South Gare Fisherman’s Huts Association

South Gare Fisherman’s Huts Association, near Redcar

I had already heard about, but not visited, the cabins at Middleton, Hartlepool when, on a photographic trip with my youngest son Joe, we met a guy in Whitby who told us about South Gare. We visited the area that day and I knew I had to return. The area of South Gare is an amazing place: a hinterland wedged between the mouth of the River Tees, the town of Redcar, and the mothballed Corus steelworks. You turn off a non-descript roundabout on the edge of Redcar and follow a road past scrapyards, which then crosses the remains of railway tracks and follows the perimeter of the steelworks, before turning East and heading to the mouth of the Tees.

As well as the inhabitants of the cabins, South Gare attracts lots of people: gratifyingly, people who seem to appreciate it for what it is (with the exception of the endemic flytippers.) It feels like the perfect place to get away from things and I like to think that’s why most people are there. They don’t go there (in my opinion) because they’ve been told to, or directed to by someone selling them something, but because they’re drawn there – or their Dad went there – or some other organic reason. Being from the banks of the Tyne myself, I shouldn’t say this: but, when I’m at South Gare, I feel at home.

You can go to South Gare for loads of reasons. You’ll see cormorants or maybe a barn owl – or perhaps seals. You can walk on the massive expanse of beach. You can watch ships come into or leave the River Tees, or look at the offshore windfarm. There is a cafe there, though I’ve never been, but there are no facilities to speak of (other than sand dunes, which can be handy) unless you bring your own, which many camper-van owners do.

We’ve been back several times since, and I look forward to going again – perhaps just to watch the tide come in, then go out again.

6 thoughts on “South Gare Fisherman’s Huts Association

  1. baryon97 says:

    Thank you. These shots will almost certainly be a mixture of Pan F and HP5. South Gare is indeed a great place. Hope you get there!

  2. Mark Janes says:

    Stumbled upon South Gare after reading a comment on an article about Dungeness! It’s now on my list of places to visit.
    Lovely work. Are these shot on Tri-X?

  3. Colin Crawford says:

    I regularly visit the Gare both for leisure and for litter picking, which along with others, return the downs and grasses to nature.
    When the Sun shines it becomes a haven for visitor. Much too see.
    The fishermans hut association on the Eastern downs is characterised with a Green paint.
    The site was the original barracks of the South Gare Artillery garrison, some of the huts maybe from that period 1939-1945.
    On the West or Riverside are three lagoons known as Paddy, Guys and Powder Holes. They offer a safe haven for the local pot fishermen.
    The adjacent sands, Bran sands, borders the bay of the estuary and extends to the river which at low tide gives an opportunity to explore the beach, dunes and river.
    Commercial river traffic to Teesport and industrial wharves is constant along the pilot boats from the Port Authority.
    The area has a melancholy feel as though it’s a land from a childrens fantasy novel.
    A unique, man made beauty spot for all ages to enjoy.
    The South Gare.

    1. baryon97 says:

      Thank you for visiting, Colin. I think your description sums up South Gare perfectly, and it’s good to learn a little bit of history of the huts. I agree the place is melancholy, and that’s probably why I love it, even though I’m 75 miles away in West Yorkshire.

  4. Mick Southwick says:

    Hi Chris, Mick Southwick here. When I told your brother, Andy, I’d been to South Gare he directed me to your website and the South Gare article. Angie and I visited there a couple of weeks ago, after a walk along the beach from Redcar. We returned via a close look at the ever-shrinking skeleton of the steel works, then back across the dunes to the beach and along again to Redcar. Nice few paragraph by Colin – yeah it’s a funny old place, isn’t it? Interesting, in an odd sort of way. The presence of the many, many camper-vans (and even more cars) puzzled us a bit, until we read online that the dead-end road near the head of South Gare is a popular dogging spot. Ah, that explains it, we thought, as dusk drew nearer and the cars kept coming. As we beat a hasty retreat over the dunes, a police car sped towards the gathering throng. Yes, VERY interesting.

  5. Guy says:

    One of the most wonderful areas near Middlesbrough. Atmospheric, restful and I think quite unique.
    Almost every time I go to Teesside I try and get over there, i particularly like it in the winter.


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