Tynemouth is a small, very old village in Tyne and Wear, sitting at the mouth of the River Tyne, hence the name! It used to be part of Northumberland but now the borders have changed. I was born and brought up there and love it. It is easily accessible on the Tyne and Wear Metro system, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (more commonly known as Newcastle) is a 20 minute train ride away.
The village consists of one main street, Front Street (with smaller, mainly residential roads leading off it) which leads up to a majestic castle on a headland overlooking the North Sea – this is the Tynemouth Priory – it is very old, well over 1,000 years! It is a very popular tourist destination but also very dear to the hearts of the locals, including me!
Front Street is filled with unusual and quaint buildings from different eras and is the focal point of many locals and neighbouring towns folk alike, especially on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There are many pubs and restaurants to enjoy and the village is usually packed to bursting on these evenings, winter and summer – A very electric atmosphere!
Some of the pubs are very old, like The Turk’s Head. Here you will find a glass cabinet displaying a stuffed dog with a very interesting and touching story attached. The dog was found lying beside his deceased master and refused to leave, poor thing. Showing the pub’s age, there is also evidence that the ‘Ladies’ had to be added at a much later date, as women did not frequent these establishments in the ‘old’ days.
Running down the side of the ancient moat of the Priory is a steep bank leading to a cove called the Haven. Most of my childhood holidays were spent down there, where my dad used to have a small boat and did his fishing off the North Pier, which edges the left side of this cove. It is a lovely sheltered spot (although we still used ‘wind-breaks’ to sunbathe when I was a child) and the surrounding views are spectacular. A walk along the pier is an experience which should not be missed, as you can look back from the end and admire the fabulous views of Tynemouth and The Priory.
There is much more to see and do in Tynemouth, this is just a taster. If you love history and the sea, you should visit soon.