Sunderland is a perfect choice for those who wish to explore a piece of Britain’s industrial history whilst staying in the comfort of a modern city in a beautiful riverside setting. Awarded city status in 1992 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Sunderland is now the largest city of the North East, with a population of nearly 300,000. England’s first centre for the production of stained glass, the city is enriched by a bustling industrial past stretching back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. Close to a particularly stunning stretch of English coastline, Sunderland graces the banks of the mighty River Wear. Modern developers have paid tribute to the role of glass in the city’s economy: new buildings such as the Stadium of Light sparkle in the sunshine, while exciting new projects are rapidly turning the city into the heart of the Northern art scene.

Visitors will be welcomed by the approachable, unpretentious atmosphere of this North Eastern city. Residents are still friendly with their neighbours and passers-by are always ready to stop for a chat.


Perhaps Sunderland’s most accessible attraction is the 'Art on the Riverside' sculpture walk by the North bank of the River Wear. Starting in the city centre, the walk features artworks designed by a team of artists drawing inspiration from the city’s history. The newly landscaped riverbank provides a great place for children to play whilst adults enjoy the beautiful views and relaxed atmosphere of this unique area of the city.

This walk takes you past another top attraction, the National Glass Centre, a modern, interactive museum and art gallery boasting stunning panoramic views over the Wear (admission free). Kids and adults will be enthralled by live glass-blowing demonstrations, and the beautifully designed café-restaurant provides a sophisticated setting to enjoy a cup of excellent coffee or luscious cake.

Further along the river, towards the striking marina, the Stadium of Light football stadium, opened in 1997, is frequently classed with the best football grounds in Europe. Tours are reasonably priced (£18/family ticket, booking essential) and provided from Thursday-Sunday throughout the year, and seven days a week during UK school holidays.


Sunderland’s commercial centre provides most high street shops, whilst the rapidly expanding Bridges Shopping Centre, also in the town centre, is heaven for shoppers with a vast array of goods under one roof, and adjacent multi-storey car park. Tourists may benefit from the fact that prices are generally cheaper in the North East than elsewhere in the country.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Sunderland’s nightlife has an exciting and youthful feel to it, and is enriched by the down-to-earth, chatty atmosphere of this area of England. The explosion of new developments in recent years has included an abundance of trendy new bars and restaurants, and the large student population ensures that the city centre is bustling on any given night of the week. The restaurant scene is multicultural with Italian cuisine being particularly well represented.

Those eager to experience Sunderland’s stylish bar scene should try the busy streets around the city’s public transport centre. More traditional pubs and bargain dining can be found in the city centre.

Tourist Information

Sunderland Tourist Information Centre50 Fawcett StSunderland, SR1 1RF0191 553


Sunderland is connected to nearby Newcastle by an efficient, clean metro service (travel time approximately 45 minutes). Newcastle Airport is less than an hour’s flight from London and currently receives fifteen flights from London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) daily.

Newcastle Airport Woolsington Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 8BZ Customer Information: 0870 122 1488

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