Known for its industrial heritage, its friendly and feisty locals, and its love of brown ale, most visit the metropolitan North East English county for its powerhouse of a capital, Newcastle.
The popular university city has become a Northern hub for shopping, art, culture, and of course nightlife (it’s said to offer one of the best nights out in England), but if you explore a little further afield then you’ll also see rugged coastline, wonderful parks, gorgeous beaches, and some unique and interesting sculptures. Here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Tyne and Wear…
1. Grey Street, Newcastle – one of the best places to explore in Tyne and Wear
Dubbed as one of the finest streets of England, Grey Street is renowned for its exquisite Georgian architecture. Named in honor of Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, the iconic street was opened to the public in 1837.
With a mix of impressive sandstone buildings, shops amd restaurants, this elegant city street is a place to come when in Newcastle.
Running from Grey’s Monument down to the junction with Mosley Street, Grey’s Street continues as Dean Street down to the Quayside. Visit the historic Theatre Royal, relish the local cuisines, or shop to your heart’s content at Central Arcade, this stunning street is worth a visit.
2. Roker and Seaburn Beaches – a coastal paradise in the North East
An ideal seaside getaway to unwind yourself, the twin beaches at Roker and Seaburn are amongst Sunderland’s best-kept secrets. One of the cleanest beaches in Britain, Roker, and Seaburn is a paradise for beach lovers.
With a gorgeous stretch of sand, gentle waves, and beautiful panoramic views, the beautiful coastline makes for a perfect summer destination. Just a short walk from the coast takes you to the dazzling floral displays at Roker Park.
Enjoy the warm crisp evening air or walk across the Rocker pier deck, these award-winning beaches are impeccably positioned for a great day out.
3. Angel of the North Sculpture – the iconic must-see attraction near Newcastle
A gigantic icon of England, Angel of the North Sculpture has is one of the most recognizable symbols in the United Kingdom. Greeting thousands of visitors every day, the towering statue is now well-loved across the nation.
With the slightly angled wings towering over Gateshead, this magnificent structure has constantly evolved from a local pariah to an icon of England.
Established in 1998, the statue was designed by the famous sculptor, Antony Gormley. Overlooking the Northumbrian countryside the steel statue stands at a height of 65 feet with a wingspan of 54 meters. A site of colliery pithead, today the landscape features one of the most viewed pieces of public art.
4. St Mary’s lighthouse and Whitley Bay – some of the most beautiful places to explore in Tyne and Wear
A seaside town on the northeast coast of England, Whitley Bay is an award-winning beach with speckled golden sands and little rocky crops.
Part of the borough of North Tyneside, this popular beach is a perfect spot for taking a walk with a beautiful backdrop. Stretching north of Whitley Bay is the tidal island of St, Mary’s.
Accessed by a causeway during low tide, St. Mary’s Island has all the fascination of a miniature island with spectacular views. Climb the top of the iconic lighthouse or explore the surrounding Nature Reserve for spectacular views, this quaint island is a beautiful sight to behold.
5. Jesmond Dene – a tranquil oasis in Newcastle
A jewel in the crown of new Newcastle’s parks, Jesmond Dene is full of historic and natural places. With masses of ancient woodlands, flowers, wildlife, charming waterfalls, and impressive ruins, Jesmond Dene is a little hidden gem of North East England.
Once a land of Lord William Armstrong, the garden was officially opened to the public in 1884.
Explore the rustic old mill which powered the industrial revolution and the exotic species of trees in this ancient woodland, there’s always plenty to do in Dene.
Take a refreshing walk along the bubbling riverside, hike the nature trails, or picnic along the waterfall, Jesmond Dene is a tranquil retreat all year round.
6. Longsands Beach – offers a fun family day out
One of the most painted and photographed beaches of England, Longsands Beach is Tynemouth’s favorite beach on the Northeast coast. Backed by stunning golden sands, low dunes, and clean waters, Longsands beach is an idyllic beach for family all-year-round.
Hit the beach, soak up the sun, or surf along the waves, the glorious location of the beach attracts people from across the region. Walk along the ramp or slash about in the sea, whatever time you come, you’ll end up with a marvelous day out on the shore.
7. Saltwell Park – Britain’s finest example of a Victorian Park
Often referred to as “The People’s Park”, Saltwell Park is constantly voted as Britain’s Best Park. The beautiful 55-acre park nestled in the heart of Gateshead features the historic mansion of William Wailes with a beautiful lake and war memorials.
Designed by Edward Kemp, the park was opened in 1876.
The centerpiece of the park is Saltwell Towers, a beautiful gothic building with belvedere walls. Take an enchanted walk, indulge in a range of outdoor games, or explore the Dene with a beautiful rose garden and waterfall, Saltwell Park is a perfect place for the whole family to enjoy.
8. Marsden Beach – a beauty spot located on the rugged North Sea coast
A popular seaside destination in North East England, Marsden Beach is situated two miles south of the South Shield’s coastline. Gleaming with golden sands, caves, rock pools and much more, Marsden beach is a fabulous beach with amazing rock formations.
The detached section of the cliff, Marsden Rock is home to England’s most important seabird colonies. Just a 10-minute walk from Marsden Bay leads you to Souter Lighthouse, the first-ever lighthouse in the world powered by electricity.
The beach and the clifftop path around the bay make for a lovely scenic walk along the South Tyneside coastline.
9. James Steel Park – a serene Tyne and Wear park home to an interesting array of wildlife
A wooded riverfront park stretching along the River Wear near Fatfield Bridge, James Steel Park is a lovely quiet place to sit and contemplate.
Named after Sir James Steel, the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, the vast open spaces, wood and freshwater lake of the park makes for a perfect picnic spot.
Part of the park, the mystical Worm Hill is closely linked to the legend of the Lambton Worm. Watch the yellowhammers or sparrow hawks, stroll beside the river, or bike along the wooded paths, this peaceful park is a hidden gem of the country.
A picturesque stone manor set with fragrant gardens, Washington Old Hall is where you will be drifted to the past of George Washington.
Set in the quaint village of Washington about 5 miles west of Sunderland, Washington Old Hall dates back to the 12th century.
The manor’s beautiful wood-paneled walls, oak furniture, and stone-flagged floors, and 17th-century gardens will take you back in time. Filled with the memories of George Washington including a hand-written note by the President himself, Old Hall hosts celebrations on George Washington’s birthday every year.
11. Tynemouth Priory and Castle – a stunning spot to visit on the North Tyneside coastline
One of the largest fortified areas of England at one point in time, Tynemouth Castle and Priory is located on a rocky headland. With a history spanning over 2000 years, it contains the remains of the medieval priory which was protected like a castle by walls, towers, and a gatehouse.
One of the strongest fortifications in northern England, the site of the Priory was then adapted into an artillery fortification to prevent access into River Tyne.
Overlooking the North Sea and River Tyne, it is a perfect location to have a picnic, lie back or enjoy the cool breeze on this dramatic headland.
12. South and North Marine Parks – perfect for families, dog walkers and outdoor lovers
South Shield’s beloved park is located right on the coast, the South and North Marine Parks are located on either side of Ocean Road.
With the beautiful views of the North Sea and River Tyne, the parks offer a large boating lake, lush greens, and ornamental flowerbeds and a pond with lovely pathways.
While the South Marine Park is packed with large greens and a play area, North Marine Park offers a quieter stroll with gentle pastimes and nice scenery. Enjoy a pretty walk or sit by the beach and promenade to watch the miles of the coastline.
13. Marsden Grotto – a natural hideaway on the coast of South Shields
Locally known as ‘The Grotto’, Marsden Grotto is set into the Cliffside on the beautiful sandy beach of Marsden. One of the very few cave-hewn restaurants in Europe, the Grotto offers extensive seafood to choose from.
A remarkable destination for visitors in South Shields for many decades, Marsden Grotto is an absolute gem hidden within the rugged coast of the North Sea.
Known for its colorful history of smugglers and wrecks, the high cliff provided excellent coverage for illegal supplies. Walk, sit or just enjoy the view, the grotto is the best part of Marsden Bay.
14. Northumberland Park – a serene and scenic place to escape
A 130-year old Victorian park, Northumberland Park is the heart of North Shields. A mix of woodland paths, gardens, lake and bowling green, the park is a mix of Victorian elegance and urban wilderness.
Welcoming visitors since 1885, this tranquil green space has a variety of landscapes to spend time with family and friends.
Enjoy the smells of blooming flowerbeds, take a scenic walk on the vibrant herb garden, hike the sculpture trail or enjoy musical performances at a bandstand, this traditional park is a natural heritage of the country. Take time to rewind yourself and watch the world go by, this serene park has its classical charm.
15. Hollinside Manor – a historic attraction to explore near Newcastle
A scheduled monument in the south-west of Whickham, Hollinside Manor sets a perfect example of the evolution of medieval complexes.
Overlooking the edge of River Derwent valley, the old manor house belonged to the Harding family for 200 years till the 18th century.
Once known as the ‘Giant’s Castle’, the hall house was constructed in several phases. A part of the Gibside Estate, today the manor house possesses an interesting history.
Carved with local sandstone, today the fortified house and the remains offer commanding views of the surrounding countryside.
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Gary Nunn – Videographer, photographer and writer
Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fueled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organizations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specializing in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, travel, starting up new businesses, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find Gary on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or his Website.