Friday 10 July 2015

South Shields to Sunderland Coastal Path

The day that Summer finally arrived in the North East we decided the best way to celebrate would be to head out on a day long adventure in the sunshine.   One of my favourite things to do in lovely weather is to walk.  Forget desperately trying to claim a table in an over crowded beer garden,the best way to enjoy sunshine is on a nice long walk with some beautiful scenery, plenty of opportunities to eat and lots of benches to stop and rest at along the way.

For a while now we've been wanting to do the walk from South Shields to the Souter Lighthouse and beyond.  Knowing it is a 7 mile + walk and fearing parts of it might not be too pretty it's something that has taken us all this time to get round to doing.

Silly, silly me!  I didn't realise that there is the prettiest coastal path running from South Shields all the way to Seaburn, we stumbled across it, kept on following it and were rewarded with some stunning coastal views.

The walk was nice and easy, although parts were a little stony so not 100% comfortable when wearing impractical Summer shoes.   I also realised whilst I was admiring my newly tanned feet that my feet weren't actually brown from the sunshine, they were just covered in a light coating of sand, dust and soil! 

The path was popular and we passed lots of people out enjoying the sunshine on romantic strolls and bike rides (a few brave people were even running in the heat!).   Our favourite strangers to chat to along the way were dog owners - we saw some absolute beauties and stopped to stroke a few (the dogs that is, not the owners!!).

When I wasn't coo-ing over friendly pups I was frantically running away from bees that seemed to spend a lot of our walk stalking me.   Simon found it rather amusing and kindly commented that maybe they thought my skirt was a picnic blanket.

Every now and again a little diversion off the path lead us to beautiful little private beaches.  Our favourite find was a little pebbled alcove at Marsden which we stumbled upon completely by accident.

We had an enjoyable break from our walk with some stunning views of Souter Lighthouse and Simon had a go at stone skimming (I promised I'd say in the blog post that he was really good at it!)

As we approached Souter Lighthouse we realised there was an event going on there, "Kites over Souter" had attracted a huge amount of kite enthusiasts and the sky was filled with brightly coloured kites.  If you're going to fly a kite the North East is definitely a great place to come - boy does it get windy up here!
We have a few lighthouses along the North East coast but Souter is an absolute stunner, painted in traditional red and white stripes the lighthouse was built in 1871 and was the first lighthouse in the world to be purpose built for using electricity.

You can pay an admission fee and climb to the top of the lighthouse which I should imagine offers some pretty stunning views across the coast.  Next time we visit we'll make sure our legs aren't tired from walking so we can take a look.

I also love that there are holiday cottages onsite.  You can stay at the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage which looks so cute and something I'd definitely like to try out one day for a picture perfect staycation. 

The Lighthouse is now owned by the National Trust and we all know what that means!  Tea room!  By now we were more than ready for a rest and a cuppa so we followed our noses to sniff out some cake and comfortable chairs.  

After my amazing chocolate scone at Blickling Hall earlier in the year I was pretty excited when Simon pointed out the little chalk board advertising homemade Rhubarb Scone served with Ginger Jam and Cream.  National Trust really do make the best scones and this one was delicious, the perfect fuel to carry on our hike.

We thought that the coastal path may disappear after Souter but we were pleased to see that it carried on, leading us on to Whitburn alongside fields of wild flowers and cows before eventually popping out near Seaburn seafront.

I will admit by this point I was flagging a little, having walked about 7 miles I was a feeling a little hot and dirty and in need of a really good sit down.   Luckily Simon had a reward in mind that was perfect for our active day by the sea.

Instagram worthy fish and chips from Downey's in Roker!  

With some more fuel in our belly we were inspired to carry on our walk to the next Metro Station, St Peter's in Sunderland!

Walking from South Shields to Sunderland is pretty impressive and we were feeling proud of ourselves as we had a cheesy hi five moment on the Metro platform.   At just under 10 miles, our walk may have tired us out but we had a fantastic day together out in the sunshine ... life doesn't get much better than that!



  1. Lovely post Chloe, it's so nice to explore the UK in the beautiful sunshine isn't it? We took a day trip to Worthing last weekend, I really need to get my blogpost finished.. the week has just disappeared. The rhubarb scones sound amazing, I do love rhubarb.

    Have a lovely weekend. Sarah xx

  2. We item walk to Souter (it's worth it for the tea room) as we live in South Shields it's a beautiful stretch of coastline

  3. Looks like a lovely walk. We're looking for a walk to do this weekend (weather dependent) so will add this to the list. Thanks for sharing :-)

  4. Fish and chips! Weather was great for a walk. I wish every Sunday could be so lovely as your day. Sundays' walks are must for me. ;) Find me at & Have a lovely day, Iga xxx

  5. What a lovely walk with beautiful views and wonderful fish and chips as a treat Lucy x

  6. What a lovely walk with beautiful views and wonderful fish and chips as a treat Lucy x

  7. What a great walk to do. I love the lighthouse painted in the old fashioned stripe design.

    Lizzie Dripping

  8. Can't believe I've never done this. Chris and I are going to run it when we're off work :):)

    Kay xx

  9. This looks like a lovely wander! I was at the lighthouse last week and had no idea this existed.

    Katie xoxo

  10. Looks lovely - love that skirt too!

  11. What a lovely day! It's grey and wet today. Those fish and chips look lovely.

    Katie x

  12. Sounds like a wonderful day and your pictures are gorgeous, I miss the NE coast sooo much! x


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