Wherever you go in the United Kingdom where the sea attracts people, the ubiquitous ice cream vans, shops selling rock and candy, beach toys like buckets and spades and shrimping nets vie with the general shops. And don't forget fish and chips.
Fondest memory: Watching the waves break on the shore while out at sea, large ships set out for foreign lands.
Favorite thing: Just across the river is Redcar steelworks, one of the UK's few remaining steel plants. The ore is delivered in huge ships (see previous picture) and the steelworks itself occupies a huge area of the opposite side of the Tees. You drive almost through the plant on your way to the South Gare (Warrenby page).
Favorite thing: While I was there there were 8 ships waiting to come in and 2 sailed out... and that was just in 1 hour at lunch time. I find it quite interesting, wondering where the ships came from or where they are going... (but then, I'm very curious) ;-)
Favorite thing: The Port Of Tees & Hartleppol is one of the UK's major ports, covering all types of cargo from Iron Ore (in the pic) to Containers, Cars, Oil and Gas... there's a constant stream of ships sailing in and out and you can watch from the beach.
Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station stands right behind the beach here - bringing us "cheap & clean electricity" - dunno if many people share that view. It always seemed odd to me that it was sited in the centre of a quite densley populated area.
It's owned by British Energy who are undergoing a bit of a hard time at the moment, and it has a visitors centre if you feel so inclined (access by the road, not from the beach!)
Favorite thing: Greatham Creek flows out into the mouth of the Tees too - the power station sits in the corner created by the creek and the sea, the Tees comes in from the opposite bank (by the ore terminal). Seals sometimes bask on the sand and mud banks up Greatham Creek, and you can even see them from the road where it crosses the creek on Cowpen marshes.
Look at the expanse of empty beach...
All the times I've been here there's never been more than a handful of people here - though admittedly it's always been winter so far when I've been. The sand is fairly clean, not much litter or flotsum, but I don't think I'd advise going into the water - it'll always be damned cold!
North Gare is part of the Teesmouth Nature Reserve. The beach, dunes, common and brackish ponds behind the dunes are an important place for migratory birds.
"The Blue Lagoon" is where Greatham Creek joins the Tees by the power station. It is reputed that the water here is warmer, because of the power station cooling. Dunno if that's true or not.
Favorite thing: There's a small-scale business operation at the south end of the beach (by the power station) that ships sand by road. You have to watch out for the digger when your in this vicinity.
Favorite thing: The huge oil refineries, oil storage depots and chemical works of Seal Sands stand on the opposite side of Greatham Creek (but deceptively on the same south side of the Tees as we're standing).