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How to Have a Perfect Weekend in Whitley Bay, Tynemouth and North Shields

beach St Mary’s Lighthouse
Places to go
August 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

Three quintessential seaside towns with bucketloads of character, beaches and popular bistros

You can't talk about this stretch of the North East coast without mentioning the beautiful beaches. From Whitley Bay down to Cullercoats and on to Longsands, there are miles of sandy shore to explore and cold sea to dip your toes into. Whitley Bay is the perfect seaside resort for a family day out; from the penny arcades to the skate parks, and the infamous PLAYHOUSE which hosts music and theatre performances, there's a whole host of activities to enjoy. A two-mile stroll down the coast and you'll find yourself in Tynemouth. Explore the ruins of Tynemouth Priory standing tall over King Edward's Bay and browse the independent delis and gift shops before sitting down for a little rest and refuel at one of the many bistros, cafés or bars. Continue south and you'll soon come to North Shields Fish Quay where you can buy freshly caught fish and seafood, or sample it firsthand in one of the restaurants dotted along the quay.

Base Camp

All three of these towns provides a multitude of comfortable places to rest your head. York House Boutique Hotel has 18 spacious ensuite bedrooms with a great breakfast to fuel a day on the beach. A little further down the coastline between Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, Week2Week serviced apartments have magnificent sea views and are ideal for those wanting self-catered accommodation. The Grand Hotel is a good option for a night’s stay in one of their 46 refined modern-luxury rooms, many with sea views, or for a boutique retreat hideaway for two, Tynemouth’s newest offering The Basement is a must-try and just a few minutes’ walk from the beautiful King Edward’s Bay.

Spanish City
North Shields Fish Quay and Market
Collingwood Monument

Perfect Weekend

Start your day the right way with a visit to Kith & Kin. A Whitley Bay favourite, here they offer all-day brunch and lunch including filled bagels, breakfast butties and deliciously sweet French toast. It wouldn’t be a coastal town without an amusement arcade and you’re surrounded by award-winning fish and chip shops and ice cream parlours – Di Meo’s is a must-visit, offering authentic Italian gelato in a variety of classic and unique flavours. There are two miles of golden sands to wander along and be sure to stop off along the Northern Promenade at The Links Art Gallery, where they stock a wide range of quality art and craft work by North East artists. A visit to Whitley Bay wouldn’t be complete without climbing the 137 steps to the top of St Mary’s Lighthouse. The rockpools around the lighthouse are also a great place for kids to explore and if you’re lucky grey seals can be spotted taking a nap on the island – just make sure to leave before you get cut off by the tide! Don’t miss a visit to the iconic Spanish City with its five restaurants, including the second branch of Whitby institution Trenchers which sits under the famous dome, Valerie’s Tearoom offering traditional afternoon tea, or visit The Champagne Bar which is perfect for a tipple or two at the end of the day.

A weekend away has to include a visit to the thriving Tynemouth Markets inside the metro station. Spread over the two platforms you’ll find stalls selling everything from antiques and collectables to art and clothing, as well as plants and fresh produce. Meanwhile on Front Street, Razzberry Bazaar offers a unique shopping experience with an eclectic mix of colourful clothing and homeware from around the world, and Deep North is the place to go for freshly-made doughnuts. Make your way along to either of Tynemouth’s two beaches. Longsands, the larger of the two, is popular with families and home to Tynemouth Surf Co. where you can rent everything you need for your watersports fix; while King Edwards Bay is a smaller, sheltered beach that’s home to the popular monthly Feel Good Swim Club. Having worked up an appetite, don’t miss Riley’s Fish Shack – book a deckchair on the sand, enjoy their delicious food, sip a cold beer and watch the sun go down warmed by their many fire pits. You can also find Riley’s Fish Shop, a new chef-led fishmonger, deli and eatery, in the village.

King Edward’s Bay
Riley’s Fish Shack

North Shields is famous for its Fish Quay, a thriving area with plenty of cafés and pubs. Try The Ship’s Cat for stone-baked pizzas and giant burgers alongside creative cocktails and a strong range of beers and ales. In the iconic Irvin’s Building you’ll find Lobo Rojo, an independent Mexican restaurant and bar inspired by Californian-style dining. Make the most of the sunshine and grab fish and chips to-go from Seaview Fish & Grill, who serve grilled lobster, king prawn tacos and monkfish skewers. Walk it all off along the promenade that stretches from the quay to the mouth of the Tyne and get a glimpse of the Collingwood Monument. Tyne Street offers beautiful views of the quay and the river, and is also home to Dockwray Square (and the statue of local lad Stan Laurel). Coffee-lovers should make a trip to Baristocracy coffee roastery where coffee can be bought by the cup and bag, or book onto one of their speciality coffee courses and master the art of the perfect coffee. If you time it right you’ll be able to visit Salt Market Social’s monthly events, bringing together the best of the region’s street foodies, craft beer merchants and live music all under one roof.

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