When we were kids our neighbours used to go on holiday to Whitley Bay; I had no idea of the whereabouts of what we then imagined to be an exotic far-flung destination.
Historically in Northumberland but now part of Tyne & Wear the little seaside resort of Whitley Bay flashed before my eyes as we passed through on our way from Newcastle on the ‘Metro’ allegedly the first rapid transit light rail system in the uk.
We alighted two stops later in the small town of Tynemouth at the rather impressive Grade II listed Victorian station that formerly served as a mainline railway station used by the thousands of day-trippers and holiday makers from the late 1800’s onwards.
As we strolled along Tynemouth’s main street, populated with the ubiquitous gift shops, chic coffee shops, trendy bars and restaurants, the ancient castle and priory ruins loomed before us, dramatically perched on the rocky headland.
By this time a very patient H was much in need of some exercise and so we headed down to the award-winning Longsands beach that even on this fresh February morning was awash with dog-walkers, children playing in the soft golden sands and even a couple of brave souls who waded into the chilly, silvery waters of the North Sea for a somewhat brief bathe.
At the far end of the beach the lights of a distant bar restaurant beckoned, the firm damp sand underfoot helped speed our way across. Lunch for me consisted of the freshest Mussels in a garlic and parsley sauce while the other half opted for the most amazing looking burger.
Another much shorter stroll took us to Cullercoats station and the Metro whisked us back to Hebburn in no time… we’ll be back to visit this rather enchanting stretch of coast because oh, we do like to be beside the seaside!