10 Best Things To Do In Sunderland, UK

best things to do in sunderland uk

Sunderland is situated at the mouth of the River Wear and dates back to 1179 when a small fishing village was granted a charter. Over the centuries, Sunderland grew as a port, trading coal and salt and was once famously hailed as the largest shipbuilding town in the world. The banks of the River Wear, at one time covered in shipyards, is now adorned with expensive apartment blocks, the National Glass Centre, and the impressive Stadium of Light. The creation of the University of Sunderland in 1992 has helped to turn Sunderland into a young, vibrant city with a great nightlife. Read on to learn about the best things to do!

1. National Glass Centre

You’ll never look at, or through, glass in the same way again. National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland is a cultural attraction and venue with a difference. With glass at the heart of everything they do, they reflect Sunderland’s glass making heritage and celebrate the work of contemporary artists working at the cutting edge of their field.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to have a go yourself by taking part in a glass blowing experience. There are also regular glass-based kids’ activities, particularly around school holiday times. You can pick up your own souvenir or stunning example of glass art in the gift shop before taking a well-earned rest in the restaurant with its captivating views out onto the River Wear.

National Glass Centre

Address: Liberty Way, SR6 0GL Sunderland, UK

Website: National Glass Centre

Phone Number: +44 191 515 5555

2. Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

Discover Sunderland’s fascinating history in one place. With a collection dating back to 1846, there are plenty of surprises at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. In the museum, discover the history of the city from its prehistoric past to the present day. Exciting displays interpret the wide variety of collections, using hands-on exhibits, computer interactives, and video presentations.

The art gallery features paintings by L.S. Lowry together with Victorian masterpieces and artifacts from the four corners of the world. The amazing new Winter Gardens is home to over 1,500 of the world’s most exotic and unusual flowers and trees. The gardens also include exciting water features and a stunning treetop walkway, from which visitors can look down on the plants below.

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

Address: Burdon Rd, SR1 1PP Sunderland, UK

Website: Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

Phone Number: +44 191 561 2323

3. Hylton Castle

The monument includes the site and remains of a medieval fortified house modified throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The only upstanding remains of the house are the gatehouse tower. The gatehouse was built by Sir William Hylton. The castle is the second oldest building in Sunderland and is situated in its own grounds alongside St. Catherine’s Chapel. This historic site has recently been given a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) award to bring the 14th century Hylton Castle back into community use.

Hylton Castle

Address: English Heritage, North Hylton, SR5 3PA Sunderland, United Kingdom

Website: Hylton Castle

Phone Number: +44 370 333 1181

4. Penshaw Monument

Get some fresh air and take in stunning views from this 21-meter (70-foot) high monument, at the top of Penshaw Hill. Penshaw stands magnificently above the city on a limestone hill in the middle of the Great North Forest. Most sources suggest that it is a half-sized replica of the ancient Temple of Hephaestus (god of fire) in Athens, Penshaw stands magnificently above the city on a limestone hill with spectacular views as far afield as Durham Cathedral and the North Pennines. Penshaw Monument features on the club badge of Sunderland A.F.C. It is also reputed to be the home of the Lambton Worm.

Penshaw Monument

Address: Just off A183 Chester Road

5. Mowbray Park

Mowbray Park offers rest and relaxation, is home to many events and has plenty of things to see and do for the whole family. On top of the highest point at the northwest corner of Mowbray Park stands a bronze statue (listed grade II) by Percy Wood of Jack Crawford (1775-1831), Hero of Camperdown (11 October 1797). Commissioned in 1889 and paid for by public subscription, it was unveiled in 1890. A war memorial, designed by R.A. Ray and erected in 1922, stands set back from Burdon Road on the west side of the park. Described as ‘the jewel in the crown of the city center,’ the park is bordered by the Sunderland Museum and the more recently constructed Winter Gardens.

Mowbray Park

Address: 9 Toward Rd, SR1 2QF Sunderland, UK

Website: Mowbray Park

6. Rosebud Ceramics

❤❤I'm sitting here tonight making some very special keepsake jewellery and thinking how privileged I really am to be...

Posted by ROSEBUD CERAMICS on Thursday, 6 July 2017

Want a day out with a little creative edge? Take the kids to Rosebud Ceramics to make something special to show to all of their friends! Established in 2004, Rosebud Ceramics have brought an enjoyable, relaxing activity to Sunderland City Centre, covering the northeast. Anyone of any age and ability can achieve something special. It is a family run business based in Sunderland City Centre, offering pottery painting, 3D castings and outprints, parties, mobile visits, and personalized fine silver jewelry.

Rosebud Ceramics

Address: Unit 1d, Chipchase Court, SR7 0PP Seaham, UK

Website: Rosebud Ceramics

Phone Number: +44 191 521 4477

7. Sunderland Scuba Centre

Posted by Sunderland Scuba Centre on Monday, 1 June 2015

If you are a qualified diver looking for somewhere to dive or simply looking to start a new hobby then this is the place to do it. Sunderland Scuba Centre promotes an “open door” policy within the dive club and caters to all levels of diving from scuba diver right through to instructor level and beyond. They also charter boats on a weekly basis so that explorers can go out and put their skills into practice, alongside the regular international diving holidays that are organized through the center.

Sunderland Scuba Centre

Address: 4A Atkinsons Buildings, Trimdon Street, SR4 6AH Sunderland, United Kingdom

Website: Sunderland Scuba Centre

Phone Number: +44 191 567 0147

8. Gravity Force

Posted by Gravity Force Sunderland on Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Gravity Force Sunderland: The idea is simple: Bring people together, get active, get fit and have a ton of fun while doing so! Made up of 60 interconnected trampolines, two giant tumble tracks, and two basketball slam dunk lanes, it also boasts a huge pit containing over 5,000 cubes of foam and an extreme dodgeball court. The park also features a video/photo booth trampoline, which was the first of its kind, as well as three performance trampolines, which are not available in any other Gravity Force. Among the most popular attractions at the park is trampoline dodgeball.

Gravity Force

Address: Unit B Sunrise Enterprise Park, Ferryboat Lane, SR5 3RX Sunderland, England

Website: Gravity Force

Phone Number: +44 845 498 9049

9. Borneo Bistro

Posted by Borneo Bistro on Thursday, 10 April 2014

The family-run business serving up international cuisine has been top dining spot in the city. People are traveling from across the northeast and beyond to grab a taste of Chinese, Thai, African, Malaysian and more. You can easily reserve your table and enjoy amazing food and not only an amazing service but also lovely staff.

Borneo Bistro

Address: 162 Hylton Rd, SR4 7XU Sunderland, UK

Facebook: Borneo Bistro

Phone Number: +44 191 565 9505

10. Minchella's Fish and Chips

Fish and chip / ice creams Seaburn Sea front
Source: Photo by user rob bishop used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Posted by Minchella's Fish & Chips Seaburn on Wednesday, 25 May 2016

We love chocolate (who doesn’t?), but going for fish and chips on Good Friday may just be our favorite Easter culinary tradition. Probably the best fish and chips in Sunderland area. Enjoy tempting dishes here.

Minchella's Fish and Chips

Address: Dykelands Rd, SR6 8DD Sunderland, UK

Phone Number: +44 191 529 2757

Enjoy your stay in Sunderland, UK

Sunderland offers a myriad of activities from visiting Hylton Castle to enjoying culinary favorites at Minchella’s Fish and Chips. So book your trip now!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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