When the sun is shining, there aren’t many places we’d rather be than the beautiful North East coast. With the height of Summer fast approaching, we’ve put together a bucket list of 10 essential things for you to do along our beautiful coastline.
Take a surf lesson at Tynemouth Surf Co.
If you’ve ever been to Longsands during the Summer months, you’ll have most likely seen the mass of surfers braving the cold water of the North Sea. The popularity of cold water has increased hugely over the last couple of years, with amazing benefits for your mental and physical health. Why not put on a wetsuit and grab a surf lesson at Tynemouth Surf Co. - the most popular surf shop in town for the last 25 years. With boards available for all abilities, alongside wetsuit hire and all the other essentials, you’re sure to have a fun-filled afternoon riding the waves.
NORTH OR SOUTH SHIELDS
Take a ferry trip across the River Tyne
Head down to the riverside at either North or South Shields ferry terminal and take the short and sweet ferry ride across the glistening River Tyne. Take in the stunning views down the river and snap a quick photo as you cross one of the North East’s most famous rivers. If you’re heading from North to South Shields, make sure you go and check out the infamous lighthouse, which will be sure to lighten up your Instagram feed. If you’re heading the other way, check out our Fish Quay recommendations below.
Visit the famous North Shields Fish Quay
The North Shields Fish Quay has had a major makeover in the last few years, with tonnes of bars and restaurants for you to enjoy. From traditional fish & chips, hearty Italian pizzas & pastas, Mexican inspired tacos to fine-dining experiences, the Fish Quay will be sure to have something to tickle your fancy. There are also the traditional wet fish shops that sell an array of freshly caught fish, straight out of the North Sea, where you can get your hands on top-quality squid, lobster, prawns and more!
Walk from Budle Bay to Bamburgh Castle
This is an absolute MUST-DO this Summer. Not many people know about this walk, which makes it even more special. Take the A1 Northbound and come off the B1342 junction towards Outchester, head a little bit further in and follow the signs for Budle. As you park your car and head towards Budle Bay, you forget that you’re in England because this has to be one of the most picturesque beaches in the country. Stroll along the golden sand around to the right and head along the path south towards Bamburgh. Depending on the tide, you can either walk along the beach or there is a footpath just above on the grass that you can follow instead. Take in the breathtaking sights and look out for some of the stunning birds that will be floating above you - some of them have migrated all the way from America! On a clear day, you’ll be able to spot the beautiful Farne Islands in the distance, where you can find the infamous Puffins! The walk will usually take between 1-2 hours to complete, finishing at the stunning Bamburgh Castle that overlooks the beaches below.
Visit Bamburgh Castle
Whether you’ve walked from Budle Bay or are just visiting in general, Bamburgh Castle is a guaranteed great day out. As you approach the immense fortress, you’ll be in awe of the castle that has stood above the Northumberland Coastline for over 1,400 years. You can purchase your tickets at the ticket stall situated just before the entrance (or purchase online beforehand for a discount!) and spend the whole day discovering the fantastic history that this building holds. There are also lots of shows on throughout the Summer months, including Anglo-Saxon re-enactments, comedy performances, theatre productions and outdoor cinemas, so be sure to check in advance to really take advantage of this truly beautiful piece of Northumberland history.
Explore Seahouses Village & Beadnell Beach
Just down the road from Bamburgh castle you’ll find the lovely village of Seahouses. The long history of fishing makes this popular village one of the best spots in the North East for fresh fish and chips. Head to one of the local chip shops and then take a stroll down to the harbour to take in the scenic views of the North Sea and nearby Farne Islands. If you have enough time, you can take the ferry across to the Island where you’ll see the rare Puffins that reside there. See if you can spot the Holy Island of Lindisfarne whilst you’re there too! There is also the gorgeous Beadnell Beach which is less than a 10 minute drive from Seahouses, where you can take your fish and chips if you’re looking for a more quiet spot to chill out and relax.
Hang out at Hartlepool Waterfront Festival
Taking our list over to the other end of the North East, we have the exciting Hartlepool Waterfront Festival making a big return this Summer. With an abundance of open-air performances, inclusive experiences and family-friendly activities, this jam-packed festival would make the perfect family day out.
Taking place along the main Waterfront in Hartlepool on Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th July from 12pm-6pm. The event is unticketed and will be a Pay What You Decide outdoor arts festival where visitors will be able to make anonymous donations based on their experience of the event. All money donated will go towards commissioning extra children’s activities at next year’s festival.
Take a picturesque stroll along Blyth Beach
The colourful beach huts situated on the beach front at Blyth are enough to brighten up anyone’s Instagram feed. Park your car in the Blyth Beach car park and take a stroll along the beach to the peaceful sounds of waves rolling in. After your walk you’ll end up back at the beach huts where you can take some photos before heading to one of the nearby restaurants for fish & chips or a coffee. There’s also plenty of ice cream vans nearby for you to grab everyone’s favourite summertime snack.
Spend a day in Roker & Seaburn
If you’re ever thinking of heading to the Wearside coast for a day out, make sure you go to Roker & Seaburn. These beautiful beaches stretch over 3km, perfect for a stroll in the sun or taking the dogs out. With plenty of seaside cafes and eateries to choose from, this makes for a truly relaxing day out at the coast. You can also surf towards the south of the beach where the waves peel just off the pier. If you’re up for some exploring, head North on the path towards South Shields and you’ll find beautiful cliffs and open-rock faces and you might even be able to spot some seals!
There is also the lively Seaburn Stack here, where you’ll find people enjoying a drink listening to some live music in the sunshine!
Visit the wonderful Whitley Bay
This gorgeous seaside town has undergone massive regeneration over the last few years and is full of so many activities and things to do! With an abundance of restaurants to choose from, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. From traditional fish & chips, artisan bakers, avocado-loving brunch spots, fancy Turkish eateries and much more, you’ll be sure to have your taste buds tingling. For something a bit more upmarket, head to the recently renovated Spanish City. The infamous white dome sits in the heart of Whitley Bay and offers outdoor seating too, perfect for when the sun is out!
There’s also plenty of things to do in and around the town. Why not get your skates on and head down to Whitley Bay Skate Park, where you’ll find the locals showing off their skills. Or head for a sensory overload at the arcades, where you’ll be able to revel in nostalgia playing on all the classic arcade games, guaranteeing hours of fun.
If you’re after something sweet, grab an ice cream from one of the award-winning gelaterias next to the front - that’s if you can choose from all of the delicious flavours they have to offer! There’s also plenty of cafes in and around town where you can pick up a coffee and head down for a walk along the beach.
You’ll be sure to find plenty of things to do here in Whitley Bay - a guaranteed fun day out for all ages.
Thank you for reading our recommendations of the best things to do at the coast this Summer. These are just some of the incredible things we have here on our doorstep in our beautiful region. We hope you enjoy exploring the area, and please make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen when the sun has his hat on!