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Great Outdoors

great outdoors swimming

Sunderland's award winning outdoor spaces and things to do offer something for everyone. 

From beautiful Blue Flag beaches and coastlines, acres of greenspace, award-winning parks and nature reserves, you can plan a great day out in Sunderland, whatever the weather.

Discover some of Sunderland's best walking routes at the coast and countryside, and get back to nature to see beautiful local scenery, plants and wildlife up close. Keen cyclists will love the Sculpture Trail which is part of the famous Coast to Coast route, and features sculptures that capture both the region's past and present. 

Meanwhile, Mowbray Park is Sunderland's crown jewel - why not visit to find out why it won 'Best Park' at the 2014 Northumbria in Bloom awards? You can also plan a day outdoors at Herrington Country Park with its exciting walking and cycling trails, or unwind at the blissful and picturesque Hetton Lyon's Country Park, which is just half an hour drive from the city. 

The kids will be entertained for hours at Down at the Farm, where you can pet alpacas, feed goats and meet a whole host of farm animals and non-native species for a day of fun and learning. 

Discover Sunderland's best scenic walks, parks and outdoor activities today.


Albany Park

Visit one of Washington's parks with extensive grassed areas and woodland plantations.

Backhouse Park

This park is a natural arboretum with a large variety of trees and some of the city's largest mature trees, producing a wonderful display of autumn colour.

Barnes Park

A great day out for all the family with wonderful walks, play areas, bowling greens, tennis courts and a cafe.

Cannonball Rocks

Roker is also home to unique geological structures, with rugged cliffs and unique 'cannonball' limestone rock formations which can only be found in certain parts of the world.


Cycle the scenery, cycle the city, cycle Sunderland. We've certainly caught the cycling bug here, and our well maintained cycle paths make it easy for you to get on your bike and enjoy the great outdoors. Sunderland is also home to the BIG Bike Ride which sees hundreds of cyclists from all over the North East cycle the length and breadth of Sunderland.

Down at the Farm

Down at the Farm is a small family run farm in Sunderland where you can take a tractor ride, meet the animals and get the chance to be a mini zoo keeper for the day!

Elemore Park

A beautiful 135 acre park that sits within the rural landscape at the edge of Hetton le Hole and Easington Lane.

Herrington Country Park

One of the largest parks in Sunderland with walks and cycle trails, family cycling with Sustrans, an adventure play area, skate boarding, Nordic walking, model boat sailing in the lake and a variety of sculptures that celebrate the heritage of the area.

Hetton Lyons Country Park

Discover the picturesque views of this park on a former colliery site just on the outskirts of Hetton centre.

Mowbray Community Garden

Sunderland City Council have been awarded £180,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to work with the local community and create an inclusive Community Garden space inside Mowbray Park.

Mowbray Park

At the heart of the city sits Mowbray Park, one of the oldest parks in the North East of England and often described as 'the jewel in the crown of the city centre'.

Penshaw circular walk

This is a 4 mile (6.5km) walk starting from the foot of Penshaw Monument.