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The Marsden Grotto, South Shields

Categories: Caves, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
1/5 based on 280+ reviews on the web
The Marsden Grotto, locally known as The Grotto, is a public house located on the coast at Marsden in South Shields, Tyne & Wear, England. The pub is one of the very few 'cave bars' in Europe, other 'cave bars' include the Caves of Xoroi in Menorca. The Grotto is now a pub/restaurant serving mainly seafood.The Grotto is partly dug into the cliff face and fronted with a more conventional building opening onto the beach.Currently The Grotto includes a large bar, the inside cave with another bar and pool room, a bistro, a heated terrace on the beach and a full restaurant upstairs. Access is either by lift from the car park or by a zigzag staircase on the cliff at the side of the building. The lift is housed in a brick shaft rising from the front of the building.History of the GrottoJack the BlasterA lead miner from Allendale, Jack Bates and his wife Jessie moved to the area in 1782. It is alleged he moved into a small cave at Marsden Rock either after refusing to pay rent on his house in Allendale or simply having nowhere to live. Using explosives from a local quarry, he blasted the small cave into a much larger one, earning his nickname "Jack the Blaster" in the process and creating a rent-free and landlord-free home. The dwelling was accessed by zig-zagging stairs down the cliff, thought to be built by Jack. The unusual and eccentric choice of dwelling attracted visitors, which the couple supplied with refreshments at a cost. It is suggested that he became involved in smuggling activities - offering refreshment to smugglers using caves of the coastline to hide contraband cargo.
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  • My husband and I called in here one Saturday for our lunch whilst visiting the area for the day. The Marsden Grotto is accessed via a walkway then a lift which goes down several floors to the beach ar...  read more »
  • Beautiful scenery and Resteraunt / bar area looked nice. Sign outside said tapas, asked at bar and looked at us like we were stupid and said "we don't do tapas", when the sign outside said they did. P...  read more »
  • We visited the Changing Tides restaurant as part of South Tyneside restaurant week. The food was fantastic, as was the service, with a view second to none! We will return. 
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