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Round-Up   ›   Short breaks  ›  North East England

The best places in Whitley Bay - a roundup

In recent years Whitley Bay has been transformed into a hip, laid back seaside destination. It has recently been named as one of the best places to live by The Times. But what does this seaside town offer to receive such a title? Expect to find a growing number of independent stores and cafes, a tastefully renovated promenade and miles of golden sands. Add in some superb landmarks and great community spirit and you’ll begin to see why Whitley Bay is one of the best places to live. In my roundup, I’m bringing you all the best places to experience all that’s on offer and save you hours of research.

May 31, 2023


The best places in Whitley Bay - must see places

The Spanish City
The most iconic landmark in Whitley bay is the white dome of The Spanish City. Once a thriving fairground attraction it closed its doors in 1999 and was left in a dilapidated, unloved state. In 2018 after a huge renovation and an enormous amount of love – The Spanish City has once again become the hub of Whitley Bay. Facing the sea and boasting huge windows, you can enjoy stunning views across the beautiful coastline as far as St Mary’s Island. It now houses many restaurants, cafes and independent shops. One of the best loved independent shops housed inside the dome is For the Love of the North. Owned by couple Lucy and Paul and with a dedicated following throughout the North East, their mission is to showcase all of the North East’s talented creatives under one roof. They’ve definitely achieved this and more and I guarantee you’ll leave with something beautiful for yourself or a gift for someone special.

St Mary’s Lighthouse
Another one of the best places in Whitley Bay to visit is St. Mary’s Island and Lighthouse. Walk across the short causeway to reach the island but make sure to check the tide times as it is completely cut off during high tide. You don’t want to get stranded – or maybe you do! Climb the lighthouse for panoramic views of the stunning coastline or wander around the back of the Island to watch the colony of nesting seals. The Nature Reserve that surrounds St Mary’s has fantastic rock pools at low tide which are great to explore with little ones.

Park View Shopping
For an array of independent shops and businesses, head to Park View shopping area. Here you’ll find cool homeware shops, an artisan bakery, quirky brunch spots, a beautiful florist and many more thriving local businesses. What’s clear when visiting Whitley bay is the sense of community that supports each other and has sustainability at its heart.

One of my favourite places to visit is Bellwoods lifestyle store. A homewares treasure trove of environmentally friendly, cool and must have things for you and your home. It’s a calm, welcoming space giving you an all round shopping experience.

Another little gem is The Links art gallery and cafe on the Northern Promenade with views of St Mary’s stocks a range of work by both local and emerging artists. The cafe serves a great selection of hot drinks and snacks right on the beachfront. It’s a great little stop off when walking the promenade from The Spanish City to St Mary’s.

Visiting the beach and exploring the expansive beach should be top of your list when visiting Whitley Bay. One of the most popular in the North East with two miles of golden sands, it attracts walkers, sandcastle-building families and surfers. You can enjoy as much or as little of the walk as you like and there are plenty of coffee stops along the way to enjoy a little rest and refuel should you need it.

The best places in Whitley Bay - where to eat

This really is where Whitley Bay shines. It is bursting with eateries all with their own individual charm. There really is something for everyone . From cool, small brunch spots to upmarket restaurants serving up culinary delights, you’ll be spoilt for choice. I would say one place you absolutely must visit is Kith and Kin. It’s oh so popular with the locals, so head there early if you want to be guaranteed a seat. They are famous for their signature breakfast dishes. Think strawberry French toast and delicious breakfast filled bagels. The drinks menu is expansive, ranging from traditional drinks to a more speciality range such as chai and matcha latte.

For the best ice cream head to Di Meos, a traditional Italian gelato creating small batch handmade ice creams and sorbets. They’ve won several awards and after you’ve tasted the ice cream you’ll understand why. I love that it’s a family run business and everyone plays their part in the successful running of the DiMeo empire.

If you’re looking for an upmarket, contemporary meal head to 1904 in The Spanish city. This beautiful restaurant specialises in steak and seafood. Add to this the stunning sea views of the coast from the grand, full length windows and you have a perfect combination for a sophisticated evening out.

If it’s afternoon tea you fancy, you must head to traditional Patisserie Valerie in The Spanish City. Its decor is sophisticated and almost takes you back in time. It’s the perfect place to enjoy an indulgent afternoon and sample the creations of Pastry Chef Kristian Branch. Pair the cakes (that are a work of art) with copious amounts of tea and you have all the ingredients for an afternoon experience you’ll remember for a long time.

Sometimes, all you want is a quick coffee to grab and take away. Don’t Fret serves up great coffee, tea and hot chocolate alongside breakfast sandwiches. Stop by when you need coffee on the go. You’ll find them in Park Avenue, just look out for the yellow and white stripe take out stall.

The best places in Whitley Bay - where to stay

Head to The York Hotel if it’s a small, boutique place to stay you are looking for. Enjoy the luxury of a beautifully decorated room and indulge yourself in delicious home cooked continental breakfast. Relax after a long day in the sumptuous lounge area and enjoy a drink and snacks before retiring to your room for the evening. As you’re a stones throw from the coast you can enjoy everything Whitley Bay has to offer right on your doorstep.

The Basement is a brand new luxury self catering accommodation like nothing else in the area. Owned by the lovely Dianne who you may know from Woods Coffee, it is situated just over the border in the neighbouring village of Tynemouth. Once a butler’s quarters in a grade 2 listed building it has been lovingly transformed into a boutique haven by the sea. I’d recommend you stay here if you want to enjoy something truly special and unique. You will have a beautiful living space with considered aesthetics to create a place to step away from the stresses of daily life and reset.

Cowrie Cottage in Cullercoats is a traditional seaside cottage set in one of the most photographed streets in the area. It sits among a row of colourful fishermans cottages and is a short walk to the beach and into the hub of Whitley Bay. Tastefully decorated inside with all the facilities you need to make your stay a comfortable home from home, it’s one to add to your list for a future visit to Whitley Bay.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the best places in Whitley Bay. I’d love to hear from you over on my Instagram account if you visit any of my recommendations or if you have any great places that you think I should visit on my next trip. Thanks for reading.

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May 31, 2023