Monday, 4 August 2014

I Sit By the Harbour.............

Apologies for not posting for a while. This is the first day of my holidays and things have been a little manic with work as there are very few people there. Plus, this post will have absolutely no sewing in whatsoever! I have done some but I will have to put that into another post. So I would like to share with you what I did last Saturday, pretty much my only day off until now. 

Warning, this post is picture heavy!

The weather was amazing. I was in Newcastle and it was 30C. So I decided that it was high time for a road trip to the seaside. For those of you not familiar with the North East of England, although the area has a fairly grim industrial past the coastline and countryside are beautiful and pretty unspoilt with some really outstanding areas of natural beauty. We started the day by driving to South Shields. Apart from this being the site of the Tyne Dock and the ferry to various places in Europe, South Shields has a beautiful clean beach with miles of golden sand.

The beach at South Shields looking towards Tynemouth Priory.

 There is also a sort of modest theme park thing with the amusements and ice cream stalls. I just like the sand and sea part. They are trying to encourage the formation of proper dunes with lots of beach plants. 
We walked almost all the way to Marsden then back to the car.

The cliff tops at Marsden are subject to serious coastal erosion.

Marsden was a small village that served the limestone quarry and mine at Whitburn colliery, however story goes that the wives of the miners and workers preferred to live in South Shields so the men would commute to work on the local railway, giving rise to the "Marsden Rattler" , the local nickname for the passenger train that used to run between there and South Shields. 

Marsden Village and Lime Quarry Source

The village was eventually demolished in the late 1960's after the closure of the pit due to water ingress. A few of the original houses remain in what is now classed as Whitburn village. 

Not to mention all those pit shafts.

The remains of the quarry and line lime kilns are still there although they are too dangerous to wander around in. You can get a good view of them from the road though.

Pretty spooky even on a nice sunny day.

Marsden is also home of the famous, Marsden Rock. It used to be an arch-shape but this collapsed in the winter storms of 1996 leaving two columns. One of the columns was declared unsafe and was demolished leaving the formation that you see below. The rock is only reachable on foot at low tide.

This is now a sea bird colony.

It was still quite early when we had finished wandering around Marsden so being in the vicinity I thought it might be nice to visit St Paul's church in Jarrow which was home to the Venerable Bede, chronicler of early English Christianity.

Ruins of the original monastery are still in the grounds.

This place has been a monastic site since AD681. The current church there incorporates the original, dating from Anglo-Saxon times. It was so peaceful there. You could almost feel the ghosts of the monks, revenants of quiet contemplation hanging in the air.

Don't think that this was there in Bede's Time.

Except for the abrupt inclusion of the modern age!

Chips, food of the Gods.

We finished the day off with the obligatory fish and chips in Whitley Bay. I was knackered and am still feeling it in my legs and back. Old age I suppose but it was nice to get out in the sunshine. I felt like a pit pony on it's holidays.

Well that is enough rambling about coastlines and chips. I have got a bit to say about sewing but will put that into another post.

Have fun in the sun!


  1. I love the north east coastline. I think I've mentioned before that my sister and her partner live in Tynemouth, and they always take our kids to South Shields and the fun fair when they go to stay. Haven't been to Marsden though, or Jarrow. Those monastic ruins look beautiful, even with the pylon!
    Fish'n'chips by the sea - doesn't get any better than that!
    Been doing some sewing myself today - alterations and refashioning. Go me! Looking forward to seeing what you've been creating. xxx

    1. That sounds brilliant. I have been snatching odd minutes here and here to do stuff. Hoping to get at least a couple of things finished this week. I love the North East coastline too. Marsden is just up from the beach at Shields. There is a pub at the foot of the cliff. Still to go but hoping to get there soon while the weather is still okay. Not much in Marsden but down on the beach looks great. Would love to see the rocks up close. There are sea caves too. Quite exciting. Have fun sewing. Xxxx