It flows through Alston, then skirts Hadrian's Wall at Haltwhistle, Bardon Mill, Haydon Bridge and Corbridge, Northumberland. It enters the county of Tyne and Wear at Prudhoe and continues through Blaydon, the seven bridges of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, then Gateshead and Jarrow to the Tyne Tunnel, and finally to Tynemouth and South Shields and the North Sea.
The Tyne was a major route for the export of coal from the 13th century until the decline of the coalfields of North East England in the second half of the 20th century. Dramatic wooden staithes (a structure for loading coal onto ships) have been preserved at Dunston in Gateshead.
The lower reaches of the Tyne were, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the world's most important centres of shipbuilding, and there are still major shipyards at Wallsend on the north of the river and Jarrow on the south.
To support the shipbuilding and export industries of Tyneside, the lower reaches of the river were extensively remodelled during the second half of the 19th century, with islands removed and bends in the course of the river straightened.
Blythe is a main inlet north of the Tyne. It is a commercial deep water port and home to the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club.