Winter walks: why the colder months offer the opportunity to see Sunderland’s surroundings differently

Make the most of the altered landscape and blow those cobwebs away with our winter walks guide around Sunderland.
Dress warmly and get ready to blow those cobwebs away. Picture – supplied.Dress warmly and get ready to blow those cobwebs away. Picture – supplied.
Dress warmly and get ready to blow those cobwebs away. Picture – supplied.

The colder months don’t have to mean hibernation; instead, winter offers a chance to take in a different perspective, from the leafless trees that reveal a new view to the wintering wildlife that makes our region its temporary home.

Just remember to dress warmly, wear appropriate footwear and check the weather conditions beforehand. Make sure you have enough daylight to complete your walk and be prepared with any necessary equipment like maps and a fully charged phone.

Then you’re all set to enjoy the winter season and the natural beauty of the North East!

Get a blast of fresh air

Seaburn and Roker beaches are two gems in Sunderland’s crown, and both boast Blue Flags. They’re easy to overlook in winter but enjoy the lack of crowds and take a leisurely stroll along the promenades while absorbing the fresh sea air and stunning coastal views.

Or why not climb up Penshaw Monument? This iconic landmark stands atop a hill next to Herrington Country Park and provides panoramic views of the surrounding area. In winter, you can take a hike to the top for a brisk but rewarding walk; it's especially beautiful with a dusting of snow.

Try some wildlife watching

A drive away but well worth the effort is Hamsterley Forest, a broadleaved and coniferous woodland oasis that sprawls along the sides of a sheltered valley. It’s a perfect spot for winter activities: you can go for a walk among the trees or enjoy cycling, horse riding, and wildlife watching from rare birds to roe deer.

Closer to home is WWT Washington Wetland Centre whose residents include includes swans, geese, ducks, a family of Asian short-clawed otters and a flock of Chilean flamingos. Make the most of the network of trails and bird hides on a crisp and frosty morning and look out for curlews, redshanks, redpolls, long-tailed tits, siskins and bullfinches.

Enjoy something more sedate?

Herrington Country Park, built on the site of a former colliery, offers walking trails, a boating lake and a play area; dogs are welcome. In the winter, you can enjoy a peaceful walk around the park's paths, taking in the tranquil lake and surrounding woodlands, and even try Nordic walking, a pole-walking technique which harnesses the power of the upper body to turn walking into a workout!

Just a short drive from Sunderland, Houghton-Le-Spring offers charming village walks, including a stroll around the historic Hetton Lyons Country Park.

Back in the city, explore the picturesque Mowbray Park in the centre and take a winter stroll among the trees, gardens and Victorian-era architecture. Or try a walk along the lesser-travelled banks of the River Wear to see Sunderland from a new perspective, taking in the several sculptures and art installations and enjoying the peace and tranquillity that the winter season brings.

Never run out of charge again

If you’re heading out on a winter’s day, a fully charged mobile phone is a must – and Jackery is the global leader in solar generators and portable power solutions, dedicated to empowering outdoor enthusiasts and homeowners with reliable and clean energy.

Backed by a team of passionate engineers and a mission to bring green energy to all, Jackery revolutionises the way people stay connected and powered up wherever life takes them. Their smallest unit can be taken in-flight, and they’ve even invented a Solar Mars Bot recently won Time magazine’s Best Inventions 2023 award in the Green Energy category.

Sunderland residents can save up to 50 per cent in the Jackery Black Friday sale with selected power stations and solar generators up to half-price, from today (Friday, 17 November). One of the largest Black Friday deals include the Explorer 1000, which is available with a capacity of 1002Wh and has a whopping 50 per cent off at only £524 (RRP £1049) when purchased directly from the Jackery Amazon Shop.

With many Black Friday deals on offer across the Jackery’s mighty power station portfolio, the complete solar generator packages are also heavily discounted.

Amazon Black Friday offers are valid until 27 November 2023 while Jackery is offering an additional one-day promotion for purchases directly from the Jackery UK online shop until 28 November 2023.

Jackery also offers a 30-day price-match guarantee to all direct customers of the website, a five-year guarantee on the discounted Pro series and many more surprises including vouchers worth up to £200 that can be used to purchase accessories throughout the Black Friday period.