Not being from the North East originally, there are many many places that I am yet to discover and explore; Marsden Rock being a prime example. I am sure that many people from the North East are well aware of the beautiful coastline between South Shields and Seaham. Marsden Rock was high on my list of places to visit now that my focus is purely on my local area. When we visited, we lucked out with some glorious weather and a relatively quiet beach meaning that Chester could go as crazy as he wanted.
Marsden Rock is situated a few miles south of South Shields (east of Newcastle) and consists of, you guessed it, a huge 100ft rock in the sea. The rock itself can be reached during low tide but that wasn’t possible when we went unfortunately. Not only is the rock an attraction in itself, I will make a claim that this has to be one of the best beaches in England. White, soft sand and high cliffs blocking the wind literally transported me to foreign shores; reminiscent of Mediterranean holidays. Not only that, I had a friend comment that he thought my photos were of much more famous sea stacks in Australia!
If this beach was on the South Coast of England, there is no doubt it would be all over the travel magazines and everyone would know about it. However, perhaps that’s part of its beauty; it’s in the North East and it’s grim up north apparently.
The other highlights are the Marsden Grotto, a pub right on the beach with the most unusual lift shaft, as well as the fact that Marsden Rock is home to thousands of seabirds. This is must-visit beach for pretty much everyone.
I mentioned the lift that takes you down to the pub but that’s only for customers and presumably people who are not able to clamber up and down the (very) steep steps. I forgot to count how many steps there were but it says 130 on Wikipedia so it’s not exactly a walk in the park.
Talking about walking, the coastline around this area is beautiful so why not head south and walk the short distance along the cliffs to Souter Lighthouse, the first lighthouse in the world to be powered by electricity.
We parked at the Marsden Beach Car Park at NE34 7AH and used the Pay By Phone app. I was pleasantly surprised to see how cheap the parking was; 1p per minute for the first hour and then £1 thereafter or £5 all day. There are public toilets just at the top of the steps which were rather impressive considering they’re public!
Let me know if you’ve been to Marsden Rock before and, if not, hopefully this will have gone some way towards sparking your interest in visiting. I’m still on a mission as I keep saying to prove that it really isn’t grim up north!
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