Sunderland has been through hard times but after years of redevelopment and positive changes, the city that has grown into vibrant place with a bustling centre, large student population and passionately supported football team. Situated on the banks of the River Wear as it flows into the North Sea, Sunderland is also close to fantastic beaches and spectacular surrounding countryside. Mackems, as people from Sunderland are known, are proud of their city - and with good reason.
The Bridges Shopping Centre, home to many high street stores and right next to the railway station, is at the heart of the city. For a more individual and eclectic shopping experience, head to Park Lane Shopping Village, where the shops are independent and locally owned. Not far away, the pleasant green space of Mowbray Park is the perfect spot to escape the bustle of the city centre.
Sunderland's cultural highlights include the collections at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. The main nightlife area of the city, with numerous pubs, bars and clubs to choose from, is on the west side of the city centre, between the Bridges Shopping Centre and the university campus.
The people of the city stand firmly behind their football team, so catch a game if you can. Sunderland AFC play home games at the impressive Stadium of Light on the north bank of the River Wear. A little way downstream from the stadium you will find the National Glass Centre, with exhibitions and demonstrations, a glass roof to walk across, and a cafe with great views across to the port.
There are a handful of helpful tactics for getting cheap train tickets to Sunderland in the North East whether you’re heading up north for business, pleasure or a bit of both. Read on below for our top tips on unearthing the cheapest available fares for the days you want to travel.
One of the best ways to get cheaper train tickets to Sunderland is to equip yourself with a National Railcard. If you know you’ll be taking more than a couple of train journeys a year, then it’s well worth paying for a Railcard as you’ll be able to save up to 1/3 off the price of your train tickets*. As a bonus, you’ll be able to spend the money you save doing fun things in Sunderland instead! To buy a Railcard or to see all the different types that are available (and their eligibility requirements), check out our Railcards page.
Next up and a great way to save money on train tickets to Sunderland - purchase an Advance ticket. In many cases, the earlier you buy these tickets, the cheaper they’ll be. They typically go on sale 12 weeks ahead of the departure date, so if you know you’ll be heading to the big smoke on business or for a day out, simply look out for the ‘’Advance ticket’’ type when searching for train tickets with us. You can also sign up for our handy Ticket Alerts, to receive an email as soon as Advance tickets are available for your chosen route. The good news doesn’t stop there though, as you can even combine your Railcard with an Advance train ticket for amazing savings!
Want to learn more? Visit our Advance train tickets page for a complete guide.
Travelling during Off-Peak periods is another good way to increase your chances of securing the cheapest train tickets to Sunderland. Try to book an Advance ticket for an Off-Peak time using our Journey Planner, then add your Railcard discount and hey presto, you’ll be well on your way to cheap train tickets.
For more info, head over to our Off-Peak train tickets page.
Be sure to compare the differences in price between a Return (two-way) ticket to Sunderland and two Single tickets, as sometimes one method can be cheaper than the other.
Last, but not least, if you’re travelling to Sunderland in a group of three to nine people, you could make use of the 34% discount applied to Off-Peak services thanks to GroupSave, a type of discount that doesn’t require you to purchase a Railcard (but which does appear in the Railcard dropdown when making a booking). Please bear in mind that GroupSave is not applicable for all journeys by the different train companies and will automatically be applied if valid for your journey and selected in the Railcard drop down. All tickets must be purchased in a single booking, and all passengers must travel together on the day of departure.
Want more handy hints on how to save money on train tickets? Check out our cheap train tickets page.
*Conditions and peak travel time exclusions may apply on some Railcard types.