Whether you reside in North East England otherwise you’re planning a visit, Sunderland might not be excessive in your record of locations to go to.
My adopted house doesn’t get plenty of love, however having lived right here for greater than seven years, I’ve discovered it’s house to among the friendliest folks, unbelievable countryside and a burgeoning cultural panorama. There are enjoyable issues to do in Sunderland, I promise!
It’s typically missed by folks planning a UK metropolis break Up North in favour of neighbouring locations like Newcastle and Northumberland, however Sunderland is presently present process a facelift and has rather a lot to supply guests and residents.
Check out my record of one of the best locations to go to in Sunderland, from outside points of interest to hidden native gems.
Have I missed your favorite Sunderland exercise or most-loved location? Let me know in a remark or attain out on Instagram!
Best issues to do in Sunderland, England
1. Walk to the lighthouse at Roker
The picture-perfect lighthouse has been an emblem of Sunderland’s shoreline for greater than 100 years. When the tide is correct, anybody can stroll alongside the curved pier and see Roker from the bay.
If you’re eager to go contained in the lighthouse itself, e book a tour by way of Roker Pier Tours.
2. See a present on the Empire
Sunderland’s Empire Theatre dates again to 1907. Since its refurbishment in 2004, quite a few well-liked reveals have taken to the stage. The upstairs bar may be very stylish and the inside of the theatre has retained all of its grandeur regardless of the modernisation challenge.
I like to recommend a pre-theatre drink at The Dun Cow, a comfortable pub proper subsequent door. For pre-theatre eating, e book a desk at Aperitif. It’s featured excessive on my record of the greatest eating places in Sunderland.
3. Try a pink slice
Every metropolis value its salt has its personal must-try native delicacy, and Sunderland isn’t any exception. The Mackem favorite candy deal with is the Pink Slice, which is comprised of shortbread sandwiched with jam, and lined in pink icing.
You can decide up a pink slice at one among Sunderland’s greatest indie espresso retailers, Grinder. Bonus factors should you’ve tried their Pink Slice Frappucino!
4. Spend a wet day at Sunderland Winter Gardens and Museum
Looking for issues to do in Sunderland when it’s raining? Look no additional! The museum has some glorious everlasting exhibitions together with a ‘Time Machine’ part with among the most intriguing reveals from years passed by, a bit devoted to the town’s glass roots, and one which pays tribute to the realm’s mining previous.
There’s additionally a novel Winter Gardens which youngsters will love. Particularly in the event that they’re a bit mad about dinosaurs…
The museum is open Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm and there’s no cost often for admission, making it the most effective free issues to do in Sunderland.
5. Visit Penshaw Monument
One of one of the best views of Sunderland may be discovered from Penshaw Monument, a 70-foot-high National Trust web site. Formally named the Earl of Durham’s Monument, this landmark may be seen from everywhere in the metropolis.
Did it was based mostly on a well-known temple in Athens, Greece?
There’s a wonderful tea room, butcher and a nursery on the foot of Penshaw Monument the place you’ll be able to heat up and do a spot of purchasing earlier than you permit. I extremely advocate the self-serve milkshake machine!
6. Taste one of the best pizza in Sunderland
Wildfire Pizza’s residence at one among Sunderland’s greatest pubs, The Ship Isis, has taken the town by storm. With a small menu of tasty pizzas and fried hen nearly as good because the stuff I’ve had in New York City, this foodie expertise is a must-try in Sunderland.
Wash it down with a craft beer however be fast, as a result of you’ll be able to’t reserve tables and we’ve arrived with hungry bellies solely to seek out they’ve offered out of pizza greater than as soon as!
7. Have a drink in Sunderland’s most haunted pub
While we’re with regards to pubs, I couldn’t go away this one out. The family-run Museum Vaults on Silksworth Row is one thing of a Sunderland establishment regardless of its dimension. It has all of the makings of a correct British pub: a roaring coal hearth, a pooch or two chilling within the nook and actual ale on draft.
I’ve heard it’s additionally haunted, however I can’t discover something on-line that helps this. Does anybody know something about spooky goings-on there?
8. Unwind at Barnes Park
Sunderland has some lovely inexperienced areas for these days when the solar blesses us with its presence, and Barnes Park is likely one of the greatest.
It’s massive sufficient for a correct leg stretch and there’s a Victorian-style bandstand, bowling inexperienced and tennis courts in addition to a restaurant, the Coach House.
9. Sip a espresso bought from a horse field
In the hotter months, this is likely one of the extra distinctive locations to go in Sunderland. The New Plough Tea Trailer is the cutest little horse field that has been transformed right into a mini tea store. It may be present in Coxgreen and serves drinks and muffins.
Kids will love that there’s a play space and so they can pet the horses, and adults will love the views over the River Wear.
Plus, they’ve now obtained an indoor seating space!
10. Eat, drink and be merry at STACK Seaburn
STACK is the spotlight of Sunderland’s seafront. The transport container park homes quite a lot of impartial companies promoting meals, drink and even magnificence providers. There’s reside leisure and so they even have heaters to maintain you cosy in the course of the wilder climate months, making it a year-round attraction for Sunderland residents.
My private favorite eateries in STACK are Bao Down for Asian delicacies and The Little Cakery by the Sea for one thing indulgent to take house.
11. Climb Tunstall Hills
Another spot with glorious views of Sunderland is Tunstall Hills, a nature reserve. The space is accessible from Leechmeere Road, by way of Tunstall Road to the northwest and National Cycle Route 1, Silksworth and Ryhope to the south.
You’ll want good strolling boots within the wetter climate, because the grasslands can get muddy, however the views are value it.
12. Explore the National Glass Center
One of Sunderland’s high vacationer points of interest is the National Glass Center. Free glass-blowing demonstrations, lessons and exhibitions make it a very good place to spend a couple of hours immersing your self in Sunderland’s glassmaking historical past.
There’s additionally an on-site cafe referred to as The Glass Yard, the place you’ll be able to take pleasure in views over the river along with your meal.
If you’re on the lookout for an alternate wet day exercise in Sunderland, that is it!
13. Discover Herrington Country Park
Opposite Penshaw in Houghton-Le-Spring, you’ll discover a sprawling nation park with numerous walks and cycle trails. Herrington is one among Sunderland’s largest parks and it’s full of sculptures linked to the realm’s historical past.
You can feed the swans and geese, make use of the skatepark space or seize a espresso from the cafe and get your steps in.
Love Lily is opening in Herrington Country Park quickly, and I already know it will likely be a really welcome addition.
14. Shop, eat and drink at Mackie’s Corner
This newly revamped constructing carries plenty of historic significance in Sunderland. The imposing venue was constructed within the 1840s and has loved delight of place within the metropolis centre since.
These days, you’ll discover impartial companies together with a deli referred to as Fat Unicorn, a cake store at The Sweet Petite, a spot to get a drink referred to as Cafe 1851, a hair salon and even a gentleman’s clothes boutique, Master Debonair.
I believe Mackies Corner is likely one of the most visually pleasing locations in Sunderland!
15. Wander Sunderland’s Marina
The metropolis’s background as an necessary port and shipbuilding hub continues to be evident on the banks of the River Wear, however amble over to the Marina and also you’ll be rewarded with a tranquil space full of yachts and fishing boats.
It’s a pleasing stroll and often a lot quieter than the adjoining seafront.
An Italian restaurant referred to as Marina Vista overlooks the Marina, and youngsters will love stumbling upon ‘The Stone House’.
16. Rent an e-scooter to discover the coast
Sunderland has joined the plenty of different locations providing e-scooters to get round! The brilliant orange GPS-enabled scooters are straightforward to identify, and so they can journey at speeds as much as 20mph, with a battery lifetime of as much as 60km.
I like to recommend hiring one to zoom alongside Sunderland’s gorgeous shoreline, with stops for espresso and snacks when you take within the views.
17. Try your hand at water sports activities
Adventure Sunderland is a charitable belief positioned in Roker. They are an RYA (royal yachting affiliation) accredited coaching centre and a British canoeing coaching centre with absolutely certified employees, so that you’re in secure palms.
You can hire tools to go kayaking, browsing or stand-up paddle boarding. You may even be fortunate sufficient to identify dolphins when you’re on the water…
18. Spend a day on the seashore
One of one of the best issues about residing in Sunderland is that you just’re by no means removed from the seashore! As an island lady, that’s crucial to me. Start at Sunderland Marina and stroll throughout Roker and Seaburn to Whitburn.
You can stroll alongside the seashore itself along with your toes within the sand, or keep on with the promenade.
Just keep in mind to take your litter house with you or bin it. Let’s maintain our metropolis’s seashores pristine please!
19. Fit in a yoga class
Sunderland’s yoga hub, Wellness Space, is settled into its new location on the Beacon of Light and so they’re nonetheless providing their pretty mixture of vinyasa, rocket and yin yang lessons. In the hotter months, they even run lessons on the seashore.
Wellness Space additionally run unimaginable yoga retreats. I did one in North Yorkshire that I completely liked. You can discover out extra on their web site.
20. Watch the Sunderland Air Show
Every yr however 2022, Sunderland performs host to the biggest airshow in Europe. The enjoyable stretches over a weekend in July, with flying shows from the Red Arrows and enviornment occasions. There are RAF, Army and Navy villages and plenty of native merchants.
21. See Sunderland shine on the Festival of Light
Another of Sunderland’s much-loved annual occasions is the Festival Light, which takes place in Roker Park in direction of the tip of the yr. The occasion is ticketed and youngsters specifically love the magic of the dazzling shows.
22. Wander in Mowbray Park
Hidden in Sunderland’s metropolis middle, there’s an expanse of inexperienced area that may take you unexpectedly. The serene Mowbray Park has a pond with geese you’ll be able to feed, a bandstand and a play park. See if you’ll find the magic doorway!
23. Visit the followers museum
Another indoor place to go to in Sunderland, the Fans Museum has a large assortment of soccer memorabilia.
It’s value checking opening instances on their web site as they’re not open on a regular basis, however they do attempt to accommodate anybody who has travelled to go to Sunderland from abroad if attainable.
24. Burn some vitality on the climbing wall
Sunderland Wall in Pallion Quay is a superb facility should you’re on the lookout for a enjoyable exercise in Sunderland. Offering teaching, programs and youngsters’ events and lessons, it’s one of many largest indoor climbing amenities within the UK.
Keep it in your again pocket for if you want an energetic factor to do in Sunderland when it rains!
25. Visit Hylton Castle
Did that Sunderland has an English Heritage web site? Hylton Castle is a particular constructing that dates again to earlier than 1400. You can e book a guided tour on their web site, or go to the tearoom.
26. Get artistic at Arts Centre Washington
There’s masses on at Washington’s Arts Centre should you’re at a free finish. You can maintain updated with their upcoming occasions on their web site.
Expect actions like ‘Drink and Draw’ life drawing classes, free artwork classes for younger folks, theatre, exhibitions and extra.
27. Catch a present at The Fire Station
The Fire Station is an 18 million pound reside music and efficiency venue in Sunderland that may host as much as 800 folks. As effectively as an auditorium, it has bars, a restaurant, dance and artistic writing studios and the Parade Ground, a 600-capacity outside efficiency area with its personal stage and bar.
The former working Fire Station places on as much as 300 occasions a yr – take a look at what’s on at their web site.
28. Go to the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
Another cultural attraction in Sunderland, the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art is open 10am to 5pm contained in the National Glass Centre. Admission is free and there are a variety of awe-inspiring collections.
You can examine what’s on on the gallery right here.
29. Shop sustainably at The Sunshine Co-operative
If you’re making an attempt to reside a extra eco-friendly existence, this little gem in Sunniside is a must-visit.
Take your personal refillable bottles alongside and replenish on all of your sustainable necessities, from pantry staples to cleansing merchandise. You may decide up recent, natural native fruit and greens.
As a lot meals as attainable is sourced inside a 30-mile radius of Sunderland metropolis centre (they even have their very own little backyard out the again), so that you’re actually supporting the native financial system if you select to buy right here.
30. See the Stadium of Light
No record of issues to do in Sunderland could be full with out mentioning the native soccer group. Sunderland followers’ dedication to the group has even made it to Netflix!
A recreation on the Stadium is a Sunderland must-do, however should you’re not into soccer you too can expertise one of many many reside occasions going down there all year long. I noticed Spice Girls there some time again and it was good.
31. Take a stroll in Roker Park
If you tire of the seashore (not attainable), head inland to the enchanting Roker Park.
Roker Park has a playground with a miniature prepare journey, a boating lake and a Victorian bandstand. I like to recommend choosing up some lunch from the close by Cole Kitchen and having fun with it on one of many park benches.
32. Shop at Jacky White’s Market
Another Sunderland establishment, Jacky White’s indoor market is housed within the Sunderland Bridges purchasing centre. The market caters to all, promoting every little thing from recent produce to indoor decor, and cleansing merchandise to upcycled gems.
The market is open from 9 am till 5 pm every single day besides Sundays.
33. Explore Souter Lighthouse and The Leas
Sitting excessive on the windswept clifftops, Souter Lighthouse is a National Trust web site on Sunderland’s coast that has its personal espresso store and a secondhand bookshop. You can go to to study life as a lighthouse keeper and discover the Local Nature Reserve.
The surrounding space made up of reclaimed colliery land is well-liked amongst runners and cyclists. I like to recommend packing a picnic and claiming your spot on the grass in the summertime months.
34. Ryhope Engine Museum
Still on the lookout for indoor actions in Sunderland? Located in Ryhope Pumping Station, the Engine Museum is an attention-grabbing place to go to in Sunderland. The Grade II listed constructing is a historic focal point and the working engines are saved in working order for guests to see.
Find out extra on the Facebook web page.
35. Hit the slopes at Silksworth Sport Complex
Want to study to ski however can’t afford the journey to Val d’Isère? Recreate the ski resort vibes in Silksworth! With three ski slopes together with a 160mmain slope and two nursery ski slopes, the Sport Complex is the one place to ski in North East England.
Find out extra right here.
36. See the brand new pit pony sculpture in Keel Square
As a part of the continuing reinvigoration of Sunderland metropolis middle, Keel Square has had a facelift. One of the brand new additions is the pit pony sculpture.
There’s additionally an set up that celebrates the town’s maritime previous and fountains that you just’ll typically discover youngsters enjoying in in the course of the summer season months. In the winter, an ice rink takes over the sq. and there’s a bunch of different occasions going down right here all year long.
37. Follow St Peter’s Sculpture Trail
This treasure hunt model Sunderland exercise will educate little ones to understand the town’s historical past. Sculptor Colin Wilbourn and author Chaz Brenchley collaborated with Sunderland’s residents to create a path that can stimulate your thoughts throughout a leisurely stroll.
My favorite is the collection of three doorways referred to as ‘Passing Through’, which are supposed to characterize the previous, current and future.
38. Indulge at Love Lily
Love Lily is an absolute haven for anybody with a candy tooth, myself included. The Instagram-friendly cafe, full with candyfloss pink branding, serves scrumptious cooked breakfasts and one of the best collection of candy treats in Sunderland.
My private favourites are the white chocolate and raspberry cookies and milkshakes. Although I’m slowly however absolutely working my method by way of the menu!
Sunderland is decided to win the hearts of extra than simply its diehard residents, and I for one can’t wait to see what the town has in retailer for us. There’s numerous thrilling exercise across the river for the time being, so I’ll do my greatest to maintain this Sunderland information as up-to-date as attainable as extra points of interest are added to the vacation spot.
In the meantime, touch upon what you’re keen on about Sunderland under and share this along with your followers on social media to maintain them impressed! Now inform me, how most of the greatest issues to do in Sunderland are you able to say you’ve completed?
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