(Ad) Last Sunday Boy 1, Boy 2 and I went to Tynemouth for a trip on the Spirit of the Bay land train. We received free tickets in exchange for an honest review…
The land train runs each Saturday and Sunday around Tynemouth and the North Shields Fish Quay. You can board at the bus stop outside the Priory (NE30 4BZ) every hour between 12 and and 3pm, or there are three other pick up points (see information board below);
We arrived early, got parked in the free parking at Priors Haven Car Park (closest postcode for Sat Nav: NE30 4DG, 2 hours max – thanks Mamma for the tip :-)) and paid a visit to the bear outside “The Spirit of the Bay” shop/tourist information. We learned the owner of the company used to read bear stories to their children, and it’s now a friendly company mascot.
We boarded at 2pm for the 45 minute journey. There were two carriages and the boys chose to sit at the front of the back one. The staff were welcoming, and the comfy grey blankets we were given to keep warm were a nice touch.
Round the route the boys noticed Tynemouth Priory, an ice cream van, dolphins carved into the sea wall, a statue of Lord Collingwood (who was an admiral of the Royal Navy, and partner of Lord Nelson in several of the British victories of the the Napoleonic Wars), fish and garlic smells (we passed lots of enticing places to eat and drink), and an empty swimming pool on the beach next to a cliff.
The lady employee in our carriage was very knowledgeable and talked about Tynemouth Lifeboat Station (RNLI) just inside the mouth of the River Tyne. She said when the tide is out you can see lots of rocks. The lifeboat station (run by volunteers) was opened in 1862 after five ships became stranded on them within a three day period.
She told us about the Tyneside Surf Cafe, and how Sam Smith a famous musician who’s been on the Brits has played there. And the Tynemouth Surf Co. next door where you can rent surfing equipment and book lessons – sounds great fun.
My favorite parts were travelling on the path next to the sea, and waving at everyone on route – mainly grown ups, kids were just looking at me like I was nuts!
The boys liked sitting in the drivers seat and beeping the horn at the end of the trip, and the songs played including “Who let the Dog’s out”. It was the first time they’d heard this, and they absolutely loved it. So much so they sang it for the rest of the journey between giggle fits! They say you don’t always remember everything about an experience but you will never forget how it makes you feel. These photos and videos are testament to our experience:
We learned “Who let the dogs out?” was a recent addition to the playlist after the company started to allow dogs in the second carriage of the train (in response to requests from customers).
Here’s a more professional video to give you a flavour of what to expect: https://www.cygnetevents.com/land-train-private-hire?wix-vod-video-id=2ecf1ca1ab194f599ae51b477173465b&wix-vod-comp-id=comp-jejrp2y0#
Throughout the year there are lots of events including the The Mad Hatter’s Express (Tea Party) which runs from 6th to 21st April. Children and parents ride the train along the coast to the Mad Hatter’s tea party where they will meet the Easter Bunny, Alice, the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter himself. Each child receives a drink, a snack, and an Easter egg to take home. Cost is £10 per ticket. I recommend booking early as many of the time slots are already full.
Other events include their their Summer Fayre, Ghost train and Santa Express. You can also hire the Spirit of the Bay Land Train for your exclusive use e.g. party or work event.
Huge thanks to Spirit of the Bay land train team. Despite it being a miserable day this was a fun activity, and I recommend building this into a full day-trip to Tynemouth, as there’s lots to see and do. Choo Choo 🙂
Have you visited the Spirit of the Bay land train? Or been on any other good trains recently?
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