TYNE AND WEAR, WHITELY BAY, ST MARY’S LIGHTHOUSE

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I had seen the lighthouse on my flight in and never though that I would see it when I was there or even visit it.

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St Mary’s Lighthouse is on the tiny St Mary’s (or Bait) Island, just north of Whitley Bay on the coast of North East England. The lighthouse is accessible via a tidal causeway and is only open at specified times.The Lighthouse, completed in 1898 on a hazardous coast for shipping, remained operational until 1984 when it was superseded by modern navigational techniques.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. My entrance ticket was £1.50 – bargain.

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I climbed the 137 steps to the top. As I was going up, I heard a little girl and her dad, she was saying whilst in his arms “don’t look down daddy its scary” And its one of the scariest things I have ever done.

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This was the view from the first window I came across.

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It’s pretty scary being at the top on your own. I ran up the stairs and never looked up or down and when I finally got to the top I just thought “**** I have to get back down”.  As I was coming down, I could not look down – I held onto the rail just looking at the steps and trying not to think it was 137 steps down. And I was so pleased to get back to the bottom.

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