Thursday’s Special : St. Mary’s Lighthouse

Looking down at the reception area

Looking down into reception

You might have thought I’d gone to Paris, but I couldn’t resist one more Thursday’s Special before I go.  Much earlier in the year I paid an evening visit to St. Mary’s Lighthouse and I’ve been itching to go back ever since.  Saturday afternoon, warm and sunny at home, seemed to present the perfect opportunity.  I could have lingered in the garden, but that lighthouse was beckoning.

All too often my north east coast fools me.  As we turned down the coast road to Whitley Bay, the skies darkened.  The beach was shrouded in mist, and none too warm.  The planned saunter became a scurry up the lighthouse steps, to keep warm!  As I approached the causeway I was rather surprised to see a wedding car coming towards me.  What a spot for wedding photos!  Alas, I was a little late for the photo shoot, but I did get to see the bride.

Hand in hand!  No- this isn't the bride and groom

Hand in hand on the rocks- no, this isn’t the bride and groom!

It looks a little bleak today

It looks a little bleak today

But it's a good-looking lighthouse

But it’s a good-looking lighthouse

With some interesting outbuildings

With some interesting outbuildings

The last time I had been inside was with a school party when my son was about 6 years old.  I was curious to see what, if anything, had changed in those 18 years.


From the peeling condition of the walls, not a lot has changed!

From the peeling condition of the walls, not a lot has changed!

I wondered for a moment about the safety of climbing the stairs

I wondered for a moment about the safety of climbing those stairs

But there was only one way to find out!

But there was only one way to find out!

And I made it!

And I made it!


Got to go! Someone's waiting for me on the stairs

But I’ve got to go.  Someone’s waiting for me on the stairs

There’s something about a lighthouse, isn’t there?  Even though it’s not in the very best condition, I love that it still sits there in its incredible position.  The opening times necessarily vary, according to the tide, but in general it is open every day from May to September, and at weekends and school holidays in the winter.

Various events take place throughout the year.  The Ghost Stories Halloween Special on 31st October sounds like it will be a lot of fun. In addition to weddings, you can have a birthday party at St. Mary’s or even a Stranding Party at high tide!  I don’t know anybody who’s done that.  This link to their Facebook page will keep you up to date.

Let's share a bit of poetry, shall we?

Let’s share a bit of poetry, shall we?

And one last image

And one last warm image!

I hope your Thursday is special, too!  Many thanks to Paula, our lovely hostess.  Come with me and see what she’s been up to this week.  A bientôt!




  1. I seem to have missed a few of your posts Jo, sorry about that. I thought you had been away too so I’ve got some catching up to do! I love lighthouses and how wonderful that you got to go inside one like this. I think the weather was perfects for such a day out, very evocative! Great photos as always 🙂

    1. It’s hard work trying to catch up when you’ve been away, Sherri. I didn’t really expect you to backtrack. I was only missing 6 days for Paris and I can’t seem to get back on top of it 🙂

  2. Jo, you know that lighthouse’s flashing lights is down to a Swede – Gustaf Dalen.
    Beautiful post – and my favorite is that handsome man waiting for you in the stairs.
    As an old seadog – I have a fetish for lighthouses and I truly enjoyed this post.
    You have really developed as a photographer – and happy one. Excellent job and beautiful writing (again).

    1. You Swedes get everywhere, Vivi 🙂 🙂 I am a total sucker for a lighthouse too.
      I think my angles and things are better but I need to learn some technical stuff. It’s so disappointing when what you see in your head isn’t what’s in the photo. But thank you- you’re very kind 🙂

      1. Jo, it has a lot with luck too … it happens all the time to me – I have this fantastic image in my head and when I look at what Oscar has in his, not even close.
        I think you have developed so much and I feel I have too, it’s only because we use the cameras so much and thinking outside the box. Photos don’t have to be straight on and look like postcards to be good.
        Keep on doing what you’re doing.

      2. Wild and windy but not wet- yet! My ‘real time’ walk tomorrow is round a nature reserve with no shelter. Oh dear! Must settle down now to writing Montmartre or it will never happen. More hugs! 🙂

      1. Hi there, have really had wet feet today and now it’s half storm outside. They have warned for bad weather coming from US and UK of course.
        Now problem as such … my body need a good break from the heat. In Las Vegas will I be hot again.
        And thanks for being out there cheering me on. *smile

  3. The lighthouse was excellent to see, you showed us all aspects of its perspectives. I enjoyed the Robert Louis Stevenson quote, too! Hope you are off enjoying a lovely trip to Paris!

  4. Screw the missed wedding photo-op, your hand in hand capture is just *kisses fingertips* perfetto! And of course, love the dizzying cool-looking stairscase.

  5. Lighthouses always capture the imagination. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ugly one, maybe because things are aesthetically pleasing when form and function match, and the function of a lighthouse is unequivocal. Beachy Head Lighthouse is my favourite, I think. Those stairs would give me pause, I can tell you. I’ve become expert at avoiding them.

    I’m catching up! You’re off to Paris. Enjoy all the pleasures of that city: I’m depending on you to share them!

    1. Thanks, Meg. 🙂 I think I’ll need a brolly! Might hamper the photos somewhat but I’ll give it my best shot. I will be walking in Christine’s footsteps some of the time, and thinking of her. I’m glad the apartment she and Stuart shared wasn’t available though. That would be too sad.

  6. I know there is nothing that will stop you climbing for a view, Jo! I like the derelict nature of that lighthouse. Where are the bride and groom? Nice to see MIck in the stairwell! Tell him hello from the American. 🙂

    1. I’m no wedding photographer, Cathy 🙂 When we arrived at the lighthouse the bridal party were already milling about getting ready for the reception and I didn’t get a clear shot of them. 😦 Mick says hello back 🙂 Have fun in PR!

      1. Thanks, Jo. Oh well, I guess it’s kind of rude snapping pictures of a bride and groom you don’t even know! Sort of like paparazzi! Have a great time in Paris, Jo! 🙂

  7. It’s a beautiful white lighthouse. And I love the rocky shoreline. Although you had cooler weather than expected, the cloudy day suited a lighthouse trip. This weekend we were also surprised by the weather. We’ve had weeks of sunshine, but on Saturday, the day my sister, my daughter and I planned a hike in the foothills, thunderstorms were predicted. They should have been over by noon, but they weren’t. We were rained on three times while hiking. No matter. The rain was warm, and we had a nice, though soggy, hike. The forest has many faces. Saturday we experienced it in rain, lightning and sunshine.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful lighthouse, Jo! I admire you for going to the top. I could NEVER go up those stairs. Although I have a love of lighthouses, unfortunately I’ve never been able to climb to the top. My fear of heights keeps me on the ground looking up. 😦

    1. Oh, Jill! What a shame 😦 I can’t imagine having that kind of phobia. Have you ever sought medical or alternative help? I shall just have to enjoy scaling the heights twice as much, for you 🙂

      1. I’m sorry to report, I’ve never sought medical help for my fear of heights, Jo. Perhaps I should put “scaling a lighthouse” on my bucket list and just do it! In the meantime, please continue scaling for me…I’m a chicken. 🙂

  9. Bravo on climbing to the top on those dodgy looking stairs Jo! I’m still suffering pain in my foot/ankle from climbing up stone spiral steps in a castle three weeks ago! I’m getting fed up of not being able to walk far. I see you have changed your avatar too 🙂 Just in time for your Parisian fling…
    Jude xx

    1. Knockin’ on a bit’s no fun, is it, Jude? 🙂 I can say that because I’m safely out of reach.
      Must admit, having been Nordic walking this morning and to Dad’s in the Boro to clean this afternoon, I’m a shadow of my former energetic self. I need that Gravatar to remind me of youthful joy. 🙂

      1. Do you ever relax Jo? Actually Nordic walking sounds like fun. You must have quite an energetic community up there in Hartlepool 🙂

    2. I read on the bus to Dad’s. Does that count? 🙂
      I usually find I run around twice as fast trying to get stuff done before I go away. The Algarve’s usually fairly laid back (but not always 🙂 ) And I sometimes sneak some reading time in the garden.

  10. Thank you for taking us into the lighthouse Jo. So interesting to see those steps that wind on forever!
    Et bonnes vacances! I look forward to seeing the pictures of your holiday – I am sure you will go on many walks 🙂

  11. A wonderful tour and I love lighthouses. Perhaps being land locked all my life leaves me with coastal intrigue. I adored the photos of the staircases.
    On another note I have a post for early next week that would be a good fit for a Jo’s walk. I realize you are away so shall I link it to this past Monday’s walk with Jo?

    1. Thanks, Sue. Yes, that’d be great! I’ll be putting this week’s shares up on the following Monday (if I don’t fall down any French holes or anything inconvenient in the meantime 🙂 )

  12. What a fantastic tour Jo! Reminds me of Portland Headlight in Maine It might have been a misty and chilly day, but that’s the drama of a great lighthouse.

    1. It’s taking me a long time to read, Ann. I always meant to read ‘Loving Frank’ but I might not now. The characters are a little surreal to me but if there’s much basis in fact Stevenson had an extraordinary life. 🙂

  13. It’s great climbing up a light house isn’t Jo .. the anticipation of the view … shame ’twas a bit bleak … still … I’m sure there was a muchly colourful and brightness up there later with a wedding reception !
    Wow .. I should love the stranding party on a wickedly stormy night 😀
    You got all your fancy bits packed for your Paris trip then .. not long now 😉

  14. I LOVE your coverage of the lighthouse, Jo ! – what a wonderful place to be able to explore ! And I also love Stevenson’s poetry …

  15. It is a great looking lighthouse and your frames are fabulous. The pic with snail shaped staircase is wonderful, Jo. I am really excited to see what you will come back with from Paris 🙂

    1. Thanks, Paula 🙂 I had fun with this one.
      I was waiting impatiently for you to post this morning and almost hit the publish button before you did. A little self restraint was called for 🙂 I’m kind of jittery. I need to just pack and go but today’s a busy one. Take care!

      1. Thank you again. I forgot it was Thursday until 8 o’clock. In my mind I am still in the Alps chasing sheep :D. I love lighthouses of all shapes, and your is terrific. I am honoured you took time to do this before your trip. That new gravatar is so lovely 🙂 🙂

    1. It hasn’t seen paint in a while, Richard 🙂 Sunderland colours? I could get it a scarf.
      Can’t remember where you’ve been lately? I’ll come over and look.

    1. You know- I’m so busy pointing the camera, I forget to think about that kind of thing, Kan. 🙂 I have an ok head for heights unless I’m on a clifftop, then I can start to sway a bit. 😦

  16. I think I’ve been. Can’t remember. Def didn’t go inside though. Felt quite sick looking at those pix though. Not good first thing in the morning. I like the outside piccies though. There was some talk of Gibs lighthouse going as part of the plans to build a football stadium. Huh 😦

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