Cheap Hotels Sunderland

Geography of Sunderland

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Nestled between the countryside and the coast, Sunderland straddles the banks of the Wear River. The entire tidal plain is contained in the borders of the city, which also boasts some pleasant stretches of golden beaches broken up by magnificent cliffs. There are some islands off the coast, Holy Island being the largest. The surrounding countryside is mountainous with wide moors among the hills and tracts of perfectly preserved wilderness.

Sunderland has some excellent country parks and expanses of natural beauty. On the outskirts of the city centre are Herrington Country Park and Hetton Lyons Country Park, both of which feature lovely walks, picnic areas and recreational facilities. Popular activities include watersports, mountain bikes, rollerblading and orienteering.

To the northwest, the Washington Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre is situated in a superb natural setting embracing 100 acres of parkland on the north side of the River Wear. Designed by Sir Peter Scott, it is the third largest in Europe, with a fascinating collection of wildfowl ranging from swans, geese and ducks, large numbers of migrating fowl and a magnificent flock of Chilean pink flamingos. The park also provides a habitat for many other animals and plants. Water voles, hares, rabbits, stoats, weasels and moles may be seen.

Nearby, the James Steel Park stretches along the River Wear from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre in the east, to Fatfield in the west, with contrasting areas of countryside linked by the river. Visitors can walk through woods, open spaces, through farmland or by the river. There are vantage points for enjoying the view, such as Worm Hill, and opportunities for fishing, horse-riding or cycling.

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