Pirate day at Souter lighthouse is an annual trip for us and something we all look forward to. Preparations started yesterday when we made our own treasure maps (using the traditional tea stain method) in the afternoon and I had updated our pirate outfits with a few bits and bobs from amazon.
Souter lighthouse is in Whitburn, Sunderland and it's distinctive red and white stripes are easy to spot. Pirate day is mostly held in the grounds for which entry is completely free! Parking is also plentiful and free but get there rely if you want a good spot as pirate day is very popular!
My children mostly enjoy running around the permanent wooden pirate ship with other pirates, pretending to walk the plank and hunt for treasure.
However there is so much more going on and most of it is completely free (or very cheap). There are bouncy castles (free), real life pirates wondering around telling stories and making balloon swords (free). There are pirate craft tables where you can make your own pirate hat and patch (free) or pirate badge (20p).
You can also partake in more elaborate tasks such as making a pirate skull or design your own pirate t-shirt (for which there is a charge) and of course you can have your face painted for £2
Most people take their own blanket and picnic and let their kids run wild. This is what we chose to do this year! There is such a good atmosphere and everybody is very laid back and relaxed. You can buy hot and cold drinks in the field or you can visit the tearoom for a snack or bite to eat. The food in here is delicious! All home-cooked and their cakes are to die for.
The lighthouse is open on pirate day and you can visit for a charge. It will be hard dragging your pirates away from all the action though so perhaps save this for another trip (it is worth another trip). You can climb right to the top, visit the innkeepers cottage, dress up and learn all about the history of lighthouses. Inside the lighthouse is interactive and the staff are very child friendly and informative (beware the last few steps to the very top are very steep - there is a chance to turn around before you get to this point though)
To find out more about pirate day and other events at Souter lighthouse, visit their events page.