Days Out: The National Glass Centre, Sunderland


The venue

Sunderland has a long history of glass-making and this modern glass and steel building is dedicated to the creation, exploration and presentation of glass. Just up the road is St Peter's, the first church in the country to use stained glass back in

674 AD. The centre houses galleries, artists' studios, production facilities, a craft and design shop and a café and restaurant.

For children

If your children like snowdomes now is the time to visit as nearly every area of the building is taken over by an exhibition of more than 3,000 of them. These include the first one ever made, for the Paris Expo in 1889, as well as designer versions such as a Patrick Cox snowdome-heeled shoe. See the "Living Snowdome" - a huge fluorescent structure in a darkened, strobe-lit room that children can crawl through. During the Christmas holidays and February half-term, families can join workshops where children over eight can make snowflake mirrors.

For adults

There are glass-blowing demonstrations three times a day; at noon, 2pm and 4pm. The centre runs a variety of courses for adults, including beginner's stained glass, jewellery making and glass-blowing. If you need a special present for someone The Gallery Shop sells high quality glass items made in the UK, such as vases and paper weights as well as cards, marbles, books and games.

Refreshments

Throwingstones, the wonderfully named café

and restaurant overlooking the river, has become a destination in its own right. Open daily 10am-5pm for drinks and snacks in the morning and afternoon.

It also serves lunch including vegetarian options and children's meals. Booking recommended, particularly on Sundays when it is popular with families.

Access

Fully accessible, with toilets adapted for people with disabilities, parking and baby-changing facilities. There are induction loops and disabled parking spaces.

Admission

Open daily 10am - 5pm (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day). Free entry.

How to get there

The National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL (0191-515 5555; national glasscentre.com).

By rail: Sunderland station is a 20-minute walk, St Peter's metro station is seven minutes' walk away.

By road: signposted from the A1231, A19 and all major roads into the city. Car parking is free.

By foot: You can join the St Peter's Sculpture Trail, which takes you along the River Wear to the marina, beach and seafront in 15 minutes.

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine