Forest Guest House

  • GREAT NORTH DOG WALK ​takes place from South Marine Park and follows the coastal path. All pooches are welcome to take part with money being raised for Charity.

EVENTS in South Shields


  • MAGICIANS CONVENTION takes place early in the year ( February or March) and over the course of the week all aspects of this magnificent art are on display, with performances, street performers, seminars and formal convention lectures. A fascinating and entertaining event bring in visitors for all over the World. 
  • HARTON QUAYS CRAFT MARKETS held on first Sunday between May and September, located between the ferry terminal and the Customs House offering a wide array of stalls selling a wide variety of craft and traditional food stalls.
  • GREAT NORTH RUN  held in September each year the GNR finishes in South Shields and brings 250,000 visitors to the town for the weekend. The atmosphere over the whole weekend is magical, with loads going on in the town and on the Quay side at Newcastle. Mo Farah is returning this year to see if he can secure his hat trick.

GEOGRAPY

South Shields is situated in a peninsula setting where the River Tyne meets the North sea, providing the town with 6 miles of coastline and 3 miles of river frontage. It is some 6 miles to the South of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne and sits next door to Sunderland. The town has a great road, rail and sea network so visiting the area is relatively easy and has plenty to see and visit whilst you are here. 

The most frequent comment made by Sanddancers who have returned after moving out of the area is "I never really appreciated the beauty or the history of the Town and its surrounding area whilst living here, but coming to visit makes me really just what I am missing".

We therefore list some of the sites and facilities the area has to offer to ensure that you have the opportunity to visit while you are here, even if it is just a matter of soaking up some of the sites which are literally just minutes from our front door step.

  

  • SOUTH TYNESIDE FESTIVAL takes place during June to August and showcases a host of events and activities including
  • SUMMER PARADE with this years theme being MARITIME MAYHEM
  • SUNDAY CONCERTS IN THE PARK taking place throughout July
  • July 10    Ex "X" Factor winners
  • July 17    Lindisfarne and The Proclaimers
  • July 23
  • July 30
  • LIVE MUSIC AT THE AMPITHEATRE
  • PROMS IN THE PARK
  • KIDS FUNFEST
  • SUMMER CHARITY FAYRE
  • BRASS BANDS 
  •  HAVEN POINT LEISURE CENTRE   Just a few minutes down the road we have the new leisure complex opened in 2014 by Prince William which offer pool and gym facilities, as well as accommodating a cafe and Visitors Centre for your comfort and relaxation.
  • NORTH AND SOUTH MARINE PARKS If you fancy a nice evening stroll or a site for a picnic the parks have lots to offer, a boating lake, a miniature train track, band stands, playing areas and beautiful gardens.
  • THE GROYNE One of the towns most iconic landmarks, built and opened in 1882. It was constructed to preserve the beach at littlehaven (formerly known as Herd sands) which were being eroded by the tides. It stands some 49ft tall and is constructed of wood and correagated iron. The hexagonal top includes the lantern and it stands on 12 cyndrical steel legs and painted red. It was most recently painted in 2014 so looks at its best.
  • THE SOUTH PIER stands on the South side of the tyne, opposite the North pier to direct the shipping traffic into the river mouth and onwards to the docks and to Newcastle. The pier was constructed over many years eventually opening in 1895, and is just over a mile long at 1570yards. The pier is open to public access most days depending upon the weather, as the gates are locked to prevent accidents. The pier accommodated the old lifeboat station.. Access to the pier is from the car park next to:
  • THE DUNES FAIRGROUND AND LEISURE COMPLEX the fairground is open during the summer season, notionally from Easter till October although dates vary annually, but the other facilities and restaurants are open throughout the year.
  • THE GROTTO positioned at Marsden rock is now a modern bar and restaurant with a beach access. The building was reputedly hewn into the cliff face by "Blaster Jack" and was used as a hideaway for smugglers. It boasts a lift access from the cliff top to the beach and patio below.
  • ​SOUTER LIGHTHOUSE  is located some 3 miles south of the mouth of the Tyne and was built as a result of the number of ship losses in the area (some 20 in 1860 alone). The light house is situated at Lizard point as this was the highest point on the coastal path but retained the name of Souter so as not to be confused with the Lizard lighthouse in Cornwall. It opened in 1871, and was the first electric lighthouse in the country. It was decommissioned from use in 1988 but still remains as a visitor attraction and museum.
  • THE WOODHAVE MEMORIAL is one of only two of the original design wooden life boats left in the country, and is displayed proudly on Ocean Road in recognition of its designer William Woodhave who hailed from the town. It has recently been totally and lovingly refurbished back to its former splendour.
  • NEW TOWN HALL was built between 1905 and 1910 as an expression of the towns growing prosperity at the time. It embodies many features of the towns heritage including Britannia and other figures sculpted into the pediment above the front door, a figure of mercury atop a globe sits proudly above the council chamber, the frontage is adorned by fountains, nyphms and Queen Victoria and the 145ft clock tower houses a Potts chiming clock with 5 bells and is topped by a weathervane in the shape of a galleon.
  • OLD TOWN HALL stands with pride at the end of King Street, built in 1768, it has a ground floor with open arches. The first floor has a pitched roof and is topped by a wooden bell turret.
  • BARBOUR FACTORY OUTLET SHOP the renowned BARBOUR clothing manufacture first opened in South Shields and the Head Quarters and factory are still located on the Bedes Industrial Estate, along with a large factory outlet shop. Well worth a visit if you need any new outdoor gear. 

About South Shields

LOCATION.

South Shields is a coastal town located at the mouth of the river Tyne, approximately 5 miles down stream of Newcastle and across the river from Tynemouth. It is ideally situated for Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and Hexham, with good road and rail networks.


HISTORY

The history of the town goes back to stone age and iron age evidence of settlements. These are well preserved and displayed at the site of the Roman fort Arbeia, which is now a modern and informative museum and tourist attraction. It is well worth a visit to appreciate the important role of the town back in Roman times.

The early post roman history of  town and suggests that the town was the home of Oswin , the King of Northumberland and it is documented by Bede, that the land currently accommodating St Hildas Church in the town centre was gifted by Oswin to house a monastry.

In the 9th century  the town was visited by the Vikings, and along the Coastline there is evidence of many wreckages dating from that period.

The modern history of the town suggests its development as a fishing town in 1245, and later became prominent for its salt panning activities.

Evidence of the towns involvement in the English Civil War was recovered in 1864, by a dredger in the Tyne uncovering a cannon and cannon balls from that period, indicating the importance of the town as a defensive outpost of the city of Newcastle.

In the 19th century the town was renowned for its coal mining, alkaline and glass production activities bringing prosperity to the town, and following dredging of the Tyne Ship Building added to the areas development.

The town was the subject to attack during both World Wars and left scarred by the bombing raids.

The activities which brought the town its prosperity have all died out with the last mine closing in 1968 and the last Shipyard closing in 1984.

The town today is very much dependant upon service industries and tourism for its survival.

The town has many wonderful reminders of the towns prominence and history, including the old library museum in the town centre, the Customs house on the riverside, the current town hall and the site of the old town hall in the market square, the old lime kilns.