Hartlepool North Sands Beach
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In the 1930s, industrial works alongside this part of the coastline, extracted magnesia (magnesium carbonate), used in the lining of kilns and incinerators, from dolomitic lime and seawater. Today, all that remains of this industrial site are some derelict buildings, old pipes and the dangerous, magnificent remains of Steetley Pier, a long, derelict structure, which stretches out into the sea here.
To get the most from this beach, check tidal tables and time your visit to coincide with low tide, when a vast amount of golden sand, interspersed with pipes is exposed. The beach is often deserted, and has no restrictions on dog walking.
The sands can be accessed by parking at West View Road and walking through the tunnel which passes under the railway line. Then walk towards the sea, past the former industrial buildings, and turn right, towards the old pier. The beach is backed by a cemetery and further north, by Hartlepool Golf Course, beyond which lies the Durham Coast Nature Reserve. Hartlepool Marina lies to the south of the beach.
There is a fish and chip shop nearby, and more places to eat and shops can be found in Hartlepool.