Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

by | Feb 16, 2022 | Explore Sunderland

Situated in the heart of the city centre, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens has a collection dating back to 1846 and there are plenty of surprises to be found. Explore Sunderland’s colourful past within a day, no matter whether you are looking for fun stuff to do with the kids, an afternoon of culture or the perfect day out for inquisitive minds.

The most famous attraction is undoubtedly Wallace The Lion. Wallace was part of a touring wild animal show during the 1800s with the then-famous African tamer Martini Maccomo. Wallace came into the Museum’s collection following Maccomo’s death 135 years ago and has remained there ever since as one of the most popular exhibits. You will also find hundreds of other amazing items showcased at the museum such as the first Nissan car to roll off the production line at the Sunderland Nissan factory in 1986.


Home to the only known British example of a gliding reptile, the remains of a Siberian walrus and an enormous collection of Sunderland Lustreware pottery, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens is a wonderful experience for all ages. The Pottery Gallery is occasionally closed due to special and private events but is a fantastic exhibition if you’re lucky enough to view it.

Why not browse The Art Gallery within the museum, which contains a significant collection of works by artist L.S. Lowry? This artist spent a lot of time in Sunderland.  Exhibitions change regularly, meaning that there’s always something new and interesting for visitors to see. Discover more about the exciting exhibitions and attractions to plan your visit: sunderlandculture.org.uk/whats-on/


  • Monday – Friday, 9.30 am – 5 pm*: Museum Shop, Ground Floor Galleries and Library
    *Late night opening on Wednesday until 7 pm
  • Monday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm: Upper-level galleries including the Art and Special Exhibitions Galleries, Winter Gardens and Bennelli’s Cafe
  • Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm
  • Sunday: Closed

How To Reach

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens is located next to Mowbray Park on Burden Road in Sunderland city centre. It is a 5-minute walk from Market Square, as well as a 5-minute walk from Sunderland Metro Station. If you are travelling from nearby Newcastle, it can be reached within a 40-minute drive via the A184 and it is a 30-minute drive from Durham via the A690 (fastest route).

Comfort Inn Hotel is just a 13-minute drive away from Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. Become a member and enjoy exclusive discounts on local attractions, restaurants, bars, and popular places in and around the town. Write to us at care@aghotels.co.uk and our team will be happy to help you.

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