Here Be Mackems

I’ve spent a few days in Sunderland this week with work. It’s unfortunate, but much like the area I come from, the City is always overshadowed by its much bigger rival which is not far away (and we won’t say the name). The fact that you have to get off the train there and go over and get the Metro to Sunderland doesn’t help with perception either – mind you a new rail company, Grand Central, started running direct trains to London recently.

Sunderland does have some things going for it though – the people here are as friendly as welcoming as anywhere in the North East, and there are plenty of entertainment opportunities. There are two theatres in the City, including the very fine old Empire, as well as a bustling nightlife – although understandably there wasn’t much happening early in the week when I was there.

The City also has a beautiful park just on the edge of the City Centre next to the University that, amongst other things, houses the museum and, attached to it, the dramatic modern Winter Gardens building. There’s also a surprising sight in the park – a little hobbit hole, hidden away down a winding path.

At the other end of the City lies the pretty Minster church of St Michael & All the Angels, where I stopped for coffee and cake before heading home to London.

From Sunderland September 2009

It is nice to get out and about around the country from time to time…


  1. Proud Mackem says

    'Overshadowed by its much bigger rival'?, another one of the misconceptions that stoke the rivalry between the two cities. Sunderland is actually bigger than Newcastle in terms of both population and l geography.