Food And Drink
South Tyneside's dining scene is varied to suit any visitor requirement. From fine dining to independent bistros and high-street favourites to traditional pub lunches, high tea, seafood delicacies, award winning fish and chips and ice-cream treats - you'll find them all in South Tyneside.
Town centre wining and dining, beach side bistros, cosy village pubs and riverside retreats are just some of the settings you can choose from to enjoy your meal.
This mile long stretch of road between South Shields town centre and seafront is also home to Colmans Fish and Chip restaurant, who have won numerous awards for their food and draw visitors from far afield. Tucking into fish and chips has to be the ultimate seaside experience - and Colmans will not disappoint!
Take a bite out of some truly scrumptious food to set those mouth buds watering or venture into King Street to sample some spectacular food at Bravi or some traditional pub lunches at any pub or cafe on the high street, our villages or towns.
With an excellent mix of friendly people, relaxing atmospheres, great prices and scrumptious grub, you're sure to enjoy!
If you're looking for a great night out, South Tyneside has something to offer everyone.
Fun lovers looking to hit the hot spots and dance the night away should head for South Shields Town Centre for the trendy bars and happening nightclubs. Located within a compact area you won't have to walk far between bars to quench your thirst!
There are plenty of traditional cosy pubs around too serving up a great pint and a friendly smile for those that are looking for a more relaxing atmosphere.
Whether cocktails, cava, beer, spirits or wine is your tipple of choice, South Tyneside has it all served with a helping of friendliness and a bill that won't break the bank!
Shields Town Centre is the place to be for shoppers looking for retail therapy.
Along pedestrianized King Street and Waterloo Square you will find a great selection of big high street favourites such as NEXT, River Island, Desire by Debenhams, BHS, Argos, Boots and WH Smith, as well as popular fashion stores including Northern Threads to name just a few.
Ocean Road, Fowler Street, The Denmark Centre and Queen Street all just footsteps away host even more shops and stores for your browsing and buying.
Independent retailers selling ladies and men's clothing, footwear, gifts, jewellery and accessories add another element to the shopping mix bringing unique products to satisfy those looking for something that little bit different.
With plenty of car parking spaces, ease of access and great transport links, whatever your shopping desires, we're sure you'll find what you're looking for in South Shields!
Most stores in South Shields Town Centre are open as follows:
Monday - Friday 9am - 5.30pm
Sunday King St - Closed
Sunday Waterloo Square - 11am - 5pm
Please check with individual stores.
The Town Centre of South Shields has fantastic transport links with easy access from metro, ferry, car or bus.
If travelling by car South Tyneside is served by excellent trunk roads. The A194 links to the A1(M) motorway providing easy access from the South and the A19 via the Tyne Tunnel provides a convenient route from the A1 North.
South Shields has a number of town centre car parks catering for both long and short stay visits. Visit the parking information website for maps and further information
and Royal Quays North Shields all offer a great day out and a wonderfull shopping experience.
Mill Dam, is an area steeped in history and really does offer pleasant surroundings near to many of the amenities
South Shields has to offer.
South Shields is a coastal town at the mouth of the
River Tyne, England about 4.84 miles downstream from Newcastle Upon Tyne the town has a population of 75,337, the third largest in Tyneside after Newcastle and Gateshead. It is part of the borough of South Tyneside which includes the towns of Jarrow and Hebburn
Meandering through the area's towns and villages is the 26 mile South Tyneside Heritage Trail. The Trail is a pathway from the past and travels through a variety of landscapes from rugged coastline and farmland to reclaimed industrial sites and bustling streets.
The Trail details thousands of years of history, but also touches on a wide range of topics including geology, wildlife, farming, the river and sea, religion, legend, literature, architecture, sport, leisure, commerce and industry.
Colourful interpretation panels along the route help to reveal our rich heritage. You can walk the Trail in its entirety or break it up into more manageable chunks to suit your fitness/ability. Much of the route follows established trails such as the Coastal Path, Linnet Way and River Don and there are a number of loops and possible connecting paths. As well as a leaflet highlighting the route and points of interest, each of the panels features a map and the location of the next panel. Many of the panels can be visited relatively easily by car too.
The structure of the landscape itself has helped shape much of what has gone on here. The limestone deposits which formed the Cleadon Hills and the stunning cliffs and rock formations along the coastline; the rich veins of coal which for many years provided the backbone of the region's economy; and the River Tyne itself, providing the means for exporting the coal to foreign parts.
From prehistoric times, through the Roman, Anglo Saxon and Viking periods, across the Middle Ages and into the industrial era, people have come from many parts of the world to settle in South Tyneside and they have all made a contribution to its achievements. Life in the region has rarely been easy as its rewards have always had to be hard earned, often in dangerous circumstances. But this has bred a population with lots of pride, remarkable spirit, a strong sense of community and who are always ready to have fun!
Continuous change and people's ability to adapt is another strong theme which emerges. Around 200 years ago, South Tyneside was very rural with just a little industrial development along the riverside. The 19th century witnessed a manufacturing explosion, in which the local population grew tenfold to provide the workforce for some of the world's greatest shipyards and engineering works. Today, these too have all but gone and the area has come through the traumas of industrial decline to emerge as a bustling, vibrant place to live and work, with many of the old industrial sites regenerated for modern business or reclaimed for nature.
1300 years ago, Bede propelled South Tyneside to the very forefront of western culture and his legacy is still felt around the world today. 100 to 150 years ago, the banks of the River Tyne again became globally renowned as a centre of excellence and innovation. Those days may have gone - the shipyards and mines have fallen silent - but the area's greatest asset still remains. It is the people of South Tyneside who have made it great in the past and who will continue to make it great in the future.
A Roman Fort with turf ramparts and internal buildings of timber may have been built on the Lawe Top at South Shields as early as the end of the first century AD.
The present day remains of the Roman Fort of Arbeia belong to a fort of four acres with internal buildings of stone dating from the middle of the second century AD.
In AD 208 the fort was enlarged and 22 stone granaries were built to hold supplies for the Roman legions campaigning in Scotland. The supply base was in use for only a few years and the interior of the fort was re-modelled to hold a normal garrison - the fifth Cohort of Gauls.
Occupation continued until the end of the Roman period and perhaps as late as the fifth century AD. Little more was known until 1875 when extensive renovations were started. Later excavations from 1949 onwards have gradually increased knowledge of the history of the fort.
Today, Arbeia is part of Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site and offers excavated remains and stunning reconstructions of the fort's original buildings. The site is dominated by the reconstructed West Gate which is built in the site's initial foundations using similar construction techniques and materials to the original.
This significant archaeological site is one of the few places in the country where you can see re-built Roman buildings, including the Commander's Villa and Barrack Block. The museum houses finds made since the 17th century, including tombstones, weapons, military fittings, coins, glass and pottery.
A crucial logistical hub that sustained the troops garrisoning Hadrian’s Wall and the military operations in the invasion of Scotland in the third century A.D.
Today the fort boasts impressive reconstructions of Roman military buildings.
If you would like more information on where to go or what to do you can visit English Heritage.
South Tyneside has a long and proud tradition of seafaring, shipbuilding and lifesaving and a world renowned reputation for excellence in marine engineering and seamanship.
The first purpose built lifeboat was built in the Borough in 1789. South Shields is home to Britain's second oldest preserved lifeboat, the Tyne which is located at the Wouldhave Memorial on Ocean Road. Her crews saved 1028 stricken mariners in six decades of service in the 19th century.
A short distance away is the headquarters of the Volunteer Life Brigade whose members have saved countless lives since 1866. One of the very first voluntary life brigades they were the first to save life from a shipwreck using the breeches buoy. In 2016 South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade will mark their 150th anniversary with a series of events and celebrations at their Grade Two listed Watch House. Situated on the South Pier the Watch House is a building of immense architectural and historical interest and contains a unique collection of shipwreck material, lifesaving equipment and local history.
The Lawe Top Beacon was erected as a navigational aid in 1932 by John Turnbull and cost around £60. The beacon and its twin companion opposite replaced the 18th century structures and compliment the High and Low Lights at North Shields.
Souter Lighthouse opened in 1871 and was at the time, the most advanced in the World. It was the first lighthouse to be specifically constructed for electric illumination by carbon arc lamps. Today the property is operated by the National Trust and visitors can explore the Engine Room and find out how the lighthouse operates through video, displays and navigational equipment. The family living quarters in the Victorian Keepers Cottage is open to explore and visitors can climb the 76 steps to the top of the tower. There are extensive views of the coastline, on a clear day you can see past Blyth and up the Northumberland Coast and to the south, the Yorkshire Hills. A specially adapted camera at the top of the tower relays images to the ground floor so the same views can be seen without the effort of climbing to the top.
North East Maritime Trust
The North East Maritime Trust is open to visitors 09.30 to 15.30 Tues, Wed & Sat with free guided tours available.
The team are currently engaged in the restoration of the 1917 Tynemouth Lifeboat Henry Frederick Swan and earlier this year they were involved in the restoration of the "Tyne" Lifeboat situated just behind Haven Point.
As well as restoring old boats it is the Trusts aim to keep the wooden boat building skills alive on the Tyne before they disappear. The Trust is very proud that the boats they restore are not "museum pieces" but fully functioning boats which will be used on the river, where they belong.
The North East Maritime Trust is located at:
2-3 Wapping St
The ghost of John the Jibber is said to haunt the area around Marsden Rock and Bay and if you are quiet you may just hear his moans and groans. He betrayed his fellow smugglers to the Customs Men and for this suffered a slow death suspended from a bucket half way down the cliff face.
A statue to commemorate the memory of Dolly Peel (1783 - 1857) overlooks the River Tyne. She was a fish wife, poet, story teller and smuggler and even served in the Napoleonic wars. She lived in Shadwell Street in South Shields and is famed for hiding her husband from the notorious press gangs.
Built in the 1860s The Customs House is a listed building overlooking the Tyne and has been transformed into a thriving arts venue. Beside The Customs House is the Merchant Seaman monument which was unveiled by Countess Mountbatten of Burma on 19th September 1990 in memory of the merchant seamen who sailed from South Shields and lost their lives in World War II.
The town's rich seafaring past is reflected in the evocative Spirit of South Tyneside at Market Dock, overlooking the River Tyne. Nearby is Fleet, a collection of seven stainless steel collier ships in full sail. The brightly polished ships reflect patterns of both moving sky and water and give the impression of a fleet heading out to sea. Both works are by the same artist, Irene Brown.
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