Only a 45 minute drive away is South Shields, a great place to visit with something for everyone.
The seafront area is well-renowned for its events programme, with the beautiful seafront being a fine setting. The summer-long South Tyneside Festival in particular is hugely popular, with major open-air music concerts, performances from local bands, a spectacular parade, fun days and lots more.
There is no comfort stop en route to, or from South Shields and after leaving Aycliffe, you will be taken straight to the Little Haven Hotel right on the sea front for lunch:
Just a five minutes walk from South Shields seafront (albeit uphill!) is Arbeia Roman Fort, the most extensively excavated Roman military supply base in the Empire.
Built in AD160, this UNESCO World Heritage Site stood guard at the mouth of the River Tyne and once controlled the main port of entry to the Roman Empire in Britain. It holds one of the finest collections of Roman finds along Hadrian’s Wall and nearly all were discovered in and around the Fort from excavations that have taken place over the years.
If you want to walk off your lunch, you can take a leisurely stroll along the modern promenade or though the South or North Marine parks and of course there is always shopping. If shopping is your thing, there is a small market (at the end of King Street) each Monday and hidden behind King Street are Debenhams, Next and River Island.
The modern promenade is scattered with various artworks. The famous ‘Weebles’ are situated very near to the Little Haven Hotel.
A new attraction in South Shields is ‘The Word’, a new state-of-the-art cultural venue, situated in the corner of the Market place, brimming with exciting new experiences, activities and facilities for people of all ages to enjoy.
On both of our visits to South Shields, The Word has a celebration of the thousands of North East dialect words donated during The Word’s original Lost Dialects exhibition. Word Bank of Lost Dialects is an exhibition by artists Jane Glennie and Robert Good which invites you to experience the donated words.
The Word Bank of Lost Dialects contains around 2,400 donations of ‘lost words’ from the North East. In this new exhibition, located in the Caer Urfa pod, you will be able to view the full Word Bank and take a rubbing of some of your most-loved Geordie words. You will be able to find out about the history of some of the most popular words donated (and some of the obscure) and vote for your favourites.
The South Shields Museum can be found on Ocean Road. The story of South Tyneside is told through some sensational displays, hands on exhibits and stunning art.
A local delicacy in South Shields is a ‘bairns dummy’ which is a Dicksons savaloy, not like the ones you would buy from a supermarket. You might just have time to treat yourself to a Minchella’s award winning ice cream. You can see their kiosks all along the promenade, and there is one at the end of Ocean Road, near the traffic lights.
More than 75 years ago Giuseppe Minchella’s ice cream became a firm favourite with coal miners as they finished their shift at Boldon Colliery.
Now Guiseppe’s grandson 69-year-old Michael Minchella, whose businessis based in South Shields, has won national acclaim after he was voted the UK’s Ice Cream Champion by judges at The National Ice Cream Competition.
Visits to South Shields