Home to colonies of seabirds in the spring/summer months
Marsden Rock is popular with tourists and local residents throughout the year. A wide variety of waders, which can include Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Purple Sandpiper, Redshank, Sanderling and Turnstone,; are regulary present, esepcially during low tides. During the spring/summer months this scenic coastal habitat is filled with activity as Kittiwakes, Cormorants and other seabirds such as Fulmars build their nests to help bring life to the next generation.
Migrants include Wheatear and Redstarts, during the spring and autumn. On occasions, less common birds come to visit, as they are blown off course during storms or as they wander into the UK on their travels during migration.
“The main centerpiece, the actual ‘rock of marsden’ now stands smaller, as sections had to be demolished following a major collapse of the original structure”.
A substantial portion of the rock remains, standing proud for all to enjoy. Cormorants nest high above; whilst Kittiwakes nest along the sides. Other speices to watch out for as the seasonal clock turns include Guillemot, Puffin, Black-throated, Great Northern and Red-throated Divers, Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes, Eiders; and Common and Velvet Scoters.
A car park is available adjacent to th Grotto which overlooks Marsden Rock. There are some stairs that travel from the car park to the beach. These are very steep, so care is recommended. The facilties at the Grotto can be accessed from the beach. At times there is a a lift within the Grotto premises which can be accessed without the need to use the coastal steps. The lift is not always available however.
Further down the coast at Whitburn there is a popular seawatching hide. Car parking is available close to the Seaburn Lighthouse and coastal walk. Keys for the bird hide are available to purchase from the lighthouse.
There is free access to the coastal shore and surrounding cliffs. There are some stairs which travel from the beach below to the car park, which is adjacent to the Marsden Grotto pub.
Food, drinks and toilets are availble for customers at the Marsden Grotto.
There is parking available which adjacent to the Marsden Grotto.
Further information regarding the birds recorded at Marsden Rock, is available from the Durham Bird Club. The club publishes an annaul report of species recorded in County Durham for a reasonable price.