Walking Coast To Coast Via Hadrians Wall Path : Tynemouth To Newcastle
Our coast to coast walk started by driving up to Hadrians Wall country and leaving the car in Haltwhistle, from where we took the train to Newcastle and then the Metro to Tynemouth.
After finding the coast we kept going as far East as possible by walking to the far end of the cold, damp harbour wall which is about a kilometer out into the North Sea. Our final destination is over 90 miles to the West at Bowness-On-Solway.
|Tynemouth From The Pier
||Lord Collingwood Statue
After marking the start of our walk with a couple of photos we set off Westward from the lighthouse at the end of the pier, passing the statue of local boy Lord Collingwood who was Lord Nelsons second in command and took over command at Trafalgar after Lord Nelson died. Following the North bank of the Tyne we picked up cycle route 72 shortly after passing some large vintage buoys. The cycle route largely follows the Hadrians Wall Path along its length and is indicated by blue signs that are also marked C2C (Coast To Coast) or Hadrians Wall. As you approach the start of Hadrians Wall the signs turn from blue to Brown.
This section of the walk is fairly dull as the route moves away from the river, crossing housing estates, scrubland and road widening schemes that range from fairly run down to pleasant newly re-generated areas.
||Hadrians Wall At Wallsend
||Sedgedunum Roman Bathhouse
Our first sight of Hadrians Wall was at Sedgedunum at Wallsend, just past the offices of Swan Hunter which was one of the best known shipbuilding companies in the world. They ceased building ships on the Tyne in 2006 but you may have heard of some of their products such as HMS Ark Royal, Atlantic Conveyor, RMS Carpathia, RMS Mauretania and HMS Illustrious.
Sedgedunum was unfortunately closed by the time that we arrived, but it is the most thoroughly excavated of the forts along Hadrians Wall. It houses a reconstructed Roman bathhouse and displays excavated remains of the foundations of the original fort along with many artifacts found during the excavations.
|The River Tyne East Of Newcastle
||Old Industrial Rail System
||Gateshead Across The River
The path eventually returns to the bank of the Tyne where the smell of tar from the long vanished lead and tar works still pervades the air. Pleasant rural views of the river are interspersed with industrial wasteland before the bridges and buildings of Newcastle and Gateshead came into sight.
|The Tyne Bridges
||Gateshead Millenium Bridge
||Gateshead Sage Concert Venue
The river front by the Gateshead Millenium Bridge has a clean fresh feel to it and was busy with people enjoying what had turned out to be a pleasant summer evening. The architecture here is interesting with the variety of bridges ranging from the modern Millenium Bridge, known as the blinking eye due to its tilting opening action, to the victorian swing bridge which still operates.
Gateshead is on the opposite side of the river and boasts the rather nicely restored Baltic Flour Mill which is now an art gallery, and the Sage concert venue, which is a modern structure that I like a lot, others though have rather unkindly compared it to a giant slug. You may hear some strange noises in the background which will be a "sound installation" (thats art that is), but you may not as it may only have been a temporary feature as we were passing.
Our tent was un-used on our first night as we stayed in a hotel in Newcastle city centre. We had covered about 20km starting at Tynemouth at 5:15pm and arrived at Newcastle city centre at 9:15pm.
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