It was time for another visit to Old Hartley at Whitley Bay. Up the A19 and through the Tyne Tunnel (£1.60 each way). We arrived a little earlier than planned ( before the 12 o’clock check in) so drove past the site towards Blyth. There we found a big free car park called the Mermaid car park along the seafront.
There was a cafe/ fish and chip restaurant and a coffee shop/ ice cream parlour. There was also a children’s play area and toilets with outside solar showers so in the height of summer with kids, this would be a nice beach to visit. Sadly when we arrived it was very windy, quite chilly and raining. We had a quick, bracing walk and then headed back into Monty’s warmth. After killing a bit of time, we headed to the Old Hartley Site just after noon.
This is a lovely site, set on a hill (ramps needed for a lot of the pitches) with a sea view and a view of St. Mary’s lighthouse. The wardens are friendly and the site and facilities are spotless. We chose a pitch right by the sea and quickly set up. With tummies rumbling we headed for the pub near the site entrance. The Delavel Arms serves great, home cooked food at great prices. Portions are large and the desserts (if you still have room) are lovely. Thoroughly stuffed we headed back to Monty. The weather hadn’t improved so we settled in for a marathon viewing session of the current preferred box set – The Big Bang Theory.
Saturday dawned drier & brighter. We caught the bus (308) from the bus stop which is a 10min walk from the site and headed into Whitley Bay itself. The front here is undergoing rejuvenation. The big white domed structure (Spanish City) is also being refurbished.
As fans of ITV’s Vera we had fun spotting places where Vera had been filmed.
We had a walk along the long sandy beach then headed back to barbecue.
Another sunny day on Sunday so we walked to the lighthouse. Because of the tide this can only be accessed at certain times. Consequently the lighthouse isn’t always open so check for opening times if you would like to go in the lighthouse. We climbed the lighthouse steps last year and it’s worth a visit but wasn’t open this time. There is a large car park near the lighthouse if you are visiting by car/ motorhome. There is also an ice cream van and burger van in residence. We then continued along and down onto the beach for another walk. Later we popped to the nearby shop and noticed that they are about to face some stiff competition as a new Co-op was nearing completion. When staying at this site, besides the afore mentioned shops and Delavel Arms, there are also a couple more pubs and a fish and chip restaurant within a 20 min walking distance.
Monday dawned sunny again - almost unheard of for a bank holiday Monday! All too soon it was time to pack up again and head for home.