Sip cocktails and wine in Whitley Bay’s Joffers while picking away at bowls of tapas. For the best traditional fish and chips try Pantrinis, or opt for Lorelei Bar and Seagrill in Tynemouth for freshly caught fish or a juicy burger. Dil & the Bear is a cosy café serving healthy favourites, while Allard’s Lounge is an eclectic café and wine bar (which has been around in various forms since 1890) – we recommend their champagne afternoon tea.
The Grand Hotel is Tynemouth’s landmark hotel overlooking the dramatic North Sea and coast. The stunning Longsands Beach, famous for its fantastic surfing waters, is just across the road from the hotel entrance and is the perfect place for a brisk walk after breakfast or for a leisurely stroll on a summer’s evening while you watch the sun go down. In Whitley Bay, the York House Hotel is stylish and elegant, with nifty iPad check-in and a delicious locally sourced breakfast menu. No 61 on the Main Street is a well-known B&B with a quaint garden too.
In Tynemouth, head to Gareth James, an artisan chocolatier, C Nicholson & Sons, the renowned butchers, Razzberry Bazaar for quirky and colourful fashion and Green Ginger, a bespoke shopping arcade housing scores of independent shops and cafés. The bustling Tynemouth Markets are held in the Victorian Tynemouth Station every weekend, and are also worth a visit. In Whitley, stop by Park View Shopping Centre for a coffee at Costa and a mosey around the high street names.
Tynemouth Castle and Priory don’t just look stunning – they also double as an iconic clifftop music venue as part of the Mouth Of The Tyne festival. Last year James Morrison serenaded the open-air audience and this summer will see more hot acts such as Lawson take to the stage.
If you’ve got little ones in tow, Blue Reef Aqaurium is a must. Spark their interest with fascinating fish, seals and even stingrays and cool demonstrations before undoubtedly being dragged to the gift shop to pick up some fish-inspired toys and teddies.
Around the corner
We can’t write about these coastal towns without mentioning their stunning beaches. From Longsands to King Edward’s Bay and Prior’s Haven, there are miles and miles of sandy coastline to explore. Pack a picnic, round up the whole family and spend a classic British day at the seaside. Take a trip to the iconic St Mary’s Lighthouse, completed in 1898, which sits on the tiny Bait Island reached by a tidal causeway.