This coastal route links the two lighthouses of Souter and St Mary's and features a ferry crossing at the River Tyne Estuary on the Shields Ferry. The route is great for families and novices because it is fairly easy with no strenuous climbs and is a mixture of traffic-free paths and quiet roads. Do check the way the wind is blowing before settling out because cycling into a headwind is incredibly hard work.
It begins at Souter Lighthouse, located on Lizard Point, between South Shields and Sunderland. The Lighthouse opened in 1871 and is the world's first electric lighthouse. Now managed by the National Trust, the lighthouse offers fantastic views over Marsden Bay.
On the way you will pass the Old Bouys artwork which celebrates the confluence of three National Cycle Network routes - 1, 10 and 72. The route also provides you with great views of Tynemouth Priory.
St Mary's Lighthouse is situated on St Mary's Island, a small island just north of Whitley Bay which is linked to the mainland by a concrete causeway - easily accessible when the tide is out. The lighthouse is no longer operational but now features a small museum, a café and a visitor's centre.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.