visitors guide


Sunderland… a breath of fresh air.

Sunderland is a city with a difference with plenty of places to get active in, from water sports to rock climbing …and great places to relax with a stunning coastline and beaches.

Why not make the most of Sunderland on your visit, or come back and see more of this great city?


The National Glass Centre
A free cultural attraction celebrating Sunderland’s glass making heritage. Glass blowing demonstrations / family activities / exhibitions / Riverside Brasserie / shop.  Open daily 10am - 5pm  Free admission. Call 0191 515 555 (option 9)


Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach Pleasure Park is situated on the South Shields coast. There's free entry for all with over 40 rides and attractions and great fun for the whole family situated on the coast in South Shields.
Get £25 worth of ride tickets for only £15. Call 0191 456 1617


Quasar South Shields
Quasar South Shields offers ideal sci-fi fun for the whole family.  Kit up, charge up, shoot your opponents and rack up the points. Concert-goers can get
£2 off a one-hour game (usually £7 or £8). Call 0191 455 3885


MFA Bowl Sunderland
MFA Bowl has 28 bowling lanes, arcade machines and two fully licensed bars. Show your concert tickets and get unlimited bowling and a free drink for only £5. You will also receive exclusive discounts on food and drink. After the concert is over the fun doesn't have to stop - show your ticket to receive tea and coffee for only £1 as well as other fantastic food and drink offers. Call 0191 5655386


Sage Gateshead
Sage Gateshead is an international music venue that hosts and presents concerts for all tastes and enables anyone of any age or musical ability to learn and make all kinds of music.Call the box office on 0191 443 4661


Blue Reef Aquarium
Enjoy close encounters with hundreds of incredible creatures from around the world! Come face to face with everything from adorable seals and otters to clown-fish, sharks, seahorses and graceful stingrays!
Meet the monkeys and reptiles in our stunning Amazonian feature! New for 2014! You can now come face to face with our adorable California sea lions and our baby seal pup Benji! A full programme of entertaining talks and feeding displays take place throughout the day. The centre is open daily from 10am and you can save up to £12! Your SAFC season card or concert ticket entitles you to £2 off per person off the full admission price.  Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or family ticket. Photocopies not accepted. Valid for up to 6 people.


Raich Carter Sport Centre
Raich Carter is a state of the art multifunctional sports facility. Check out our amazing ‘Shape up 4 Summer’ offer - three month membership for £75 and get a fourth month free (terms and conditions apply). Your concert ticket must be produced to claim this offer.


Durham University Botanic Garden
Durham University Botanic Garden is set amongst beautiful woodlands on the outskirts of Durham city. The Botanic Garden offers a variety of landscapes to explore, as well as a programme of family activities. By visiting one of Durham University’s visitor attractions (Botanic Garden, Oriental Museum, Palace Green Library or Durham Castle tours) you will receive a discount card, entitling you to £1 off entry to all other Durham University Visitor Attractions (or free entry to concessions at the Oriental Museum). Call 0191 334 5524

Palace Green Library
Explore Japanese art and culture in our current exhibitions The Seven Treasures: Japanese Enamels from the V&A and Off the Wall: the Art of the Japanese Movie Poster. Call 0191 334 2932

Oriental Museum
Durham University’s Oriental Museum is the only museum in the north of England devoted entirely to the art and archaeology of the Orient. Call 0191 334 5694

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery
South Shields Museum & Art Gallery explores the story of South Tyneside through sensational displays, hands-on exhibits and stunning art. The history of South Tyneside from the Bronze Age to the 20th century is highlighted through the Museum's archaeological, natural and historical collections and with regular events such as children's craft, family fun and a variety of talks there is something for everyone with free entry for all. Call 0191 456 8740 or email

Opening hours:
Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm
Saturday 11am - 4pm
Closed on Sundays

Arbeia Roman Fort & Museum
Standing to the south of the River Tyne, Arbeia guarded the main sea route to Hadrian’s Wall and was a key garrison and military supply base to the rest of the Wall. Walk in the footsteps of Emperor Severus who used the fort as his headquarters, explore the remains and see some of Britain's best reconstructions. Free entry for all. Call 0191 456 1369 or email

Opening hours:
Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm
Saturday 11am - 4pm
Sunday 1pm - 4pm

Discovery Museum
Uncover Tyneside's rich heritage, from the Romans to the Tyne's infamous shipyards, fashionistas to military history. Discover more about the great inventions our region has given us. Discovery is full of interactive and informative displays which makes the museum the perfect place to learn and have fun all for free. Call 0191 232 6789 or email

Opening hours:
Mon - Fri 10am - 4pm
Sat - Sun 11am - 4pm

Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths & Museum
Segedunum is the historical ruins of an old roman fort. We have many events and exhibitions throughout the year. Call 0191 236 9347

Stephenson Railway Museum
The Museum is open every weekend from 1 April to 31 October, and open seven days a week during school holidays (except Christmas holidays). Our opening hours are always 11am - 4pm. Relive the glorious days of the steam railway at Stephenson Railway Museum.  The museum is home to George Stephenson's 'Billy', a forerunner of the world-famous Rocket, and many other engines from the great age of steam.  Plus fun events and activities for all ages. Free entry for all. Call 0191 200 7146

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Enjoy a fun and informative day out for the whole family learning about Sunderland, from its prehistoric past to present day, through interactive displays and activities and events for all ages. Call 0191 553 2323

Monkwearmouth Station Museum
The interactive galleries are a fun and exciting way to learn about the history of travel and transport in Sunderland. Call 0191 567 7075

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art presents changing exhibitions of new work by artists from around the world, bringing new art to new audiences. Call 0191 561 1235

Hatton Gallery
The Hatton stages a highly-regarded programme of historical, modern and contemporary art exhibitions. Over recent years this programme has included major historical monographs, diverse partnership projects and exciting new commissions from leading contemporary artists. On permanent display is Kurt Schwitters’ Merz Barn, considered by many to be one of the seminal artworks of the twentieth century. Call 0191 208 6059 or email

Laing Art Gallery
The Laing is home to an impressive collection of art and sculpture and its exhibition programme is renowned for bringing the biggest names in historic, modern and contemporary art to the North East.

The Gallery has a packed programme of free events which include gallery talks, family activities and artists’ events. Call 0191 232 7734