Opened in 1871, the Souter Lighthouse is a truly iconic feature of the landscape. Hooped in red and white, it stands proudly guarding the coastline midway between the Tyne and the Wear. Visit the historically significant lighthouse thought of as a “marvel of its age” due to it being the very first lighthouse in the world designed and built to be powered by electricity! Climb this iconic beacon’s 76 steps to the top of the tower and take in the amazing view. Learn about the life of a Lighthouse Keeper and his family and discover a lost village and the ghosts of industry past on your visit.
Just to the north of the tower, The Leas is a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of beautiful magnesian limestone cliffs, wave-cut foreshore and coastal grassland. There are plenty of birds to be seen, as the cliffs and rock stacks of Marsden Bay are home to nesting Kittiwakes, Fulmar, Cormorants, Shags and Guillemots. There is a risk of rockfall from the cliffs and Marsden Rock, and visitors are asked not to go within 10 metres of the cliff base. South of the lighthouse is Whitburn Coastal Park and Nature Reserve – reclaimed colliery land, now a haven for all kinds of wildlife.
The Engine Room is the heart of Souter. Discover how machinery provided power for the whole station and the operation of the foghorn. As a working lighthouse, Souter had six cottages for staff and visitors. Visit Keeper’s Cottage to see how a lighthouse keeper and his family lived during Souter’s working life. 76 steps lead to the very top of Souter’s tower; 54 to the first landing, and 22 more to the lantern room. Visitors venturing to the top are rewarded by sweeping coastal views and a close encounter with the huge lamp which floats on 1.5 tonnes of mercury!
The lighthouse is open 10:00 – 16:00, Sunday – Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Advance booking is not needed.