Five Days of Fun: Sunderland on a Budget

Experience history and unique culture in Sunderland without breaking the bank.

21 June 2023

"Explore the charms of Sunderland on a budget-friendly trip with plenty of options for cheap eats, free museums, and scenic walks along the coastline. Discover the city's rich industrial heritage at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, take a stroll along Roker and Seaburn beaches, and hop on a ferry to the nearby National Glass Centre. Alternatively, head to Hetton Lyons Country Park for a peaceful hike through stunning woodlands and grasslands."

Travel plan

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Day 1

Welcome to Sunderland

  • Check into the Seaburn Inn, a charming seaside hotel with cozy rooms and a bar area serving excellent local craft beers and ciders.
  • Explore the beautiful beaches of Roker and Seaburn, with their bustling promenades and traditional Victorian architecture.
  • Visit the National Glass Centre, a stunning museum showcasing the fascinating history and art of glassmaking in the region.
  • Stop by The Ship Isis, a quirky pub located in a 19th-century former merchant ship, and enjoy a pint of real ale while taking in the views of the River Wear.
Day 2

Discover the Industrial Heritage

  • Start your day with a hearty English breakfast at Belle Vue Cafe, a vintage-style diner serving generous portions of bacon, eggs and sausages.
  • Head to the Sunderland Maritime Heritage Centre, a fascinating museum located in a former Victorian church, and learn about the city's proud seafaring past.
  • Walk along the river to the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum, a unique collection of military and civilian aircraft, vehicles and artifacts.
  • Enjoy lunch at Beamish Mary Inn, a cosy pub housed in an 18th-century farmhouse and serving traditional Geordie stotties (flatbread sandwiches).
  • End your day with a pint of local beer at the Jailhouse Bar, a funky pub located in a former police station and decorated with quirky memorabilia.
Day 3

Hidden Gems of Sunderland

  • Grab a coffee and a pastry at the quirky Holmeside Coffee, a small independent cafe with a bohemian vibe and a great selection of vegan treats.
  • Explore the beautiful Mowbray Park, a serene oasis in the heart of Sunderland with a duck pond, a Victorian bandstand and a cafe.
  • Take a guided tour of St. Peter's Church, a hidden gem of Gothic architecture featuring stunning stained glass windows and a rich history.
  • Have lunch at Fat Buddha, a hip Asian fusion restaurant with an eclectic menu and a buzzing atmosphere.
  • Spend the afternoon at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, a peaceful woodland with scenic trails and a variety of wildlife.
Day 4

Coastal Adventures

  • Start your day with a scenic drive to Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, a stunning coastal location with dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views.
  • Walk along the charming seaside town of Whitburn, with its quaint cottages, pretty gardens and traditional pubs.
  • Stop by the Marsden Grotto, a unique pub and restaurant carved into a cliff face, and enjoy a pint of beer while admiring the sea views.
  • Have lunch at The Clifton, a historic hotel overlooking the beach and serving classic British dishes with a modern twist.
  • Spend the afternoon exploring the nearby South Shields, a vibrant town with a bustling marina, an amusement park and a lively market.
Day 5

Goodbye Sunderland

  • Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at The Funky Indian, a hidden gem of an Indian restaurant with a funky decor and a great selection of curries and biryanis.
  • Visit the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, a stunning museum with a vast collection of art and natural history exhibits.
  • Take a walk along the picturesque Sunderland Harbour, with its colourful boats and charming cafes.
  • Have a final pint at The Peacock, a traditional pub with a warm atmosphere and an extensive selection of cask ales.
  • Bid farewell to Sunderland and promise to return soon.

How to get there


The best way to get to Sunderland by plane is to fly into Newcastle International Airport and then take a taxi or the Metro system to Sunderland. There are regular flights to Newcastle from major UK cities as well as international destinations.


Sunderland is easily accessible by car via the A1(M) motorway, which connects to major UK cities such as London, Edinburgh, and Manchester. There are several car parks in the city centre, as well as on-street parking with time limits.


Sunderland has a mainline train station which is serviced by direct trains from major UK cities such as London, Edinburgh, and Manchester. The station is located in the city centre and is a short walk from most hotels and attractions.


Sunderland is located on the coast of the North Sea and has a small marina, however there are no regular ferry services to the city. The closest international ferry port is in Newcastle, which is accessible by bus, train or taxi.


There are several bus services that run to Sunderland, including National Express and Megabus. The bus station is located near the city centre and is a short walk from most hotels and attractions.

More travel plans

Discovering Sunderland's Hidden Gems

Sunderland, located in northeast England, offers a charming mix of industrial heritage and thriving cultural scene perfect for budget-minded travelers. Spend the day exploring the coastline or hiking in one of the nearby parks before catching a free exhibition or performance at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. End the evening with a pint at one of the city's many pubs or cozy up in an affordable B&B.

Sunderland: A Thrifty Three-Day Adventure!

Visiting Sunderland on a limited budget is a great opportunity to explore the city's attractions without breaking the bank. The city boasts numerous museums, art galleries, and public spaces to explore, such as the Winter Gardens, the National Glass Centre, and Roker Beach. Accommodation options are also available at affordable rates, with hostels and budget-friendly hotels located throughout the city.

4 Days of Fun: Budget Trip to Sunderland

A trip to Sunderland on a limited budget can still offer plenty of options for exploring this vibrant city. Visitors can stroll along the scenic Roker Beach or explore Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens for free. The city also offers affordable accommodations, ranging from budget-friendly hotels to hostels, providing an affordable option for a memorable trip.

The Ultimate 3-Day Adventure in Sunderland

As a tourist in Sunderland, one can explore the city's rich maritime heritage by visiting the National Glass Centre and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. The Sunderland Empire Theatre is a must-visit for theatre enthusiasts, while the Seaburn Beach and Roker Pier provide an opportunity to relax and enjoy scenic views. The city also boasts numerous restaurants, pubs and bars, offering a diverse range of cuisines and beverages.