Friday, 3 June 2016

Walking: From the Tyne to the Wear, South Shields to Marsden Bay

Another walk.  I've been eyeing this up for a few years but never managed to get on and try it.  I walked from near the Tyne to the Wear not long after moving to the North East, using the route of Bede's Way which runs from St. Paul's church in Jarrow to St. Peter's church in Sunderland.  From the monastic home of St. Bede as an adult to the place where he grew up.   The walk blurb says to "follow in the path of 7th century pilgrims."  While there's no doubt that Christians walked between the two points then I don't think they were quite following Bede's way.  But this walk follows the coast from the estuary of the Tyne to the estuary of the Wear.  Or more precisely from South Shields Metro station to St. Peter's Metro station.  A total of 10.84 miles.

Now I am very unfit.  That week I'd walked five miles - the Stakeford to Newbiggin walk.  The furthest I'd walked in quite a while.  A couple of days later I'd walked seven miles - the walk from Morpeth along the Wansbeck.  You can find some of the photos on previous posts.  This was ten miles.  Double figures!  And I've only walked that far three times since moving here five years ago.  Two of those were in the first few enthusiastic months after moving - a very roundabout route to Cramlington from home and then Bede's Way.  The other was a sponsored walk in aid of St. Catherine's Hospice in Crawley, a fortnight after my mother died there.  Really happy to have raised several hundred pounds walking in her memory.

Ten miles is a lot for me.  It's nothing to the friend who ran a marathon that weekend or to the friends who ran marathons the following two weekends.  But to unfit me with a dodgy knee it's a lot.  My aim is that by the end of this year I will be walking ten miles or more pretty regularly and that I'll be used to it enough that it won't hurt or leave me nursing my aches the next day.  I'm getting there on the aches and a walk last week that claimed to be ten miles was fine.

The route for this walk can be found here.  The walk:  Lots of photos, not much description.

The start of the walk, looking through South Shields from the platform of the Metro station.  That way leads straight to the sea.

One of several pieces of public art in the area.  I need to go and find them all!

This is "Sail" by Stephen Broadbent.  The new promenade was opened in 2014 and Broadbent was commissioned to produce two sculptures.

Through the hole in the sail you can see Tynemouth Priory.

The Tyne Estuary looking along the South Pier and across to the North Pier and Tynemouth.

This gun isn't real!  It's a replica of the one that was on this emplacement in the Second World War.  The first gun was placed there in 1887.  It was a disappearing gun that sank back into the emplacement to be reloaded.  The current replica was mounted there in 1997.  If you're into guns and pill boxes there's a great description with good photographs here.

I saw the plaque at the top of the steps down to Marsden Bay and it reminded me of an old photo.  I don't know where this was taken but this is me as a child.

It fitted my life for a long while as an adult.  I don't seem to be doing God at the moment and certainly no longer believe in "His judgment" or that "He" is a he at all.

Next time I'll include photos of Marsden Bay, including a rather good place to sit with a pot of tea, and the walk on to Sunderland.

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