Day 283: Whitley Bay to Jarrow

Distance: 18.79 miles

Ascent: 1268 feet

Weather: Overcast & Rain in Morning, SUnny Spells Afternoon

Accommodation: Tom Owen’s House, Jarrow (kindly Offered)


Once I was up I headed downstairs and Wilma the dog decided my feet needed another clean so began licking. I had breakfast and then said goodbye to the twins and Kat kindly dropped me back where I finished yesterday near Cullercoats Bay.

The weather forecast for today was misty and dry early on with rain later in the afternoon. It was clear early on this was not going to be the case, yes it was misty but it also started raining shortly after I set off. I put the waterproof cover on the backpack and carried on. I followed the promenade to the Tynemouth Castle, and then it dropped down into the River Tyne Entrance. Up on the hill above the promenade, there was a statue which is the Collingwood Monument celebrating Lord Collingwood who was second in command to Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar.

As I have mentioned in the last few days the Tyne Foot Tunnel is closed at the moment which was my proposed route to cross the river but this left two options, the first being the Shields Ferry which I decided against as it didn’t feel right, the second which I had decided to do was walk up into the centre of Newcastle and cross on the Millennium Bridge.

There was a good path up as far as the terminal for the Shields Ferry but after this I had to leave the river due to industrial and building sites. For the couple of miles to the Tyne Foot Tunnel I had to walk the pavement alongside the dual carriageway which was not particularly great especially with the rain, and this continued for another mile until I joined the Hadrian Cycleway which merged with the Hadrian’s Wall Path at the Segedunum (Roman Fort). It has been a long while, May 18th or 144 days, since I passed the other end of the Hadrians Wall Path at Bowness on Salway which along the trail is only 84 miles and I could walk in 4 days!

This path was much nicer than the roads before and took me the 4 or 5 miles right into the centre of Newcastle. I have never been to Newcastle and I was looking forward to the selection of bridges crossing the Tyne here, and they didn’t disappoint. The Tyne Bridge is iconic and was as beautiful as I expected but it is the newish Millennium Bridge that steals the show, as well as its clever tilting nature to allow boats underneath it is stunning and I think very clever that they appear to have used the same ratios as the arch in Tyne Bridge meaning they look great one behind the other.

After crossing the Millennium Bridge I started to head back towards the coast along the South side of the river. There is a cycle route (route 14 by memory) that heads vaguely along the river diverting inland occasionally to get around industrial units. It was actually a nice walk down this side and contrary to the weather forecast the sun was starting to come out.

At Hebburn the cycle route joins the roads and from here it was not long till I was in Jarrow. Tom Owen whom I randomly ended up wild camping with near Nybster about 5 weeks ago had kindly offered to put me up in Jarrow. On top of putting me up he had cooked me dinner and stocked up the fridge even though he was going to be out this evening and night which was very kind. I was also having my rest day here which has been delayed by a few days and means I will actually be having another rest day in only a couple of days. This will actually be useful as can get on top of the final planning for the last 6 weeks or so.

In fact it was a good thing the Tyne Foot Tunnel was shut as otherwise I wouldn’t have walked into the centre of Newcastle and I enjoyed seeing all the architecture there. Really looking forward to some rest tomorrow.

charles compton