Browse Tag by Souter Lighthouse

Posts on our bed and breakfast accommodation blog about Souter Lighthouse, Coast Road, Whitburn, SR6 7NH.

Leaflets & Guidebooks

South Tyneside Guide – Walking

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields

The latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside is out. Request your own free 33 page copy of the guide below.

Here is an extract from the latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside…

Walking Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Walk The Walk

South Tyneside distills all of the North East’s best bits – dunes, cliffs, parks, countryside, sea views — into a dramatic and eminently walkable landscape.

Walking is pretty good, isn’t it? Propelling yourself along at a leisurely pace, relying only on your own legs and sense of self-determination and freedom. There are loads of good words for it too. Stomp. Wander. Stroll. Plod. Walking’s by far the most poetic way of getting anywhere.

And it’s not just the descriptors which are poetic: South Tyneside’s varied scenery packs in all of the greatest hits of the North East. Obviously, being on the coast, there are dunes and cliffs to wander across stretching from South Shields down to Whitburn. There’s something incredibly soul-settling about staring out to sea, and the vantage points in South Tyneside out across Marsden Bay are especially majestic. Head to Whitburn Coastal Park and Souter Lighthouse and head north towards Frenchman’s Bay for an easy stroll along the clifftops, taking in the panoramic sea views.

Walking along the promenade beside Sandhaven and Littlehaven beaches is a joy too, as are South Marine Park and North Marine Park overlooking the promenade. Away from the coast there are a number of options, such as Hebburn Riverside Park. Once a derelict, beaten-up landscape scarred by generations of heavy industry – chemical works and ship-building, primarily – the land along here has been transformed with new housing, a nature trail and riverside walk.

You want nature? South Tyneside is absolutely full of it, not least at Tilesheds Local Nature Reserve between Boldon and Cleadon. As the name suggests, it used to be a brick and tile works, but now it’s pond and marshland plus thousands of native trees and shrubs. That means it’s teeming with wildlife: you’ve got your classic pond-dwellers like frogs, toads, newts, dragonflies and water boatmen, plus breeding swans, coots and moorhens.The nearby Cotman Gardens Meadow makes for an evocative walk too. It’s a traditional meadow that’s been unploughed for generations, meaning you can get a feel for how our forebears would have frolicked among the cowslips, great burnet and yellow rattle.

West Boldon Lodge is another great place for nature-lovers to explore, with 13 hectares of open water, wet and dry meadows, grassland, woodland, coppiced willow areas and scrub woodland.

Industry has added to the drama of some of South Tyneside’s walkable scenery though, and Cleadon Hills is a case in point. The old windmill and the iconic Cleadon Water Tower dot the grassy landscape as, to steal WH Auden’s memorable phrase from the poem Night Mail, “gigantic chessmen”. The route from Well House Farm to Cleadon Windmill forms part of Bede’s Way, which was put together to allow ramblers to follow in the footsteps of seventh century pilgrims who would travel between the monastery sites of St Peter’s in Wearmouth to St Paul’s in Jarrow. You can still feel the history in the air.

You can read more about South Tyneside in our free 33 page guide. Enter your email below for a free copy.

Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Please send me the free guide to South Tyneside…
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Here is a short South Tyneside tourism video to watch while you wait for your email to arrive…

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South Tyneside Guide – Landmarks

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields

The latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside is out. Request your own free 33 page copy of the guide below.

Here is an extract from the latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside…

Cleadon Hills Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

The Famous Five

As you’re out and about exploring all South Tyneside has to offer, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for these five fabulous local landmarks.

Cleadon Windmill. Whether or not you buy into the ghost stories, make sure you see this 200-year-old ruined windmill as you’re exploring Cleadon Hills.

Souter Lighthouse. The first lighthouse in the world designed and built to be powered by electricity is not only a marvel of engineering – you’ll love the views from the top.

Marsden Rock. One of the most recognisable sights on this beautiful stretch of coast, this towering rock formation in Marsden Bay is home to a significant seabird colony.

The Eye. Among the most iconic of South Tyneside’s outstanding selection of public art, make sure you peer through The Eye for stunning views of the pier and the sea.

Hebburn Central. This £13 million development, which includes swimming pools, sports and dance halls, a library and cafe, has picked up national awards for its impact on the community since opening two years ago, and its architecture is truly striking.

You can read more about South Tyneside in our free 33 page guide. Enter your email below for a free copy.

Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Please send me the free guide to South Tyneside…
(No spam we promise, we will not re-use or re-sell your email address).

Here is a short South Tyneside tourism video to watch while you wait for your email to arrive…

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Leaflets & Guidebooks

South Tyneside Guide – Families

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields

The latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside is out. Request your own free 33 page copy of the guide below.

Here is an extract from the latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside…

South Shields Coastline Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Family Favourites

South Tyneside is jam-packed with fun things to do and great places to visit. Plan your next family outing with this handy guide.

Haven Point. This state-of-the-art leisure centre on the seafront at South Shields comes complete with two pools, a sauna, a steam room, a gym, two dance studios and a cafe. Oh yeah, and there are some wicked water slides in the leisure waters area, along with a bubble spa and a water play area. Dive in.

Jarrow Hall. A fantastic new attraction where little historians can learn more about one of the North East’s most famous names: the Venerable Bede. Animal-lovers will delight in wandering around the farm, meeting pigs, goats and other animals.

Marsden Bay. At this beautiful setting, the whole family can clamber among the rock pools and watch the kittiwakes, fulmars, gulls and cormorants of one of England’s most important seabird colonies.

The Word. National Centre for the Written Word. One of South Shields’ top attractions, this new, state of-the-art venue is perfect for families – there’s even a whole floor dedicated to children. The library here is home to more than 70,000 books, StoryWorld is an immersive storytelling experience kids will love and 2017 sees the Shiver Me Timbers exhibit come sailing into South Shields, ready to take little landlubbers on a nautical adventure they’ll never forget.

Ocean Beach Pleasure Park. A classic seaside funfair full of timeless rides and high-tech attractions. Urban Wave, the only surf simulator of its kind in the country, allows your little beach dudes to try out surfing without getting wet, while the Laser Maze will test your agility to its limits. Can you get across the room without crossing the laser beam?

South Marine Park. The crowning jewel of South Shields’ seafront, South Marine Park boasts a miniature steam train, a boating lake and two play areas. In addition, there’s green space, picnic tables, a cafe and, of course, great views of the sea. Just next door, North Marine Park also offers stellar views. South Tyneside has loads more green spaces to enjoy too. Be sure to check out Cornthwaite Park at Whitburn, Drewetts Park in Jarrow and Tilesheds Nature Reserve in Boldon.

South Shields Museum and Arbeia Roman Fort. Discover the history of the area on a day out to this celebration of South Tyneside’s heritage which brings 4,000 years of history to life across two floors and is home to insects and reptiles at Creature Corner. While we’re on the subject of history, don’t forget to explore Arbeia Roman Fort — a key garrison and military supply base to other forts along Hadrian’s Wall. Learn about the area’s Roman history through re-enactments, falconry displays and gladiator battles.

The Dunes. Jump into the soft play area, get competitive in the bowling alley, get even more competitive in the arcade, then top it all off with a Sunday lunch. Find this popular entertainment venue on South Shields seafront.

The Leas. This two-mile stretch of coastal pathways, laid out along the 250 million-year-old cliffs, will lead you along the stunning shoreline from Sandhaven to Marsden Bay and Souter Lighthouse where inquisitive minds can learn about the smugglers that used to frequent the area. You’ll get some great views of the sea from your vantage point high above the waves, which also makes for a great cycling, dog-walking and kite-flying location.

South Shields’ Beaches. There are some great beaches at South Shields including both Littlehaven and Sandhaven. Water-sport enthusiasts love the shelter that the pier offers at Littlehaven, while Sandhaven is a great spot for building a sandcastle. If you’d rather keep your shoes and socks on though, why not go for a stroll along the promenade?

We All Scream for Ice Cream. There’s nothing quite like a day out with an ice cream to round it off. Fortunately, in South Tyneside, we’re pretty much spoilt for choice on spots to pick up a coneful of something creamy. Try Minchella & Co, Scoop and Bean or the Ghiaccio Ice Cream & Dessert Lounge next time you’re out and about.

The Shields Ferry. Kids love novel modes of transport, don’t they? Shun the car and jump aboard the Shields Ferry running between North and South Shields. It only takes seven minutes to cross the mighty River Tyne, but the kids will love it.

Family Events. There are plenty of events happening in South Tyneside that the whole family will enjoy. In 2017, the South Tyneside Festival’s summer concerts at Bents Park include acts such as KT Tunstall and Busted, while the Summer Parade will be entitled Once Upon a Time and take its inspiration from classic children’s stories such as Peter Pan and The Jungle Book. During the summer holidays, Kids Fun-Fest will run regularly at the Amphitheatre in South Shields and include performers, entertainers and a gunge tank!

You can read more about South Tyneside in our free 33 page guide. Enter your email below for a free copy.

Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Please send me the free guide to South Tyneside…
(No spam we promise, we will not re-use or re-sell your email address).

Here is a short South Tyneside tourism video to watch while you wait for your email to arrive…

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Leaflets & Guidebooks

South Tyneside Guide – Coastline

Home > Tyne & Wear > South Shields

The latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside is out. Request your own free 33 page copy of the guide below.

Here is an extract from the latest 2017 guide to South Tyneside…

South Shields Coastline Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

We Propose a Coast

To the finest stretch of seaside. cliffs, culture and heritage in the North East. and some amazing fish and chips: we salute South Tyneside’s coastline.

We’re not usually ones to get misty-eyed, but if there’s anything that’s likely to get us tearing up with North Eastern pride, it’s our coastline. There’s something to recommend every inch of its roughly 110 miles of coast, but there are few places as jam-packed with intrigue, fun, heritage and romance as the South Tyneside coast between South Shields and Whitburn.

Firstly, the romance. All coastline is gorgeous to varying degrees, but we’ve got some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous coastline of all here in South Tyneside. Take, for instance, its beaches: Littlehaven beach, sheltered from the worst of the weather by South Pier, is a watersports haven; and Sandhaven beach on the other side of the pier, with its soft golden sands and grand dunes, is ideal for a classic day out at the beach, ice creams and all. It’s not just good to look at either. Aside from the aforementioned watersports, both are ideal for your classic beach sports – volleyball, football, cricket, frisbee and the like – and a dip in the North Sea is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. There are countless hidden coves, bays, nooks and crannies all along the coast to explore, which is one of the best things about this bit of the shoreline. No matter when you visit, you’ll always be able to find somewhere which feels completely your own.

“There are countless hidden coves, bays. nooks and crannies to explore.”

Further down the coast, things take a turn for the rugged. The seven-mile walk from Littlehaven to Whitburn takes in some of the most staggering rough-hewn coastline in the region, with its ancient grandeur having captivated generations of visitors. You head across clifftops, past Frenchman’s Bay (a French ship ran aground there, hence the name) and towards Manhaven Bay and the uniquely-shaped humps of Velvet Beds – also known locally as Camel Island. The big draw here, though, is Marsden Rock in Marsden Bay. For the last 250 million years this limestone rock has stood in the sea, gradually being weathered into an instantly recognisable monolith. You might be so knocked out by it (or, you know, just a bit thirsty after your wanderings) that you fancy a pint – happily, Marsden Grotto, one of the very few pubs we know of which is in a cave, is close at hand.

The other icon of this part of the coastline is the National Trust’s Souter Lighthouse. As the first lighthouse in the world designed and built to be powered by electricity, it’s an internationally important piece of industrial history as well as being a brilliant place to take children – they’ll love the pirate play shop and the Marsden Rattler play train.

Closer to sea level, there are promenades and parks to explore too. South Marine Park is an absolute must: take a pedalo out on the lake, feed the ducks, take a ride on the miniature steam train (if there are three more exciting words in the English language than ‘miniature steam train’ then we’ve yet to read them) and then settle in for an ice cream at the incomparable Minchella’s, which has been the supreme dealer of lickable treats on our coast for decades. Before that, though, you need some proper fish and chips, and they don’t come any more proper than the multiaward-winning Colmans on Ocean Road.

Alongside the taste of tradition, you can also sample some of the most vibrant public art in the region. Take Littlehaven’s promenade, for instance. There, you can see the 22 life-size bronze weebles which make up Conversation Piece by Spaniard Juan Munoz, as well as two pieces by Stephen Broadbent which speak to the culture of this coastal community: The Eye, which looks out toward the sea to watch for ships coming home; and The Sail, representing the area’s seafaring past and present.

Between the coast’s culture, heritage and pure iconic landscape, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you come to explore it.

You can read more about South Tyneside in our free 33 page guide. Enter your email below for a free copy.

Free South Tyneside Visitor Guide 2017

Please send me the free guide to South Tyneside…
(No spam we promise, we will not re-use or re-sell your email address).

Here is a short South Tyneside tourism video to watch while you wait for your email to arrive…

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Freebies, Places to Visit

Free Entry Voucher For National Trust Properties

Home > Tyne & Wear

There are several National Trust properties in the North East and the voucher below entitles a family of four – one adult and three children under 18 free entry to a National Trust property (excludes bank holiday weekends).

The National Trust Logo

Several National Trust properties in the North East are excluded from the offer, namely Dunstanburgh Castle, Dunstanburgh Road, Craster, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 3TT; Housesteads Roman Fort, Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 6NN and the Farne Islands.

The voucher is valid nationally but if you are visiting our guest house the National Trust properties near to us are…

Cherryburn, Station Bank, Stocksfield, NE43 7DD.
Cottage and farmhouse, the birthplace of Thomas Bewick. Thomas Bewick is perhaps Northumberland’s greatest artist: a wood engraver and naturalist who revolutionised print art in Georgian England. Discover his tiny birthplace cottage and farmyard with glorious views over the Tyne Valley, plus a traditional 19th-century farmhouse, the later home of the Bewick family, with an unrivalled collection of his work and an exhibition about his life. Follow Bewick’s wood blocks on their journey to the print room, where regular Sunday afternoon demonstrations bring alive this intricate craft, or explore the delightful cottage gardens, farmyard and paddock walk, perfect for picnicking or playing with the kids. Full property information: Cherryburn, Stocksfield, NE43 7DD.

Cragside, Rothbury, Morpeth, NE65 7PX.
Extraordinary Victorian house, gardens and woodland – the wonder of its age. Enter the world of Lord Armstrong – Victorian inventor, innovator and landscape genius. Cragside house was truly a wonder of its age. Discover the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. It is crammed full of ingenious gadgets – most of them still working. The gardens are incredible. One of the largest rock gardens in Europe leads down to the Iron Bridge, which in turn leads to the formal garden. Children will love our adventure play area and exploring Nelly’s Labyrinth, a network of paths and tunnels cut out of a vast area of rhododendron forest. Full property information: Cragside, Rothbury, Morpeth, NE65 7PX.

George Stephensons Birthplace, Wylam, NE41 8BP.
Birthplace of the world-famous railway engineer. Discover the humble birthplace of great railway pioneer, George Stephenson, whose entire family lived in just one room. Our costumed guide tells the story of how challenging life was for mining families, like George’s, that once crammed into this now charming little stone cottage, nestled in a pretty garden near the river Tyne. Full property information: George Stephensons Birthplace, Wylam, NE41 8BP.

Gibside, Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, NE16 6BG.
Stunning 18th-century landscape garden and haven for nature. A taste of the country on the edge of the city. Discover fine Derwent Valley views, winding paths and refreshing open spaces while exploring our elegant buildings and ruins. Gibside is a Georgian ‘grand design’ on a spectacular scale. The vision of coal baron George Bowes, the Palladian chapel is an architectural masterpiece, the stable block is a vibrant learning and discovery centre, and the once grand hall is now a dramatic shell. Gibside is also a haven for wildlife with red kites often circling in the skies above. After centuries of decline, we’re restoring Gibside for people and nature. Come for events every weekend, escape along the avenue for miles of tranquil walks and picnic spots or enjoy family fun at our adventure play area and woodland play trail. Food also runs through Gibside’s veins, whether in our bustling walled garden, cafe, local farm shop or twice monthly farmers’ market. Full property information: Gibside, Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, NE16 6BG.

Holy Jesus Hospital, City Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2AS.
An extraordinary mix of architecture from over seven centuries. The Holy Jesus Hospital survives amid 1960s city-centre developments, displaying features from all periods of its 700-year existence. The National Trust’s Inner City Project is now based here, working to provide opportunities for inner-city dwellers to gain access to and enjoy the countryside on their doorstep. Full property information: Holy Jesus Hospital, City Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2AS.

Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 2SH.
Romantic 16th-century castle with spectacular views. Location has always been the main attraction for the owners and occupiers of Lindisfarne Castle. From a former fort to the holiday home of a wealthy Edwardian bachelor seeking a quiet retreat from London, the idyllic location of the Castle has intrigued and inspired for centuries. The renovation by Arts and Crafts architect Edwin Lutyens both hides and emphasises the old fort, all the while overlooking Gertrude Jekyll’s enchanting walled garden and the unexpected grandeur of the Lime Kilns, an imposing and striking reminder of Lindisfarne’s industrial past. Full property information: Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 2SH.

Ormesby Hall, Ladgate Lane, near Middlesbrough, TS3 0SR.
The Pennyman family’s intimate 18th-century mansion. Home of the Pennyman family for nearly 400 years, this classic Georgian mansion, with its Victorian kitchen and laundry, attractive gardens and estate walks, provides lively resources for local schools and community groups, and a unique venue for wedding ceremonies and corporate events. Experience the spirit of the intimate home of Colonel Jim Pennyman, the last of the Pennyman line, and his arts-loving wife Ruth, as well as the stylish legacy of the 18th-century character ‘Wicked’ Sir James Pennyman – so named because of his extravagant lifestyle and his gambling with the family fortune. Full property information: Ormesby Hall, Ladgate Lane, near Middlesbrough, TS3 0SR.

Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Coast Road, Sunderland, SR6 7NH.
A marvel of its age. Souter is a special place all year round and was the first lighthouse in the world designed and built to be powered by electricity. Opened in 1871, decommissioned in 1988, the National Trust acquired it and opened it to the public in 1990. Souter remains an iconic beacon, hooped in red and white and standing proud on the coastline midway between the Tyne and the Wear. The Leas is a two and a half mile stretch of magnesian limestone cliffs, wave-cut foreshore and coastal grassland. The cliffs and rock stacks of Marsden Bay are home to nesting Kittiwakes, Fulmar, Cormorants, Shags and Guillemots. Full property information: Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Coast Road, Sunderland, SR6 7NH.

Wallington, Cambo, near Morpeth, NE61 4AR.
Magnificent estate where politics and play came together in the heart of Northumberland. Discover Wallington, much-loved home to generations of the unconventional Trevelyan family. Visit the impressive, yet friendly house, and explore the history of Northumberland in the huge pre-Raphaelite paintings around the remarkable Central Hall. Be inspired by the beautiful furniture, family paintings and treasured collections. The Trevelyans loved being outdoors and close to nature and the house is surrounded by an informal landscape of lawns, lakes, woodland, parkland and farmland, just waiting to be explored. There is even a beautiful walled garden hidden in the woods, a colourful haven of tranquillity in all seasons. Full property information: Wallington, Cambo, near Morpeth, NE61 4AR.

Washington Old Hall, The Avenue, Washington, NE38 7LE.
Manor house associated with the family of George Washington, first president of the USA. At the heart of historic Washington village this picturesque stone manor house and its gardens provide a tranquil oasis, reflecting gentry life following the turbulence of the English Civil War. The building incorporates parts of the original medieval home of George Washington’s direct ancestors, and it is from here that the family took their surname of ‘Washington’. Much used and loved by local schools and community groups, including a hugely supportive Friends organisation, the Old Hall is also popular with couples wanting intimate wedding ceremonies and companies organising corporate events. Full property information: Washington Old Hall, The Avenue, Washington, NE38 7LE.

Seaton Delaval Hall, The Avenue, Seaton Sluice, NE26 4QR.
More than a great house, it is a truly amazing place. Seaton Delaval Hall is a great house set in its own estate with lovely gardens and a fine collection; yet it is also much more. It is a signpost pointing to the diverse history of a family which acquired land here in the late 11th century. The house occupies the site of a Norman settlement, and its original Norman chapel remains in use today. Built between 1719 and 1730 for Admiral George Delaval, it is not only the finest house in the north east of England, but also among the finest works of its architect, Sir John Vanbrugh, one of the masters of English Baroque. For 900 years, the estate has been a stage for drama, intrigue and romance while the surrounding landscape has fuelled industrial revolution. The house has survived terrible fires, military occupation and potential ruin. Now it provides an amazing space for arts, heritage and the community to come together. Full property information: Seaton Delaval Hall, The Avenue, Seaton Sluice, NE26 4QR.

The voucher you need to print and take with you is below…

For more National Trust related posts on our blog click here: National Trust.

For more Lindisfarne related blog posts click here: Lindisfarne.

For more Gateshead related blog posts click here: Gateshead.

For more Newcastle upon Tyne related blog posts click here: Newcastle upon Tyne.

For more Northumberland related blog posts click here: Northumberland.

For more Sunderland related blog posts click here: Sunderland.

For more Washington related blog posts click here: Washington.

For more freebies on our blog click here: local discounts and special offers. For other local discounts and special offers on our blog click here: discounts and special offers.

More ideas of places to visit while staying with us can be found here: Places To Visit.

If you are looking for hotel accommodation near any of these National Trust properties in the North East our bed and breakfast availability is here: online booking. Room information including photographs can be found on the bedrooms page of our website.

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