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Sunderland Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    Sunderland is located at the mouth of the River Wear and the city’s name is believed to originate from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘soender’ which means to part. The earliest artefacts that have been found in the area date back to the Stone Age and it is believed that Hastings Hill in Sunderland was used for burial and ritual significance in the Neolithic period. Sunderland g...Read morerew over the centuries due to its shipping, coal and salt industries. In the 19th century Sunderland was a main trading port and the Borough of Sunderland was created in 1835. During the Second World War, Sunderland was a key target for the German Luftwaffe. 267 people died, over 4,000 homes were damaged and there was a great deal of devastation for local industry. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Sunderland received city status in 1992 and is a metropolitan borough in the North East of England. Even though it is a big city, Sunderland has a great deal of green scenery and stunning coastlines to discover.

  • 3. Events

    On the last weekend of July every year the Sunderland International Airshow takes place. The event takes place on the sea front of Roker and Seaburn and is attended by over 1.2 million people. It is the largest free airshow in Europe and sees amazing displays by display teams including the Red Arrows. The International festival of Kites, Music and Dance also takes place in Sun...Read morederland and the city has the largest Remembrance Day service outside of London. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    Sunderland’s 42,000 Stadium of Light was opened in 1997. As well as being the home of Sunderland A.F.C., the stadium also hosts musical events and has seen performances from world famous acts including Take That, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay.

  • 5. Things To Do

    Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens is a leading attraction that tells the story of the city from its beginnings to the present day. The indoor winter gardens also have a display of over 2,000 tropical flowers and plants.

  • 6. Business

    Historically, Sunderland has been famous for its coal and salt industries and shipping port. As these industries declined, Sunderland expanded into new areas such as the service industry. In 1986, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK was opened in the city. It was the first car factory by a Japanese carmaker to be opened in Europe.

  • 7. Transport

    There are no motorways that run through Sunderland. The busiest road in the city is the A19. The A1231 connects to the A1 at Washington, giving easy access to the East Coast of the UK. Sunderland train station was opened in 1879 but was completely redesigned in 1966 for England’s hosting of the World Cup. In 2002, the Tyne and Wear Metro was extended so it included four stat...Read moreions in Sunderland: Seaburn, Millfield, Pallion and Sunderland railway station. Read less

  • 8. Entertainment

    Sunderland’s Empire Theatre is the North East’s biggest theatre which hosts tours of major West End shows. The Edwardian theatre was opened in 1907 and has staged many popular shows including Blood Brothers, Chicago and Dirty Dancing.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    Despite the heavy bombing in World War II there are still many religious buildings intact in Sunderland. St Peter’s Church in Monkwearmouth is one of the UK’s first stone built churches as it was built in 674 AD.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    There is a long standing rivalry between the North Eastern cities of Newcastle and Sunderland which dates as far back as 1642. King Charles I bestowed the rights of the East of England coal trade to Newcastle which created a great deal of resentment in Sunderland towards both Newcastle and the monarchy. Sunderland supported the Parliamentarian side during the English Civil War ...Read moreand helped blockade the River Tyne, crippling the Newcastle coal industry. Today, the rivalry can be seen most prominently at football derbies between Newcastle United and Sunderland. Read less


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