Things to do in Sunderland

Sunderland is home to numerous parks, lighthouses and beaches to spend a few days exploring. There’s something fun for everyone to do in Sunderland, but you need to know where to visit and what is a must-see.

The top things to do include:

Roker & Seaburn Beaches

Marine Walk is home to Sunderland’s blue flag beaches. Award-winning, these beaches offer guests the perfect destination to lay on the beach, soak in the sun and enjoy pure bliss. Families have been visiting these beaches for hundreds of years, and Sunderland has been reviving the beaches, with extensive work put into them in recent years.

Golden sand beaches await guests and lifeguards are on duty to ensure everyone remains safe.

Roker Pier has been restored and offers a romantic walk for couples. Roker Park is nearby with play areas and a lake, too. A miniature railway at the park is also present and acts as a great distraction for kids.

When the kids and friends get hungry, there are ample food options available at the beach. A short walk down the edge of the beach to Pier Point will lead you to delightful-smelling cafes and restaurants.

Refreshing drinks and ice cream are available, too.

If you’re a beach goer and want to experience pristine beaches that are well kept, Marine Walk is the perfect option.

Herrington Country Park

Beautiful scenery and nature meld perfectly together at Herrington Country Park. Nature lovers can rejoice as they step out into the walkways and up through Penshaw. When you reach the top, you’ll take in beautiful 360 degree views that are impossible to see from many destinations in Sunderland.

Kids and pets are allowed to walk the trails.

Swans offer a beautiful distraction from the crowds that gather at the park. There’s an area for children to play as well as areas for skateboarding.

Mini motor boats are allowed in the pond, but guests are urged to be cautious of the geese and swans that inhabit the water. Public toilets are provided. Guests who are hungry after a long walk through the park will find an on-site café that offers great food at affordable prices.

Ample parking is provided, and guests can walk across the street to the Penshaw Tea Room to have their afternoon tea.

National Glass Centre

The National Glass Centre is a specialty museum where guests can learn all about the art of glass making. Guests can enjoy easy access to parking, and if you’re up for an adventure, you can walk along the glass roof. But be forewarned, you’ll be up high, so if you’re scared of heights, avoid the roof walk.

Free to enter, the museum allows you to view:

Glass blowing


Flame working

Guests will uncover the history of glass making during their tour, and there will be numerous exhibits on display to enjoy.

The exhibits are unique and filled with creativity.

When viewing exhibits, you’ll view modern and contemporary art pieces with works as old as from 1900. New art is promoted and displayed at the Glass Centre. Sunderland is a world leader in the production and development of glass.

Stadium of Light

The Stadium of Light is a must-attend for every football fan. The world’s most famous teams play at the venue, but don’t expect much from the Sunderland AFC. Games are watched by 40k+ people, so it’s a venue that people need to be prepared to visit.

Guests will find annual events held at the stadium, including the New Year Gala, which has entertainment and food in abundance.

The venue is accessible and food is available to guests.

Souter Lighthouse

Fans of lighthouses must visit Souter. This beautiful landmark is a great attraction, but the entry fee is expensive. What makes the lighthouse so unique is that it was the first lighthouse in the world to be designed to use alternating electric current.

This is the same technology that lighthouses use today.

The lighthouse was constructed in 1871 and remained active until 1988. The National Trust has done well to maintain the lighthouse. Guests are able to tour the interior to view where the engine room is located and even see the keeper’s quarters.

Young visitors can play in the outdoor area.

Indoor activities are available, too. Two cottages formerly used by lighthouse keepers are used as holiday cottages by the Trust.

An interesting and ghoulish fact is that the lighthouse is haunted. People from across the world come to the lighthouse in hopes of experiencing the paranormal. The area has been featured on Most Haunted, which is a British programme based on ghost hunters.

Information and a friendly staff will help guests dig deeper into the lighthouse’s past. There are picnic areas on the grounds, too.