Cosmopolitan Bars and Wonderful Wildlife: Why You Need to Visit Seaham, Seaburn and Sunderland
There’s plenty to see, shop and explore here
In Seaham, Flamingo Café and Clean Bean champion healthy, nutritious dishes and have plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. If you’re seeking the best seafood by the sea, The Lamp Room is the place to be, but for a quick bite, pop by Slice for New York-style pizza by the slice. In Sunderland, dig into bagels, pizza and delicious cakes accompanied by locally-brewed beer at Fausto Coffee, try the eggs Benedict at Spent Grain and refuel on Grinder Coffee Co. frappés and hot drinks. Get into the ‘spirit’ at Poetic License Bar or The Palm. Over in Seaburn, nowhere does sweet treats like Love Lily. Dine al fresco at The Salt House Kitchen or head to STACK where you can tuck into PoshStreetFood by critically acclaimed MasterChef Matei Baran.
Seaham Hall is a five-star Georgian country house hotel and home of the Serenity Spa. Each of their suites are different, but expect wood-fired hot tubs, enormous beds, and unbeatable views. Just yards from Seaham’s seafront, No.16 is an early Victorian house boasting beautiful boutique rooms. Sea Glass Suite promises magnificent views across the sea and Roker’s iconic pier, and Roker Hotel is one of longest standing hotels in Sunderland. Newer to the scene is The Seaburn Inn; look out over the North Sea from its superior rooms.
Seaham is a fantastic place to collect sea glass and Seaham Waves make the most of that by transforming it into unique pieces of jewellery. Over in Sunderland, you can stock up on artisan cheese, charcuterie, wine and craft beers at Fat Unicorn, where you can also grab a bite to eat (we enjoy sitting in the window seat and watching the world go by). Men’s designer clothes store Aphrodite stocks must-have brands, while Master Debonair’s outpost will have you suited and booted and Sadie the Bra Lady sells bras, briefs, swimwear and accessories. Heading out of the city, stop by artisan bakery Bread& to take home freshly-baked treats.
When anyone thinks of Seaham, they think of Tommy – the statue of a First World War soldier by artist Ray Lonsdale which stands on the green by the seafront. In Sunderland, you can get your culture fix at the Empire and in The Fire Station, then celebrate Sunderland’s rich glass-making heritage at National Glass Centre. A more recent addition, Life Kitchen offer free cookery classes for people living with taste and smell loss caused by cancer and Covid.
Around the corner
Escape to nature at Washington Wetland Centre with its wide-open spaces and wetlands. Meet some of the rarest birds on the planet, and stop a while in Hawthorn Wood hide or pause at the Lookout viewing screen and watch the birds gorging on fatballs and seeds. Head to the Duckery to see fluffy ducklings take their first steps, and don’t miss the Asian short-clawed otters with their baby Buster. Bird numbers soar here as the reserve becomes a two-way rest and refuelling point, and you might just spot a kingfisher if you keep your eyes peeled.