Tynemouth has recently been named as one of the best places to live in the UK and I couldn’t agree more. Sweeping beaches, dramatic cliff drops and all the facilities you could possibly need, together with an abundance of quality coffee shops and restaurants, have made this small village a special place, I now happily call home.
Tynemouth is far from big but there is plenty to see and do, and it does not necessarily require spending money! On a sunny morning, head out for a walk along the seafront early, before the crowds arrive, pick up a cuppa (the coffee shops open at 7am around here!) and stroll past the ruins of the Priory that look absolutely breathtaking against the blue backdrop of what feels like a combined sky and sea. I stop above King Edward’s Bay on one of the benches overlooking the bay and simply soak in the view, feeling a pang of jealousy towards those brave swimmers taking a dip in the sea. My Italian blood has not quite got used to the temperature of the sea around here. If cold water swimming is not your thing, there are also yoga classes and bootcamps held on the beach on a daily basis.
Depending on time, I carry on to the end of Longsands Beach then walk back along the beach – the landscape looks dramatically different depending on the time of day, the tide and the mood of the sea. End your walk at Crusoe’s right on the beach and try one of their famous muffins, fish and chips or a gyros wrap from their Streetfood Kitchen. Dogs are welcome on the covered patio area and there are heaters for those extra chilly days. And if you are about on a Thursday, they have 2-for-1 cocktails all day and live music between 6pm and 9pm.
On a windy day, Longsands Beach is inundated with surfers enjoying the waves, and Longsands Surf School and the Tynemouth Surf School both offer lessons as well as boards and wetsuits for purchase or hire, should you be inspired to take to the waves too.
Luckily, this is the place the big store chains forgot. A small yet perfect selection of independent stores line the (two) main streets of Tynemouth, including the award-winning specialist CBD store Karma Coast, and the recently opened Nelly and Nova, a dog boutique, offering all that you could possibly need for your fur babies
Like any touristy destination, we are not short of gift shops: Fine & Sandy, To the Moon & Back, Razzberry Bazaar, Artichoke, Fezziwigs and Wild at Heart all offer fantastic and individual ranges of gifts, home interiors, fashion and accessories.
For the little people in your life you can head to Tribe or Children of the Revolution for quality clothes and fantastic toys of a more artisan nature.
Next to each other on Percy Park Road, there is something for fashion lovers: Ruby & Frank offers a great selection of menswear, while Flamingo & Finch caters for the ladies, and The Leather Mob caters for them both with its wide range of gorgeous Italian leather products.
If fresh produce is what tickles your fancy, then you can’t go wrong with fresh fish from Riley’s Fish Shop, bread and pastries from Toast Bakery or Baker and the Cook, cakes from Dill & the Bear, great cheese and organic produce from the Deli Around The Corner… all washed down by a nice bottle of your favourite tipple from The Wine Chambers, where you can also find Tynemouth’s own gin!
Head to the metro station every Saturday and Sunday when the Tynemouth Market takes over, with lots of local stall holders selling everything from antiques, paintings, gifts, jewellery and flowers to freshly-baked goods, attracting visitors from all over the region.
From award-winning fish and chips by Longsands Fish Kitchen to award-winning burgers by Lola Jeans and award-winning Sunday roasts by Pleased to Meet You, Tynemouth is becoming a hub of places that are the ‘best at what they do’! To prove the point, Riley’s Fish Shack was named one of the best beach restaurants by Condé Nast and was shortlisted for a top accolade at the World Restaurant Awards 2019.
Combine this with the artisan chocolate at Gareth James, the artisan beers at Barca ArtBar and artisan coffee by Regular Joe and Cullercoats Coffee Co, and there is no surprise the Sunday Times judges took such a fancy to Tynemouth, naming it on their Best Places to Live list.
I love Tynemouth because it offers so much in such a small area, yet I am a creature of habit, so much so I can’t quite start my day without a pit stop at Toast on Front Street, for a kick of caffeine. It’s a recent addition to the village but already a hive of activity from 7am til 11pm, serving all-day brunches alongside their selection of freshly-baked sweet and savoury pastries prepared in the bakery upstairs, and which can all be washed down with a glass of vino or delicious cocktail. Alternatively head to the Surf Café along the seafront on Grand Parade, a cafe and music venue with plenty of unusual year-round events including Sip & Stretch Yoga sessions, and Wim Hof workshops.