Eight places you must visit across Sunderland this Autumn

As Winter draws nearer and the darker nights set in, there’s still loads to do and see across Sunderland. Check out our list of eight things we think are a selection of must visit places across City.

1. National Glass Centre

Glass fronted exterior of the National Glass Centre, Sunderland. Credit: Maurice Long
Glass fronted exterior of the National Glass Centre, Sunderland. Credit: Maurice Long

One of Sunderland’s most famous free attractions – The National Glass Centre overlooks the River Wear at St.Peters. At the National Glass Centre, you can view the various exhibits including the history of glass making and view real life workshops with glass constructed in front of you. This Christmas you can also head to the Glass Centre and create your own Glass Bauble, it will set you back £25, but it can be a family Christmas symbol.

Did you know? 460 people can be accommodated on the glass roof at any one time?

2. Hylton Castle

Nigel Judson via Flickr
Nigel Judson via Flickr

If you love historic buildings, Hylton Castle is definitely a must see! As one of Sunderland’s oldest buildings, it’s protected by English Heritage. it dates back to the 1400’s. It was built by Sir William Hylton, part of the Hylton family who were a wealthy family owning land and property across the North East including, Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland.

Did you know? 4.4 million has been invested into the Castle to help bring it back into public and visitor use?

3. Empire Theatre

The Sunderland Empire Theatre with the sun shining down on it. Credit: Jonathan Shaw
The Sunderland Empire Theatre. Credit: Jonathan Shaw

The Empire Theatre is another one of Sunderland’s historic venues – perfect for those with a passion for arts, culture and entertainment. The historic building is over 100 years old and is one of the biggest such venues in the region with over 2,000 capacity. This Christmas, you can catch the annual panto at the Empire – with Sleeping Beauty taking to the stage from the December 9 until the 31st. Coronation Street Actress Vicky Entwistle and former Steps singer turned actress, Faye Tozer are among those starring in the panto in Sunderland this year!

4. Monkwearmouth Station Museum

Elt Pics via Flickr
Elt Pics via Flickr

The Grade II listed building is home to another of Sunderland’s great free attractions. The museum looking at Sunderland and North East rail transport is located inside the main 1840’s station building. The building still houses some of its original features such as the ticket booths, fireplaces and shuttered windows. Mainline train and Tyne and Wear Metro trains still pass through the station, but don’t stop, although the metro does have a station at St.Peters just a few yards towards the Wear.

Did you know? The last passenger train stopped at the station in March 1967?

5. Sunderland Frost Village

Steph Chungu via Twitter
Steph Chungu via Twitter

Keel Square is soon becoming the heart of Sunderland with many City Activities and Events taking place in and around the area. The Festive Frost Village will once again be the heart of Sunderland’s Christmas plans after a successful run in 2015. The programme will launch on November 15th, with the launch of the Christmas Market which will run every Thursday-Sunday and from the 24th the Outdoor Ice Rink will be launched.

6. Roker Beach & Pier

Roker Pier and houses on an overcast day. Credit: Hannah Keane
Roker Pier and houses on an overcast day. Credit: Hannah Keane

It might be getting chilly at the coast but nothing beats a nice autumnal stroll across the beach and at Roker Beach you can certainly do just that! You can also check out the historic 116-year-old Roker Pier, an iconic landmark within the City. In 2012, extensive restoration of the pier, tunnel and lighthouse began, with guided tours launched shortly after for the first time.

Did you know? Roker Pier is a Grade 2 Listed Building?

7. Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

The Winter Gardens from Mowbray Park Sunderland Credit: Jacob Jackson-Carter
The Winter Gardens in Mowbray Park, Sunderland. Credit: Jacob Jackson-Carter

A museum dedicated to the city of Sunderland! The interactive exhibits at the Museum and Winter Gardens will keep anyone entertained and informed. You can also discover the only known British example of a gliding reptile, the oldest known vertebrate capable of gliding flight, as well as the history of Sunderland including its ship building heritage.

Did you know? The first car to roll of the Nissan production line in Sunderland is located inside the Museum?

8. Penshaw Monument

Penshaw Monument Credit: Beth Waldron
Penshaw Monument. Credit: Beth Waldron

Visible from across the North East, as it stands high on Pensahw Hill – Penshaw Monument is among the North East’s most recognisable landmarks. The sculpture is a 136-metre castle-like folly, which offers guided tours on weekends to the very top of the monument allowing views across the city and afar.

Did you know? its official name is The Earl of Durham’s Monument?

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