History & Heritage

History & Heritage

South Tyneside is steeped in history, culture and heritage.

The area boasts a number of unique attractions and any visitor will find a selection of fantastic things to do and places to visit.

Highlights include:

Souter Lighthouse
The first lighthouse in the world to be purpose built to be lit by electric means. Explore this National Trust property and find out more about how lighthouses work, see the engine room and climb to the top of the tower to see the amazing coastal views below.

Arbeia, South Shields Roman Fort
Arbeia with soldiersWalk in the steps of a Roman soldiers at this fort which was once a military supply base for the whole of Hadrian's Wall. See the remains of the fort, discover amazing reconstructions of the West Gate and Commanding Officer's House (some of the best in the UK), and take a look at some of the amazing finds in the museum. There is free entry to the site.

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word
The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, opened in late 2016 and has proved to be a huge hit. The building itself has won numerous architectural awards, while inside is a rolling programme of exhibitions and events related to the written word. Our rich heritage is celebrated here in many ways, be sure not to miss their Local Dialects exhibition in particular.

Jarrow Hall
Find out more about the Venerable Bede and Anglo-Saxon Britain at this fascinating museum. There's even a reconstructed farm complete with rare breeds of animals that would have existed in Anglo-Saxon times. There's regular events and talks taking place to enjoy too. 

St Paul's Church and Monastic Site
St Paul's ChurchJust next door to Jarrow Hall is St Paul's Church and Monastic Site. This working church's chancel dates back to when the Venerable Bede once lived and worked here. Combined with the later built monastic site alongside the church, it's an atmospheric place to visit.

South Shields Museum
A free museum in the heart of South Shields Town Centre where you can find all about our rich heritage in one place. From Dame Catherine Cookson to ship building, Romans to Christian heritage, there's lots to discover. There's regular rolling exhibitions here too, including a great Spotlight Loan Programme of artworks, many regular exhibitions, a cafe and shop. 

Marsden Grotto and Bay
At the foot of the picture postcard Marsden Bay you can have a drink in Europe's only cave made pub, full of colourful stories from past smugglers. And of course the coastline itself is many years old and a must place to visit!

The Customs House
The Customs HouseStanding on the mouth of the Tyne The Customs House is our historic entertainment venue complete with theatre, cinema, art space, restaurant and function rooms. Hugely popular, on the outside it's a beautiful building and inside lots of great things to enjoy. 

This is only a selection of some of the things to do in South Tyneside related to history and heritage. Find out more at History & Heritage

It's advised to check opening times before you travel.