Visiting Souter Lighthouse and The Leas with your dog
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
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.
Find out what family activities you could get involved with on a visit to Souter Lighthouse and The Leas
Discover where to eat, drink and browse for second-hand books during a visit to Souter Lighthouse and The Leas.
Discover more than just a lighthouse on this circular walking trail. Starting and ending at Foghorn Field, you'll take in views over Lizard Point, stop to watch the birds at Whitburn Nature Reserve and discover lots of history on the way.
Gibside is a three pawprint rated place. There are 15 miles of paths for you and your dog to explore, lots of facilities and they’re even welcome inside the coffee shop.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.