Jo’s Monday walk : South Shields to Souter


Many of you seemed to enjoy my visit to the Tall Ships Regatta at Blyth last week, so I decided to stay on this same coastline for today’s walk.  South Shields is just a little way down the coast, and if you look closely at the photo above you might just make out a Tall Ship on the horizon.


I’ve brought her a little closer!  She was just hovering offshore, admiring the view.

As you can see it’s a rugged coastline, but the Blue Flag beach at South Shields is superb. We’ll start our walk from the car park behind the beach, along the new promenade.  In the distance Tynemouth Priory is just visible, across the river mouth.


Walking south, in the direction of Souter Lighthouse, the sand is lovely and firm beneath my feet.  At the end of the beach a path leads up to The Leas, and from there it’s 2.5 miles of coastal footpath to Souter Lighthouse.


I’m not going to talk much today.  I’ll simply let you enjoy the humps and bumps of scenery.  It’s a sight that always fills me with awe.


I was astounded when reading the information board in Frenchman’s Bay.  I knew, of course, that this area was once popular with smugglers.  What I didn’t realise was just how much coastal erosion had changed the landscape, and the timescale involved.  This bay was once sandy and wooden steps led down to the beach.  Long, long before that, these rocks were formed- 245 million years ago, when South Shields lay close to the Equator.

In the far distance I can make out Souter Lighthouse and Marsden Rock.  The Rock is a 30 metre high sea stack of magnesium limestone and periclase.  These days it’s only home to seabirds, though once it was joined to the land.  At this point I turn back.  I’ve visited Souter Lighthouse before, as the link will show, and I have a different goal in mind today.


I’m heading back towards the River Tyne and South Shields, and the mighty pier that stretches 1,570 metres out to sea.  I keep an eye on the Tall Ship, out at sea, and am delighted to find that my arrival coincides nicely with hers.  Tynemouth Priory, on the far shore, is beautiful in close up.


South Pier is an astonishing length and I’m entranced by the railway lines that once ran along it.  I would love to bombard you with statistics and information but I’m finding myself sadly short of time.  South Shields has a fascinating history and the Wikipedia link will give you all the facts you need.

It was a lovely day and we wandered into South Marine park, licking an icecream.  The boating lake and miniature steam train were busy, and I was pleased to see Shields thriving.   I know you’ll be gasping for a cuppa, and I can only apologise that this post is picture heavy, and not as factual as I would like.

walking logo

Thank you so much for the many and varied contributions I’ve received to my walks this week.  I struggle sometimes to keep up, but it’s always a joy to share with you.  Please join me, if you’d like.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.


Paula always knows how to make me happy :

Hell’s Mouth – Not so Hellish

Lady Lee knows a good-looking city when she sees one.  She’s lived in this one for 27 years!

A Day in Munich

Jackie does us proud this week with some fabulous murals :

Islington Village of Murals

And Cardinal treats us to the sight of his ass- suitably clothed, of course!

The Majestic Jotunheimen

Kathrin has heaps of sea glass to share, but you musn’t take it away from the beach :

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg

Check out what Liesbet gets up to mid-week?  Lovely sunsets and sideways houses!

Feeling the Bern in Burlington, VT- a Mid-week “Weekend Away”

Fancy a bit of teeter-tottering with Violet?  You’ve come to the right place!

Heritage Village

Drake has us stepping back into the past too.  Always with a smile :

Just around my corner

Stained glass fans?  Step right this way!  BiTi has some beauties :

La Couvertoirade Village

Spectacular walking with Cathy this week.  16,453 steps in total, but you do get to stop for lunch!

Iceland’s Golden Circle : Gulfoss and Geysir

Yvette is content to share the simple wonders of the beach.  Timeless images and wiggly ones!

Simple Things at the Beach 

Susan gives a very personal take on her impressions of Berlin :

Walking Berlin, Germany

I simply had to steal this one away from Meg!  I know this palace, but had no idea of its splendours :

Palace on the island

And I know that Meg will approve Susan’s architectural details too :

Art in the details : Looking up in the Financial District

That’s it folks!  Hope you enjoyed it, and that you have a happy week ahead.  See you soon!


  1. That is some serious blueness! Both the sea and sky here are such a rich shade of cobalt – it’s almost unreal! I think I am missing blue water in my new city. 😦

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  3. Another wonderful walk, Jo. Seeing the water, sand, and blue skies in these photos makes me feel relaxed almost instantly. How nice it must be to explore areas like this on a regular basis. And thanks for all the work you do to connect all of us through your Monday Walks. I’ve discovered some wonderful blogs through your posts, and made some great friends in the process. Best, Susan

    1. Thanks very much for your kind words, Susan. 🙂 When I started the walks I had no idea how it would work out, and if I’d have enough places to take everybody. People have been incredibly supportive, and I have 5 or 6 recent walks still to choose from, so that’s not a problem either. I do like to get out walking at least once a week, and sometimes we manage more. Lucky really 🙂 🙂

  4. No need to apologize for ‘picture heavy’ when you are sharing beauties like these. Splendor by the sea. Tall ships, lighthouses, magnificent coastline. What is not to love. And the fact that caught my eye was that ‘245 million years ago, South Shields lay close to the Equator’. How cool (or warm) is that?

    1. I’m strictly behind the camera material, Paula 🙂 🙂 That plant is something called Rosebay Willowherb, would you believe? A very glamorous name for a wildflower. I know because Badfish admired it and I had to ask Mick to remind me of its name. Thanks for your company, hon. It’s appreciated. I’m just back from a gallivant over the Moors.

  5. I can smell the sea air from these beautifully crisp photographs and yeah, love seeing another tall ship! Such beauty on our very own shores – always a delight to join you on your walks, Jo. I had to laugh at the idea of South Shields being on the equator; now that’s a great fact!

      1. Oh and I am signing off for the night – so I will reply to your other comment tomorrow ((and thanks by the way – made my night Jo! – you sure bring so much blue sky with your words))
        Anyhow – real quick – had to tell you that I noticed something about not being able to leave comments on your blog –
        Well I came here from my blog , but then when I try and leave a comment – it did not even let me as a logged out guest – it bounces –
        I then clicked on some of the other walks – and noticed I was still logged in and able to comment on those blogs – juts FYI -‘and so to leave a comment here I (easily) went into the manage reader and accessed that way –
        Ok – have s good rest of your day and touch base later when my day gets going !

  6. Just a quick visit, but I wanted to say how beautiful this post is. What wonderful photos of out northern coastline. Who’d a thought it! Obviously you had some gorgeous weather up there! Sun finally shone here today and boy, was it hot! Hoping for less humidity tomorrow, otherwise I’ll resemble a wilting lettuce leaf! Not a good look! See you later 🙂

    1. What a lovely surprise, Jude! Your visit- not the wilting lettuce look 🙂 🙂 Yes, it was looking bonny that day, and thank you! The sky is looking fabulous already so it may well be another lovely day. Fingers crossed for all of us 🙂

  7. Photos are fine with me Jo – you need not apologise they tell a story in themselves! Another glorious walk in beautiful sunshine. The pier is stunning – so long! Time poor myself these days so a lovely interlude looking at your beautiful photos is most welcome! Hope you’re having a lovely week! 🙂

    1. Thanks darlin 🙂 I glimpsed you in the Reader the other day as I sped past and meant to return. No excuse now 🙂 🙂 Monday we were out with the walkers all day and I barely got the post up before I left. Yesterday was cleaning at Dad’s. Today was t’ai chi and collapse with a cuppa before I do anything else, so I’ll be right over.

      1. No problem at all Jo – I know the feeling as I just never seem to have enough time to read all the posts I’d like to and I often do the same skim through the Reader and go back later so I can have a proper read! Walks, Pilates, my German studies for my course, pets etc keep me busy plus babysitting duties (all day Thursdays plus weekend duties too!). Yesterday evening we had an AFL footy game thrown in to the mix too so very late night now trying to get this week’s post up as we have a zoo outing tomorrow (for which I need to bake as we’re taking a picnic)! Still never a dull moment! A cup of tea sounds like a good option – think I’ll just pop the kettle on now. Hope you have a lovely weekend! 🙂

  8. Hey Jo…nice walk. Some really great shots, and what more could words add to that beauty, eh. Love the one with the tall pink flowers. What are they? I’m almost ready to begin blogging again. Where does all the time go?

    1. Sometimes you just want to be out there, soaking it all up. 🙂 Miraculously it’s warm here still but change of season is in the air. Got to cram in one more summer memory if you can 🙂 I should be able to trip the name of that very attractive pink weed from my memory cells, but it’s not happening, and my expert is still fast asleep 😦 Not that either of those things are unusual 🙂 Thanks for calling and enjoy your freedom!

      1. Good luck on a summer memory. Here, the good weather is just beginning. All summer it was 40 degree C. Now it turns to fine summer/spring weather.

    1. I love the California coastline, and the Algarve coastline, and the Australian coastline… I think I’m just in love with the coast 🙂 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing, Biti.

  9. This post isn’t too picture heavy for me, Jo – the ocean always fills me with awe. I found myself just sitting here staring into the blue horizon wishing I was there! 😀

  10. My goodness no need to apologize about having many of your lovely photos Jo! This may sounds odd but I am so surprised by the coast you have shown. I could have guessed we were taking a walk in Portugal. Fun to see the tall ship as well after your previous post on them. Wishing you a great week ahead!

    1. You beat me to it, Sue! I just followed you in commenting on Alison’s blog, and I was heading your way cos I spied you in the Reader too. After a bit of a gap? I’d been wondering if everything was ok 🙂 I’m sure that many of the things that appeal to me in the Algarve are mirrored here, but with a little less warmth, Sue 🙂 🙂 Thanks a lot!

      1. Jo we have been having hair pulling, eye popping technical challenges with the Reader and a few other issues such as the site vanishing completely. You can imagine the frustration level. Today when the post actually showed up I did a jig around the study. Keep your fingers crossed i don’t vanish into thin air again. 🙂

  11. Such a beautiful part of the coast, Jo. I was interested to read, while we were at Lyme Regis, that the limestone on the Jurassic Coast is the same band of rock that surfaces again on the Yorkshire coast. It was all equatorial in the Jurassic era.

  12. This is my kind of beach, a bit like a giant Dawlish Warren. Your second photo of with the tall ship is stunning, it would make a lovely water colour. Does anyone kite surf up there? The wind from the North Sea must be great for it?

    1. If only I could paint! 🙂 🙂 I’ve not seen kite surfing on our beaches, Gilly, but this would be a good spot (if you didn’t crash into the rocks 😦 ) Thanks sweetheart. When do you leave for Barca?

      1. Me too, tried it once and won’t bother again 🙂 🙂 🙂
        I’m off to Heathrow tomorrow evening, night in the Premier Inn – won’t sleep as I’m too excited, then 6.15 flight Wednesday. Will be popping in a little if the hotel wifi is up to it, but if not take care and have a lovely week. Hope the weather is good for another walk like this, big hugs from G x:-)x

      2. Knew it was soon! I was going to check your emails till you popped up on here. Did you hear from Jude about Barca? They’re thinking of it next month. Have a truly fantastic trip. I’ll be thinking of you 🙂 🙂

  13. I am all happy with the photo-facts ratio this week, Jo! Such a pretty seashore area and there is even a long footpath. It would be one of my favorite walks to do as well! I hope you had a lovely weekend. 🙂

    1. Happy to please, Liesbet 🙂 It wasn’t intentional. I simply had a hectic weekend. At 6.30 this morning I knew I was going to struggle for completion. At 9.07 I pressed Publish and ran to get dressed to be out of the door by 9.20. 🙂 We had a day’s walking planned, much further down the coast at Whitby. Thanks for your company 🙂

  14. What a gorgeous walk along the shore, with the tall ships in sight out in the water! You had a glorious day, Jo! I love your large-scale pictures; I think I need to find a theme that shows larger pictures; mine seem so small in comparison. Thanks for including our walk to Gullfoss and Geysir. 🙂

    I love so many of your pictures, but I especially love the one with those feathery pink flowers, the bicycle and the life buoy, and all the ones of the rocky coast and that pretty blue sky with wispy clouds. 🙂

    1. That’s what I like about this theme, Cathy- the photo size. Not having a side bar makes a big difference too, but as Jude has pointed out, I don’t have a Categories drop down or proper search method. It’s always a trade off. 🙂 Thanks for your company! Is it Labour Day today?

  15. South Shields definitely does sound like quite a walk, Jo. The coastline looks different in so many places, judging from all these photos you took. The rock formations certainly hug the sand and sea very closely – so many of them to see and each of them quite massive too. Hard to think there were smugglers in the area back in the day. But I suppose every lovely place has its past.

    Enjoying the walk with an ice-cream. Now you certainly know how to walk and relax the right way 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot, Kate 🙂 It’s a bit like Roker, and certainly a lot of money and effort has been spent on improvements. Mick’s Dad hailed from there so he has a certain fondness.

    1. Got here at last, Becky! We’ve been down on the Whitby cliff tops most of the day, and then back over the Moors. 🙂 I did intend to include much more of the history, but yesterday was full on, and then I watched Rafa for 4 hours! One of these days I’ll get into forward planning 🙂 🙂
      Having a good time? What’s the plan?

      1. Oh very envious of all that fresh air! London is very humid and busy – so far graduation ceremony, museum, river stroll, catch up with daughters and today is friends and then home.

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