Despite not being able to leave the city for the better half of the last year, there are still a great deal of things I cannot wait to be able to do when all this is over. Now that there is a small glimmer of light at the end of this long tunnel that has been this pandemic, I think it’s safe to start thinking about life after this is over.

Whether or not you have faith in the proposed end date of the 21st June, I think we can probably say that by the summer, many aspects of life will be back up and running (hopefully!!!). I do refer to the roadmap set out by the government many times throughout this post but if you want to have a read of that youself, then click here.

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The Stadium of Light

Go to a game at The Stadium of Light

The last game I went to was in January of last year. And with the teams performance over the last few weeks I cannot wait to get back. That first game back with a full crowd will be such an emotional day. There won’t be a dry eye in the place and the fans will deafen the players as they quite literally sing their hearts out.

The last game I attended, 11.1.20

In terms of the roadmap, the earliest a full crowd will be allowed back is the 21st June, however 10k will be allowed in from the 17th May. Of course the season will have finished by then so the first game of the new season will be the first one for fans (and hopefully in a new league!). A sell out game no doubt.

See a show at the Sunderland Empire Theatre

After working at the theatre for just over a year (I left in 2019), the theatre has a very special place in my heart. It was without a doubt the best job I have had so far in my working career because the people I worked with were such an incredible team of people! I cannot remember what the last show I saw there was, however I can’t wait to go back and see another. And I know that the theatre have an incredible line up for the coming season.

The Sunderland Empire Theatre

The entertainment industry, much like many other industries has been hit porribly the hardest as a result of the pandemic. The theatre hasn’t been open at all in the last year and it will be very dependent on ticket sales and show goers when it does eventually reopen. Have a look at their coming shows HERE!

Visit Roker and Seaburn without worry

Going to the beach is one of my favourite things to do. However, I am not alone in that. Many other people from the city love visiting the beaches. And right now there have been a great number of reports saying that it is crazy busy on a weekend and the idea that ‘its all over’ has been thrown about. The few times I have been down I have felt quite uncomfortable with how busy it is so we have just stopped going.

Roker Beach

There are a load of new businesses popping up down there and I cannot wait to be able to go down and visit them all! And most importantly, not having to worry about how busy it is. I love that people are appreciating the beaches but I feel very torn about the fact that it doesn’t feel like a lockdown there right now. Again, the earliest the theatre can reopen with capped occupany will be the 17th May before going back to normal from June 21st.

Explore our Museums

In this last year I have found a real appreciation for this city and its history. I love visitng museums and I feel very excited to go back to our cities with my fresh perspective of Sunderland and really take in the history here. We have so many great museums, all of which will have massivly struggled in this last year. We will have to play our part as visitors to help them out when they reopen if we don’t want to loose our cities heritage.

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

If you are wanting to know more about our cities museums, the Museums Page on the See it Do it Sunderland Website has a load of informattion about them all. It will be so great to finally visit after all this. Museums are also a part of the third stage of the roadmap which means they will be allowed to reopen from the 17th May.

Walk Along the Pier

Roker Pier has been closed for the duration of this lockdown. I believe it is an attempt to deter people from going down to the beach. But we have also had some bad weather in the past few months so this could be a result of it too. In anycase, I am very excited to be able to walk down the pier to see one of our cities most famour landmarks, Roker Lighthouse!

Roker Pier and Lighthouse

I suspect that it may reopen from the 29th March when the stay home order is lifted. However, I am not 100% sure on that one.

See a film at the Cinema

As I mentioned when talking about the theatre, cinemas have been hit pretty hard too by the pandemic. Although they were able to open for a little bit last summer and I did manage to go and see Tenet at the Metro Centre Imax (if you haven’t seen it I wouldn’t really reccomend it). However, there wern’t that many new films to show due to the fact that a lot of filming had to be put on hold.

There are LOOOOADS of new films coming out this year and next and I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year for cinema. I love going and seeing new films and have really missed cinema dates with Shaun and my family. Cinemas are part of the third phase the same as theatres and will be able to reopen from the 17th May.

Go Bowling

I know it sounds very silly, but I am very excited to go bowling. It isn’t something I do very regularly at all. But the throught of doing so a few months ago terrified me. In the hight of the pandemic I was scared to go food shopping because of the risk. The thought of bowling when who knows whose had their fingers in the bowling balls was an anxiety catastrophy waiting to happen. One day, that will be as safe as it ever was and we won’t worry too much about touching things in public.

Again the bowling allys will fall under the third phase which is the 17th May at the earliest. Sunderland Bowl I believe was struggling before the pandemic and we would be a huge miss if it closed. As soon as it is safe to do so, I can’t wait to have a night there with my friends and just laugh.

Visit a restaurant and sit inside

This one is a funny one. Sunderland has so many amazing restaurants and I can’t wait to be able to go back and sit inside, without plastic screens between tables or the need to wear a mask when going to the toilet! Last year I did manage to get to a couple of restaurants during the Eat out to help out *fiasco*. However, it was a little tense because of the safty elements going on.

This post below was the first time in a restaurant last year between the lockdowns!

Restaurants and other hospitality can start reopening from the 12th April for outdoor seating. I did write a post about Where to go in Sunderland that has outdoor seating and will be opening from the 12th. And indoors from the 17th May.

Sit in a coffee shop and watch the world go by

Coffee shop dates have been one of my biggest misses. Just finishing work and being able to go and sit in a coffee shop and plan the next day, or meet someone and have a chat. The ease of it all and lack of planning and stress will be so amazing. In Sunderland we have a growing number of coffee shops popping up and coffee culture is absolutely something new coming to the city.

Holmside Coffee

I miss being able to see all the amazing latte art, instead of my coffee being in a takeout cup! Here is a list of some of The Best Local/Independent Coffee Shops in Sunderland you should definately check out!

Go to the pub

How could I not mention the pub. We have missed so many birthdays, anninversaires and other great bits of news that we haven’t been able to celebrate in my family. Once this is all over, we will have to celebrate every major event of the last year! Just being able to go to a nice pub with all my family and have a few drinks and laugh at the chaos of this last year will make it all worth it for me.

Overall, I just can’t wait for life to have some spontinuaty to it. Without having to plan ahead, make bookings, remember a mask, work out how many people are allowed to do something. And just generally live without the restrictions over us.

And I know everyone if fed up of everything and we all feel like we are living in groundhog day. However if we can all just be a little more patient, then we will be able to keep the roadmap on track get life back to normal completely by the 21st June!

Stay Patient, Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring

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