IF HISTORY is your thing, how about paying a visit to the ancestral home of the first President of the United States?

Sunderland – nestled on the North East coastline between York and Edinburgh – is home to pretty Washington town, a beautiful backwater that is just a short drive away from the city centre and with excellent access to the cultural capital of the North East, vibrant Newcastle, and scenic Durham.

This historic settlement, which was referenced in Old English as early as 1096, was the home of President George Washington’s forefathers. With Washington Old Hall, a picturesque stone manor house still incorporating parts of the original medieval home of his direct ancestors, you will be able to walk in the footsteps of the Washington family and the town that the USA’s capital is named after.

Sleepy Washington is the perfect ‘stop-over’ for visiting Americans, and particularly those travelling to the UK during Independence Day, an occasion that is celebrated by Washingtonians with a ceremony at the Town Hall. Stars and Stripes are waved and The Star Spangled Banner rings out, as local school children are among the crowds that take part in a street-festival.

It’s these historic and ongoing links, that have inspired a strong association between Washington town and Washington DC, making Sunderland the only non-capital city to enjoy a friendship agreement with the US’ most significant destination.

Other things you can enjoy while in Sunderland:

  • Washington Wildfowl Park
  • Visit Sunderland’s Penshaw Monument
  • Take a trip to Sunderland’s stunning coastline
  • Shop ‘til you drop at The Bridges shopping centre
  • Tie in a visit to our big events – Tall Ships (11-14 July), the region’s Great Exhibition of the North, and Sunderland’s 30th International Airshow (27-29 July)
  • Try your hand at the ancient art of glass making at Sunderland’s National Glass Centre
  • Visit the ancient grounds of St Peter’s Church, where the great Bede resided over 2,000 years ago.