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Museums and Galleries

Sunderland is home to a number of great museums and galleries that showcase the talent, culture and history that our region has to offer.

Sunderland Museum - Library and Winter Gardens is located in the heart of our city, and you can find everything you ever wanted to know about Sunderland in one place; including the famous Wallace the Lion! Meanwhile the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, which you'll find inside the famous National Glass Centre is a recent addition, which showcases contemporary art installations and works from artists across Europe.

For a slice of North East history, which ranges from shipbuilding to engineering, there are plenty of museums in Sunderland that provide a glimpse into our past, and make a great family day out. Bowes Railway takes visitors back in time, as you explore the colliery railways - some of the first modern railways in the world - which put Sunderland on the map.  

Or, why not pay a visit to the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum which boasts a collection of aircraft, military vehicles and more, which illustrate Sunderland's diverse history? 

Spend your next weekend exploring Sunderland's finest art galleries and museums or add to your 'must-sees' on your next visit... 


Ryhope Engines Museum

The Ryhope Engines Museum is based on the Ryhope Pumping Station which was built in 1868 to supply water to the Sunderland area.

Hetton Colliery Railway

In the early 19th century, coal, steam and machines transformed Britain. It was an age of technological innovation, hard graft and pushing the boundaries - epitomised by the birth of the railways.

Bowes Railway

Originally a colliery railway built to carry coal mainly from pits in north west Durham to the Tyne at Jarrow.

Fulwell Mill

Fulwell Windmill started to appear on the Sunderland skyline in 1806 and became the familiar landmark we know today when opened in 1808.

Washington 'F' Pit

Washington 'F' Pit Museum is a former coal pit that is believed to have been sunk around 1777, and continued to be in use until an accident in 1796. The pit has survived to become one of Sunderland's best historic sites, and a glimpse into our rich coal mining heritage.

National Glass Centre

You'll never look at, or through, glass in the same way again.

North East Land, Sea and Air Museum

The North East Aircraft Museum is home to a diverse collection of aircraft, right here in Sunderland. From passenger aircraft to training planes and a mighty Vulcan, it's a great day out for the whole family.

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art reopened in March 2018, within the National Glass Centre. A generous 3000 square foot new home for visual contemporary arts has been created, with an initial focus on artists whose work is being created across Europe.

Sunderland Museum, Library & Winter Gardens

Discover Sunderland's fascinating history in one place, at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade Museum

The Roker Watch House is not only the headquarters of the Brigade as it also holds a wealth of information on its work and the rescues it has carried out over the past 130 years.

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