Sunday 26 August 2007

Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear, England

Anchored by a moated and ruined medieval castle and priory perched on a headland overlooking the river, Tynemouth is one of the most picturesque and prosperous places in the North East. Front Street, the Eighteenth Century high street, is now home to an eclectic collection of cafes, bars, restaurants and off-beat shops. To the north is a grand Victorian crescent overlooking the sea and to the west are some fine Georgian terraces. On a clear day, you should stroll down to the priory and then along the pier (if it's open) or up to Collingwood's Monument - a statue of a local naval officer, who served with Nelson, mounted on a monolithic stone dais. Climb up the steps for a good view across the river to South Shields. Tynemouth is also blessed with a couple of small beaches protected by rocky coves and a large, well-preserved Victorian station, which hosts flea markets at weekends. If you are out on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening, you will find yourself rubbing shoulders with hordes of enthusiastic middle-aged drinkers, partying like they are still 25. 8/10