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Living in Sunderland

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An image of Sunderland's Roker beach

Living in Sunderland

If you choose Sunderland, you're not just choosing a course, but a home away from home too. Find out everything you need to know about about life in the North East and get ready to explore city, coast and countryside from your doorstep. 


It’s important to know where the best supermarkets are in Sunderland as this will be the most cost-effective way to shop whilst being a student. The biggest supermarket that is closest to both the City and St. Peters Campus is Tesco Extra, it has a metro stop right outside (Stadium of Light), making it easier to take your shopping home if you don’t drive. There is an Marks & Spencer's store in the city centre and close to City Campus, but this is a slightly more expensive option and may not be suitable to those on a student budget.  

As the price of food has increased in the UK, the more inexpensive supermarkets are ALDI and Lidl, and are very popular with students. The closest store to City Campus is here and the closest to St. Peter’s is here.

We also have a diverse range of international supermarkets and shops located in Sunderland, of which many can be found on Chester Road and Hylton Road, both close to City Campus. These shops range from larger supermarkets stocking a range of international foods and household goods, to smaller fruit and vegetable traders dealing in imported produce, which can also be much cheaper than the bigger supermarkets.

We have compiled a list of the larger supermarkets in Sunderland:

Supermarket Address
Tesco Extra Newcastle Road, Roker, Sunderland, SR6 0DA 
Iceland The Bridges Shopping Centre, 6 West Street, Sunderland, SR1 3LB 
Lidl Roker Avenue, Sunderland, SR6 0BN 
Aldi St Mark’s Road, Sunderland, SR4 7EG 
Jacky White's Market The Bridges Shopping Centre, Market Hall, SR1 3DG 
Chester Road A range of international shops and fruit and vegetable sellers 

Jacky Whites Market is an indoor market in the Bridges Shopping Centre and has lots of stalls selling a range of goods. Students find that the butchers (meat), fishmongers and fruit and vegetable stalls offer a very affordable way to stock up on your food essentials.

Cafes, Restaurants and Bars

When you come to Sunderland, you will have the opportunity to socialise and make new friends. One of the most popular things to do when making new friends is to go for a coffee, grab some food or have drinks. Sunderland has a thriving coffee culture, and an array of restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs to cater for all.  

If you are a vegetarian there also are many options to choose from, and most bars offer zero-alcoholic beverages. Sunderland is constantly adding to the restaurant scene, if you want to stay in the city centre there is plenty of choice. There are also many options in Roker & Seaburn – including the Stack, which you can easily get to by metro or bus. Whilst very popular, the Stack is open to the elements, so take warm clothing if visiting in the winter!

Time to relax, or get active

When you’re not attending classes and studying hard, it’s important that you enjoy your free time. Luckily, you won’t be short of fun things to do in Sunderland. If you’re interested in sport, nature, art, history or shopping, there are many different things you can get stuck into, from visiting our local beaches to skiing down the dry ski slope at Silksworth.  

Why not visit the National Glass Centre, there are exhibitions throughout the year – and a great café to catch up with friends over a coffee. You can also check out the Winter Gardens and Museum and have a stroll around Mowbray Park afterwards for some fresh air.  

If you’re a football fan, or have seen the Netflix series and can’t resist attending a game, the Stadium of Light is a fantastic venue to take in professional football. Get tickets directly from the club and remember to wrap up warm in the winter! 

For more fun ideas about what to do in your free time, click here. Luckily, Sunderland has great transport links to other cities such as Newcastle and Durham which make for great day trips. TimeOut Magazine have listed the best places to visit in Newcastle that you can make you way through, and the same for Durham.