Walking route taking in heritage gems in South Tyneside and beyond mapped out in new guide

A long-distance walking route featuring some of South Tyneside’s best-loved heritage assets is featured in a new guide for those looking to explore the area.

Souter Lighthouse is featured in the guide.
Souter Lighthouse is featured in the guide.

Northumbria Ramblers has launched a new walking guide to The Heritage way, an 80-mile walking route that takes in the rich historic and industrial heritage of the Tyne and Wear area.

It takes in South Shields and North Shields, Wylam, Ponteland, Burradon, Seaton Sluice, Thornley Woods, Beamish, Washington Village and Roker Pier.

David Crowe, a volunteer and walks leader with the Northumbria Area of Ramblers Association who helped compile the book, said each section of the route can be walked in a day and is suitable for walkers of all ages.

Cleadon Hills offers some great variety for a walk, and is included in the guide.

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    The full route is broken down into nine convenient sections of eight-to-ten miles that can be walked at any time, in any order.

    All the start and end points are accessible using public transport.

    David said The Tyne and Way Heritage Way guide includes clearly marked maps explaining the route to follow with explanations of the heritage the paths pass by.

    “The idea for the Heritage Way was originally conceived in the 1980s to help people rediscover the beauty of the area and understand the landscape’s contribution to local communities and Britain’s history over the years,” he said.


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    The Shields Ferry landing marks either the beginning or the end of the route, or section thereof, depending on how you choose to tackle it.

    "Thanks to small number of volunteers working in collaboration with local authorities the idea is now a reality, fully way-marked and clearly documented in the book.

    "It constitutes a really important record of the county’s forgotten but very important heritage and provides a brilliant way to explore the magnificent beauty of the region.”

    He added: “Everyone should be able to enjoy Britain’s countryside so we have ensured the routes all start and end at places served by public transport.


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    "This makes it ideal for families, individuals and walking groups visiting the area, with the option to do longer stretches over a series of days or simply do a single walk as and when they choose.”

    Route highlights:

    Visit Causey Arch, the first single span, stone railway bridge in the world and Bowes Railway Museum, the world’s only standard gauge rope-hauled railway.

    Contrast the architecture of handsome Washington Old Hall, ancestral home of the family of George Washington, first President of America, with the humble cottage where George Stephenson, the great railway pioneer, was born.


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    Pass through varied terrain such as wooded valleys, the dramatic coastline near Marsden Rock, the busy Fish Quay at North Shields and follow old waggonways, once teeming with the industrial might of the coal industry.

    The book, priced £7.99 (plus £1 postage and packaging) was funded by the Ramblers Association and is available to buy here https://www.tynewearheritageway.org.uk/heritage-way-book

    The guide is also available as a series of leaflets, which can be picked up from heritage points around the route, including Souter lighthouse.

    Other places selling the book are St Mary’s lighthouse, The King’s Arms, Seaton Sluice, Tanfield railway station, Causey Arch tearoom, Land of Oak and Iron Centre, Thornley Woodlands Centre;,The Fox and Hounds, Coalburn, and local libraries.