Day 7: Seaham to Whitley Bay

What a lovely day! It’s been great to get back to some sensible coastline without huge factories everywhere.

Firstly, and very excitingly, I have seen my first “lighthouse in action” in the evening. I am staying in South Shields tonight and have just got back from meeting an old friend from school who I haven’t seen for 19 years as she moved to Durham with her family when we were 10. Really great to catch up (and there was so much catching up to do). So, I am staying just a road away from the beach here and I thought, on my way back, I’d take a small detour to see how the lighthouses on the ends of the piers are doing and one of them is doing just what a lighthouse should! If I look through the trees out of my bedroom window I can see the flashing every now and then. Very exciting!

So, my day started in Seaham where I was, unfortunately, not able to access the pier in which the lighthouse is on, but judging from some of the pictures I’ve seen of the waves breaking over it, it’s probably for the best! I also had a wander along the beach and took more photos of eroding cliffs (I think I’ll become a geologist)!

Sunderland was a great one (or should I say two). The two lighthouses are in Roker, one on the end of the pier and the other a short distance away in a park. I braved the walk along the pier, which is attacked by waves in some places. Fortunately, I managed to dodge them. The lighthouse is somewhat weather-beaten, but still standing and there was actually a light on in one of the windows, which I found odd in a pleasing way. The second lighthouse has a more modern look about it.

Souter lighthouse (pictured) was my third stop of the day. I was expecting it to be set further away from the road, but as I turned the corner there it was with it’s big, red and white stripes. The lighthouse itself is in fantastic condition (probably because The National Trust have to keep it that way to attract visitors)! The foghorn located in front of the lighthouse is huge and I imagine, if that goes off when you’re in the area, you won’t be hearing anything for days!

I then, rather quickly, passed through South Shields and saw the two lighthouses at the end of the piers (one technically classed as North Shields) and the intriguing red structure. I have since come back to these, of course, exactly as the rescue helicopter and lifeboats were finishing a rescue near one of the piers. Got some rather nice pictures of them as well!

Although it meant having to go back on myself for accommodation tonight I had enough time to travel on to my next stop and back. This one was on St Mary’s Island, essentially a large rock with a handful of buildings on it just north of Whitley Bay. The island is only accessible at low tide via a causeway, which is completely submerged when the tide is in. When I arrived it wasn’t accessible, but it looked just beautiful. 🙂