Exit from Whitley Bay Metro Station from Platform 1. (Platform 1 can be accessed from Platform 2 by either steps or ramps). Walk along the pathway and then straight ahead along Etal Avenue for about 200 yards. Turn left and walk along Holystone Avenue to the end. Turn right and walk the short distance to the junction of Burnside Road and a main road (Marden Road). On your right is The Quarry pub, which has a plaque outlining its history. Cross the busy road with care to reach the (unmarked) entrance to Marden Quarry Nature Reserve, to the right of a large detached white house. A few yards beyond the entrance go into the car park on the right, where a notice board gives details of the former quarry and its transformation into a nature reserve by North Tyneside Council. Leave the car park and turn right onto the path which takes you a pleasant, short walk around the lake (A).
After completing the circuit of the lake, exit the reserve and cross the road to The Quarry, then turn left and proceed along the pavement towards the roundabout ahead. Follow the pavement as it curves to the right over the Metro line. Carry on, past shops and offices, into the centre of town at a busy junction. St Paul’s Church (1864) with its unusual truncated spire is on the left. Turn right and walk to the traffic lights. Cross the road and proceed along Park Avenue. Continue down, passing the red-stone Whitley Bay Baptist Church, until the road divides. Take the righthand road (still Park Avenue) and carry on to the promenade. Turn right and proceed ahead to the Rex Hotel (B).
Continue along the sea front on the pavement or, opposite Victoria Avenue, you can descend to the lower promenade to walk in the same direction. If you walk on the lower level, when you reach a tiled roof brick shelter, look below to Table Rocks. Here, there is a natural pool, formerly used as the “table rocks swimming pool” but now too dangerous for such activities. Rejoin the pavement and carry on to where the road bends to the right (C).
Bear left along the wide pavement in front of the houses at Southcliff. At the end, turn right. Walk a few yards and then turn right and go to the end of the road (Norma Crescent). Turn left and follow the pavement along the main road. Go past the little boat yard and The Queens Head to arrive at Cullercoats Bay, a favourite place for painters and photographers over the years. The Cullercoats lifeboat station is situated here. It is also the location for the University of Newcastle Dove Marine Laboratory, an important centre for the study of the local marine
Proceed ahead. You soon arrive at an information board which gives historical details about Cullercoats, as well as indicating nearby points of interest. Continue in the same direction. Ahead, in the distance, are Tynemouth’s North Pier and the ruins of Tynemouth Priory and Castle. As you leave Cullercoats, you pass the impressive St George’s Church (1884), whose tower and spire are 180 feet high. The First World War memorial, is outside the east end (E).
Below you are the Long Sands. There are a number of access points if you prefer to walk along the beach. Carrying on along the pavement, you pass, on your right, the Blue Reef Aquarium, and The Park Hotel. In a short while you pass, on your left, a mini-golf course. Over the road is Tynemouth Park with its boating lake and The Clocktower Café. Continue in the same direction towards the end of the Long Sands. Near the end there is a Waterside Trail notice board which gives historical and environmental information about the area. Below, there is a rock pool, converted from the former open air swimming pool in 1996. Carry on, as the pavement follows the curve of King Edward’s Bay with its Short Sands. Over the road is the splendid sweep of the houses in Percy Gardens. Shortly you pass the Gibraltar Rock pub and, then, the imposing bulk of Tynemouth Priory and Castle, now managed by English Heritage. Three kings were buried here and this is reflected in the three crowns in the crest of North Tyneside Council. In a few yards you arrive at a clock tower and Tynemouth village (F).
Turn right and make your way along Front Street with its fascinating collection of shops, pubs and cafes. If you want to see an intriguing example of the taxidermist’s art, you can pop into the Turks Head Hotel (A plaque outside explains the significance). At the end of Front Street, on the right-hand side, you can turn right, where there are more shops and cafes. At the end of Front Street, on the left-hand side, is the Land of Green Ginger, a shopping mall, full of nooks and crannies, occupying a former church (G).
To complete the walk, cross the road and go through the little park which runs alongside the 19th-century Huntington Place. In the park there is a statue of Queen Victoria (1902) and two war memorials. You can follow the road on your left to arrive at Tynemouth Metro Station. Or follow the alternative directions to the right, which avoids steps, to reach Platform 1 for train departures to Newcastle via South Gosforth. An information board in the station gives details of Saturday and Sunday markets held here.