(Much cooler 360 images can be viewed here & here)
Directly below my muddy shoes, almost 760 feet under the earth 1,400 men once hewed a living from the hot, dark, grimy pit of the land.
Less than 40 years ago the landscape would be scarred with soot, sound, smoke, grime and fire as armies of men and boys earned a living mining coal as their fathers and grand fathers had done before them.
But now it’s silent, calm and green with just me and a bike looking out over the Tyneside skyline.
I’m standing at the top of a former pit head that was once part of one of the world’s largest coal mines.
This weekend I took a bike ride. Nothing unusual there, but instead of heading down the coast or into the countryside I decided to take one of the national cycle routes that goes through the middle of Newcastle.
The route takes you through Tyneside right into the city centre, then back round in a loop of about 30 miles via a tunnel under the Tyne? Having thought I knew the city pretty well taking this roman inspired route (Hadrian’s cycleway) provided a totally different perspective.