11 of Sunderland's best-kept secrets that even some Mackems have been missing out on

There are some things every Mackem has done - and there are others that everyone from Sunderland should have done, but probably hasn't.

Monday, 10th December 2018, 15:09 pm
Updated Monday, 10th December 2018, 15:10 pm
Sunderland's hidden gems and little-known facts

Here we look at some of Sunderland's hidden gems, well-kept secrets and little-known facts which everyone in Sunderland should experience.

Frank Styles' dazzling spray-painted artworks have lit up buildings across the city, gaining national acclaim. It's well worth getting yourself out and about to drink in these wonderful works.
Italian restaurants are everywhere you look in Sunderland, but this little family-run gem doesn't need to shout about itself to stand out, with its wonderful food and atmosphere bringing those in the know back again and again.
It's a festive favourite, proved a hit for both Gracie Fields and the Beverley Sisters, and is sung by thousands of schoolchildren across the country each year. And it was composed by Sunderland's own, late, great Eric Boswell.

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Everyone here knows George Washington's ancestors lived in our Washington. But did you know the family coat of arms features stars and red and white stripes? A resemblance to a certain flag, and a certain football team's colours.
Once a place of booming industry, Sunderlands northern river bank is now full of all manner of weird and wonderful sculptures - but how many of you have had a walk along and properly taken in the artworks?
Lewis Carroll visited family in Sunderland during his long summer holidays from Oxford, and there are countless tales of how our city inspired characters and settings in his books.
Built in 1868 to supply water to Sunderland, the station operated for almost 100 years and the Ryhope Engines Museum now houses an amazing collection of historic machinery which you can see in action on selected dates.
The areas longest-running Thai restaurant and one of the best places to eat in the city. Tucked away in the Highfield Hotel off the A690, it may seem an unlikely dining destination, but its worth the trip.
Both a spectacular site from afar, and offering an impressive view when you visit, this mysterious Bronze Age burial mound and surrounding trees is one of the city's oldest and most interesting historic sites.
The pub's been here since 1724, making it one of the city's oldest, and it also offers once of the finest views in Sunderland. It's recently been renovated to offer top notch food and drink as a bistro, cafe and boutique hotel.
Penshaw Monument is one of the best-known sights in the region, and scaling Penshaw Hill is on every Mackem's tick list. But the woods and trails on the north side of the hill are well worth an explore.