With Newcastle Airport less than an hour away, it’s easy to get in and out of the North East. Factor in good train links north and south, the nearby A1(M) and the Tyne and Wear Metro system that’s the envy of many cities, and you’ll find Sunderland to be a well-connected city.
Getting around Sunderland
Just 20 miles north of Sunderland is Newcastle Airport, a major travel hub that’s the second busiest in the north of England just behind Manchester. Able to handle over five million passengers each day, it’s serviced by airlines like Jet2 and KLM and flies across Europe on a daily basis, with long-haul flights connecting via its Dubai/Emirates flights. The airport is directly linked to the Newcastle Metro via its Airport station – the Green line from Sunderland will take about 50 minutes, with trains running around every 15 minutes. The drive from Sunderland will take about the same length of time, with on-site car parks available for short, medium and long stay. Alternatively, you can stay overnight at one of our hotels near Newcastle Airport. As you’d expect from a major airport, there are plenty of shops and cafés, while the departure lounge and customs systems are being streamlined and expanded.
Tyne and Wear Metro
Locally referred to as the Metro, the Tyne and Wear Metro is a light rail system that serves much of the north east including Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside and Sunderland. Opened in the early 80s, the system can now handle 40 million passengers a year across nearly 80km of track. The Metro is largely split into two networks, with the Green line connecting Sunderland through Newcastle and beyond to the airport. Services run every 12 minutes during the day, with single tickets costing just a few pounds depending on how many of the three zones you travel through. Trains run from early in the morning until midnight across the 60 stations, with many of the stops well connected with train, bus or road networks.
Sunderland train station has been the city’s rail hub for nearly two centuries and is located in the heart of the city. While the entry level entrance is a bit dilapidated, the lower level was transformed several years ago, with a 140m LED wall, glass panels and new lighting and walkways dramatically improving the two platform station. There’s no parking available on site, but the station is directly connected to the Tyne and Wear Metro and there are a shop and a café at the station. Trains run at least hourly to Newcastle and there are daily services down to London via the new Virgin East Coast route.