Most of us have some festive plump to work off or have vowed to make 2019 the year in which we finally get fit.
We are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of Britain, and one of the sunnies and driest (just don’t think about the wind).
So, why not forget signing up for an expensive gym membership and get out and shift those pounds while taking in some of the breathtaking scenery right here on our doorstop?
Here’s our guide to some of the most beautiful (and accessible) walks within easy reach of Newcastle:
- Whitley Bay to Tynemouth (or vice versa!)
Our top spot for blowing away the winter cobwebs is the spectacular sweeping coastline between Whitley Bay and Tynemouth.
It will take you around an hour to walk along the promenade which runs the entire way between the two towns.
We always like to start at Whitley Bay Lighthouse, go past the Rendezvous Café, the old Rex Hotel, High Point, Cullercoats Bay, the spectacular Tynemouth Long Sands and King Edwards Bay before arriving at the Priory.
If you do this walk on a weekend you can finish off with a wander around the eclectic market in Tynemouth Station or a well-earned portion of Fish and Chips from Marshalls or the Long Sands.
You can get the Metro to arrive in either of the two towns and arrive at the sea front in five minutes.
3. Saltwell Park
A regular fixture in the list of the top ten parks in the UK, Saltwell Park is around ten minutes out of Newcastle, nestled in the heart of Gateshead.
It’s historic and peaceful grounds are a fantastic example of a Victorian Park and have won many accolades such as Britains Best Park and the People’s Choice for the last two years in a row.
As well as picturesque landscape gardens and the elegant Victorian Saltwell Towers, there are play areas, a maze, a boating lake and a pet’s corner.
And it’s super easy to get to in around 10 minutes on the bus from town.
4. Plessey Woods Country Park
This country park between Bedlington and Cramlington boasts 100 acres of woodland, meadows and riverside.
There’s a good network of paths you can follow for various walks through the woodland and along the riverside.
Wildlife lovers can enjoy trying to spot otters, kingfishers and red squirrels and there’s a play area by the entrance for the kids.
There’s also a visitor centre with café, wuth plenty of parking and good transport links.
2. Jesmond Dene
This narrow wooded valley which follows the Ouseburn between South Gosforth and Jesmond Vale is a peaceful haven on the outskirts of the City Centre.
Lord Armstrong enclosed and planted the land in the 1850s charging a small entrance fee to raise proceeds for the local hospital.
The Dene stretches for 3km through lovely woodland up to a small waterfall, which Armstrong built to provide a nicer view.
Since then the Dene has been a much-loved retreat for city-dwellers, and now boasts an information centre, boating lake, play area and pet’s corner.
Every 3rd Saturday of the month there is also the Jesmond Food Market offering up a whole host of tasty treats.
There is limited parking but it’s also easy to arrive by Metro or with one of the many buses stopping at the Cradlewell on the Coast Road.
5. South Shields to Souter Lighthouse
If you’re feeling a bit more energetic why not fill your lungs with bracing sea air and take on a longer hike on this beautiful stretch of North Sea coast.
As you walk along the Leas and Marsden Bay you can see the wild rock sculptures shaped by the tides and spot nesting seabirds.
The striking red-and-white striped Souter Lighthouse was the first in the world to be powered by electricity in 1871.
And you can reward yourself afterwards in the Marsden Grotto, just north of the lighthouse, which is one of the only restaurants in Europe to be inside a cave.
You can get to South shields easily on the Metro from Newcastle.
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