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Spanish City, Whitley Bay

#6 of 32 in Things to do in Whitley Bay
Historic Site · Landmark
The Spanish City is a dining and leisure centre in Whitley Bay, a seaside town in North Tyneside, Tyne & Wear, England. Erected as a smaller version of Blackpool's Pleasure Beach, it opened in 1910 as a concert hall, restaurant, roof garden and tearoom. A ballroom was added in 1920 and later a permanent funfair.
Located near the seafront, the Spanish City has a 180 ft-long (54.8 m) Renaissance-style frontage and became known for its distinctive dome, now a Grade II listed building. There are towers on either side of the entrance, each of which carries a half-life-size female bacchanalian figure in copper, one holding cymbals, the other a tambourine. The building's architects were Robert Burns Dick, Charles T. Marshall and James Cackett.
The band Dire Straits mentioned the Spanish City in their 1980 single, "Tunnel of Love", which from then on was played every morning when it opened. By the late 1990s the building had fallen into disrepair, and in the early 2000s it was closed to the public. A regeneration project was announced in 2011. The building reopened as a dining and leisure centre at the end of July 2018.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
377 reviews
  • We booked Spanish City for our wedding to be held on 1st May 2021 and whilst we could not go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions, we would like to say a massive thank you. The customer support and...  more »
  • Decided to have an October special. Soup and Sandwich for £7.50. Soup was cauliflower it was lovely and hot and absolutely homemade. My four sandwiches were egg, cress and mayonnaise. Everything was.....  more »
  • Fabulous refurbishment. The whole building has been brought back in a contemporary style with sympathetic acknowledgments to its history and original features. The diverse range of hospitality options lends itself to catering for most tastes and budget. Well done
  • It's Whitley Bay - of course it gets five stars! They have done a fantastic renovation job on the Spanish City and it now houses restaurants and tea rooms to suit different budgets. Worth going in to wander around the upstairs gallery even if you don't want to have some food or drink
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