St Mary's Lighthouse

About St. Mary’s

Reached between the tides via a short causeway, St. Mary's has all the fascination of a miniature, part-time island.

The Lighthouse, completed in 1898 on a hazardous coast for shipping, remained operational until 1984 when it was superseded by modern navigational techniques. Since then the Lighthouse and former keepers' cottages have been operated as a visitor centre by North Tyneside Council.

The surrounding Nature Reserve contains an area of rockpools, clifftop grassland, a beach and newly created wetland habitats.

Climb the 137 steps to the top of the Lighthouse for the most spectacular views of the North East coast. If you cannot manage the steps, a video facility allows you to experience the same views, live and in colour, at ground level. Other exhibits explain the history of the Lighthouse and give an insight into the wildlife of St. Mary’s Nature Reserve.

Our shop can be visited without having to pay the Lighthouse admission charge. We have an extensive and unusual range of gifts, souvenirs, books, toys and cards and sell hot drinks and refreshments. A ramp, from the causeway to the island, provides an easier approach for visitors in wheelchairs, prams and buggies.

Getting here

The Lighthouse is a major landmark situated just north of Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear. Follow the brown tourist signs from the Whitley Bay turn-off on the A19 or from the end of the A1058 out of Newcastle.

There are large pay and display car parks on the mainland.

The Metro system can take you as far as Whitley Bay, where you will need to take a short walk from the Metro Station to Park Avenue. The No. 308 and 309 ‘Blyth’ buses travels every 15 minutes from here. Get off at Whitley Bay Cemetery for the island.

Group visits

Bookings are welcome from coach operators, schools, colleges and youth and community groups, and we can offer a wide range of programmes to suit your individual requirements. A warden service is available by prior arrangement. Private group visits outside of normal opening hours can also be arranged. Please telephone for details of facilities for meetings, training events, children’s parties and weddings.

Opening Times

Our current opening times, and causeway crossing times can be found in the document below:

Admission charges

Admission charges
Ticket type Cost
Adults * £4.30
Senior citizen or child * £2.20
Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children) £10.00

*EASE card discount applies

Related documents


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Contact us

St Mary’s Island
Whitley Bay
NE26 4RS

Telephone: (0191) 643 4777