Sunderland Mini Guide
Sunderland in a Nutshell
Sunderland is a city in the north east of England. A former coal mining and ship building town, the town has undergone a huge transformation in recent years especially around the dockyards area. It has shed its grim image of previous years and is now seen as a vibrant city with great nightlife.
How Would I get There?
If travelling from abroad the nearest airport would be Newcastle International Airport
and from there you can take a rail link into the city of Sunderland. National Express has coach services from all over the UK and there are trains to Sunderland Central Station from London
on Grand Central Railways. Once you are there, you can get around the city by using the Tyne and Wear Metro or bus service.
What can I do in the City?
The Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens is a good place to start. There you can discover the history of the city and see the tropical oasis of plants from around the world. You can visit the Sunderland Glass Centre for historic and scientific information about glass and its production. Herrington Country Park was a former coal mine and now is parkland and a conservation area for when you need a quiet moment. If you love art, visit the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art.
What Else can I do?
Enjoy the beautiful beaches at Roker and Seaburn or get with the locals and see a football match at the Stadium of Light. If football is not your thing, see a Broadway style show at the Empire Theatre.
Out and About
Visit the picturesque town of Washington and see the Old Hall where generations of George Washington’s ancestors have lived. Take a look at the unusual 14th century Hylton Castle, which was originally built of wood in 1066 and was rebuilt exactly to the same design in stone in the 14th century. To discover more about the mining heritage of the area, visit the North East England Mining Archive and Resource Centre.
After Dark and Eating out
One of the best places to eat out is at the Seaburn Strip, there are restaurants offering many styles of cuisine. You can have a curry at Shagorika or Italian at Gabriele’s. Sunderland was voted one of the best nights out in the UK, as it has a circuit of 65 bars and 9 clubs in the city. If it's just two of you, you could go to are Paddywhack’s, an Irish theme bar with live music and then go next door to The Glass Spider, which is open until 4am.
What’s the Shopping Like?
Bridges Shopping Centre has over 100 high street name stores or you can find independent stores and boutiques in the city’s Victorian streets. To take home a special item from the area, choose a piece of art from a local gallery or buy ceramics or jewellery from one of the museum shops.
The Best Western Tavistock Roker Hotel is a modern hotel with sea views across Roker Beach. It has two restaurants serving Italian and Thai food and you can have a drink at R Bar and sit on the terrace next to the sea.
The name Sunderland was synonymous with shipbuilding on Wearside but today the city has risen from the ashes of industrial collapse to offer a great holiday experience. The Sunderland Museum has the highest number of visitors outside of London and offers a mind-blowing, visual and kinaesthetic journey through the history of the area.
From there, a short hire car journey gets you to the Glass Museum, built on the site of Britain’s first glassworks. Again, the museum’s owners have created a stunning experience for visitors. Finally, brave the waters off the beautiful Roker Beach, just outside the city.