South Shields to Seaburn (9 miles)

Exit from South Shields Metro Station by following the signs “Seaside (Walking route 10-15 minutes)”. Turn right and walk along the pedestrianised King Street. Here you can have refreshments before embarking on the walk and/or if time allows visit the Museum and Art Gallery where you can obtain tourist information and learn about the renowned writer Catherine Cookson. (The Museum is closed until early 2004 to undergo a £1 million redevelopment.) Continue straight ahead following the sign “The Coast A183” along Ocean Road where you will pass an amazing collection of restaurants and takeaways. Just past the public house, The Marine, turn right into South Marine Park. Take the middle of the three paths and follow the yellow line that leads you past the boating lake. After Toney Minchella’s ice cream stall, bear right to exit from the park. Cross over the main road in the direction of the sea and walk towards the sea front to the promenade (A).

Turn right in the direction “Sunderland/Souter Lighthouse”. Continue ahead for about mile until the metalled promenade ends near Trow Point at a National Trust sign (B).

Turn left, and then, after a few yards, turn right to follow the signs “Coastal footpath” and “Souter Lighthouse 2 miles”. From here to the lighthouse the clear path follows the coastline near the protective metal barrier and you can stop from time to time to admire the views and read the interesting information boards. After about 1 mile from Trow Point you reach Marsden Bay with its noted rock (somewhat depleted by erosion in recent years) and the Grotto pub and restaurant (C).

For the next half-mile or so, the walk continues across the grass to reach Souter Lighthouse. The lighthouse (1871), now under the auspices of the National Trust, is open to visitors from beginning of April until the end of October and offers a tearoom in addition to a tour and exhibition (D).

To continue on the walk, keep on the main coastal path for a further mile until you reach the Military Firing Range. (If the range is in use you will be diverted to the main road where you need to turn left. Then proceed until you reach a lane on the left at a dental surgery opposite the cemetery. Turn left and make your way back to the coastal path and resume your journey with the sea on your left. This diversion, if needed, will add about a mile to the walk). Proceed along the coastal path until it ends some 2.5 miles beyond Souter Lighthouse at a road. Follow the road as it bears left and at the City of Sunderland sign turn left to go behind the houses and onto the promenade. Now proceed along the promenade until you arrive opposite the Marriott Hotel on your right (E).

Turn right to cross the road near the ornamental roundabout, walk past the hotel entrance and bear left up Sea Lane away from the sea front. At the roundabout, turn right and continue uphill (on Chichester Road). As the road levels off and straightens out you come to a shopping area and will see Fulwell Windmill ahead. Continue in the same direction to Seaburn Metro Station and the end of the walk.

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