holiday and travel guide to the UK

Sunderland stands at the mouth of the River Wear and in medieval times was known as Wearmouth.

In AD674 the nobleman Benedict Biscop founded a monastery at Wearmouth (which became known as Monkwearmouth) and the Venerable Bede (AD673 - 735) studied there.

Sunderland developed as a shipbuilding centre in the mid-14th century and by the 19th century was the greatest shipbuilding town in Britain. However, production waned after World War II and the last shipyard closed in 1988.

Sunderland became an important port in the early-18th century and in 1850 it was expanded by the opening of the Hudson Dock. Coal from the Wear valley was loaded onto ships here to be transported by sea. Because the town developed on plateaux high above the river, it's bridges spanned the Wear Gorge and did not impead the flow of river traffic.

The Wearmouth Bridge, built in 1796, was the second iron bridge to be constructed in England. The elegant span was double the length of Abramam Darby's famous Ironbridge.

In the 17th century glassmaking became an important industry in Sunderland and today this is celebrated at the new National Glass Centre on the River Wear.

Coal mining, another lucrative industry, boomed during the 19th century, but Sunderland's last pit closed in 1993.

Sunderland's economy suffered considerably with the lost of its industry, particularly in the 1980's when there was mass unemployment. However, the city has since undergone regeneration, with its riverside sites transformed and new business sectors emerging. Car making, electronics, chemicals and paper manufacture are important, as are service industries.

In 1992 Sunderland was given city status by the Queen. The city is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination.

The site of the last coal mine is now the home of the Stadium of Light, the home ground of Sunderland AFC, the stadium is considered to be one of the best in Europe. Prior to the English Civil War in 1642, Charles I gave Newcastle the rights to East of England coal trade. The bitter resentment this caused between Sunderland and Newcastle lead to a lasting rivalry between Sunderland AFC and neighbouring Newcastle United.

Budget Hotels

Tourist Attractions in and near Sunderland to Visit



Fun Shack 4.0 miles A great place for the children to have fun.



St Mary the Virgin Church 4.2 miles A lovely late-Saxon church to see.

Art Galleries

Art Galleries

National Glass Centre Find out how glass is made and watch the demonstrations.

Historic Houses

Historic Houses

Washington Old Hall 5.6 miles Take a look around the house and gardens associated with the American President George Washington.



Bede's World 6.6 miles A museum that will tell you about monks and life in Anglo-Saxon times.


Out & About

WWT Washington Wetland Centre 4.4 miles Come and see the wildlife and birds at this wetland centre, complete with flamingos.

Souter Lighthouse 4.5 miles Visit the famous lighthouse and enjoy a coastal walk.

Towns Near Sunderland To Visit - straight line distance:

Seaham (4.84 miles) Washington (5.67 miles) South Shields (6.83 miles) Jarrow (6.87 miles)
How to get to Sunderland

Sunderland Tourist Information Centre

  • 50 Fawcett Street
    SR1 1RF
    Tel: 0191 553 2000
Sunderland Marriott Hotel
Queens Parade Sunderland SR68DB

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Best Western Tavistock Roker Hotel
Roker Terrace Sunderland SR6 9ND

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Premier Inn Sunderland A19/A1231
Wessington Way Castletown Sunderland SR5 3HR

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Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfasts, Inns and other Hotels
Chaise Guest House
5 Roker Terrace, Roker Sunderland SR6 9NB

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The Balmoral & Terrace Guest Houses
2/3 Roker Terrace, Roker Seafront Sunderland SR6 9NB

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Roker Lodge
Roker Terrace, Roker Sunderland SR6 9NB

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Holiday Cottages
Hawksley House
John Street, Sunderland City Centre Sunderland SR1 1NA

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Sunderland Weather
Saturday 25th April
Day :Light drizzle11°C Light drizzle
Night :Partly cloudy skies3°C Partly cloudy skies
Sunday 26th April
Day :Sunny skies9°C Sunny skies
Night :Patchy light rain4°C Patchy light rain
Where to Stay in Sunderland
Area Telephone Code
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