There are so many places in the City of Sunderland that is scenic and beautiful. I often think that myself and other locals take it for granted. However, I wanted to use this post to showcase all the most photographic spots in Sunderland.
So for any local aspiring photographers, fellow content creators or you’re wanting to explore the best spots, this blog post is full of the best backdrops and instagramable places we have!
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Coming in at the top spot is the most obviously beautiful and probably the greatest asset the city has; Roker beach, pier and lighthouse.
I’m not sure I need to say much about this spot or defend my decision to include it here. Although, I do recommend visiting at sunrise or sunset to capture that beautiful sky reflected in the water. Or bonus points if you manage to capture the pod of dolphins that travel up and down the coast.
However, I am going to use this spot to shout out somewhere you can find a great community of photographers and generally nice people who love and appreciate the city.
The group is on Facebook and is called ‘Roker and Seaburn Photography Group’. It is a great place to share your picture not only of Roker and Seaburn but of the city in general. Whenever I have shared my photos I have always been met by lots of praise and complements even though I am a complete photography noob! I really recommend joining this page and getting involved in the fun challenges they do.
Sticking with the beach theme has to be our second best beach which is Seaburn. There is nothing wrong with Seaburn in order for it to be second to Roker, I just think the lighthouse and pier at Roker give it something else and a photographic edge!
However, if you were looking for somewhere to go for a nice beach day, then I would recommend Seaburn first!
If huge skies and panoramic views of the city are what you’re after, then Tunstall Hill is what you want. The only problem with Tunstall is accessibility. There is a small car park at the top of the hill but it is not very secure or big. And it is down a very narrow lane off the hope road which can be a nightmare. So visit at your own peril!
But the reward of those views is 100% worth it! No doubt about it! From the top, you can see over to the Stadium, Cleadon Hills, Roker Lighthouse and beyond.
The Marina is a really great place to snap some pics! The boats docked down in the marina are really pretty to look at and if you have that artistic eye then you would be very happy to create some amazing pictures down here.
If you manage to get there with the right lighting, you can capture some really epic reflections in the water.
Whitburn Mill is one I have spoken of many times on my blog. However, after visiting recently I finally managed to catch the wildflowers in bloom in front of the mill.
These flowers make what is already a pretty impressive place even more beautiful. And it is a photographer’s wet dream! Right now is a great time to visit this spot, before all the flowers die off! From here, you can walk straight over the back towards the next spot on my list; Cleadon Mill and Hills.
If you are interested in sunset photography, this is where you want to be. Simple as. This is the best place in my opinion in the whole city to catch the sunset. Because it’s north of the city you can capture the sky changing colours all the way from Penshaw to Roker lighthouse.
Just trust me, this is the spot!
Now this one is a little less conventional. However, if you do a little research into the history of the park I think you will find that it is incredibly interesting and make for some great photographs.
Sticking with city centre spots, keel square is slowly becoming a put-together part of town full of interesting things to capture. There are often things on in the square. Right now they have the #SUN sign and some other artwork and a couple of huge deckchairs but this changes out quite often.
The propellers of the city are something I find incredibly interesting and I didn’t really understand it when it was first built, but now I can appreciate it a lot more.
This walk along the edge of the River Wear is utterly stunning. Here you get the chance to capture a variety of different things. From the stunning architecture of the Victoria Viaduct to the possibility of spotting otters countless birds.
Not to mention that is a really understated and true hidden gem in the city of Sunderland. You really don’t feel like you’re in the city when you walk down there and I highly recommend it.
I haven’t been back to Doxford Park since the winter months and I am well overdue a trip down to the secret garden to see how their plants have transformed for the summer. However, Doxford Park is a truly pretty place all year round. You could absolutely capture some incredible shots here.
Penshaw Monument and Herrington Country Park
I bet you all thought this one wasn’t going to be on the list. But how could I not include this one? Although technically it’s in County Durham, I think the people of Sunderland have claimed Penshaw Monument as their own. And it is abundantly clear why.
This monument in itself is absolutely spectacular to look at. You could easily take hundreds of photos of it alone. It has amazing huge columns which always amazes me how they built it!
And not to mention the view out over the city. You can see for miles from the top! My dad claims you can see the Cheviot Hills but I am not convinced.
While you’re here you could always cross the street into Herrington Country Park which is a huge park with so many beautiful areas. There is a huge duck pond/ boating lake, artwork throughout and plenty of vantage spots to take in the view of the monument. Not to mention that there are regular events and such going on.
All in all, If you are photographing in Sunderland, this is one of those spots you must stop by!
Now then, Hylton Castle is not somewhere I go very often. Quite frankly, I rarely go over the water on that side of the stadium. But Hylton Castle is somewhere that kept cropping up on my socials. It actually inspired this entire blog post.
Hylton Castle is currently undergoing renovations however from the outside, this 600-year-old castle looks insane. And along the front, there are some beautiful wildflowers growing which are worth the drive over. I cannot wait to see what it looks like when it opens up.
Another park makes it to our list and quite frankly there are a great deal more that I could include. Mowbray Park is full of cultural references to the cities historical influencers, hidden surprises and the big duck pond which is always swarming with life!
You will never run out of amazing things to capture here in Mowbray.
Souter Lighthouse is such a beautiful spectacle here on the coast. And the coast itself is just as incredible to capture! The lighthouse has so many interesting angles. I don’t think you could ever tire of it.
There is also a great stretch of coastline here which you can walk right along. You could walk either north all the way to South Shields or head south right down to Seaburn and onto Roker if you wanted. Along this path, you’ll see so many amazing things to photograph, in either direction.
The Stadium of Light
This wouldn’t be Mackem Life without a reference or two to the football club. However, I don’t think you need to be a football fan in order to appreciate the stadium and the beauty of it. It really is an incredible building, both outside and in. And yes I am biased.
I think something I do really take for granted with our city is the architectural elements of the various bridges we have over our river. When you look at the Wearmouth Bridge in comparison to the new Northern Spire you can see how far we have come. Technology is ever-improving and this is evident in our new bridge. However, that doesn’t take away how incredible the older ones are. And all make for really great photos.
And what I recommend you do, is have one full day of walking between them to capture them on the same day. Start at either end and walk along the river to fully capture just how incredible they are.
The last park to be featured on this list however, I could absolutely include more on here. Roker Park is one of my favourites as it is full of really pretty areas. The pond especially and the newly developed area just next to it are really lovely spots. And the bandstand in the centre is very special.
Hendon and Ryhope Beaches
If you are an avid follower of my blog then you will know that I often speak highly of the beaches south of the River Wear. Both Hendon and Ryhope beaches are very beautiful and offer a unique image as not many people visit in comparison to Seaburn and Roker.
Although accessibility can be a bit of an issue with both of these beaches, if you are feeling brave, I would absolutely recommend visiting. You will pretty much have the entire beach to yourselves.
Some will say I have saved the best till last, and I absolutely agree. This utter hidden gem is somewhere often forgotten about but it should be more popular.
The Seven Sisters is such an incredible spectacle where you’ll find yourself questioning whether you have been transported into a fantasy world. If you take anything from this list, then let it be this one!
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