Whitburn Wander - Souter Lighthouse

Length of walk

Distance: 1.5 miles (can be varied)

Time: 1 to 1.5 hours.

Type of walk

Paths vary between wide tarmac and narrow gravel so are not accessible for pushchairs or wheelchairs, however the main coastal path from the car park to Souter Lighthouse and beyond is accessible.

Full details can be found on the Souter Lighthouse website.


Look out for the different types of birds and stunning views.

Where to start

The walk starts in Whitburn Coastal Park car park (pay and display, free to National Trust members), signposted from the A183 Coast Road. The E1 bus stops within a few minutes' walk.

There is a café and toilets at Souter Lighthouse. You can also visit the lighthouse which is a National Trust property and charges apply. Please check opening times and more details on the Souter Lighthouse website.

Step 1

If using public transport walk down the grassed path alongside the road down to the car park.

Start your walk on the gravel path to the right, half way down to the car park.

Step 2

Turn left at the information board for the Local Nature Reserve and follow the main gravel path. 

Stop off at the viewing screens for a spot of bird watching across Whitburn Nature Reserve.

Step 3

Continue along until you reach a stone wall with a wide gap.

From here you have stunning views down the coast to Seaburn, Roker and beyond.

Step 4

Go through the gap and take the narrow path immediately to your left, continue straight to the end and rejoin the coastal path by turning left.

Look out for:

  • As you head towards the lighthouse you will see arches, stacks and caves formed in the Magnesian limestone cliffs.
  • Nesting seabirds such as cormorants, kittiwakes, fulmar and herring gulls.

Did you know?

The red-listed tree sparrows are nesting and breeding on The Leas and in Whitburn Coastal Park. Learn more about the tree sparrows.

Want to know more about the types of birds you might be able to see on your walk? Visit Wildlife at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas.

Step 5

Continue along the main path passing The Wherry where there is an information board.

Look out for: 

  • On a clear day you can see for miles up the coast towards Whitley Bay and Blyth.
  • Can you spot the wind turbines out at sea?

Did you know?

The Wherry is a man-made cove. Learn more about the history of The Wherry.

Step 6

If you are heading back to the bus stop or you wish to visit Souter Lighthouse / café / toilets: 

  • Go through the gap in fence and take narrow grass path to the left.
  • Head towards lighthouse and enter foghorn field through the green gate, continue up through the field to the steps.
  • At the top of the steps turn right and follow the building around to the main entrance.
  • There's a narrow road opposite the main entrance which takes you back to the Coast Road for bus stops.

Or if you are not heading back to the bus stop or the Souter Lighthouse / café / toilets: 

  • Just before the gap in the fence (with Souter Lighthouse up to your left) double back to your left up the wide grass path.
  • Continue onto the tarmac path uphill towards the Souter Lighthouse car park then take the left hand fork.
  • Continue along this path back to the car park where you started, enjoying the panoramic views of the coast. 

Map and map key

From the bus stop

Whitburn Wander 1

  1. Souter Lighthouse
  2. Car Park
  3. Bird viewing screen
  4. Toilets / Cafe

From the car park 

Whitburn Wander 2

  1. Souter Lighthouse
  2. Car Park
  3. Bird viewing screen
  4. Toilets / Cafe