D16: WALLSEND to SOUTH SHIELDS
Wednesday 19th September 2018
Today miles: 17.7 Total miles: 220.7
I arrived at Wallsend and parked as close to the metro station as I could get. I then proceeded to walk along the Hadrian’s Wall national trial, through the heavy industry on the Northern edge of the River Tyne. I can’t pretend that it was pretty, the path was heavily littered and walls laden with graffiti.
At Walker riverside park the surroundings improved and happily so did my mood, the sun was also shining. This stretch of the riverside has been much improved in the last 20 years and much of the industry has disappeared, to be replaced by plush apartments, bistro’s and coffee shops. Whilst walking through St Peters I caught my first view of the Gateshead Millenium bridge, where I’d be crossing the river Tyne. Only a few hundred metres before the bridge I popped into Costa coffee and grabbed myself a latte. The cafe was to busy so after buying my coffee I left Costa and walked onto the bridge. Across the length of the bridge there are several seats on both sides. I sat down looking towards the Tyne bridge, unpacked my sandwiches and enjoyed my lunch. I could tell that the wind had picked up significantly over the last hour and it was now blowing pretty strong.
After crossing the Millenium bridge I passed in front of the Sage building and began the walk along the Southern edge of the river. Although I was surrounded by more heavy industry the path was lined by dense trees and vegetation which hid the buildings. I’m never keen walking through trees in strong winds, paranoid that a heavy branch is going to break off and drop on my head.
It most definitely encouraged me to move quicker then usual. On arrival at Jarrow the trees disappeared and the graffiti and industry reappeared. I left the edge of the river and was forced inland to avoid trespassing onto The Tyne Dock. Whilst walking along the A185 the strong wind was joined by dark skies, then light rain and finally heavy rain. Fortunately I was close to a bus shelter on the opposite side of the road. I ran towards it and sat on the ground. I removed my shoes sure that I was going to be trapped here by the rain for quite a while.
It continued to rain heavily for approximately 20 minutes before I was able to move away from the shelter and continue towards South Shields. I passed by the Southern dock of the Tyne Ferry, it was closed down due to the high winds and choppy waters.
At the mouth of the Tyne the walk turns in a South Eastern direction and the scenery changes from industry and concrete river side promenades to sandy beaches and beachside cafes, pubs etc. Just beyond the Southern pier I turned away from the coast and walked inland for half a mile to catch the metro back to Wallsend. As I walked upstairs to the metro platform I heard two loud male voices exchanging obscenities with each other. Not sure what it was about but surprised it didn’t turn to something more physical. Seconds later as I approached the platform I was turned away by the Metro inspectors. They informed me that a tree had fallen onto the track and that the alternative bus would be leaving soon. The bus terminal was only a short walk away and I finally arrived in Wallsend around teatime. The route from South Shields looks to be interesting and I’m looking forwards to getting back onto the coastal path.