A former teacher and charity worker from the North East of England, I love people and places and like to try out new experiences wherever possible. Capturing that 'perfect pic' is all part of the pleasure. Access issues are a particular interest.
Sensational Summer Fun by the Seaside
Crowds Enjoy the Show At South Tyneside Summer Festival
The summer party is already in full swing in South Tyneside as the South Shields seafront comes alive as FREE music concerts, kiddies entertainment, brass bands and a whole host of other events return for the annual South Tyneside Summer Festival.
The three month long festival has become a firm favourite with locals and visitors from far and wide over the last few decades and attracts headline acts to entertain the crowds. This year's line-up includes Atomic Kitten, 5ive, Billy Ocean and local 'X Factor' winner Joe McElderry, to name just a few, performing over the next few weeks on Sunday afternoons at the Bents Park in South Shields.
The seafront at South Shields is graced by three beautiful parks, an ampitheatre and a myriad of bar/restaurants/ice cream palours as well as two fantastic Blue Flag beaches at Sand Haven and Little Haven. And, now that the school summer holidays have began,, this makes for a great day out with the kids while keeping an eye on the purse-strings.
The festival began with the Opening Parade on Saturday 4th July and so far the town has been treated to Atomic Kitten and Billy Ocean over the last two Sundays.
Sunday 26th July – Sophie Ellis Bexter and The Feeling
Sunday 2nd August – Joe McElderry, Collabro and Lola Saunders
Sophie is well known as the daughter of former children's TV presenter Janet Ellis from Blue Peter and with her distinctive voice as had a string of hits in her own right, including 'Murder on the Dancefloor'. The Feeling are a critically acclaimed London based band - which includes Sophie's husband, bass guitarist Richard Jones, whose first hit 'Fill my Little World Right Up' was the most played record on radio in 2005.
Local Shields lad, Joe McElderry has been a firm favourite with festival-goers for several years now and Lola Saunders is a Whitburn lass from the borough. Along with Collabro, all are home-grown talent from the region - each of them winners or finalist in TV shows 'The X Factor' or 'Britain's Got Talent'.
If more traditional music is your scene, there's also Brass Bands playing every Sunday at the Sandhaven Ampitheatre between 2pm - 4pm during June/July/August except Sundays 12th July - 2nd August when performance times be from 3.30pm – 5.30pm.
The concerts start at 2pm with the gates to the park open at 1pm. Food outlets selling hot and cold snacks and drinks will be open on site or you can bring your own picnic to the party. Alcohol is permitted - please drink responsibly if bringing your own alcoholic beverages - there is no licenced bar in the arena.
For more information about attending a concert - click here.
The shows are always a fabulous, family friendly occasion with great music from well known artists and supporting acts.
Last year we took a southern friend along to see 'M People's' Heather Small in the park and had a great afternoon – with everyone's spirits undampened by the typical North East showery weather. You'll have a great time.
Note to self: I must remember to stop singing once I've pressed the record button on my camera.
The park closes at 5pm, however there's still plenty of establishments open along the seafront and in nearby Ocean Road where you can find all kinds of restaurants from Fish 'n' Chips to Indian, Italian and more. In addition some seafront bars/restaurants such as 'The Sand Dancer' and 'The Marsden Rattler' have live music on Sunday afternoons while other establishments are perfect for Sunday lunch. There's bags of choice.
And that's not all. If you prefer a quiet browse around colourful stalls or want something to entertain bored schoolchildren during the long summer months, among other attractions at the Festival are the kiddies shows at the Amphitheatre near Sandhaven beach every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons between 2pm 4pm and aA Sunday Craft Markets at the newly landscaped Harton Quays near the Shields ferry landing at Mill Dam throughout the summer until the end of August.
The seafront at South Shields is easy to reach along the A183 Coast Road from Sunderland and is about a 20 minute walk from South Shields Metro station in the town centre.
The Tyne Ferry from North Shields to South Shields is every half hour and brings you to a short walking distance from the Market Place in the centre of town.
Buses to the seafront leave from the marketplace and Kepple Street concours (Metro station) on a regular basis.
Bus no. E1 – every 20mins (30mins on Sundays) and travels along the seafront en route to Sunderland via Whitburn.
Bus no. 10 - 30 mins has a route along Bents Park Road, from where you can enter/exit the park via the rear gates.
Timetables and bus routes are displayed at bus stops.