Whitburn to Wearmouth Bridge - Way of Learning

This walk is part of the trek The Way of Learning - Jarrow to Durham.

This is the 3rd section of the Way of Learning. From Whitburn, the route follows the coastline passing beaches, arcades, cafes, lighthouses, a park and pier before turning to follow the north bank of the River Wear past the National Glass Museum and St Peter's Church before finishing at the iconic Wearmouth Bridge.

Technical sheet No. 30505377

A Tyne and Wear walk posted on 07/02/23 by sarahhcfe. Last update : 15/03/23
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h55[?]
Distance Distance : 4.03 mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 66 ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 85 ft
Highest point Highest point : 85 ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 3 ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Tyne and Wear
Starting point Starting point : N 54.944067° / W 1.365597°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.910466° / W 1.384304°
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Start : Whitburn Bents car park (SR6 7NT) Grid ref. NZ 407 612
If arriving by bus, begin the walk at the bus stop on Whitburn Bents Road.

(D) From Whitburn Bents car park follow Sea Road around (South) until it meets Whitburn Bents Road after 300m or so. Turn left and walk South along Whitburn Bents Road (A183) towards Seaburn.

(1) After 300m, you will notice an apartment block to your right and in front of you a flat roof, take the path down to the promenade before this building. Walk past the restaurant and follow the promenade or walk on the beach. As you continue along the promenade you will pass the House of Zen (restaurant on your left).

(2) At the Grand Hotel continue following the footpath towards the White Lighthouse. If you were walking along the beach itself, rejoin the promenade as the tide comes all the way up to the rocks and sea wall here.

(3) When the path reaches Whitburn Road, turn left, cross the road by the crossing island and walk along Whitburn Road (South). Turn right (West) into Rock Lodge Road and walk towards St Andrew's Church.

Turn left walking along Park Avenue and then turn left again (East) back down Side Cliff Road towards the seafront and turn right onto Roker Avenue (A183).

Alternative routes: If you do not wish to see the church remain on Whiburn Road and continue along the seafront to Roker Avenue. If you have visited the church walk through Roker Park instead of Side Cliff Road exiting on Roker Avenue.

After 320 m or so, when you reach the Roker Hotel, take the footpath to your left down to the lower promenade. If you wish to walk along the pier, you can do so here.

(4) Continue walking South past the entrance to the pier and the cafes. You will then pass a car park. At the end of the car park, follow the path around to your right, the River Wear will be on your left. Contine following the path around the marina looking out for the sculptures along the way. At the far side of the marina continue South-West walking through the bollards and up Sand Point Road.

(5) At the bend in the road you will see a footpath to your left which goes around behind the petrol station, to your left will be a sculpture. Follow the path South along the banks of the River Wear.

(6) Continue past the National Glass Centre and the University of Sunderland St Peter's Campus. Note the Wearmouth Bridge up ahead and the Fish Quay on the opposite bank of the river.

Here, take a detour, and turn right across the grassed area past the University of Sunderland Sign. Turn right at the end of the grassed area and then left and walk around the car park. Cross St Peter's Way and enter the church yard to visit the historic St Peter's Church.

(7) Leave the church via the West exit onto St Peter's Way, turn left and then right along Charles Street, then turn left again to retrace your steps back to the river bank.

When you reach the river bank again turn right and continue to walk along the path towards the Wearmouth Bridge. Walk under both the Wearmouth Bridge and the railway bridge and turn right to walk through the car park to reach St Peter's Metro Station and bus stops. (A)

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 30 ft - Whitburn Bents Car Park
1 : mi 0.19 - alt. 23 ft - Apartment Block
2 : mi 0.78 - alt. 20 ft - Grand Hotel/Seaburn Fountain Roundabout
3 : mi 1.12 - alt. 43 ft - Whitburn Road/Peareth Road Junction
4 : mi 1.82 - alt. 16 ft - Roker Pier
5 : mi 2.73 - alt. 52 ft - Petrol Station
6 : mi 3 - alt. 23 ft - National Glass Centre
7 : mi 3.43 - alt. 56 ft - St Peter's Church
A : mi 4.03 - alt. 33 ft - Wearmouth Bridge

Useful Information

Start : Whitburn Bents car park (SR6 7NT) Grid ref. NZ 407 612
If arriving by bus, begin the walk at the bus stop on Whitburn Bents Road.

Transport: There is parking at Roker and Whitburn as well as a few spaces at St Peter's Metro. There are many car parks in Sunderland City Centre. Stagecoach E1, E2 and E6 leave from further up Roker Avenue at the Wheatsheaf Pub and all stop at Whitburn Bents Car Park.

Facilities: There are numerous cafes, takeaways and restaurants along the walk. There are a number of public toilets at several points. The National Glass Museum also has a good cafe.

Accessibility: The entire route is on paved surfaces, with some steeper gradients.

Accommodation: The Roker Hotel, Grand Hotel Seaburn, Lemonfield and the new Seaburn Inn are located along the route. The Hilton Garden Inn is located beside the Stadium of Light. The Premier Inn and Travelodge are located in the city centre.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • White Lighthouse - This lighthouse is right on the sea front and can be used as a good landmark to head for during this walk.
  • St Andrew's Church, Roker
  • Sunderland Sculpture Walk - There are fascinating sculptures and artworks along the last stretch of the Coast to Coast Cycle Route (C2C), a map can be found here.
  • National Glass Centre - Come and watch live demonstrations and check out what is in the galleries.
  • St Peter's Church - The ancient church of St Peter's was built in 674AD and marks the end of the Bede Trail which started at St Paul's Church in Jarrow.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.