Great North Run: Five fantastic attractions to boost any South Shields stay

Brothers Corey and Caleb Temple dressed as Roman Soldiers at Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields
Brothers Corey and Caleb Temple dressed as Roman Soldiers at Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields

Thousands of hardy competitors will be stepping out in South Tyneside this weekend for the Great North Run.

Many will be making it a long weekend in the borough, whether they are on their marks for the world famous 13-miler themselves or cheering on a friend or loved one.

South Marine Park

South Marine Park

But once your race is run - or even before the stopwatch starts ticking - how will weary-legged runners and their supporters toast an unforgettable occasion?

Here are five must-see visitor attractions that aren’t too far off the beaten track in South Shields.

• Take a step back in time at Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum, in Baring Street, South Shields. Re-discover Roman roots at the culture spot as history is brought to life through gladitorial battles and re-enactments, while the museum is also home to a rich array of impressive artefacts from a bygone era.

• Pack your bucket and spade along with your running spikes and enjoy a trip to Sandhaven beach. While sunshine isn’t guaranteed, long stretches of golden sands and a warm and friendly atmosphere is sure to be in store.

Souter Lighthouse, Whitburn. Photo by  Adrian Potts

Souter Lighthouse, Whitburn. Photo by Adrian Potts

• All that running is sure to build up an appetite, so why not pay a visit to the legendary Colmans fish and chip shop in Ocean Road? The popular eatery has served a string of celebrities and politicians and should be on the menu for Great North entrants keen for a tasty treat.

• Combine the Great North Run with some family fun at South Marine Park. The beauty spot is perfect for a relaxing wind-down, with attractions including the picturesque boating lake and the miniature steam railway that’s just the ticket whatever your age.

• With its striking red and white hoops, Souter Lighthouse is an impressive sight watching over the Whitburn coastline. If you have any energy left in your legs, you can climb the 76 steps to the top of the toweror stay on lower ground to take in the breathtaking views of grassy fields, rocky bays and eye-catching cliffs.

Children North East annual Sandcastle Challenge at Sandhaven Beach.

Children North East annual Sandcastle Challenge at Sandhaven Beach.