The Very Best Tyneside Beach Walks
There’s nowhere quite like Tyneside. You can visit the bustling city, idyllic beach or peaceful countryside all within half an hour’s drive of each other. It’s probably no surprise that the coastline is one of my favourite places to visit with my family - and the local beaches have inspired much of my original North East artwork.
I’ve written previously about some of my favourite Northumberland beach walks, including lesser-visited spots like Boulmer, Budle Bay and Newton By The Sea. This month, I wanted to showcase some of my favourite beach walks in Tyneside, including some handy tips for parking and grabbing a bite to eat.
So, whether you live in the area like me or you’re visiting from further afield, keep reading to discover some of the best places to don your walking boots and explore the Tyneside coastline.
Seaton Sluice Beach
- Parking? Free
- Public toilets? Yes, at Fountain Head
- Food/drink nearby? A couple of local pubs and a regular ice cream van
- Dogs allowed in the summer? Yes, all year round
Starting from the border of Northumberland and Tyneside, you’ll find the rolling dunes of Seaton Sluice. This is a very popular beach among dog walkers, as this area allows your four-legged friends to explore off-lead all year round. It’s also a lot quieter than neighbouring beaches like Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, but it does lack the facilities that those other places have to offer.
Even though it’s only a short drive from some of the most populated areas in Tyneside, there is a real sense of serenity and peace. The small harbour is still actively used by local fishermen, and there’s an opportunity for both accessible walking (along a designated footpath) or a more adventurous hike through the dunes or sandy beach.
With several free car parks at either end of the long beach (Fountain Head and Old Hartley), you can stay for as long as you want. There’s also a great play park for children and public toilets in the Fountain Head car park. If you’re hungry, then it’s just a short walk over the main road to the popular local pub, The Astley Arms.
Whitley Bay Beach
- Parking? Paid and free options
- Public toilets? Yes near Spanish City and Rendez Vous
- Food/drink nearby? Plenty of cafes, pubs and fish and chip shops nearby
- Dogs allowed in the summer? Only north of the Panama Swimming Club
Just a couple of miles south of Seaton Sluice, you’ll find the ever-popular Whitley Bay beach. A particularly lovely walk starts from St Mary’s Lighthouse and heads along the sand (or the cliff edge and then the promenade if the tide’s in!). The sand ends before the peninsular at the bottom of South Parade, but you can easily follow the roadside path all the way along to Cullercoats and even Tynemouth if you fancy a longer hike.
Whitley itself has undergone significant changes in recent years, with a recently updated promenade and pedestrianised walkway by the Spanish City. On the topic of the Spanish City, this iconic domed building is a must-visit for anyone popping by Whitley.
Built in 1910 and inspired by the architecture of Blackpool’s famous pleasure beach, the Spanish City actually stood derelict for many of my early years, so it always brings me joy to see the building return to its original glory. It’s now home to a whole host of wonderful local businesses, including Valerie’s Tearoom and Trenches Fish and Chips.
If you have little ones (or even just curious grown-ups) then I highly recommend checking the tide times before visiting St Mary’s Lighthouse and Whitley Bay beach as the tide will reveal hundreds of rockpools bustling with life.
You can park for free at the car park near the Briardene, or opt for paid parking (including disabled spaces) at the Rendezvous. If you’re bringing the pooch, remember that dogs are only allowed on the beach past the Panama Swimming Club towards the lighthouse between 1st May and 30th September, so you’ll have to walk them on the lead on the prom if you intend to visit the Spanish City side.
- Parking? Limited on-street parking, easily accessible by Metro
- Public Toilets? Yes
- Food/Drink Nearby? Cafes, restaurants and takeaways are aplenty
- Dogs allowed in the summer? No
Just over the other side of the peninsular, you’ll find our local beach - Cullercoats Bay. You can walk here from Whitley Bay, or make it a stop-off on your way to Tynemouth with plenty of places to stop for a coffee and cake at Cullercoats Coffee or The Boatyard.
- Parking? Paid at Tynemouth Aquarium and on residential streets
- Public toilets? Yes in Tynemouth Park
- Food/drink nearby? Food and drink are available on the sand at The View and Crusoe’s
- Dogs allowed in the summer? Only on the north side
Avid walkers will love this glorious stretch of golden sand. Accessible by both ramp and steps, Tynemouth Longsands is ideal for a beach walk with family and friends. You can even pick up coffee or a snack on either side of the beach, with cafes accessible from the sand.
So, whether your idea of a beach walk is a coffee and slow stroll or a proper hike, then Tynemouth has something to suit you.
King Edward’s Bay
- Parking? Paid on Tynemouth Front Street
- Public toilets? Yes but paid
- Food/drink nearby? Riley’s Fish Shack on the sand, or plenty of options in Tynemouth
- Dogs allowed in the summer? No
Our final stop on the tour of Tyneside beaches is King Edward’s Bay. Sitting at the end of Tynemouth’s iconic front street and overlooked by Tynemouth Priory this bay is another very popular spot among walkers and sunbathers alike.