Tynemouth Priory and Castle

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In Tynemouth, a pretty, seaside,village on the North East coast of England, not far from the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, stands the moated Tynemouth Castle and Priory overlooking the North Sea, fine, sweeping beaches, and the River Tyne where, at it's mouth the large statue of Lord Collingwood stands proudly.

The beautiful location of these English Heritage owned properties, the fact they have large surrounding grassy areas, where you can sit and enjoy the view, added to the appeal of visiting these historical buildings on a sunny July afternoon, We were not disappointed!

There is car parking in the centre of Front Street Tynemouth. This includes blue badge bays, however it is a 150 metre walk (including some cobbled areas) to the Castle entrance. Blue Badge Holders such as myself, can park outside the castle. There is room for around ten cars for disabled people. To get to this car parking area, drive up Causeway from Front Street and approach the Castle Gatehouse. The Ticket Office is inside the shop in the Gatehouse area. Staff will open the double gates at the Gatehouse go through and the car parking area is on the right.

The entrance fees (one ticket gives access to the Castle and the Priory are adult £4.80,Concessions £4.30, children age 5-15 £2.90. Carers or Companions of disabled people are admitted free of charge.

The opening hours change throughout the seasons, it is worth checking them in advance. November to march the properties are only open on a Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm. Whilst April to September they are open seven days a week from 10 am until 6pm During October opening times are 10am to 4pm seven days a week.

The Ticket Office within The Gatehouse also combines as a shop selling a variety of gifts and produce. There are steps from the Gatehouse into the Castle grounds, however for disabled people there is a separate entrance via the double gates which staff will open to allow access. There are some cobbles in this area.

The Castle and Priory have an interesting two thousand year history, starting with an anglo saxon settlement and this is illustrated in an interesting exhibition shown in The Warrant Officers House (there is ramped access to this area). The exhibition details the anglo saxon settlement, then the medieval monastery, a Tudor fortification and the important role the Castle played during WWll as a coastal gun battery.

The Gun Battery involves negotiating steep steps but its worth a view if you can manage it.

The Benedictine Priory ruins are where early kings of Northumberland are buried. I found the Priory to be a tranquil and peaceful place with such superb sea views!. I really enjoyed visiting the tiny chapel within the priory, it is very tiny but worth a visit. There is a beautiful stained glass window within the Chapel. There are some steps down to the Chapel. People who cannot manage steps are still able to see the entire chapel from the doorway – the Chapel is so small.

There are large grassy areas around the Castle and Priory with seating, a suitable place for picnics. We enjoyed sitting here and enjoying the lovely views. This is a very large area and combined with the beach area, large enough to accommodate festivals – the weekend before our visit there had been the Mouth of The Tyne Festival.

There are opportunities for walks which provide good river views

I have some mobility issues and use a walking stick, so accessibility for disabled people is important to me. I found most areas are accessible as walking is either on tarmac, concrete or firm grassed areas. A great deal of the area is level,As the venue consists of historic buildings there are steps in places, however I noticed where there were steps there were also grass slopes I found the staff particularly helpful and approachable when assistance was required.

For the less mobile I would say it is partially accessible, (not fully because of the area around the Gun Battery being not particularly accessible due to the steep steps). There are steps around the Gatehouse area but staff are more than happy to show the less mobile how to get around this area without using steps/with assistance Wheelchairs can be hired – please book in advance.

There is no café within this venue but there is one almost next door!

The village of Tynemouth has a good election of specialised shops and national chain stores. There is a good range of cafes and restaurants. B&B, Guest Houses and a Hotel are represented too. Tynemouth has a thriving weekly market. There are good metro, bus and road networks to the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne and surrounding areas.

We had a super afternoon and would return!

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