Things to do in Sunderland

Sunderland has a wonderful stretch of sea coast for you to explore. 


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Incredible heritage

Sunderland's history goes right back to the age of hunter-gatherer's, but it really enters the history books in 674AD with Biscop’s founding of Wearmouth monastery. Although the Vikings laid waste to much of the building in the 9th century, some parts do still survive inside the modern-day church. But the main reason to visit the monastery is to learn more about its most famous inhabitant, Bede. This Benedictine monk and medieval scholar is known as the 'Father of English History' thanks to his extensive writings. Listen to the Wearmouth monastery guides as they share his fascinating story and discover the England of the Middle Ages.

Coastline you’ll love to explore

There’s no time of year when a beach walk isn’t a good idea, from peaceful spring days with the promise of warmth in the breeze to sticky summer days, and winter walks where wrapping up is a must.

Also on the coast, and providing the perfect motivation to go for a long walk, is The Sculpture Trail. Created by sculptor Colin Wilbourn and writer Chaz Brenchley, the trail brings Sunderland’s past and present to life.

City centre

Sunderland’s city centre also provides all the entertainment options you’d expect from a bustling modern city. From bowling, betting, and trampolining to a night at the cinema, it’s all there.

You’ll also find Mowbray Park in the city centre providing a wonderful green space in which to relax. And if you have time to spare after that, why not visit the city’s Museum and Winter Gardens where you’ll find Wallace the Lion in his display case in the perfect pose for a selfie.  

Hidden Sunderland

Make the most of the coast with Adventure Sunderland, a seaside activity centre dedicated to watersports including surfing, stand-up paddleboard lessons, pier jumping, and raft building.

Retail therapy

You can find all your favourite brands at The Bridges, which has more than 90 high street stores and easy access to Sunderland train station. Pick up some gifts or update your wardrobe at this bright and busy shopping centre.