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Arts and Culture

Keel Square use

Sunderland is a city of culture. The arts and cultural attractions in Sunderland are a great way to spend your time, while getting to know what makes our city a vibrant hub of creativity!

From our thriving music scene and venues, to our theatre which sees headliners from across the world, there are so many fun cultural things to do in Sunderland. 

The Arts Centre Washington has hosted music, theatre and exhibitions ranging from jazz and folk bands to ballet shows and stand-up comedy acts. Meanwhile, The Bunker has been a start-out venue for thousands of alternative and contemporary musicians from across the UK. 

If spoken word, plays or musicals are more to your taste, The Royalty Theatre is a volunteer-led independent theatre which stages seven plays each season, including Christmas panto. If it's a memorable night out you're looking for, Sunderland Empire has seen some of the biggest West End productions take the stage, and has been open since 1907.

There are also plenty of cultural sights to explore beyond the walls of an auditorium. The Northern Spire bridge leading to the city centre is an architectural marvel and is said to be taller than Big Ben! Social hub STACK Seaburn is also a welcome addition to Sunderland's social scene while Keel Square remains at the heart of Sunderland's arts and cultural events. 
Plan your visit today, and find out what's on at our fantastic Sunderland venues.


Arts Centre Washington

In the heart of Washington the Arts Centre Washington hosts some fantastic music, theatre and art events and exhibitions.

The Bunker

The Bunker is a music venue which also aims to develop music and arts in Sunderland.


One of the most popular clubs in Sunderland due to its mix of DJ nights and bands playing live music.

Keel Square

Keel Square at the heart of Sunderland city centre plays host to many events and is a place full of Sunderland's heritage.

Northern Spire

The newest road bridge in Sunderland is a two span cable-stayed bridge with an A-frame pylon rising to 105m (344ft) crossing the River Wear between Castletown on the north to Pallion on the south bank.

Royalty Theatre

The Royalty Theatre is ran entirely by volunteers and hosts regular dramatic productions. They stage seven plays each season (Sept to June) including a traditional family pantomime every December.

Sculpture Trail

The Sculpture Trail, running along the final part of the C 2 C or Coast to Coast was created over a decade from 1991 to 2001 by sculptor Colin Wilbourn and writer Chaz Brenchley. Colin and Chaz worked with residents of Sunderland to create the trail which brings together Sunderland's past and present.

Sunderland Empire Theatre

Sunderland Empire Theatre brings big West End productions, drama, comedy and musicals into the heart of the city.

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens - Arts & Culture

Discover Sunderland's fascinating history in one place. With a collection dating back to 1846 there are plenty of surprises at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. Perhaps the most famous object of all is Wallace the Lion.