Places to explore near Sunderland City Centre

As we enter the new year in another lockdown with no real end in sight, the dream of going back to normal any time soon keeps getting further and further away. Many of us have been pushed to breaking point and are struggling to keep spirits up.

Travelling is one of the things that my normal life evolves around. Always having a trip to look forward too gets me through the week and I know a lot of people who are the same. Right now, I cannot even think about booking something as I just don’t think its worth the risk of it being cancelled.

Hendon Beach

Trying to find adventures in everyday life is becoming more and more of a challenge. However I hope that what I have learned in the last 10 months of lockdowns will help someone else find an adventure to encourage someone to keep going.

Sunderland is not a huge city. And finding new places to explore without leaving your local area is pretty difficult. However the list I have put together contains some of the best places to explore right here in the city, all are within 3 mile walking distance from the centre.

  1. Mowbray Park (0.2 miles from city centre)

A safe one to include as it is our city centres park, and one of the oldest in the city. It’s not a particularly big park however, it is just a nice size for anyone wanting to get out and get some fresh air.

Hendon Beach

2. Hendon Beach (1.9 miles from city centre)

Hendon Beach is not by any means the best beach within the city. It doesn’t even feature on the city tourism website (which is focused around ‘a city by the sea’…). It’s not a very built up area so there are no real coffee shops or fish and chip restaurants like there are at our other beaches. However if you are living in are near the city centre it is quite a nice place to go and have the cobwebs blown off. Just be careful on the rocks as they can be quite slippery!

The river wear

3. St Peters Sculpture Trail (0.9 miles from city centre)

Along the north side of the river wear is the St Peters Sculpture Trail. There are 13 in total starting from just outside St Peters Campus and going right down into the marina at Roker. A pdf from the city tourism website is available HERE with all the details surrounding the trail including a map! From the trail you also get some great views of the bridge and the river.

4. Roker Park (1.7 miles from city centre)

While you’re on the north side of the river, lets look at another historic city park. Roker park was donated to the city in 1880 and is now one of the best parks in Sunderland. All year round, the park is incredibly pretty and a great place for a walk.

Roker beach and pier

5. Roker and Seaburn Beaches (1.7 & 2.7 miles from city centre)

If you have made it this far, the best two beaches the city have to offer are right here. Roker and Seaburn beaches are the crown jewels of Sunderland. In recent months, the beaches have been incredibly popular spots for daily exercise. There are a great number of places to get food or coffee along here which make it a great spot for a long winters walk.

See also ‘Best Local and Independent coffee shops in Sunderland’

Barnes Park

6. Barnes Park (1.5 miles from city centre)

Barnes park is the oldest park in the city and has some incredible historic elements to it, such as its Victorian bandstand. The park is about 2 miles long with some lovely walking paths through the trees.

7. Backhouse Park (1.2 miles from city centre)

Some of the cities oldest trees are within this park. There are a few different walking routes through it which makes it a lovely place to go for a stroll. Information on the various routes can be found HERE.

I sincerely hope this post helps anyone who is feeling stuck with the current situation. Going outside and getting some fresh air can really improve mental health and wellbeing. Take care of yourselves!

Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring

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