A Day at the Coast

July 17, 2012

At the weekend the sun was out and we decided to make the most of it by heading to the coast. Living in Newcastle we are very close to the North Sea and in fact there are ferry routes to Amsterdam and Scandinavia. We are spoiled for choice when it comes to visiting the coast. We have the Northumberland coast and its castles and gorgeous beaches, North and South Shields and Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. We didn’t want to go far so we just took a drive to Whitley Bay.

Whitley BayThe white building you can see on the shore is Spanish City. This was built in 1910 as a concert hall, restaurant, roof garden and tea room and over the years expanded to include a fun fair and a ball room. It was a main part of Whitley Bay for many years but fell into disuse and has been closed to the public for many years. Interestingly Spanish City is mentioned in the Dire Straits song Tunnel of Love. Spanish City is now being regenerated and is apparently going to be made into a hotel and apartments with a diner and pleasure garden. It is a very unique structure and it will be nice to see it active and alive again.

Whitley BayYou can just see the lighthouse on the headland of Tynemouth in the distance, there is also a priory and castle here. We were not able to visit as the Mouth of the Tyne Festival was taking place that weekend, but have been before and it is definitely worth a visit.

Whitley BayPeople were making the most of the weather, there were a lot of small yachts out on the sea and we also saw the coast guard abseiling down the side of the cliff and racing around in their speed boat. I am not quite sure why they were doing this but it looked fun. There were a lot of people out on the beach walking but no one quite brave enough to paddle in the sea.

Black Headed GullWe treated ourselves to some fish and chips and as we ate them the birds started to arrive.  First there was one, a black headed gull. Then his friends came.

Black headed gullsThen we looked outside the car to see this scene

BirdsThere were lots and lots of birds all lined up facing one way, more than I have caught in this photo. We felt like we were in the Hitchcock movie, it was really freaky. We did venture out for a walk and did not get attacked by them. I think they must have been waiting for our fish and chips.

It was a nice day out and I hope we get some more sun soon so we can go for a few more day trips.

Other posts you might be interested in:

A visit to the Great North Museum

A trip to Beamish Museum

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