A quick search under Google News for “Sunderland” reveals just what the big obsession is in this city in Tyne and Wear: football. The city’s football club is in the Premier League, and its headquarters is the ethereally named Stadium of Light, widely regarded as one of the best stadiums in Europe. But we mustn’t forget the women: Sunderland’s female football team is also in the top tier of the game, and is the top women’s football team in the north-east. Sunderland were the champions several times during the early years of the Football League, and their first FA Cup win was in 1937. Their second FA Cup win came in 1973, against Leeds United.
Sunderland’s history goes back to at least the 7th century, with the building of a monastery known as St Peter’s Church in 674. The year before, the Venerable Bede was born in the area, and there is a memorial to him in the seaside suburb of Roker. It subsequently became an important glass-making centre, and this industry is showcased today at the National Glass Centre on the River Wear. The city’s history is told at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. Rail buffs should head to Monkwearmouth Station Museum which has a large collection of rail memorabilia. Hylton Castle, dating from the 15th century, is run by English Heritage, and has displays of medieval heraldry.
For a list of events in Sunderland see here.
Map of the area.