Pelaw to Gateshead (5.5 miles)

Exit from Pelaw Metro station and turn left to walk across the bridge over the Metro line. Walk to the road junction at Croxdale Terrace and cross over the busy road with care. Proceed straight ahead down Fisherwell Road. As the road bears to the left at a green area, take the surfaced track on the right that leads between two fences. Go through the metal gate and continue towards the outbuildings of Bill Quay Farm for about 75 yards until you reach a junction of paths. (The entrance to the farm is a short distance beyond this junction. This educationally-oriented project is open daily to the public and offers an interesting collection of livestock and artwork. There is a café with restricted opening on weekends and school holidays).

To continue on the walk, turn sharp left at the junction of paths before the farm buildings. You pass a wooden bench shortly after which the path bears to the right and descends fairly steeply towards the river. The narrow well-trodden path can be slippery in wet weather and care needs to be taken. You soon reach a metalled path on the Keelman’s Way.

Turn left and proceed along the path. In a short distance you are walking alongside the River Tyne which is about to sweep towards the right. The skyline of Newcastle comes into view. Continue ahead until you reach a sign “Newcastle Gateshead C2C 14”, just beyond the first of a series of industrial buildings belonging to Akzo Nobel, manufacturers of paints and associated products. The route now needs to make a loop around this industrial complex.

Take the path on the left in the direction of the sign and begin to climb away from the river. Turn left onto a minor road at a second C2C sign and continue the gradual climb. After about 200 yards, turn right to pass four metal bollards and continue upwards on a metalled path. As the path levels out, bear right to follow a Keelman’s way sign and join a road (Abbotsford Road). Proceed ahead to the end of the road to meet a junction. Turn right and walk downhill to pass the main entrance of the Akzo Nobel complex on your right. Turn left along Nest Road and then turn almost immediately right, just beyond Cromadex, onto a metalled path to continue on the Keelman’s Way.

You are now on a pleasant countryside path known as the Friars Goose Riverside Footpath and you soon have the river below on your right. You need to remember, particularly at the narrow sections and bends, that this is a popular route for cyclists. Eventually the path meets a road and you continue ahead for a few yards to a T-junction. Turn right and after about 100 yards you reach an anchor resting on a stone with a plaque that explains the former industrial usages of this area. On your right is the oddly named hotel, bar and bistro the Elephant on the Tyne.

Turn left to meet a stony track which after a short distance arrives at a metalled path. Turn right and follow the path. Ahead you will see the floodlights of Gateshead International Stadium, an important venue for athletics and other sporting events. When the metalled path levels out, take the right-hand fork to join an access road and bear right to return towards the river. Soon you have good views across the river to St Peter’s Basin housing complex and marina, while ahead the skyline is somewhat dominated by the massive structure of St James’ Park football stadium. When the road turns right to descend to the riverside, bear left to take the metalled path that continues parallel to the river. Eventually you reach an access road and car park
area favoured by fishermen (F).

Cross the road and follow the Cycleway 14 sign to take the narrow surfaced path, past a Keelman’s Way sign, through a green area. After a slight incline, the track levels out and broadens opposite the tall white building of a flour mill on the other side of the river, just before you meet a road. Continue ahead along the road that now passes a number of industrial sites and workshops that largely obstruct your view of the river. At a T-junction turn right and then left at Lafarge Redlands Aggregates. Just before you reach the large J Rank Ltd building, now the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, turn right and make your way to the riverside. From here you can appreciate the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the fine buildings of the Newcastle Quayside on the opposite side of the river. You may wish to stop for refreshments and/or visit the art exhibitions at the Baltic.

To continue on the walk, retrace your steps back to the road and follow it as it bears left and climbs away from the river. You pass a modern apartment complex on your right after which you may be able to obtain views of the Sage Music Centre and the Newcastle skyline. Continue uphill until you reach a busy road junction. Cross over the main road by the pedestrian lights and continue ahead up Quarryfield Road. Follow the cyclepath signs and turn right as indicated for the town centre. Walk under the railway bridge and turn left just beyond the entrance to the Davy Roll engineering works. Continue parallel to the busy road and at the end of the wall below the flyover, turn right to descend to a subway “To Shopping Centre”. Follow the sign to the town centre, passing Park Court on your left and turn left at a minor road. Walk a few yards behind the church and then turn right along Hopper Place to meet a road. On your right is St Edmund’s Chapel, the parish church of Gateshead since 1982. The chapel has had a long and interesting history since the first church was built here in mid-13th century. The building has been partitioned off and a large section now houses a local community centre (where details of Trinity Community Association activities and a history of St Edmund’s can be obtained).

Cross over the road at the pedestrian lights and proceed up Jackson Street. Look out on your right for the controversial multi-storey car park that featured in the Michael Caine film Get Carter – an argument put forward to prevent its demolition! You arrive at a major junction with St Joseph’s RC Church (1859) ahead on the left. Turn right and walk for about 100 yards. Turn left and cross the bus and cycle lanes with care to make your way to Gateshead Metro station and the end of the walk.

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