There are so many incredible places in the North East, and some of these are accessible through public transport from Sunderland City Centre. All of the places on this list take less than an hour and a half to get to, and most are direct services straight to your destination.
Being able to drive is an absolute blessing and something I often take for granted. However, a lecturer at The University of Sunderland has asked me to put together this post for students. Therefore most of the places are aimed at them, however, there are also some family-friendly days out and shopping days too!
This post is split into buses and trains/metros so you can choose what you would prefer to travel via, with buses being first.
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Travelling Via Bus from Sunderland City Centre
Durham City Centre (1 Hour Approx)
Durham is an absolutely beautiful place to visit and there are so many amazing this to see and do when you get there. I do have a full guide to visiting Durham here on my blog. One of my favourite things to do is visit the Cathedral, and dine in one of the amazing restaurants on the newly finished Riverwalk. Recently I went to The Cosy Club there and I’d highly recommend that!
How to get to Durham City Centre: From Sunderland Interchange get the X20 or 20 Prince Bishops bus to Durham. The journey will take roughly an hour to get there. You will need an all-zone day ticket to do this trip which is £7. More info on tickets is here.
Roker and Seaburn Beaches (15 Minutes Approx)
The beaches at Roker and Seaburn are some of the best beaches in the North East (yes I am slightly biased). However, they are some of the greatest assets to the city. you could very easily spend a full day on our coastline. I have a guide to these beaches and how you could make a full day of it here on my blog.
How to get to Roker and Seaburn Beaches: From Fawcett Street, get either the E1, E2 or E6. To get to Roker will take 15 minutes but to go further along to Seaburn it will take a little longer. You need a Stagecoach Day rider to do this journey which costs £3.90. Have a look at the zones and prices here.
Hylton Castle (20 Minutes Approx)
Hylton Castle has been undergoing some construction and is still closed due to this. It is still somewhere you can go and walk around. Hylton Dene is a really pretty place to visit and a great picnic spot!
How to get to Hylton Castle from Sunderland: From Fawcett Street, the best route is to get the number 3. For this bus, you will need a day ticket by stagecoach which is £3.90.
Dalton Park (40 Minutes Approx)
Dalton Park is a pretty decent shopping outlet, complete with a Starbucks and a cinema. If you wanted to you could make a full day of your visit is doing some shopping, grabbing food and going to the cinema. Click here to see what’s on.
How to get to Dalton Park: From Park Lane Interchange jump on the 22, 23 or the 61. The 61 is a Go North East Bus and would only need a one-zone day ticket costing £5.30. The journey will take roughly 40 minutes.
Whitburn Mill (30 Minutes Approx)
Whitburn Mill is a really pretty spot and perfect to tie into a walk across Cleadon Mill (see below) or vice versa. If you did want to do that walk, then here is my guide to the Twin Mill walking trail. It is slightly easier (in my opinion) to follow if you work inland starting at Whitburn. Alternatively, you could tie it in with a visit to other parts of the coastline. In that case, here is my guide to that stretch of seafront.
How to get to Whitburn Mill: From Fawcett Street get the E1, E2 or E6. Again these are stagecoach busses and you can use a £ 3.90-day ticket to travel here. It should take around 30 minutes to arrive.
Cleadon Mill (30 Minutes Approx)
Cleadon Mill and the surrounding hills offer some truly fantastic views over the City of Sunderland, out to sea, north to Northumberland and Newcastle. The photos I have simply don’t do it justice so you really have to see it for yourself! Plus you can tie it in with a really great walk down the hills to Whitburn Mill (See above).
How to get to Cleadon Mill: From Fawcett Street jump on the number 20. This is a Go Northeast service and you will need a one-zone day ticket costing £5.30
The Galleries Shopping Centre (50 Minutes Approx)
The Galleries is one of the better shopping centres in the Sunderland region. They have a number of great shops such as H&M, River Island and New Look. Have a look at their website to see if they have your favourite shops here.
How to get to The Galleries Shopping Centre: From Park Lane Interchange get the 8 Cross Country. This is a Go Northeast service and you will need a one-zone day ticket costing £5.30
Barnes Park (15 Minutes Approx)
Barnes Park is Sunderland’s largest city park and absolutely worth a visit! It is a really pretty place to walk around. You could absolutely take a picnic and make a full day of your trip. It is somewhere I love visiting.
How to get to Barnes Park: You have two options to get there from the town centre, depending on where you’re at. From Park Lane Interchange you can get the number 35, or from Fawcett Street, you can get the number 20. Both are Go Northeast services for which you will need a £5.30-day ticket. The journey is only 15 minutes.
Penshaw Monument and Herrington Country Park (45 Minutes Approx)
Penshaw Monument is an absolute MUST visit. If you are new to the city or haven’t had the chance to get out and about very much due to the pandemic, then Penshaw is the perfect place to go. Penshaw is an absolute staple of Mackem life with its fantastic views over the area.
Bonus, it is right next to Herrington Country Park which is a beautiful place to walk around, have a picnic, play on the play area and feed the ducks in the boating lake!
How to get Penshaw Monument and Herrington Country Park: From Park Lane Interchange you can get either the 2, 2A or 78. These are all Go North East busses, you can check prices and zones here.
Cox Green and the Victoria Viaduct (1 hour Approx)
The Victoria Viaduct and the walk along the river from Cox Green is a really beautiful walk to do. Especially if you get a nice summer’s day for it. I do have a full guide to that walking trail here on my blog.
How to get to The Victoria Viaduct: From Park Lane Interchange get the number 73. You will need to walk a little bit from where you get off the bus down to the riverside path. However, it is worth it for the views of the river! It should take around an hour to get there on the bus.
Hetton Lyons Country Park (1 hour Approx)
Hetton Lyons Country Park is a really pretty place to go if you fancy somewhere different. Although it isn’t a huge place to walk around, you could absolutely make a day of it by taking a picnic to enjoy on the banks of the lake. I do have a full guide to visiting here on my blog.
How to get to Hetton Lyons Country Park: From Park Lane Interchange get the number 55. This bus is another Go North East service so you can get a single zone day ticket for £5.30 to get there. The journey will take around an hour.
WWT Washington (45 Minutes Approx)
It has been absolutely years since I visited and if I’m being honest, I can’t really remember much of it. However, what I do remember is that I had a great time. So give it a go! You do need to pre-book your tickets before visiting which you can do here. Tickets are £10.13 for adults, £5.81 for children and £8.63 for concessions (inc students) without donations.
How to get to the WWT Washington: From Park Lane Interchange get the 8 or 73 bus. The 8 is a Go North East service so just a single zone day ticket will get you there.
South Shields (45 Minutes Approx)
South Shields is a great place for a day out as there is a good amount do to there to really make a day of your trip. You could visit the fairground, have a picnic of grab fish and chips and sit on the beach, do a little shopping in Shields town centre and much more. I have a short guide to the coastal area of South Shields here on my blog. If you are visitng, you should absolutely go and see the turtle at the Groyne!
Or you can stop off on your way and visit the historic Souter Lighthouse and the Leas. It is a fantastic national trust site full of history and incredible views over the coastline.
How to get to South Shields: From Fawcett Street get either the E2, E6, 516 or 20 which all take around 45 minutes. Alternatively, you could get the metro from either Park Lane Interchange or Sunderland Station and change at Pelaw, however, this journey will take you an hour.
Travelling Via Metros and Trains from Sunderland City Centre
Tynemouth (1 hour 10 Minutes Approx)
Tynemouth is a really beautiful place to visit. I do have a guide to visit in the works so keep your eyes peeled for that! But there is so much you can see or do in Tynemouth. From visiting the Castle and Priory to the Tynemouth Aquarium. Longsands beach is a great place to try some water sports, or simply enjoy the sunshine. And not to mention all the amazing places to eat and drink! Tynemouth is somewhere I HIGHLY recommend visiting!
How to get to Tynemouth: From Park Lane Metro Station, get on the train heading to Newcastle airport, and then change to Monument. It will take just a little over an hour, but it is highly worth it!
Newcastle (45 Minutes Approx)
Newcastle is another place that has so much to do in it. I haven’t been back since the middle of last year, however, I cannot wait for a full day in the Toon! Shopping in Newcastle is probably the best thing to do while you’re there. But there is so much more! You could visit any of its museums, such as The Great North Museum, The Discovery Museum or even the Life Centre. You could see a show at the theatre, or attend an event at the O2 Academy or Metro Radio Arena. And of course, there are so many places to eat and drink in Newcastle I couldn’t even begin to explain. One of my favourite places in Newcastle to eat is Hard Rock Cafe
How to get to Newcastle: From Park Lane Metro Station get the train to Newcastle Airport. I always get off at Monument as it’s the central station in Newcastle. To get there you’ll be better off with an all-zone day ticket costing £5.40.
Beamish Museum (1 hour 30 Minutes Approx)
How could I talk about places to go on public transport without mentioning Beamish! It is one of the longest journeys on this list, but the reward of Beamish is worth it. Everyone loves a day out here and the fact you can get there on public transport is even better! I do have a guide to visiting Beamish here on my blog!
How to get to Beamish: The fastest way is to get the Metro from Sunderland or Park Lane to Gateshead then the 28A from Gateshead Interchange. Alternatively, if you didn’t want to change transport, the 8 Cross Country is a direct service.
Seaham (7 minutes)
Seaham is an amazing place for a day by the seaside. There is so much to do down there, it makes for a great day out. I do have a full guide to Seaham here on my blog. It is really worth the trip down, and the fact that it only takes 7 minutes on the train makes it even better!
How to get to Seaham: Get the Northern Train heading south from Sunderland Station. The fair is around £3.80 to get there (each way). Have a check on The Trainline.com for prices and times to make sure you get back home as they don’t run as frequently as the metros!
Rising Sun Country Park (1 Hour 15 Minutes Approx)
This is somewhere I have never been but it has been on my list for a long time. It is just north of Newcastle so you could if you wanted to, incorporate it into a day there, or further to the coast at Tynemouth. It does look like a really pretty place to go for a walk and have a picnic.
How to get to Rising Sun Country Park: From Park Lane Metro Station, get the metro to Newcastle Airpot and then Change at Heworth and get off at Pamlersville. Again you will need a £5.40 all-zone Day Ticket for this journey.
The Metrocentre (35 Minutes Approx)
The Metrocentre is by far the best place to go shopping in the North East (Sorry Newcastle!). It is so easy to get too on public transport too because it is only 4 stops on the train. For anyone who hasn’t been back yet, I wrote a post last year about the social distancing measures in place and so if you want peace of mind, have a read of that here.
How to get to the Metrocentre: Get the train from Sunderland Train Station 4 stops to The Metrocentre. The journey should only take around 35 minutes. Have a look on The Trainline.com for times and prices.
Well that’s as many places I can think of that you can get to fairly easily from Sunderland City Centre. I hope this has given you some ideas on where you can go. If there is somewhere that you think I have missed please let me know so I can add it on for someone else to enjoy. And as always, if you enjoy my posts it would be so appreciated if you could drop your email in the box below to be notified of all my other posts. And you can always follow me on my other social medias, linked below.
Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!
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