Ocean Road is South Shields' main street, running right through the town centre down to the ocean - hence its name. It is famous for having the greatest density of Indian restauants anywhere in the world - including India itself. The whole of one side of the street is filled with such restaurants (with the odd Italian place thrown in for good measure) while the other side is filled with B&B guesthouses.
The beaches at South Shields are one of its finest assets. Miles of clean, golden sand are backed by dunes and pub/cafes. The main beach is very deep too - no thin strip of sand here - which is just as well beacuse on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend it seems like half of Tyneside descends here. That's been true since I was a babe in arms, and nothing much has changed.
ART GALLERY - Find out something to do?
Recently re-opened after a £1.4m refurbishment. Major collections in Social History & Art which are represented in two brand new galleries. FREE entry.
South Shields Museum has been transformed following a £1million refurbishment. The Museum now includes:
The new 'Tales of South Tyneside' gallery, exploring local history during the life and times of Catherine Cookson.
Art Adventure - a fresh look at painting. This art gallery with a difference features many of the museum's paintings with exciting hands-on displays which enable visitors to find out more about the paintings and their artists.
A new, larger exhibition area and a refurbished activities room.
Improved facilities including a new lift.
Nice to see with kids and a cheap visit..
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
- School Holidays
The preserved lifeboat Tyne is the second oldest surviving lifeboat in the world. It stands in pride of place just about where Ocean Road (South Shields' main street) reaches the sea. The monument beside it is to two people (William Woodhave and Henry Greathead), both of whom claimed crdit for the lifeboat. It could not be decided who truly desrved the credit, hence a monument to them both, one on one side, one on the other.
Incidentally, the world's OLDEST lifeboat "The Zetland" is at Redcar, 40 or so miles down the coast from South Shields.
The Man With The Donkey
John Simpson Kirkpatrick was born in South Shields in 1892 but emigrated to Australia. He served with the ANZACs in the ill fated Gallipoli campaign, where he operated as a stretcher bearer. He took wounded men from no-man's land to safety on the back of a donkey and is reconed to have single handedly saved hundreds of men. He worked seemingly without fear of being shot, but this was the fate that awaited him. He was killed in action, whilst taking yet another wounded man to safety, less than a month after he arrived in Gallipoli. His actions saw him recommended for a Victoria Cross, but this was never awarded. Campaings for him to be recognised in this way continue to this day, and he is one of Australia's national heroes.
The staue of Kirkpatrick and his donkey stands on Ocean Road, outside a pub named after him and opposite the South Tyneside museum.
These 22 bronze life size sculptures were created in 1999 by the Spanish sculptor, Juan Munoz.
The figures are located next to the Littlehaven hotel and represent his work titled 'Conversation piece' intended to greet visitors from land and sea.
They converse with each other, with those that come to meet them and in turn become the subject of conversation. Each figure weighs approximately a quarter of a tonne and stands 1.5 metres high.
- Arts and Culture
South shields has a fairground which opens on Good Friday every year until the end of the summer. Providing your traditional candyfloss and fish and chips fayre it's the place to hang about if you're under the age of 16 or have kids that need entertaining.
The rickety old roller coaster can hardly be called a white knuckle ride and the ghost train just aint scary (unless you're frightened of 1 min in the dark) but it's good fun all the same. If you enjoy hooking rubber ducks to win oversized stuffed animals and stuffing your face with stodge laden with, well... more stodge (check out the divine doughnuts) it's definitely worth a look.
Set next to the lovely sand dunes of the beach, next to a few beachfront pubs, a fun day out can be had by all.
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
South Tyneside Museum
The South Tyneside Museum is a very interesting place - much more so than I imagined it would be. We went in, expecting to spend 10 to 15 minutes in there and came out almost an hour and a half later. The reason for that is that we didn't realise just how much history was associated with South Shields, from the list of famous and infamous people who were born here, to its role in the industrial past of the region. It's all covered inside including:
The tale of John Simpson Kirkpatrick.
Aspects of Catherine Coockson's life.
Clothes from the smallest baby ever born.
South Shields' (& Sith Tyneside's) industrial heritage, including the Jarrow March.
Recreations of period rooms.
New Town Hall
South Shields town hall is enormous. The tower from it can be seen all around town, like some sort of civic beacon. It dates from 1910, the time when South Shields was at the peak of its prosperity and in some ways looks a bit out of place now. Inside it is fitted out with lavish oak panelling and marble flooring. It is regarded as being one of the finest civic buildings in the North east, and it's hard to argue with that sentiment.
DAY DOWN THE FAIR AT SOUTH BEACK
Situated next to Sandhaven Beach, Ocean Beach Pleasure Park is a large amusement park incorporating rides, amusements and games providing you with the best family entertainment. The Park regularly changes attractions and rides to provide visitors with new exciting experiences year on year.
Amusement arcade open all year round, rides open peak season from Easter to September 10.00am to 10.00pm
- Theme Park Trips
- Budget Travel
Ticket to ride. And bowling for all. Till midnight
Take a look at the Ocean Beach Pleasure Park and the Dunes amusements arcade and bowling alley, great u.v. bowling till midnight most nights.
The pictures I have are from a ride on Ocean Beach which is no longer in service there. However, the park is worth a visit.
Take a walk in the marine parks
The south and north marine parks have excellent walking routes and fantastic scenery and are really maintained well by the local counsels. I have often spent a time jogging through the parks and enjoying watching the ducks and grab an icecream along the way.
Old Town Hall
Before the "New" Town Hall was built in 1910, this building served that purpose. It stands (like so many in this area) in the market square and has a arcaded lower floor that doubles as market space.
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