North East

Souter Lighthouse to South Shields, Tyne & Wear

  • Distance

    6 miles

    Equivalent of walking up the Eiffel Tower 30 times

  • Duration

    3 hours

  • Difficulty


  • Terrain

    Maintained paths, fairly flat, no steep inclines

  • OS grid reference


  • Calories burned


    The equivalent of two regular Snickers bars

Route Info

Take a bracing walk along the rugged coastline between South Shields and Sunderland. This hike consists of cliffs of magnesian limestone, looking on to bird-covered sea stacks. The rocky stretch was once branded the most dangerous section of Britain’s coastline, with 20 shipwrecks in one year alone (1860).

Eventually you will reach the magnificent red-and-white-striped Souter Lighthouse. Built in 1871, it was the first lighthouse in the world to be designed and powered by electricity.

By retracing your steps to return to your starting point, you can double the walk’s length. And, at low tide, you can choose to walk along the beach for some sections, but make sure that you check the schedule in advance.

Kit List

  • Good walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Daysack
  • Hat, scarf and gloves
  • Seriously, don’t forget the hat, scarf and gloves!

Did you know?

Souter Lighthouse was the world’s first electric lighthouse

Route Highlight

This route is a magnet for wild birds, including kittiwakes, cormorants, fulmars, and razorbills.

Where to stop

Pop into the Marsden Grotto, which claims to be the world’s only pub-in-a-cave.