St Mary's Island is one of the well-known local landmarks along the North Tyneside coast. The island houses a lighthouse which was built in 1898 and remained operational until 1984. The island is now run as a visitor centre, with the surrounding area maintained as a nature reserve (both on and off land).
The walk starts in the middle on Tynemouth Bay (Long Sands Beach) and takes you past Cullercoats Bay, with its well-commended lifeboat station. It then takes in the full length of Whitley Bay, to reach St Mary's Island and the lighthouse. Ideally the walk should be done at low tide, to enable the crossing of the causeway out to the island.
After visiting the island, the route returns along the headland back to Tynemouth. The walk may be shortened by catching the bus back along the coast.