Tyne & Wear
South Tyneside offers a wealth of fascinating heritage and its seaside charm never fails to win the hearts of visitors.
As the name suggests, the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside is located south of the River Tyne on the northeast coast of England. It’s golden, sandy beaches stretch for 6 miles (10km) and are backed by dramatic cliffs that will take your breath away. The fine examples of Roman history scattered throughout the area are a huge attraction all year round, but June, July and August sees the biggest crowds thanks to its annual summer festival. This is when South Tyneside bursts into life with an eclectic programme of free events and entertainment to delight people of all ages.
The picturesque coastal town of South Shields is at the heart of South Tyneside. It’s full of quintessentially English seaside experiences like award-winning fish and chips from Colmans. The tantalizing smell coming from the restaurant will make your tummy rumble and your mouth water.
Once you’ve satisfied your hunger you could easily lose track of time walking along the pristine beaches, watching fishing boats sail in and out from the bracing North Sea and taking in the glorious views. There’s Souter Lighthouse to explore too, an iconic landmark and the world’s very first electric lighthouse. Climb to the top of the striking red and white striped tower and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the shimmering seascape below.
Step back in time
South Shields is also home to Arbeia Roman Fort, Britain’s biggest and best reconstruction of a Roman fort and the most extensively excavated Roman military supply base. This fascinating attraction offers a unique insight in to everyday life on the frontier of the Roman Empire. Be transported in to the past as you stand in the footsteps of the Roman army and imagine how they must have felt as they bravely guarded the main sea route to Hadrian’s Wall.
South Tyneside has a rich and diverse history, indeed ‘The Father of English History’, the Venerable Bede lived in Jarrow (another South Tyneside town) and it was here during the seventh and eighth centuries that he wrote some of his most famous books about English history and religion. A visit to Bede’s World, a museum devoted to the scholar, is a chance to learn about his incredible life story. It’s a unique place that brings to life Anglo-Saxon times and is also home to some of Europe’s earliest stained-glass windows.
A summer extravaganza
South Tyneside is proud of its history, its culture and its landscape and celebrates this perfectly with a three-month festival every summer. Everyone is invited to The South Tyneside Summer Festival; whether you come to admire the colourful floats that parade through the streets or soak up the atmosphere at one of the many free open-air concerts you’ll have a truly memorable time filled with fun and frolics – typically Tyneside!