But appearances can be deceptive. And today’s picturesque village with its ruined priory and castle managed by English Heritage and award-winning beaches which lies at the mouth of the River Tyne just 10 miles from Newcastle, has a violent and turbulent past.
Now seen as the perfect place to spend a fun family day out, Tynemouth stands at the heart of what was once one of England’s most heavily fortified areas.
Tynemouth can date its recorded history back at least 2000 years. The Anglo Saxons founded a settlement here, although it is almost certain that the Romans who chose nearby Wallsend to both start and finish Hadrian’s Wall, would have visited the area, perhaps for leisure as tens of thousands do now every year.
Over the centuries there has been a monastery – originally founded by the Anglo Saxons, raided by the Vikings and the burial place of three kings – royal castle, artillery fort and coastal defences in both the First and Second World Wars.
Now Tynemouth’s mix of antique, gift and fashion shops, wine bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes, guest houses and quirky weekend market at the beautifully restored glass canopied Victorian train station, attracts visitors of an altogether different and easy-going kind.
Users of travel website Trip Advisor recently voted Tynemouth’s Longsands the fourth best beach in the UK, describing it as “the jewel of the North East coast.”
The long sandy beach is a popular location for water sports, including surfing, as well as joggers and those enjoying the sunshine.
The Tynemouth Food Festival centre’s around the tranquil grounds of The Priory and Castle which is just a few moments’ walk from the grade II listed Tynemouth Metro Station.Others prefer to go rock pooling in King Edward’s Bay, breathe in the salty air on a tranquil walk along the River Tyne to North Shields Fish Quay, or to visit the priory and castle before perhaps taking afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel – once the seaside home of the Duchess of Northumberland – which overlooks Longsands, or to head into Tynemouth itself for fish and chips and a relaxing drink or two.
The Metro links Tynemouth with Newcastle city centre and further afield to Gateshead, South Shields and Sunderland.
Things To Do In Tynemouth
Stretching out from below the priory is the pier, a long stone breakwater that was once used by trains to load ships.
The small beach of Prior’s Haven is sheltered and popular with local rowing and sailing clubs. King Edward’s Bay sits in a small cove beneath the priory and is an excellent spot to go rock pooling when the tide is out.It is now a popular place for walkers who can sometimes be lucky enough to spot the occasional seal.
Longsands is a long sandy beach which is ideal for surfing, stand up paddle boarding, walking and – of course – dodging the waves!
Overlooking Longsands is The Blue Reef Aquarium (www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk), which offers a fantastic day out ‘under the sea’ with otters, seals and even miniature marmosets and monkeys. The Aquarium also has a cafe and outside play area.
Where to stay in Tynemouth
Tynemouth has many beautiful guest houses and hotels, a few of which are mentioned below:
– The Martineau Guest House
Sally Craigen runs the Grade II Listed Georgian town house on Front Street that was once home to the Victorian social theorist, novelist and journalist Harriet Martineau.
– No61 Guest House and Tea Rooms
– The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel sits on Grand Parade and overlooks the sweep of Longsands.
– More information on Tynemouth can be found at: