START: South Shields, Tyne & Wear
FINISH: Blyth, Northumberland
DISTANCE: 14 miles (Total – 67.8 miles)
APPROXIMATE WALKING TIME: 6 hours
MAPS: OS Explorer 316 & OS Explorer 325
It’s always nice to have some time off work – there’s no rushing about to get anywhere, there’s nobody shouting at you because you haven’t done something which in the grand scheme of things is not that important anyway. I always like to take advantage of time away from work by going for a walk – I find it much more better than staying in the house and stuffing my face whilst watching whatever rubbish is on the TV. So while I was off for a week in June 2015 I decided to do a couple of coastal walks whilst taking advantage of the brilliant weather.
First things first I wanted to continue working my way northwards up the coast and the next logical step from where I left my last walk at South Shields was to cross the Tyne and walk along North Tyneside’s coastline into Northumberland, eventually finishing at the port town of Blyth. So that is what I did.
I returned to South Shields on one glorious Monday morning buoyed by the fact that I wasn’t going to have a crap day at work. From the town centre I worked my way back to the Ocean Beach Pleasure Park where I finished my last coastwalk a month previously. With it being a Monday morning it was altogether a lot quieter and pleasant.
As I walked towards the Pleasure Park I passed by a cast iron canopy underneath which is a 1833-built lifeboat that is similar to the design of the world’s first lifeboat built in 1789 by two South Shields-based men – William Wouldhave (a parish clerk) and Henry Greathead (a boat builder). Greathead would later go on to build the world’s oldest existing lifeboat – the Zetland – in 1802, which resides in the museum in Redcar which I passed during Coastwalk #2.
On reaching the Pleasure Park, I turned left along the coast road which was my companion for a hundred metres or so, before reaching a small promenade and beach sheltered by South Shields’ South Pier. There was a great view from here to the mouth of the River Tyne (left).
I followed the promenade for a little while but then had to re-join the coast road as a little housing estate blocked access to the shoreline. I walked next to the coastal road and then along Wapping Street round the northern edge of South Shields, past warehouses and a Marine Safety Training Centre. Wapping Street soon became Long Row which was lined by attractive modern houses overlooking the Tyne. This area would have once been home to South Shields’ dockyards with shipbuilding being an important part of the town’s industry despite opposition from nearby Newcastle. By the 1850s there were 14 shipyards operating along this part of the river along with associated industries including sail-making, boiler making and anchor making. This area would have been very noisy during the town’s industrial heyday but was now a quiet residential area which was pleasant to walk through. There was a great view up the river towards Newcastle but I was distracted by the fact that I could see the ferry working its way across the Tyne to the terminal at South Shields. As a result my coastal walk turned into a coastal run for the next few hundred metres as I tried to catch the ferry.
THE SHIELDS FERRY
Luckily for me the ferry was ahead of schedule so even though I arrived red-faced and panting like an animal, whilst getting worried looks of the ticket-man and my fellow passengers (who probably thought I was some hyperventilating weirdo), I was able to walk up the top deck and get a few photos before the ferry started to cross.
The boat that transported me on the short journey across the Tyne that day was called The Pride of the Tyne which continued a tradition of a ferry service here that has been carrying people between the two Shields since at least 1377. As late as 1929 there were 11 ferry routes operating on the Tyne between Tynemouth and Newburn to the west of Newcastle. The Shields Ferry (or Market Place Ferry as it is sometimes known) is now the only one that crosses the Tyne as the other ferry services have been replaced by bridges (including Newcastle’s world-famous Tyne Bridge) and the Tyne Tunnel.
The journey across the Tyne was pleasant and by the time the ferry docked at North Shields I was no longer panting like there was no tomorrow and I resembled more of a human being.
After disembarking from the ferry I emerged on to the New Quay area of North Shields which was built in 1806 and was the town’s first deep-water quay. Once over the New Quay was one of the busiest places in North Shields but nowadays it is much more quieter and I spent a pleasant half-hour walking through North Shields riverfront, once home to a Customs House (which still exists), a number of riverside warehouses, docks, taverns (some of ill-repute) and an engine works. Today these streets are lined by modern housing with most of the old riverside buildings having been long demolished.
As I walked further along the riverfront I could begin to smell a strong odour of fish. Soon I was able to find out where the smell was coming from as I came on to North Shields’ Fish Quay.
The Fish Quay and the town of North Shields are synonymous with each other. The Fish Quay can trace its origins back to 1225 when Prior Germanus from the nearby Tynemouth Priory established a small village of fishing huts (called Schiels where the name Shields comes from) at the mouth of the Pow Burn where the present-day Fish Quay stands. Thanks to the tyrannical efforts of Newcastle whose inhabitants were keen to keep their town as the sole port on the Tyne, North Shields was prevented from developing as a major port town, instead being limited to a small port where fish and salt could be loaded and unloaded. Over time traders and merchants soon began to realise the potential of North Shields and the village began to develop and by the 13th century there were over 100 houses, many of which had their own separate quay. The Fish Quay area became the focus of the settlement of North Shields, and as the settlement grew so too did North Shields’ stature.
Nowadays the Fish Quay is a lot quieter than it used to be but fishing boats still unload their wares here continuing eight centuries of tradition. Fish is still sold here by a number of fishmongers. North Shields is also England’s premier prawn port (try saying that quickly!) There were a number of modern restaurants surrounding the Fish Quay which makes this area a good place to visit for foodies.
The Quay was also the site of a fort dating from the 17th Century. Clifford’s Fort (so named after Lord Clifford who first suggested a fort should be built here) was constructed in 1625 to protect the mouth of the Tyne. The fort with its battery played a defensive role for over 250 years until the construction of the Tyne Piers in the later 19th century ended its usefulness. The fort was then taken over by a variety of military outfits responsible for the defence of the Tyne including the Tyne Division Royal Engineers (Volunteers) Submarine Miners (who laid sea mines to protect the coast) and the Tyne Electrical Engineers (who maintained searchlights for coastal defence). In 1928 the local council acquired Clifford’s Fort for the expansion of the Fish Quay. It was briefly used during World War II as a coastal battery but with the continued expansion of the Fish Quay after the war a number of the fort’s original buildings were demolished. In 2008 the remains of the fort were restored following a £1 million refurbishment scheme.
I walked around the northern edge of the old Fort so I didn’t get much chance to see what the new refurbishments looked like (so no pictures I’m afraid!). The coastal path continued along a riverside promenade all the way to Tynemouth with great views out to the mouth of the Tyne (below). I could also make out as it was low tide the exposed rocks of ‘Black Middens’. According to local folklore these rocks were thrown into the river by the Devil in order to disrupt the wealthy sea trade of Newcastle. The Black Middens were treacherous to passing ships and during three days of blizzards and storms in 1864 the rocks claimed five ships and 34 lives. It was this event that was instrumental in bringing about the formation of the country’s first ever Volunteer Life Brigade in Tynemouth.
Walking towards Tynemouth I noticed that standing up the steep hillside to my left was a very prominent statue overlooking the river. This statue is dedicated to Lord Collingwood (1748-1810) who was born in Newcastle and had a celebrated career in the Royal Navy, seeing action in the American War of Independence and most importantly at the Battle of Trafalgar where he took command of the battle following Admiral Nelson’s death and led the British to victory. The statue was erected in 1845 and was so placed to look out to the sea and North Shields where Collingwood’s family were from.
The promenade soon came to an end with the path leading uphill into Tynemouth itself. On the way I passed a sign marking the terminus of the Coast to Coast Cycleway which runs from Tynemouth on the North Sea coast (a southern route finishes at Sunderland) to either Whitehaven or Workington on the Irish Sea coast. The cycleway is very popular and there were a group of cyclists having their photo taking next to the sign, either having finished the epic trek from the Irish Sea or they were about to begin their journey to the west.
My journey continued northwards up the steep climb into Tynemouth past the site of the Spanish Battery built in 1545 to protect King Henry VIII’s fleet as it assembled in the river before popping off to invade Scotland. The name is believed to derive from the Spanish mercenaries who were the first to be garrisoned at the Battery. By the early 1900s most of the batteries had been removed with a coastal searchlight battery being operated at the site during the First World War.
Following a narrow road from the Spanish Battery site I climbed even further into Tynemouth, all the while enjoying fine views of the remains of the Priory and Castle and also the Pier stretching out into the mouth of the Tyne. The Pier took over 40 years to be built, from the initial laying of the foundation stones in 1854 to its final completion in 1895. Two years later the pier was breached and it took another 12 years for it to be reconstructed. The construction of the pier was one of the most difficult feats of engineering of its kind in the entire country.
Finally after a lot of climbing and panting I made it into Tynemouth proper which was quite busy considering it was a weekday, but then again it showed how popular Tynemouth is with day-trippers. Tynemouth developed largely thanks to holidaymakers and daytrippers who made their way here in their thousands in the late 18th century, lured by the village’s sandy beaches and bracing scenery. People still flock here in droves in the 21st century – I have been in Tynemouth on many hot days in the summer along with thousands of locals who have just wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of life on Tyneside.
TYNEMOUTH CASTLE AND PRIORY
Tynemouth is also famous for its castle and priory which stands on a rocky headland known to the Anglo-Saxons as Benebal Crag which has been occupied since the Iron Age. In the 7th century a fortified monastery was built here which was then sacked by the Danes in 800AD (obviously it wasn’t fortified enough), rebuilt and then following further raids in 832, 865 and 870 was sacked again in 875AD by the Vikings (they love a good sacking do the Vikings) who then used it as a base to pillage the surrounding area .
The Earl of Northumberland re-founded the monastery at Tynemouth in 1085, with the building of a great church beginning soon after in 1090. By the 13th century the whole monastery was completed along with a handy new castle. The fortification was a popular stopping off point for Royal parties and it is said that three kings were buried in the Priory – King Oswin of Deira in 651 (he later became St. Oswin and his burial place became a shrine for pilgrims), King Osred of Northumbria in 792 (like King Oswin he was murdered), and finally King Malcolm III of Scotland in 1903 (following his death at the Battle of Alnwick. It is believed his body now rests at Dunfermline). It was around the priory and castle which the village of Tynemouth grew up from.
Following the dissolution of the Priory in 1538 by King Henry VIII, the monastic buildings were demolished with only the church and the Prior’s house being left behind. The castle remained in royal hands and was used as a coastal battery to defend the Tyne from naval attack. The batteries and Tynemouth remained in use until the end of the Second World War, with the army residing in the castle until 1960. Since then it has been used as a coastguard station, before being turned over to English Heritage who look after the historic site today.
Between the Castle and King Edward’s Bay is a cave known as ‘Jingling Geordie’s Hole'(originally known as Jingling Man’s Hole). The name comes from Jingling Geordie, who is believed to have been a 17th century pirate and smuggler who used the cave as a lookout for incoming ships. He would lure the ships onto the nearby Black Middens rocks with lanterns cunningly placed to look like boats waiting at anchor. He would then plunder the doomed boats and hide his booty in the numerous tunnels underneath the Castle. Legend has it that you can hear the ghost of Jingling Geordie around the Castle as he keeps lookout over the cliffs, the sound of jingling coming from the chains attached to the fetters on his legs.
Continuing past the Priory and Castle, the coastal path skirted around the edge of King Edward’s Bay (possibly named after King Edward II who was a regular visitor to Tynemouth Castle) before making its way to the start of Tynemouth Longsands. The long golden sands were busy with daytrippers enjoying the sunshine and the sea air. On a Summer’s weekend day the Longsands would have been crammed with people, however with today being a weekday there was less people to trip over so I decided to descend down to sea level and walk along the beach.
At the end of Longsands beach I climbed up on to the coastal road which I followed into the village of Cullercoats, the edge of which was marked by St George’s Church with its 180ft high spire towering over the seafront and being a landmark along this part of the coast.
I walked past the church, around Tynemouth North Point and soon came across the wonderful Cullercoats Bay. The village itself developed after its foundation in 1539 with its principal industries being salt making (produced in salt pans dotted around the bay), coal exporting (with coal being dug up from bell pits), fishing and smuggling. When a new harbour and pier was constructed in the bay in 1682 the village flourished with increased salt exports, and it was further helped by a new waggonway opening in 1690 which transported coal from collieries inland to the harbour. In the early 18th Century Cullercoats was one of the busiest ports on the North East, however by 1710 the coal pits were in decline, the pier had been damaged, and the remaining salt pans moved northwards to Blyth in 1726. As a result fishing became the dominant trade in Cullercoats, with the village being described as the best fish market in the North East.
In the early 19th Century, Cullercoats became the centre of smuggling in the area, thanks to the village’s relative isolation and the number of hidden bays useful for landing contraband goods. The local Customs Officer, Thomas Armstrong, was also partial to a bit of smuggling himself, and it is said that a smugglers tunnel runs from a house he built called Cliff House, which still overlooks the bay to this day.
I followed the coastal road round the edge of Cullercoats Bay, past interpretation pans highlighting the village’s industrious past, before heading into a small estate of houses nestling on Brown’s Point. My route then took me down a flight of steps onto a small promenade which took me around the edge of another bay – Brown’s Bay (see below)
Brown’s Bay is the site of the wreck of the Greek steamship Zephyros which rang aground here and sank in 1947. Luckily there were no fatalities. Part of the wreck can be seen at low tide and is used by the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade for realistic training exercises.
Halfway around the bay I climbed another set of stairs onto the coastal road which I followed round into Whitley Bay.
WHITLEY BAY – ‘THE BLACKPOOL OF THE NORTH EAST’
Heading into Whitley Bay there were great views up the coast with the tower of St. Mary’s Lighthouse glinting in the sun at the other end of the bay. I followed the upper promenade along the shoreline, choosing not to drop down to the lower promenade as there were better views from the top.
Whitley Bay has origins in the 12th century where it is recorded as Witelei (meaning white lea or pastureland) with its lands belonging to the Priory at Tynemouth. The settlement didn’t really come into its own until the arrival of the railway in 1882 which allowed thousands of visitors from Tyneside to come to the village. Naturally, the village soon developed into a popular coastal resort.
As I walked further into Whitley Bay I noticed a huge white dome on top of a building ahead of me. This was the Spanish City Dome which opened in 1910. The complex when it first opened included a 1400-seat theatre, a restaurant, cafes, and a rooftop garden. A fairground had existed on the site since 1907 and the entire complex was popular with generations of visitors. By the 1920s the town frequently advertised itself as the ‘Blackpool of the North East’ with the Spanish City’s theatre (renamed the Empress Ballroom) being home to numerous dance events, and a new Winter Garden opening up in 1935.
Like most coastal resorts, the town of Whitley Bay suffered from a decline in visitors with the rise of cheap holidays abroad. This in turn affected the Spanish City complex which changed its use numerous times over the years to keep in line with modern tastes – the ballroom became a bingo hall in the 1960s, a Laser Quest facility was opened in the 1990s and a BMX track was later installed. The fairground itself, despite being immortalised in the 1981 song Tunnel of Love by Newcastle-based rock band Dire Straits, was demolished in 1999. In the 21st century the local council have bought the buildings and have set about giving the Spanish City a massive £10 million pound restoration with the grand re-opening expected to be in the summer of 2018. The complex is expected to be at the centre of Whitley Bay’s £36 million seafront transformation.
It should be noted that Whitley Bay was in fact known as just Whitley until 1901. Due to its increasing popularity as a seaside resort it often got confused with Whitby (itself a very popular resort), often resulting in mail meant for Whitley being sent to Whitby and vice versa. Things got so bad that in September 1901, a former resident of Whitley who had died in Edinburgh had requested to be buried in Whitley’s St. Paul’s Church. Unfortunately his body was mistakenly transported to Whitby, resulting in the funeral being delayed. As a result, the local council asked the town’s residents for suggestions of a new name – the most popular being Whitley Bay, which it has officially been known as ever since (although some residents still refer to it as Whitley).
As I passed the Spanish City complex the path veered away from the coastal road and headed through Whitley Links (above) which I followed out of Whitley Bay. Passing by a small golf course, the coastal path headed a little eastwards along a promenade towards Curry’s Point and St. Mary’s Lighthouse, with excellent views down the coast towards Whitley Bay.
ST. MARY’S LIGHTHOUSE
Standing on tiny St. Mary’s Island, the Lighthouse was first lit on the 31st August 1898 by Miss Miller, the builder’s daughter. The lighthouse was built to replace a 200 year old one at Tynemouth Priory, as the Priory was needed for a gun emplacement to protect the Tyne. The lighthouse became electrified in 1977 and then automated in 1982, before being decommissioned in 1984. North Tyneside Council then bought the lighthouse who have ran it as a museum ever since.
The current lighthouse is not the first one to be built on St. Mary’s Island. In 1090 monks from Tynemouth Primary built a small chapel on the tidal island dedicated to St. Helen. Within the chapel’s tower a light was burned to warn sailors of the dangers of the rocks surrounding the island. These were often called St. Mary’s Lights, which could be where the island got its name from. The island has also been known as Bates Island in the past, after its medieval owner, Thomas Bates, who was a local mine owner and also the surveyor of Northumberland for Queen Elizabeth I.
The island also has a grisly smuggling history. In 1722 a local customs surveyor, Anthony Mitchell, was found dead buried in haystacks on Tynemouth Links, possibly murdered by smugglers who used the island to land contraband brandy.
During the late 18th century, St. Mary’s also found itself under quarantine when a group of Russian soldiers on their way to fight in the Napoleonic Wars contracted cholera and had to be quarantined on the island. The majority died and were buried on the island, alongside the ancient graves belonging to the monks of Tynemouth.
In 1855 a salmon fishermen from Aberdeen called George Ewen built a small cottage on the island, which he used as a base for his salmon fishing industry. When tighter restrictions on salmon fishing were introduced, Mr Ewen supplemented his income by opening a pub in 1862 called the Freemasons Arms. A few years after the opening of the pub, Mr Ewen fell out with a local farmer, John Patterson, and a feud erupted between the two men. Eventually, the island’s owner, Lord Hastings, had to step in and he evicted Mr Ewen. Unsurprisingly, Mr Ewen wasn’t very happy with this decision and the bailiffs were sent round to forcibly evict him, taking around six hours to round up his pig on to a cart. The house then passed into the hands of the Crisp family in 1895 who have lived there ever since.
It was a pleasant stroll across the concrete causeway to the island. There were groups of schoolchildren exploring the rocks that surround the island, no doubt looking for stranded marine animals to record. I went into the small shop that is open in the lighthouse to stock up on some more water and a chocolate bar, and then went to sit on a bench outside to enjoy the scenery. If I hadn’t been pressed for time I would have paid the small fee to climb up to the top of the lighthouse. After demolishing the chocolate bar, I re-crossed the causeway and headed northwards along the clifftops towards Hartley and Seaton Sluice.
HARTLEY AND SEATON SLUICE
The coastal path doesn’t actually going through Hartley, instead skirting round the edge of a small caravan park at the eastern end of the village, before continuing a little further along the cliff tops until it reaches Seaton Sluice. The path then joins a minor road which runs along the shoreline lined by houses on its western side, looking out across the scenic Collywell Bay. I followed this road for a quarter-of-a-mile, past a small green until I reached Seaton Burn, the historic heart of Seaton Sluice.
Hartley (meaning ‘stag hill’) predates its northern neighbour, Seaton Sluice, by a couple of hundred years. Hartley was first recorded in 1097, when it was under the control of the monks at Tynemouth Priory. Seaton Sluice was originally known as Hartley Pans after the salt pans that existed at the mouth of Seaton Burn. Salt was produced here from 1236, and was shipped from Seaton Sluice from 1550 until 1798. Crippling levies on salt exports and the banning of salt being sold north of the border in Scotland brought the industry to its knees and by 1820 all the salt pans had closed.
Fortunately, the village was saved by the local coal and bottle trade. Coal was brought to the harbour at Seaton Sluice on waggonways from nearby collieries (including one located in Hartley). They were then loaded onto ships from staithes located in front of the still-existing The Kings Arms pub. The coal trade benefitted from improvements made to the harbour in the 18th century when a new ‘cut’ was blasted out of the solid rock on the eastern edge of the old harbour. Not only was a new island created (named rather unimaginatively as Rocky Island) but bigger ships were able to use the harbour resulting in increased trade. A bottleworks was built in the village in 1763 by Sir Francis Blake Delaval whose family had owned land in the area for hundreds of years from nearby Seaton Delaval Hall. In 1777 over 1.7 million bottles were produced at the works.
The good times were not to last though as by the mid 19th-century local colliery owners were calling for better shipping facilities, resulting in major impr0vements being carried out to the docks at Blyth and on the Tyne. The harbour at Seaton Sluice began to decline, especially following the closure of nearby Hartley Pit. The final death knell came in 1872 when the bottleworks closed down due to increased competition from abroad.
Nowadays, the harbour at Seaton Sluice (and indeed the village itself) is much quieter, and altogether more pleasant. As I stopped to look across the harbour now dotted with small fishing boats rather than big coal-carrying ships, it was hard to imagine that for 200 years this was one of the busiest ports on the North-East coast.
Time was pressing so I crossed Seaton Burn and followed the path which winded its way through the dunes all the way to the southern end of Blyth.
On the outskirts of Blyth I reached a large car park where I had to divert inland as access to the shoreline ahead was blocked by large warehouses belonging to the Port of Blyth. I followed the B1329 a little way into the town until I reached Ridley Park. The park was a nice urban greenscape away from the hustle and bustle of the town and as I passed through there were plenty of people out and about enjoying the sunshine. The park was opened in 1904 on land donated by Viscount Ridley to provide a recreational space for the people of Blyth – a function which it is still carrying out over a hundred years later.
At the northern end of the Park, I followed Quay Road to Blyth’s quite attractive quayside, which until quite recently would have been home to the town’s coal staithes. Blyth (from the Old English ‘blithe’ meaning ‘gentle’) first developed as a port in the 12th century and for the next six centuries the small port exported salt and coal (beginning in the 15th century). Coal, mined from local collieries (including Cowpen Colliery in the south-east of the town), began to replace salt as Blyth’s main trade when the salt industry declined in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The modern town of Blyth didn’t come about until the 18th century following the building of a new harbour in 1730, which resulted in the town becoming a prominent port. Shipbuilding began around this time which soon became one of Blyth’s most important industries. Despite the increased development in the 18th century, Blyth was still quite a small settlement, and it wasn’t until the coming of the railway in 1847 that the town underwent a huge population boom. With the docks and the collieries being connected by rail, coal shipments increased to 200,000 tonnes per year by the mid-19th century.
Industry reached its peak in Blyth in the early half of the 20th century. The town could boast of having one of the largest shipbuilding yards in the North-East and the world’s first aircraft carrier, the HMS Ark Royal was built in Blyth along with several other Royal Navy warships which saw action in the First World War. Blyth also served as a submarine base during both World Wars. By the 1930s the town was exporting 5.5 million tonnes of coal and became the largest coal exporting port in Europe in the 1960s when over 6 million tonnes of the black stuff were shipped from Blyth.
Unfortunately Blyth has suffered in the latter half of the 20th century. As the demand for coal fell due to increasing competition from the oil and gas industries, local collieries began to close down (the last one in the town closed in 1986) and coal exports plummeted. The shipbuilding trade underwent a significant decline and Blyth’s last shipyard ceased operation in 1966.
However, all was not lost. The Port of Blyth re-invented itself, firstly importing bulk raw materials in the 1970s and then importing paper from Finland for the UK’s newspaper industry. In the early 21st century, the port has expanded into container handling, plywood, coal and other commodities and now handles over 1.5 million tonnes of goods annually. The town itself has undergone a rapid transformation following the closure of the town’s traditional industries. The town centre was revitalised in the early 1990s with the opening of a brand new shopping centre and new industries have moved into the town, particularly those associated with renewable energies.
As I finished my walk at the re-generated quayside, it was good to see how a traditionally industrial town such as Blyth has been able to re-invent itself. It has been a familiar story all the way up the North-East coast as towns and villages which relied on industries that collapsed in the latter half of the 20th century have set about trying to re-invent themselves in the 21st century, some successfully, others not so much. I think it will be a story which I will see over and over again as I continue my way around the coastline.
http://www.englandsnortheast.co.uk/SouthShieldsSea.html – History of the world’s first lifeboat built in South Shields.
http://www.englandsnortheast.co.uk/SouthShieldsIndustry.html – Information about South Shields’ shipyards.
http://www.nexus.org.uk/history/ferry-history – History of the Shields ferry
http://www.fish-quay.com/page/history/ – History of the Fish Quay and New Quay in North Shields
http://www.fish-quay.com/page/cliffords-fort/ – History of Clifford’s Fort
http://roundaboutpublications.co.uk/feature/features/local-history/local-history-black-middens/ – History of the Black Middens
http://www.northumbria.info/Pages/collingwood.html – Webgpage about Lord Collingwood’s statue in Tynemouth
http://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/sites/default/files/web-page-related-files/Coastal%20heritage%20trail_0.pdf – North Tyneside Council Coastal Heritage Trail information with the history of Tynemouth Priory and Castle, Cullercoats, the wreck of the Zaphyros, Whitley Bay, Spanish City
https://paradiseisthisway.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/jingling-geordies-hole/ – Webpgae about Jingling Geordie’s Hole
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitley_Bay#19th_Century_to_present – History of Whitley Bay
http://www.seaton-sluice.btck.co.uk/ – History of Hartley and Seaton Sluice
http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/local/Gardens.aspx – Northumberland Council webpage about parks within the county including Ridley Park in Blyth.
http://portofblyth.co.uk/history/ – History of Blyth
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blyth,Northumberland – History of Blyth