Whitley Bay

Things to do in Newcastle | Whitley Bay

Do you like to be beside the seaside? Well, take a 25-minute Metro ride from your Newcastle hotel to Whitley Bay, and you can!

Once known as the Blackpool of the North East, Whitley Bay was starting to look a bit faded around the edges. Its main attraction, the Grade II-listed Spanish City which once housed a concert hall and a thrilling permanent funfair, was left crumbling after efforts to restore it stalled due to lack of funds. But that’s all changed. In recent years, some £36 million has been injected into the town - bringing with it the kind of feel-good factor seen in other regenerated seaside towns, like Margate. Reopening soon, Spanish City will now boast a raft of restaurants serving everything from fish and chips to Champagne and oysters. And even the town’s seafront walkway has had a facelift - great for those bracing strolls along the prom, prom, prom. But one thing that hasn’t changed is its postcard-perfect sandy beach, or St Mary’s Island, a tidal island at the northern tip of the town, loved by ramblers and wildlife spotters alike. And with independent shops and eateries popping up everywhere, Whitley Bay offers so many other gems it’s no longer just a fair-weather attraction.

Why not sample it all for yourself, by booking into the Premier Inn Whitley Bay hotel? It’s just a short stroll from the beach and right next door to all the action at the brand new Spanish City, with the bright lights of Newcastle city centre just a short tram ride away.

Whitley Bay

Whitley Bay at sunset

What's on

Whitley Bay has traditional seaside pursuits by the bucket (and spade) load. Here’s what you’ll find on its yearly events calendar.

Are you brave enough to face the icy North Sea? Every year, a large group of people fling themselves into the chilly waves at Whitley Bay on both Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.Turn up at 10.45 for a bracing 11am start - and don’t forget your Santa hat.

The permanent attraction may be long gone, but a huge travelling funfair comes to town during the Easter and summer holidays. held on The Links on Whitley Bay seafront, there are traditional rides from dodgems, waltzers and ghost trains, to ultra modern rollercoasters.

Test your beach-based construction skills to the max at this fun family day, held on a Sunday in late July. You need to register to take part, but don’t worry if you’ve forgotten your bucket and spade because there’s great entertainment on offer, including swing boats and face painting.

Watch huge lizards, giant dragons and parachuting teddy bears take to the skies at this annual event. Part of the excellent North Tyneside summer festival, the kite-flying weekend takes place in August on the Links at Whitley Bay. Expect synchronised displays and great competitions.

Top tip

Watch out for the famous Whitley Bay fog - or the frets as the locals call it. When it rolls in off the sea it can be so thick, you can’t see your ice cream in front of your face.

Eating and drinking

Where once you’d only find run-of-the-mill fish and chip shops, Whitley Bay is now a foodie favourite, with restaurants well worth coming out of your way to find.

You can’t leave town without a meal at Hinnies, right on the seafront. Relaxed and informal, it serves famous North East comfort food all cooked from scratch. Try the pan haggerty (a traditional Northumbrian dish made with potatoes, onion and cheese) then follow it up with one of the Hinnies the restaurant is named after - fruit griddle cakes served here with delicious bramble jam and clotted cream.

A specialist craft beer pub inside the former parcel and left luggage room of Monkseaton station, the Left Luggage Room just oozes character and charm. Run by a local legend known as Spanish Steve, you’ll find an ever-changing selection of beers, with six on hand-pull and four on keg and a huge number of specialist gins and whiskeys. They also put out local cheeses on the bar for you to sample, too.

Things to do nearby

While you’re in Whitley Bay, don’t miss St Mary's Lighthouse. You’ll find it on St Mary's Island - but you can only reach it at certain times, when the causeway isn’t covered by tides. Now home to a mini museum, you can still climb the 137 steps up the tower to the Lantern Room, for beautiful views along the North East Coast.

If you’re in the mood for a seaside stroll, walk the 45-minutes along the coastal path to Tynemouth. This historic town is famous for its beautiful beach called Longsands, voted one of best beach in the country by TripAdvisor uses in 2013.

Getting to Whitley Bay

The Tyne and Wear Metro line runs through the town with stations near the town centre (Whitley Bay), as well as in Monkseaton, West Monkseaton and Cullercoats. A Metro journey to Newcastle city centre takes around 25 minutes, regardless of whether the journey goes via South Gosforth or via Wallsend.

By car
The drive to Whitley Bay from Newcastle city centre takes around 30 minutes via the Coast Road. Once there, you’ll find several large pay and display car parks in the town.

By bus
The 308 or the 309 run from Newcastle to Whitley Bay every 10 minutes and the journey takes around 35 minutes. There’s also a National Express service that runs twice a day and takes 20 minutes.

By train
The 308 or the 309 run from Newcastle to Whitley Bay every 10 minutes and the journey takes around 35 minutes. There’s also a National Express service that runs twice a day and takes 20 minutes.

Looking for a hotel in Newcastle?

We have a huge range of fantastic hotels in the North East for the business and leisure traveller. If you're on business, check into our airport hotels. We also have a range of hotels ideally located for a weekend break away. Plus, there are hotels near Newcastle University and a collection of budget hotels for the price conscious  Whichever part of Newcastle you’re planning to visit, you’ll find a selection of comfortable Premier Inn hotels nearby.