Day 178 : Blythe – North Shields

Today I start at Blythe with its steep industrial heritage in shipbuilding and coal mining and finish on the banks of the River Tyne at North Shields. Although these industries have now gone the port is thriving, involved in renewable energy.

b_261_213_Blythe_Roundabout

Walk Date :                8th Nov 2015
Mileage :                     16.70 miles                   Total Mileage :          2, 799.49 miles
Accommodation :      West View, Reeth

The quayside around the harbour has been redeveloped leaving a pleasant walk and open space. I noticed a piece of sculpture on the quayside depicting staithes, these are wooden structures like piers that could take the coal trains right to the ships for unloading.

I notice a ship along the quayside with a huge helipad sticking out over the bridge of the boat, it did look odd.

As I leave Blythe I stop and wait while a very long procession passes a Remembrance Day event where they were going to the church.

b_261_215_Blythe_Harbour

Just south of Blythe is South Beach which goes all the way to Seaton Sluice, the workers and their family’s playground.

The harbour at Seaton Sluice used to silt up which caused a problem for loading boats. This was solved by blasting a channel across the headland creating an island which was called Rocky Island. Both ends of the channel could be sealed off with sluice gates. When the gates were opened the force of the water would carry the silt out into the sea.

b_261_217_SeatonSluice_CoastalView

Passing through the seaside town of Whitley Bay there seemed to be quite a bit of building going on. The Spanish City building with its dome has been smartened up with gardens outside; it used to be an amusement park.

b_261_221_Tynemouth_Castle

Tynemouth is an area of headland that sits on the north side of the entrance to the River Tyne. Here are the ruins of Tynemouth Castle and Priory from where you get splendid views across the river Tyne.

Tynemouth is also the start or finish of the Sea to Sea Cycle Route from Whitehaven on the West coast.

b_261_223_NorthShields_RiverTyne

I continue down to North Shields where the ferry takes you across the Tyne and where I finish for today.