What it's like
This county is famous for its night life and increasingly for its artistic and cultural attractions (eg Baltic Art Gallery and Sage Music venue) but not as a country walking destination. However it does have a number of interesting walks. It has a great coastline and local initiatives have done a lot to make green spaces accessible. For example the Great North Forest Project has turned former mining and industrial land into a necklace of woodland.
There are urban walks along the Tyne with footpaths/cycleways along sections of both banks of the river and a walk along Newcastle’s quayside is a “must do”. You can even walk under the river through the foot tunnel from Willington Quay to Jarrow.
The coastal walking is good, all the way from the lovely St Mary’s Island past the ruined priory at Tynemouth and the rocky outcrops of Marsden Bay to the pier at Roker in Sunderland. Public transport including the Metro and a ferry service across the Tyne is good so linear walks are easy to do.
For greenery Jesmond Dene in Newcastle and the Derwent Walk (a former rail line) are popular with walkers. From this walk you can also link into a variety of different woods. The river walk from Newburn to Wylam is also worth considering.
Around the Wear you could combine a visit to Washington wild fowl park with a walk to the extraordinary folly at Penshaw.
If you like parks, try the multi-award winning Saltwell Park in Gateshead.
- North Shields Fish Quay to St Mary’s Island Walk along the riverside path beside the Black Midden rocks, site of many a shipwreck, then follow the superb coastline. You can cross onto the island by a causeway at low tide. Return by public transport.
- Derwent Walk Follow the walk and deviate as you wish into Derwent Walk Country Park and adjoining woodland. Look out for red kites.
- Marsden to Whitburn A lovely stretch of coastline. Return over the fields to meet the Great North Forest trail and come back through a nature reserve.
Must see and do
- See the Angel of the North If you are coming from the south by road or rail you cannot miss it.
- Be a “Workie ticket” in the pub A “Workie ticket” is an aggravating person; it is also the name of a very good local beer.
- People watch on Newcastle quayside on a weekend evening A different type of “wild life”.
Destination County : Tyne & Wear