Exploring Souter Lighthouse and The Leas

Visitors walking along path to Souter Lighthouse and The Leas

Explore Souter Lighthouse and The Leas. Discover why Souter Lighthouse truly was 'a Marvel of its age'. Climb the 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.

The Lighthouse

The Engine Room is the heart of Souter. Discover how machinery here 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, 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 Leas

Stretching north from Souter, The Leas is two and a half miles of magnesian limestone cliffs, wave-cut foreshore and coastal grassland. The name 'Lea' means an area of farmland allowed to revert back to grassland and coastal formations, such as Marsden Rock and Trow Rocks, can be enjoyed from a cliff top walk.

The Coastal Park

Whitburn Coastal Park is reclaimed colliery land and includes tree planting, a bird observatory, viewing screens and wetland habitats. It was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2003 and a lottery funded project in 2011 saw the installation of new ponds by local charity the Coastal Conservation Group. In 2018, building work was completed on an artificial sand martin nest bank. You can read all about it here.

The Foghorn Field

The Foghorn Field is, surprisingly, where the foghorn is. It's a great place to relax with a coffee while the kids play and burn off some energy.
It's also the place for our outdoor events like our Souter sports days.

The Wildlife Garden

We're very excited about our new wildlife garden. The project was undertaken by local charity the Coastal Conservation Group and includes ponds, wildflowers, trees, berry bearing shrubs, bog garden, hibernation areas and much more - the perfect haven for wildlife.

Velvet Bed

Known locally as Camel Island due to its distinctive hump formation and used for picnics and bathing in the 19th century

Manhaven Bay

In the past the bay was used by local pilot boats to set out from when the Tyne was too rough. These small boats guided larger vessels to and from their moorings.

Frenchman's Bay

Named after a French sailing ship that ran aground, the bay was also used by smugglers. Can you see anything washed ashore?

Don't miss

  • Coastal walks
  • Climbing the tower
  • Discovering how a lighthouse keeper's family lived
  • Coffee and cake
  • Tea and scones
  • Flying a kite
  • Going on a seashore safari
  • Hunting for bugs
  • Spotting birds
  • Playing in the Foghorn Field
  • The wildlife garden
  • Pond dipping


There’s a lot happening at Souter. Keep the kids occupied with some half term crafts, join us for a clifftop adventure and search the rock pools on a Seashore Safari. Check out our events and find something for you.

Get Active

Whether you want to walk, run or cycle our green open space provides the perfect base for getting outdoors and keeping fit. Discover the history and scenic coastal views your way.