Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A 12 mile walk to the Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel


Inside the Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel, a 12 mile walk, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

It's just after 10pm on a dark, gloomy Tuesday evening and I've walked 12 miles today, a round trip to the Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel without stopping.  It's the furthest I've ever walked in one go and everything from the waist down hurts, many bits above the waist hurt too but I'm feeling like I just scaled Everest.  If someone had said to me, "do you fancy a 12-mile walk today?" I would have said "erm, no, why?" but I'd said to my friend Steph "oh let's walk to the Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel, it's only about four miles away, I didn't think that sounded like much...

So, dear reader, just to write this in case you're some years into the future, currently, we're allowed to leave our home for 1 type of exercise a day and we can go with a friend as long as it's only 1 person from another household maximum.  I could count on 1 hand the number of people I've seen since Christmas and walking has become something of a must for my sanity.  If I can get someone to accompany me on walks then even better as it definitely would have hurt more if I'd tried to do it alone.

On the way from Heaton going towards the Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel we took the Shields Road route which took around 1 hour 30, the way back via Hadrian's Cycleway was definitely a longer route but that's the one I'd go with on a better weather type of day as it's probably lovely in summer.  Not so much today in the driving rain.

I like to choose big challenges for myself and I'm always curious about our local history so I'd wanted to go to the Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel since it reopened in 2019, for anyone who doesn't know, it still has 2 of it's 4 original wooden escalators which were at one time the longest wooden escalators in the world.  I didn't realise that the wooden escalators don't actually work so you have to either walk down them slowly (with a slight feeling of vertigo as it's so steep) or you can take a lift, we took the lifts on the way up and went down the escalators.  

historic wooden escalator, a 12 mile walk to the pedestrian tyne tunnel, mandy charlton photographer, writer, blogger


I am really glad I didn't do it on my own as I'd always thought it would feel quite creepy in the narrow tunnel under the tyne and it really does, it feels weirdly sinister.   I can only imagine the history of all of the shipyard workers walking out of the tunnel after travelling from Jarrow and going down to Swans shipyard where Segedunum is now.  I think it's a place to go with a friend and not on your own though it's perfectly safe.  I don't know what it is, but there's definitely an unusual feeling down there.

Over the last week I've taken to walking every day, most days it's just 5 or 6 miles which never feels too bad but I think I felt every step of the last couple of miles today.  I don't mind the aches though, I could never have thought that I was capable of walking so far without stopping.  Had it been a sunny day and not illegal to have a picnic that would have been a great idea but the most we did was take water and chocolate along for emergency sugar need and really, it was so cold and wet today, I don't think I would have gotten through it without that little square of chocolate that I carried in my pocket.

To tell you how wet it was, I popped my coat in the hall cupboard when I got home and ten minutes later wondered why there was a puddle on the floor outside of the cupboard, for a moment I thought I had a leak from the hall radiator but no, that's just how wet my coat was.

I will always remember this big long walk I did quite unexpectedly on a rainy winter Tuesday and if anyone ever asks me "Do you fancy a 12-mile walk today?" and I shall reply "yes, yes I do" but only if it's not throwing it down in the middle of January and you're actually allowed to sit down for rests on the way.


Ways to support my writing


If you have enjoyed this article or found it useful and would like to support my writing I'd love a virtual coffee
I also have a lovely Facebook group I'd love you to come and join 
You could also come and follow me on Instagram to keep up with my adventures, I really am grateful for all
of your love and support.
Oh and of course, you could just treat yourself to something lovely from Philomena's Boutique, my gift boutique
which is diverse, sustainable and totally lush!
Share:

No comments

© Mandy Charlton - Photographer, Writer, Blogger | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig