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Visiting Souter Lighthouse and The Leas with your dog

Close-up of a visitor holding their dog on a lead at the Vyne, Hampshire
A visitor with their dog | © National Trust Images/Karen Legg

Dogs are welcome at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas and there are plenty of experiences you can share with them while you're here. Find out about the facilities on offer for your canine companions, along with guidance to help ensure everyone enjoys their visit.

Our pawprint rating system

We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.

Souter Lighthouse and The Leas is a three pawprint rated place.

Three pawprints shows the very best places you can visit for a day with your dog. You’ll be able to take your dog to most areas, including indoors for a cup of tea and a treat. There’ll be clearly signed dog zones and dog-friendly experiences. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Where can my dog go?

Dogs love to run, play and explore The Leas and Whitburn Coastal Park, but please keep them under close control. For their safety, please put them on a lead near cliff edges.

Dogs are welcome on a short lead within the lighthouse grounds (the Foghorn Field and all areas within the white walls) and in the Lighthouse Café. Assistance dogs only in the lighthouse.

Please clean up after your dog. Bins are available across the site to deposit bagged dog waste in.

What facilities are available for dogs?

You'll find water bowls near the lighthouse. If you need water for your dog, please ask a member of the team.

You can treat your furry friend to a dog-friendly ice-cream from our café or kiosks on The Leas.

What do I need to be aware of?

Barriers along the cliff edges on Souter's coastline are not dog-proof; for their safety, please do not allow your dog to cross them.

There are no shaded areas in our car parks. We'd strongly advise against leaving pets in your car, particularly on sunny or warm days.

Please speak to a member of our visitor welcome team if you require more information during your visit.

The Canine Code

We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:

  • Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
  • Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
  • Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
  • Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.

Keeping control of your dog

Our definition of close or effective control is: ​

  • Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call
  • Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice, this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible
  • Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent
  • Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one
Adults and children look out the window of the lantern room in the Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Tyne and Wear

Discover more at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas

Find out how to get to Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

Our partners


We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade so that you and your dog can get even more out of the special places we care for.

Visit website 

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