Wallsend on Tyne is a town in Tyne and Wear in the northeast of England. It's industrial, with a population of 43,842 in 2011, and lies four miles east of Newcastle upon Tyne. It got its name as the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall.
Wallsend was actually "wall's beginning" as Hadrian's Wall was built from here westwards from 122 AD. The town was a crossing point on the Tyne and small port, large enough for the Danes to raid, nevertheless small until the industrial era. Then it grew into a busy noisy place, with coal-mining and ship-building. Walsall Colliery was active 1778-1935: an early manager was John Buddle who helped develop the Davy Lamp, and better ventilation and drainage of pits. But the pits remained dangerous and in 1835 a gas explosion cost 109 lives: the dead were found with their cloth caps stuffed in their mouths to try to keep out the fumes. The youngest victim was eight and the oldest was 75.
Swan Hunter was the best known of the Wallsend shipyards, launching the liner Mauretania in 1906. Other notable launches were Turbinia (1894) the world's first turbo-charged steam vessel, Carpathia (1902) which rescued the survivors of Titanic, Svyatogor (later Krassin) the icebreaker and polar exploration ship, and Ark Royal the aircraft carrier in 1981. Ship-building ended in 2007 in the face of foreign competition, but oil rig work continues.
For inter-city travel by air, rail or bus see Newcastle upon Tyne. Change in city centre for the Metro or bus out to Wallsend, details below.
Some local buses run to Wallsend bypassing city centre:
- Go Northeast Little Coaster 42A runs hourly from the airport via the northern burbs, taking 80 min to Wallsend. It's quicker to take the Metro.
- Little Coaster 42 runs hourly from Cramlington.
- Little Coaster 11 runs every 30 min from Whitley Bay via North Tyneside Hospital and North Shields.
1 Wallsend Metro and bus station is south side of town centre on Station Rd A186.
By road, use A19 which bypasses Newcastle to the east via the Tyne Tunnel, the north end of which emerges two miles east of Wallsend. The toll for a car in 2021 was £1.90: there's no cash booth, pay online or at a Paypoint outlet by midnight next day. Regular users should open an account, which is cheaper and collected by ANPR. The tunnel has long tailbacks during rush hour, but trying to use A1(M) in rush hour instead (which bypasses to the west) incurs just as much grief.
Cycles and pedestrians may not use the A19 tunnel, but have a separate pair of tunnels, no toll, see South Tyneside#Get around. Its entrance is off A187 just south of the vehicle tunnel entrance.
Metro trains run every 10-15 min from St James / Monument (change for main railway station, and Metro Green Line to airport and Sunderland) via Manors, Byker, Chillingham Rd and Walkergate, taking 12 min to Wallsend. They continue east to North Shields and Whitley Bay before looping back to Jesmond and city centre; they then head back out along the south river bank to Gateshead, Jarrow and South Shields. Wallsend is in Zone 2 on the Metro Yellow Line, so a single fare from city centre in 2022 is £3.20 and from the airport is £3.90.
Stagecoach Bus 22 runs every 10 min from Monument in city centre, and Bus 40 every 30 min, taking 25 min to Wallsend.
The main taxi operator is Blue Line, +44 191 262 6666. Uber also operate here. A ride from the airport might be £20-25.
- The redundant cranes of Swan Hunter shipyard etch the skyline. The town is modern but has several old churches - St Peter's has fine stained-glass windows.
- 1 Segedunum Roman Fort, Buddle St NE28 6HR, ☏ . Daily 10:00-17:00. Museum and foundations of a Roman fort, and reconstruction of a bath house. The visitors centre has an elevated viewing platform. Segedunum means "victory fort" or "strong fort" and was the start of Hadrian's Wall, built from 122 AD westwards towards the Solway Firth. A fragment of wall just west of the fort was Mile Zero. Free, donation.
- 2 Stephenson Railway Museum: see Tynemouth, the museum is on the boundary between North Shields and Wallsend.
- Hadrian Leisure Centre is on St Peter's Rd a mile east of town centre. It has a pool, gym, climbing wall and fitness classes.
- Golf: Centurion Park GC is a mile northwest. White tees are 6031 yards, par 70, visitor round £20.
- Rising Sun Country Park is three miles north, behind ASDA on Whitley Road. There's a Visitors Centre and expanses of countryside, with bird hides round Swallow Pond.
- Cinema: the Odeon is in Silverlink retail park at the junction of A19 and Coast Rd A1058, see Tynemouth.
- Hadrian's Wall footpath starts at Segedunum and heads west along the river bank - use OS Landranger Map 88. The route is entirely modern for its first 14 miles, with a cycleway, until Heddon-on-the-Wall. The Roman wall followed the line of A187 into Newcastle then A186 / A69 west but is completely obliterated by the city. No point hiking east of Segedunum as the lower riverbank is all industrial and dockland until you reach Tynemouth and the North Sea coast.
- The Forum on High Street West is the town shopping centre.
- ASDA by the Metro and bus stations is open M-Sa 06:00-23:00, Su 10:00-16:00.
- The main local retail park is Silverlink, junction of A19 and A1058. Metrocentre is far side of Newcastle city centre so you'd only go that way for big-ticket items.
- There's a slew along High Street. West side are Modern Tandoori (see below), Lebanese Cuisine, Honey House Chinese, Gills Fish and Chips, Anson and the fast food chains.
- Modern Tandoori, 174 High Street West NE28 8HZ, ☏ . Daily 18:00-23:00. Friendly reliable Indian restaurant.
- On East High St are Hong Kong Chop Suey House, Wonderful Chinese, Imperial Dragon and Phoenix Cottage.
- The pub strip is West High St. Along here are Duke of York, The Anchor, Queen's Head, The Ritz (JD Wetherspoon), Manhattans, Anson (see Eat), and All Fur Coat.
- See Tynemouth / North Shields for accommodation along the A19. Most visitors day-trip from Newcastle.
- 1 Dorset Arms Hotel, Dorset Ave NE28 8DX, ☏ . Comfy simple B&B with helpful owner, but closed ufn.
- Manhattans bar has rooms but was closed in 2021.
- Crocketts Hotel in Walker is a rough joint, and closed in 2021.
As of May 2021, Wallsend has 5G from EE, and 4G from O2, Three and (patchily) from Vodafone.
- Tynemouth has a ruined castle and priory.
- All the sights and sounds of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and Sunderland are easily reached on the Metro.
- Tyne Valley and Northumberland have glorious scenery but you need a car. Most tourists miss these areas as they hurry on to Scotland.
- Hadrian's Wall marches away west sinister-dexter many thousands of paces. The best section is between Hexham and Greenhead.
- Durham is an attractive well-preserved old city, just 40 minutes away by train.
|Routes through Wallsend|
|Seaton Burn (N) ←||N S||→ Sunderland|