Sunderland was granted City status in 1992, and currently has a population of almost 300,000 making it the largest city between Leeds and Edinburgh.

Sunderland’s success lies in its shipbuilding and mining industries. Between 1939 and 1945, the River Wear of Sunderland produced the largest Merchant Tonnage in the UK, 1.5million tons or 245 merchant ships.

Many areas of Sunderland today still retain the names and identities given during the mining heyday of the North East, such as Wearmouth, Silksworth, Ryhope and Houghton-le-Spring.

Sunderland has a rich literary heritage, particularly thanks to Lewis Carroll who was a frequent visitor to the area, and is said to have written ‘Jabberwocky’ in Whitburn, and been inspired by areas such as Hylton Castle for his most famous work ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Sunderland is also famous for its Glassworks and Vaux Brewery and has many beaches along its coastline; notably Ryhope, Hendon, Whitburn, and the Twin resorts of Roker and Seaburn.