All you need to know about Sunderland

City Facts - Sunderland

Sunderland is a city in Tyne on Wear, located roughly 10 miles from Newcastle and 12 miles from Durham. It overlooks the River Wear, and is twinned with the cities Harbin (China), Saint-Nazaire (France), Washington (USA) and Essen (Germany). It’s a unitary authority, although many of its services are provided by neighbouring local authorities. The city has an oceanic climate, characterised by cool summers and moderate winters.

Sunderland has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Early stone age remains have been discovered there, particularly to the west of the city in what is now Hastings Hill. In the 8th century, Vikings invaded the local coast, and by 1346, a number of ships were built close by. In the late 16th century, the city grew into a trading port for salt and coal.

The early 18th century is marked by the emergence of the Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland, a then new parish church. The various settlements which made up Sunderland at this point were then combined, earning Sunderland the nickname “Sunderland-near-the-sea”.

By the 20th century, Sunderland’s shipbuilding activity began to decline. New industries emerged in the form of car manufacturing and, by 1986, Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan, opened a factory nearby.

Today, Sunderland is popular city to visit, home to numerous attractions. Sights worth visiting include Herrington Country Park, the National Glass Centre and the Stadium of Light. For a memorable walk, head to Roker and Seaburn Beaches, and, for a taste of local culture, visit the North East Land, Sea and Air Museums. Other museums worth seeing are the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, and the Monkwearmouth Station museum.

There are various attractions which take place in Sunderland throughout the year such as the Sunderland International Airshow and the city’s inaugural film festival. The city is also known for its free kite festival which draws kite-makers from all over the country.

Sunderland is covered by the Tyne and Wear Metro, which can be boarded at Sunderland’s main railway station. Further train stations can be at Park Lane Transport Interchange and across campus at the University of Sunderland. The closest airport to Sunderland is Newcastle Airport, at roughly 20 miles away.

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