Half a day near the Tyne

The lighthouse at the south entrance to the Tyne
The lighthouse at the south entrance to the Tyne

After travelling down to Durham last month to attend this year’s Fire and Ice Expeditions ball, we spent some time in the area the day after the ball before home. On my month-long tour I’d visited South Shields and seen the two lighthouses on the ends of the piers at the entrance to the Tyne, but not actually walked up the piers to get a closer look. With a few hours to spare this is what we decided to do.

Starting off in South Shields, we set off along the south pier, which was surprisingly long. On the way out we could see across to Souter lighthouse to the south and Herd Groyne, an interesting lighthouse sitting just at the inner entrance to the Tyne. There are a few more lights along the side of the river there, including a couple of almost identical white square towers across in North Shields. There were plenty of fishermen and walkers about that day and you could see why it was a popular place to go for a wander. The lighthouse itself  made a change from many others in that the outside of the lantern room is painted red on the Tyne-facing side and white on the sea-facing side.

The lighthouse on Tynemouth pier
The lighthouse on Tynemouth pier

Our second stop was just on the other side of the river where we could access the lighthouse at the end of the pier off of Tynemouth, although hopping across that small stretch of water isn’t quick! We parked up just down the road from Tynemouth Castle, which overlooks the pier. This pier wasn’t quite as long, but had some lovely surroundings, including a tiny beach and green areas. We enjoyed a slightly more sheltered walk out to the lighthouse, taking in the castle walls built into the edge of the cliff. The lighthouse to the north of the river entrance is very well-maintained and – judging by some of the pictures about of it during stormy weather – you can see why it needs to be. A picture of it was recently used widely in the media with a huge wave crashing over it and there seem to be many more where that one came from.

It was a nice morning spent getting some fresh air next to the Tyne. There are some lovely lighthouses in that area and it’s not hard to visit a handful in one day, so definitely an area I would recommend visiting to any potential lighthouse enthusiast! 🙂

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