Landmarks and Attractions in Sunderland 

With a perfect balance of city, coast and countryside, as well as an array of award winning  attractions and cultural landmarks, you'll soon discover what makes Sunderland such a fantastic city….

Explore sights and landmarks that provide a glimpse into Sunderland’s industrial past; from shipbuilding and mining to castles, monuments and more. Once famously hailed as the "Largest Shipbuilding Town in the World", Sunderland became known as one of the chief shipbuilding towns in the country. Although proud of its industrial past, today Sunderland is regarded as the city of the future, with a vibrant, buzzing and regenerating city centre bursting with exciting things to see and do.


Penshaw Monument ·

Chester Road, Sunderland, DH4 7NJ

Standing proud on Penshaw hill, this iconic monument is one of Sunderland’s most popular attractions. Built in 1844 to commemorate John George Lambton, the first Earl of Durham, this Grade I listed building attracts tourists far and wide due to its grand presence and far reaching views. At selected times the spiral staircase hidden inside one of the monuments pillars is open to the public, letting groups of visitors climb the 20 metres up to the roof top to enjoy the view.


The National Glass Centre ·

Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL

Discover Sunderland’s rich glass making heritage with a visit to the National Glass Centre. Learn about the intriguing process of how glass is created and how it arrived in Britain, with a history dating back to 7th Century AD. You can even get hands on with a pre-booked glass making experience and take home a souvenir keepsake, before dining in The Glass Yard café complete with captivating views of the River Wear.


Sunderland Empire Theatre ·

4-5 High Street W, Sunderland, SR1 3EX

This stunning Edwardian theatre, dating back to 1906, still retains some of its opulent original features. As the largest theatre in the region, some of the top names in entertainment have appeared here including Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, George Formby and the Beatles. Today you will find some of the biggest west end productions take centre stage with shows such as Hairspray, Dream Girls, Chicago and Mama Mia!


Hylton Castle ·

Craigavon Road, Sunderland, SR5 3PA

Delve into Sunderland’s past and take a step back in time with a visit to Hylton Castle. Built before 1400 by Sir William Hylton, the impressive gatehouse tower is the only part of the castle thats still standing. Built to reflect the family status, the entrance displays royal and family heraldry, including Richard II's white hart badge. As Sunderland’s second oldest building tourists are attracted from far and wide to view this spectacular castle and its grounds.


Roker Light House ·

Roker, Sunderland, SR6 0PL

For over 100 years, Roker Lighthouse has protected the entrance into Sunderland harbour and has become one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. This Grade II listed building dates back to 1903, when it was hailed a ‘triumph of engineering’ due to the forward thinking construction logistics which were way ahead of their time. The tunnel beneath the pier and lighthouse are open to the public for guided tours.