Marvel at prehistoric cliffs and caves

Marsden, South Tyneside

The magnificent coastline of South Tyneside tells a story that stretches far beyond the stunning aesthetics of the golden sands and rugged cliffs.

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The staggering power of nature left its stamp on South Tyneside’s Marsden Bay long before any footsteps were made on the beaches. The dramatic limestone stack of Marsden Rock is surrounded by cliffs, caves and cracks that were formed almost 250 million years ago.

A favourite destination for wildlife as well as walkers, the cliffs here hold the largest seabird colony in the North East, with thousands of pairs of nesting kittiwakes, hundreds of pairs of fulmars, cormorants and herring gulls, and smaller numbers of shags, razorbills and lesser black-backed gulls.

Overlooking the sea is the red and white iconic hoops of Souter Lighthouse, the first lighthouse in the world to be purpose built for electricity. Or head to Marsden Grotto, a unique bar built into the caves.

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