Sunderland & South Tyneside
Sunderland - city by the Sea
Thirteen hundred years ago St Peter’s monastery was founded on the north bank of the River Wear. Together with its twin monastery of St Paul’s in Jarrow it became a centre of culture and learning and home to one of 7th century Europe’s most famous names – the Venerable Bede. Let your Blue Badge Guide explain the story of Sunderland’s earliest history and the impact “the greatest scholar in Christendom” had on this country and beyond.
Famous names abound in this ever-fascinating city. For those with an interest in art, your Blue Badge Guide will show you the location of the largest collection of L S Lowry paintings outside of Salford’s Lowry Centre. Or will sit with you whilst you watch the impressive skills of a glass blower at the National Glass Centre.
For American visitors, we can take you to the original Washington where one of the ancestral homes of the first President of the United States of America can be visited.
The beaches at Seaburn and Roker are Sunderland’s finest whilst there are many options for walking tours in the local area. The most popular are the Riverside University locations and National Glass Centre to Sunderland Marina on the north bank. Old Sunderland close to the port area is full of history and an incredible array of historic buildings. Follow your Blue Badge Guide to discover more.
Outside of the city, other major attractions are the Washington Wetlands and Wildfowl centre and Washington Old Hall. The National Trust property was one of the ancestral family homes of the ancestors of George Washington, and is a major attraction for American visitors. St Andrew’s church at Roker is known as the Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts movement and can be visited privately by arrangement.
There are many options for walking tours in and around Sunderland. The most popular are the Riverside University locations and Glass Centre to Sunderland Marina on the North bank. Old Sunderland near to the port is full of history and an incredible array of historic buildings. Your local Blue Badge Guide will enhance your enjoyment with a guided walking tour.
Possibly the best beaches in Europe - all in an area of rich history and proud heritage
From Roman times to the more recent era of engineering and shipbuilding achievements, South Tyneside is a tapestry of stories and experiences.
Magnesian Limestone coastal cliffs may provide a dramatic setting for Souter Lighthouse but it is the River Tyne which provides context for South Shields’ past, present and future. The popular author Catherine Cookson called herself “a child of the Tyne” and your Blue Badge Guide will show you local locations associated with her life story.
Jarrow Hall (formerly Bede’s World) is just the place to learn more about the Venerable Bede and experience Anglo-Saxon village life before visiting the nearby St Paul’s church where the chancel of the present church formed part of the monastic church Bede himself would have worshipped in. Stand in that chancel to stand in the footsteps of “the greatest scholar in Christendom”. It’s a powerful moment.
Any tour of South Tyneside ought to include a visit to Arbeia Roman fort where 2,000 year old ruins and modern day replicas can be explored with your Blue Badge Guide.
If visiting by coach, a coastal tour linking to Sunderland follows the beautiful coastline and can be linked to a visit to the city of Sunderland.