Sprawling around historic shipyards on the banks of the River Wear, Sunderland is an energetic city with a rich industrial past. It boasts cutting-edge galleries and one of England’s most popular history museums, as well as a working farm that showcases the lifestyle of the Anglo-Saxons.
Things to do in Sunderland
Walk across the architecturally impressive glass roof of the National Glass Centre, built on the site of a riverfront shipyard. Sunderland’s rich glass-making history is showcased in its museum, together with changing exhibitions and hot glass demonstrations.
Explore one of England’s most popular cultural institutions at the Sunderland Museum, which offers an engaging and visually stimulating look at the city’s history. Learn about the coal mining and shipbuilding industries that helped the city to flourish, then wander through the beautiful Winter Gardens that showcase more than 2,000 plant species from around the world.
Learn about one of England’s most famous monks at Jarrow Hall, an 18th-century Georgian building with a museum dedicated to the life and times of Venerable Bede. In addition to exhibiting stained glass, pottery and stone carvings excavated from his 8th-century monastery, the estate features a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon farm with traditional thatched-roof buildings and agricultural demonstrations.
Art enthusiasts should visit the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, one of the largest institutions dedicated to the niche in northern England. It’s renowned for its dynamic and ever-changing exhibitions of photographic works, paintings and new media installations.
Getting around Sunderland
Sunderland is about one hour’s drive from Newcastle International Airport and four hours by train from London. Buses access all corners of Sunderland and there is a thorough network of cycling trails.