Beautiful coastal walks: North Tyneside

Mid October and we're back on the North East coast for a lovely day out, stretching our legs after a 3 hour train journey. It's incredible to think what a difference 3 hours on the train makes (followed by a short car trip!). That hit of the salty sea air as it fills your lungs - I can literally feel that moment my body goes into RELAX mode. It's pretty mild but the Easterly winds bring with it the sea mists, covering the landscape with a grey haze. When the sun does breakthrough later in the afternoon, the light and glow it casts is stunning and so clear to see why this part of the coast has been such an inspiration for artists over the years. How do you capture that way the light hits the top of the waves? That glow of St Mary's lighthouse? Everywhere I look I can see a view that would make a perfect coastal print. 

We park the car near the Collingwood monument in Tynemouth, a great big statue towering on the hill. Admiral Lord Collingwood was the son of a Newcastle merchant; becoming famous as Nelson's second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nearby is Tynemouth Priory and Castle, the ruins of a fortress with a history dating back around 2000 years. 

Our walk takes us past King Edward's Bay, along Sea Banks to Tynemouth Beach with its fine sand and beautiful views. Cullercoats Bay is next along, and its history as an artists colony is easy to understand - stunning landscapes whichever way you look.

With the tide starting to come in, we head up on to the promenade and continue on to Whitley Bay, stopping off to refuel with a pub lunch. The seafront of Whitley Bay is in the middle of regeneration and once complete, we're sure the iconic dome of Spanish City will look fantastic.

We opt to walk back along the coast rather than hop on a bus, wanting to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air. The rough seas at high tide bring in huge waves that crash against the sea walls. The crashing waves bring up huge sprays of water that come up and over the promenades - you can really hear and see the force of the water. 

Overall the walk is around 7 miles round trip - our tired legs don't quite make it as far as St Mary's lighthouse (next time!) - and fully worth every minute along the coast.