Saturday, 4 June 2016

Walking: From the Tyne to the Wear - Marsden Bay to Sunderland

Continuing where I left off last time in my walk.  I left you at the top of the stairs down to the beach at Marsden Bay.  I'd checked the tides on my phone and gone down a path to the beach at the North end of the bay but the tide was still too far in to get round the cliffs to the main beach.  And I'd decided not to go down to the beach using the stairs because I didn't fancy climbing back up them again in the middle of a long walk.  Fortunately there's another option.  There's a lift.  I didn't notice until I was half way down that there was a sign saying it was for the use of cafe customers only.  I'm a good girl I am and obeyed the sign.  Okay, so I wanted a drink anyway and it seemed a good place to stop with a terrace by the beach.

Tea on the terrace of The Grotto.

Marsden Rock is opposite - it's much bigger than it looks in the photo.  Until quite recently there was an arch to another rock but the other rock collapsed in a winter storm.  In Victorian times there were steps built so visitors could climb to the top of the rock.

Looking up the beach from The Grotto.

It was lovely and warm and I was glad to have stopped and rested there.  Just a shame I was there too early to drink cider.

The Grotto and the lift shaft from the top of the cliff.

If you're passing, pay it a visit.  The tea is tea.  Just tea.  As you would expect.  But the experience is worthwhile and sitting quietly on the terrace is an enjoyment.
Marsden Rock

This is Souter Lighthouse built to protect ships from the reefs.  They needed it.  In 1860 there were 20 shipwrecks on the reefs.  Wiki tells me it's the most dangerous stretch of coastline in the country, with an average of 44 shipwrecks per mile.

Numbers.  I love numbers.  And these signs gave me a sense of accomplishment and progress on the walk.  Number one is at the start of the cliff path south of the Tyne.  Seeing the numbers rise made a number lover happy.  Of course they have a serious purpose but I liked them for the numbers.  Here is 89.  They numbers only get as far as 90 at which point you leave National Trust land and enter the Sunderland area.  If you fall of a cliff there, it'll be harder to rescue you because nobody will be able to say that you fell near 47.

A random labyrinth.  Joy!  I want a labyrinth day with assorted strange people.  Maybe I'll have to arrange it.

A friend reliably informs me that someone called Sean Hesa made this.  Thank you Sean, whoever you are.  You're a star.

The estuary of the Wear looking out to Roker Pier.

Near Monkwearmouth Bridge is a sculpture of The Sun.  As you walk to the estuary you pass each of the planets.  This sculpture on the Roker side of the estuary looks out to space from the edge of the solar system.  Or it looks out to a lighthouse depending how you think about it.

The estuary of the River Wear

Looking up the Wear to Monkwearmouth
I began my walk at one Metro station.  And I finish at another.  This is St. Peter's, just north of the centre of Sunderland.  My feet hurt!  But I was so glad to have walked that day and enjoyed the sea and the land and the sun and the clouds.  If you're up to walking ten miles I can recommend you walk the route too.

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