Day 1 - Wallsend to Newcastle

Friday 13th June - 6 miles, 2 1/2 hours

We had a good four hour train journey up from Suffolk and arrived to a rather damp and drizzly Newcastle just after 10:00am. After dropping off our bags at the hotel we headed into the city centre for some lunch.

By the time we had finished our lunch the rain had stopped and so we decided to make a start to the walk by catching the metro out to Wallsend and walking back into town.

Segedunum (Strong fort ) lies at the eastern end of Hadrians Wall. We spent a couple of hours exploring the site and the museum. This included a trip up the viewing tower which provided a great view of the fort and its surroundings.

The museum is home to the only reconstructed Roman bath house in Britain which is based on the remains excavated at Chesters further along the wall. It was great to have the archaeology brought to life in this way.

The museum provided a good basis for the history that we would be walking through.

The path begins at the edge of the fort close to the Swan-Hunter shipyard where huge cranes dominate the sky. Nearby is a small piece of the original spur wall which connected the fort to the bank of the river. This was the first and last bit of the wall visible until we reached Heddon on the Wall!

We finally set off along the path just after 3:00pm following the line of an old railway. The sun had broken through and it was now quite a warm pleasant afternoon.

The route was not at all as industrial as it would appear from the map. The path is secluded by hedges and banks covered by masses of wild flowers.

After a couple of miles the path dropped down to join the riverside promenade. The river banks here provide a channel of greenery in towards the city and it was surprisingly quiet.

As we rounded a bend in the river the buildings of Newcastle finally began to emerge into view.

As we approached St Peter's Marina the area became more developed with houses and smart riverside appartments. We stopped at the pub overlooking the marina for a drink.

It wasn't long before the numerous bridges across the Tyne appeared ahead, the first of which was the impressive sweep of the Millenium Bridge.

We passed underneath Tyne Bridge, being careful to avoid walking directly below the huge number of kittiwakes nesting on the ledges high above. It was at this point we ended the walk for today and headed back to our hotel.

For the evening we returned to town and ate at Sabatinis Italian restaurant right next to the Tyne Bridge. Excellent food.

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