Saturday, 18 April 2015

St Mary's Lighthouse

The third and final day of our break was spent visiting St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay. Isn't it beautiful.
Thomas insisted I did a bit of camera trickery of him holding the lighthouse - 'for your blog Mum'.
I've never been to Whitley before and was really bowled over by how lovely the coastline is. The place is absolutely spotless and you can see for miles. 
And although we didn't venture onto the beach further up the coast, plenty of other families did. 
The only commercialised bit near the lighthouse was an ice-cream van and a kiosk in the car park selling buckets & spades and brightly coloured fishing nets. My big girl didn't want to go rock pooling but there were plenty of little ones who were having a whale of a time jumping from one rock to another dipping their nets in and out of the pools of water.
Access to the lighthouse is via a causeway and with a 6 hour gap to get there and back in there was plenty of time to walk over even at Number 38 pace. 

As well as a few souvenirs the lighthouse also sells drinks and had we not just gorged ourselves on a lovely breakfast we would have sat in the garden with coffee and taken in the views.

Buried under this building are bodies of Russian soldiers. On their way to fight in the Napoleonic wars they were struck down with cholera and quarantined on the island. Their remains were discovered in the 19th century when a local couple obtained permission to build and run this pub. That is until they were evicted from the island for rowdy behaviour!
Inside the lighthouse our very own Pirate Pete purchased this flag.

And Mark bought me this egg cup - there's a lot of love for boiled egg breakfasts going on at Number 38 lately.
There is also a small room full of information about the island, the wildlife, the lighthouse keepers and the families that lived there. Enid Blyton fans might also be interested to know they filmed a Famous Five series here in the 1990's.

The cost of a family ticket to climb to the top of the lighthouse was £7 and here are Amy and Thomas on the first level.

And did I climb to the top? Not on your nellie. I went dizzy and my legs turned to jelly just taking this photograph. Amy and Thomas waving to me even from the first level sent waves of panic over me with me telling them sternly to hold onto the rail.

I knew deep down I wouldn't do it, but the biggest shock was Mark didn't want to go up either. So like the good parents we are we sent Amy and Thomas up on their own.

I must admit that although I could hear them chatting to each other all the way up I didn't relax until they were back down on terra firma.

Which is where I like all members of Number 38 to be, just so I can breathe again. 



  1. ha ha, love the way you send the kids up but stay safely on the ground yourself!

    What a gorgeous place. Looks so peaceful and beautiful.

    1. I know, we're terrible aren't we lol. Thomas is oblivious to obvious danger and I had visions of him leaning over to wave to me and falling over the side. I try hard not to convey any fears I have onto the kids but I was a nervous wreck waiting for them to come down. It really was a beautiful spot and I wish we'd allocated more time to Whitley but the clock was ticking for us to pick the dogs up from the kennels. xx

  2. Lovely pictures. I used to visit Whitley Bay fairly regularly with work years ago but all I remember about it is Spanish City (said with Tyneside accent!). Not even sure it's still there.

  3. The Spanish City is still there but it looks pretty neglected and they were actually putting boards up to fence it off when we were there. Such a shame the building has been left to go to ruin, especially when it's on such a beautiful coastline. xx

  4. I would rather stay on Terra firma as well! But sending them up to have the experience is good; I like knowing that the children can do things I might be too chicken to do!

  5. I justified it by telling myself It's all character building for them! Thomas really wanted to hold a snake once but was terrified so I plucked up the courage and did it first; he then had a go and was so proud of himself. But I'm afraid I draw the line at some things, generally where water and heights are concerned. xx