South Shields and the Dancing Sand – Treasure Trail

Northumbria Treasure Trails

After Completing a Durham City Treasure Trail we recently bought at a Christmas market, we went online and bought two more. Our new years resolution was to get out and about more often and try and engage the kids with the great outdoors. It’s not always been that easy considering the amount of rain we’ve had and the powerful windy blasts our region is getting.

North East Treasure Trail

One of the aspects we liked he most about the last trial was exploring new areas. Areas that you would necessarily pass through as you’d normally stick to your usual path.

The treasure trail we chose was called “South Shields and the Dancing Sand”. Cat’s family have been based in Jarrow for many years. I’d heard the term Sand Dancer for people from South Shields, but never have I found the reason for it.

The Hoopers Treasure Trail

The trail was given a suggested timing of 2 hours. We started at 11:00am at Haven Point, this is where the new leisure centre is. Our expedition party consisted of the Hooper four plus Cat’s mother. Cat’s dad stayed back home to cook the Sunday lunch for us for 1:30pm. They’d just recently moved to South Shields, so the local exploration had more interest. We headed north towards the “weebles” before heading back South along the sea front.

Weebles, South Shields

Heading along the pier part of the way to spot some clues before heading towards the fun fair. South Tyneside council where spending some funds to improve the prom. Unfortunately this meant that (we think) we missed out on two answers. It also meant we had to actually trek through the sand dunes in our off road treasure hunt. Over a low fence and through the skate park.

blocked-path

Abigail, started to work on her techniques for stopping the walk.
“I’m sooooo thirsty! Can we stop yet!”

Abi-Finding-a-Clue

We walked past the Sundial pub and onto the Rattler, where we grabbed a cuppa. The Rattler is a quirky venue on Shields beach. It’s constructed out of two railway carriages on the outer sides and an inner traditional build. It was very welcoming and had a great looking pizza oven.

From the Rattler it was back towards the Sundial and up through South Marine Park. We discovered a terraced area that we’d never seen before. This also amused the kids as there was four bronze statues of naked ladies. Imogen explored behind the statues to find the… Behind of statues!

Naked Ladies

Next up on the route was a visit the the Tyne life boat. A boat that had been recently restored by the North East Maritime Trust. Cat’s brother volunteers there and volunteered my contribution towards helping the name to be painted in the sides of the boat. You can tell that there has been a lot of investment in this area, as you look back along Ocean Road. The paving is new and the road has been reworked. There is even a cheeky find in the block paving if you look hard enough.

Tyne Life Boat, South Shields

Hidden Names

By now it was 1:15pm and we were about two thirds of the way through the trail. Meat and Yorkshire puddings were calling us, so we heading back for a lunch break. Bare in mind we had stopped for a quick coffee, we’d so far been trekking for just over two hours.

We had a change of crew in the afternoon. Cat’s Dad took her Mam’s position. The next few clues lead us up towards the park opposite their house. This was perfectly timed for Lunch, for a half time mark. We turned a few streets and I discovered something I never knew was in such a built up area… Arbeia Fort! I knew our region was steep in history, but I’d sort of thought that most of the remaining forts were up in Northumberland or along the Hadrian’s Wall rout, beyond Hexham.

Arbeia Fort, South Shields

A few more clues to find and we were at the Harbour Lights Pub, which has an amazing view out across towards Tynemouth.

Harbour Lights South Shields

Although I’ve briefly outlined the course, I don;t feel that I’ve taken away from the challenge as along the route are items to find, which correlate to locations on a treasure map. As you find the locations, you cross them off the map and eventually are left with one location. Enter the location on the official website to find if your correct, and you will also be entered into a monthly prize draw to win £100.

The “2 hour” guideline on this trail realistically took us around three and a half hours, including returning to our parking spot. We had Abi’s little legs to slow us down, but we basically took our time and enjoyed an afternoon out. We’ve already got our next one lined up for a trip to Morpeth.

For other Treasure trails in the North East visit Treasure Trails Here

For a multi-buy discount purchase the North East Trails Direct Here

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